How do you know you’ve chosen the right SEO agency? Of course you want results, that goes without saying. What sets a good agency apart from the rest is how they educate you about what they are doing along the way and how well they communicate this to you.
The first couple of months of working with an SEO agency is always the hardest, mostly because you can’t expect overnight results. At the very least, you’ll see some changes in rankings, but these may not be significant yet. It takes months to improve your search rankings, especially if there’s a lot for your SEO team to work on. Given this, it’s easy for any SEO specialist to say they are working on your site—only to leave you hanging.
Boosting your rankings is not a one-way communication street. You need to establish a good working relationship with your SEO company, and this means providing them with the information they need. It’s important to have an idea of what an agency needs from your business, so that you’ll know if they really are doing their job.
The key here is to ensure your goals for your digital marketing efforts are aligned with your overall marketing strategies.
Goals drive your company. They are what you strive to achieve. Your company goals are one of the first things you should share with your business partner to guide them in targeting areas that help you reach your goal.
Digital marketing goals is just a fraction of your company’s overall marketing goals. The key here is to ensure your goals for your digital marketing efforts are aligned with your overall marketing strategies. Anything not in line with your company goals—even if they give you tons of traffic—will not benefit you. Remember, you want targeted traffic. Neil Patel himself says that targeted traffic generates better ROI.
ROI is important for a company, and an agency should strive to improve it month on month. Give your agency a starting point by sharing your ROI projection with them. Moz shares this process that helps you estimate ROI for your site and keywords — use it well and use it often.
When it comes to the technical side of SEO, your agency will not be able to do anything if they don’t have access to your CMS accounts. This means that if they don’t ask about your CMS accounts, you’re probably in bad hands.
One of the commonly used CMS for businesses is WordPress. If you provide them access to your WordPress account, it will be easier to manage and optimize your pages.
You don’t have to wait for them to ask for your credentials, though. If they send a brief, make sure you input all the important information about your business.
Google Analytics and Search Console
Just like your CMS accounts, your agency needs access to your Analytics and Search Console accounts to track the actual progress of your business in terms of traffic and conversions. Without this, it will be pure guesswork. They need to integrate Analytics and Search Console to come up with reports that show the progress of your business.
Here are some of the reports you can expect from your SEO specialist in return:
- Customer acquisition report – This tells you which channels are increasing your revenue.
- Email assessment report – This shows how effective your email marketing campaigns are. You’ll know which emails have led to good conversion rates.
- Transaction report – This determines the times and days that are effective in terms of sales.
- Device comparison report – With mobile search overtaking the growth of desktop search, it will be beneficial to you if you knew how you were doing so far in terms of mobile sales. This report tells you where the majority of your clients come from.
Small businesses who don’t have their Analytics and Search Console accounts set up just yet can hand the task over to their SEO agency instead.
Statistics show that 68% of businesses already have a social media account that they use for marketing purposes.
With social media continuously gaining traction in the world of digital marketing, it’s only right that you take advantage of it, too. This is easier to set up in case you don’t want to give your SEO specialist complete access, but they will need administrator functionalities to do their job.
Target keywords should be part of your starter pack, just like your company goals. When determining your target keywords, remember that they should target interest and intent. Share these with your SEO agency to get them started on the right track.
Note: Your SEO agency may offer recommendations or target additional keywords to boost your exposure.
Audits and Penalties
You’re not sharing just the good things with your agency. In the SEO world, sites receive penalties for a variety of reasons. Valid or not, share these with your SEO provider to help them figure out how to put you back in Google’s good graces.
Some of the penalties you may receive can pertain to “thin” content, cloaking, keyword stuffing, piracy, top-heavy layouts, and link spam. Google’s Manual Actions report should come in handy.
Here’s a sample Manual Actions report that your agency can help you address:
Setting Realistic Expectations
When working with your SEO company, you need to do more than just listen. Yes, you need to step back and let the SEO experts do their job, but this doesn’t mean not being involved in the process. Communication should be a two-way street so that you can explain your expectations and your agency can tell you if they are achievable.
Always remember that good SEO practices take time to show results, but this doesn’t mean you’re wasting money. SEO will be worth it if you work hand in hand with your agency.
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