Bail Bonds SEO & Marketing
After the initial conversation with most bail bond company owners and agents, it is alarmingly clear the the difference between marketing a bail bonds (SEM) website and cleaning one up (SEO) has been really muddled by some firms. Sadly, there are some SEO companies who don't even know marketing exists.
First, lets explain what Bail Bonds SEO and SEM really is:
SEO : Search Engine Optimization
Lets look at this term in hopes you never need one. When you first have your bail website built, the programmer should have either conferred with the marketing person in Keep in mind, there are well over 300 search engines all fighting to be the next Google. Cater to them...the company or is themselves a marketer. The marketer is that person being the one who chooses the keywords your bail site is going to utilize to capture pagerank, traffic and hopefully, page one of Google, Bing, Yahoo et al. So from the start, your site should already be OPTIMIZED. See the term here... "optimized"? If you had hired someone to simply build you a site, they might have done that but might have goofed the works from the starting gate. When this happens...
Then, you need to hire an SEO company to dig into the backend code of your site and clean up any errors the previous coder left behind. Errors can be anything from using the wrong keywords, highlighting like a madman, italicizing words that have nothing to do with your industry or even leaving out quality content that matches your niche.
The SEO company then will go into your site and rewrite the content, do a quality keyword report and apply the ones you need to get you where you need to be. They should even go in and clean the code if it's sloppy or full of errors. Once this is complete, or during, a good SEO should also remove any junk links from your site. Keep in mind it's all about links, and if your bail bond company is linking to a plumbing company, this is not going to bode well. You have to stay within your niche, but more importantly, try not to give up any links.
A quality SEO company should also look at your Google Webmaster account to see if there are errors. If you don't have an account I suggest you get one. It helps to clean up any 404 errors on your site, and Google and Bing will let you know you have them...
We happen to run an application we created to handle errors on the fly. Normally you'll come to a website which states the "File cannot be found", this leaves a lot to be desired for your visitors. We have a way to send them to another page of our choosing if there is a mistake, then automagically send us a report telling us of the error, within seconds.
One of the bigger problems is having older files out on the interwebs that no longer exist, but some other sites may be linking to. Our little app (given to all our clients) helps thwart bad linking by telling us what is missing. Once a bad link is found we'll write a simple redirect to a quality page or the page it was meant to go to.
So, to recap, an SEO company will:
- • Look through your code to ensure it's compliant and can be easily read by visiting bots. If not they fix it.
- • Run a keyword report to use as a benchmark for their work
- • Have sections labeled properly
- • Place the proper keywords within the copy (text)
- • Set proper linking on the site
- • Ensure your images are properly remarked and or linked
- • Run or look through your error reports to check for missing images or pages and redirect or rebuild if necessary.
A good SEO company should have your site for roughly 10 - 30 hours depending on the number of issues they find. If the site is old and there are a lot of pages it may take longer. The SEO might even tell you to dump the old design if it may cost more than a new build. Don't think for a second that some firms aren't simply trying to make money off of you, they are, but, a quality SEO should set you straight from the start. If your site is over 3 years old, we would tell you to dump the old code and go fresh, sometimes it more cost efficient in the long run, plus your site will be up to date (see Bail Bond Mobile Websites).
SEM : Search Engine Marketing
The Search Engine Marketing (SEM) company on the other hand, comes in after the SEO company has done their job and begins the real work on marketing your bail bonds website online. It's our opinion that the marketing should only be started once the site has been optimized.
How we normally work. If we weren't the ones to optimize the site we'll run initial reports and match them up to the SEO company report. They shouldn't vary much if at all and if they do we'll need to get with the SEO to find out why. If we optimized the site we'll still run a report if only to check ranking and structure across the big 3 search engines.
With that said, an SEM company will begin applying your redesign and sending it out to various sites to pick up on. They will also set you up on a number of social sites bringing that traffic back to the site and linking it around to numerous pages.
There is no "Secret Sauce" to SEM. It's pure grunt work
Since most bail bond sites focus more on local traffic than they do worldwide, the SEM will apply the site to Google Local, Bing Local, Yahoo Business, Yelp, Thumbtack, etc et al.
Once all the social sites are set up, the SEM should then begin to apply any videos, articles, guest posts and press releases to the outside world and begin the linking process and network process that this new material is out there.
So you can see that the SEM is a more active participant in your online success than the "one-off" SEO firm who you'll only need to hire one time.
If you would like more information about getting your bail bonds website analyzed and a free report, contact us and we would be more than happy to show you how it all works.