SEO is one of the most productive online marketing strategies a business can invest in. However, just like any other marketing endeavor, it only makes a difference if you work with the best practitioners in the field. With hundreds of SEO agencies in the market, how do you identify a good partner? How do you track the progress of their work? How can you tell they’re doing a great job? The truth is that no one would want to spend their money on an SEO campaign that ends in frustration. So, in this blog post, we have put together some reassuring signs that you’re working with a great SEO partner.
1. They focus on your side
Although there’s no explicit description of a perfect digital marketing agency or SEO practitioner, you can identify one that will do a great job right from the start. When pitching their services to you, be keen on what they say to know where their interests lie. Paying attention to their message during the induction process should tell you what your future relationship will look like. Ideally, a good company will create more of a collaboration than just a transaction environment. If they only focus on the service costs and monthly invoices, with little emphasis on how they will help, you can be sure such a relationship won’t be very fruitful. A good SEO provider will do some research and get acquainted with your brand before on-boarding. They will also take time to understand your business goals, target audience, and competitors, then come up with a strategy on how they can help you- not just showing off their track record.
If you hire an SEO company and they only talk about the good stuff, with rare mentions of what didn’t go well, then you have a reason to worry. The ugly truth is that if an SEO provider says everything is working right, chances are that they’re not working to get you the best results. An agency that’s doing a good job will be transparent and honest with you. Since they have your best interests in mind, they won’t be afraid to highlight the failures, lessons learned and how they plan to improve. It’s this kind of information that leads to success in digital marketing. Otherwise, failing to learn from your mistakes could prove detrimental to your marketing decisions and online business at large.
2. They have goals and deliverables
A good SEO provider will not only map out everything they are doing but also provide a complete rundown of the deliverables to their clients. We’re not saying they should wave the magic wand and start showing you first page results, but rather provide evidence of what they’re doing to improve your SEO. For instance, they may show you the following:
- Keyword ranking and analysis report
- Website audit reports, including action points on your homepage, link profile and content
- Content expansion for new ranking opportunities
- Periodic reports detailing measurable SEO metrics
If an SEO company keeps you in the loop throughout the SEO process, it’s a sign they’re doing a great job. Ideally, a quality SEO firm should provide weekly or monthly reports showing what they’ve done and how it has impacted your rankings and traffic.
3. They offer actionable recommendations for improvement
SEO is more of a collaboration among SEO professionals, account managers, web developers, copywriters, and the business owner. As you probably know, these professionals recommend various actions, all designed to level up your SEO. If you respect their decisions and comply with their requests, you are more likely to enjoy better results. Some things that a good SEO company recommends include:
- Start and integrate social channels to your website
- Increase blog content quality and quantity
- Create new, detailed and well-optimized product or service pages
- Create some geo-targeted landing pages for specific locations
- Add a frequently asked questions (FAQ) or resources section to your website
- Redesign the layout of your web pages
- Improve link profile and domain authority
- Add third party plugins like Yoast to your website
- Add meta descriptions to your pages
- Add alt tags to images
- Create a sitemap.xml
- Improve site speed e.t.c
When your SEO agency makes such recommendations, they’re doing the right thing. Some of these additional services will cost more, but if you can cooperate and help your SEO implement them, you will enjoy more success in the long-term. However, be wary of agencies that might just be running on the wheel hoping a certain SEO technique gets them somewhere. Such dodgy practitioners offer recommendations while trying to upsell you in the name of “extra services” This is why you should know the value of every service you pay for.
4. They provide access to analytical data
The best way to measure the success of your SEO efforts is by tracking a bunch of key performance indicators. We’re saying this because you can’t win a game without knowing the scores. In SEO, metrics such as website ranking, traffic, on-page time, bounce rate, and conversion rate are a clear reflection of how your campaign is doing. SEO providers track and analyze these metrics using SEO tools such as Google Analytics, SEMRush, Ahrefs, Serpstat, Nightwatch, and many more. If they mean good, they will never hide this data from you. The best SEO providers will always provide access to these tools and data before or upon request.
Let’s go through each of the mentioned metrics so you can understand why they are important when gauging the progress of your SEO.
- Organic Rankings
Most SEO experts love to tell prospective clients that “we’ll get your site on #1 of the Google search results”. While very few manage to fulfill this promise, an improvement in organic search rankings is a sign you’re in good hands. If your SEO company ensures you rank better for target keywords, or helps you rank for various long-tail keywords, they’re doing a great job. Another sign of legitimate SEO providers is that they ensure your ranking stays consistent. It is normal for your website to shift a few positions up or down every week, but you need to worry if your site drops several positions day after day.
- Website Traffic
The goal of SEO is to improve search ranking and bring in high-value traffic to your website. So, if you’re not getting any traffic, chances are your SEO is not working. When traffic increases, then your SEO is doing something. With higher rankings for the target keywords, you’re more likely to have a higher click-through rate and ultimately, adequate traffic from the right sources.
Here’s a caveat though- In some cases, you may realize that your traffic drops, but there’s a notable surge in revenue. This is still possible and is a clear sign that your SEO is doing a great job. Remember that the goal is to attract targeted traffic, not just tons of traffic. If your traffic comes from the right audience and target keywords, your conversions will subsequently increase. More conversions will lead to more revenue from fewer site visitors.
- Time On-Page
Time on-page, also known as length of sessions, refers to the average duration a user stays on your page or website. If you have a low time-on-page, chances are that your content doesn’t appeal to the reader, or it is poorly written. This brings us to one of the most important elements of an SEO campaign- quality content creation. Websites with content that interests the reader and addresses their needs ensure that visitors spend more time on their page. Google will also reward you with higher rankings for adding value to the readers through quality content. So, if your SEO recommends that you rework the content on your website, they’re doing it to help you.
- Bounce Rate
Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors leaving your site after viewing just a single page. This is probably because they didn’t find what they were looking for, so they decided to check through other search results. Your SEO should show you this percentage, and if it decreases over time, they are doing a great job.
- Conversion Rate
Conversions are undoubtedly, the most exciting figures a business owner would love to see increase. One of the main objectives of SEO after bringing in traffic is improving the conversion rate. Most leads will only make a purchase on your website if they are satisfied with your service. So, if you see your conversions or sales increase, the SEO provider is doing their job.
The bottom line is that if your organic rankings improve, your web traffic increases, your bounce rate decreases, your on-page time increases, and your conversion rate improves, then you can bet your SEO provider is well on track.
Over to you – SEO is a long-term investment
Now that you can gauge whether your SEO is doing a good job or not, it is important to understand that SEO is a long-term investment. You do not just sign up with an SEO company and expect them to deliver tangible results within a couple of weeks or months. No, it takes time. If you’re truly want to improve your SEO, start by choosing a genuine and reliable SEO partner. You’ll also have to put in some effort and cooperate with your SEO provider. We’re in a multifaceted industry that keeps changing- the “proven” success strategy that worked last month might not reward you today. So, always stay on top of things for the best results.
With hundreds of SEO agencies in the market, how do you identify a good partner? This article explains how to tell if your SEO partner is doing a good job!