Finding the right SEO company can be hard work.
It’s a complex industry – one that many businesses can’t live without if they want to keep up with online marketing and technology advancements. One of the biggest business mistakes you can make is having an invisible website.
The art of SEO has become an essential investment for companies of all shapes and sizes, with more people looking for products and services online than ever before. But there’s a dark side to the industry that’s given it a bad rap, making it harder for business owners to know what to expect after signing up.
If you don’t know the warning signs or understand what it is you should be getting from your SEO company, empty promises, dodgy link building strategies and scams can strike. Fortunately, though not every SEO company does business this way.
Reputable and trustworthy SEO firms are specialised at growing your business through safe, extensively skilled and transparent services.
So, what should expect from your chosen company?
1. No ‘First Spot’ Guarantees
Any SEO company that guarantees they can get your website ranking number one in the search engine results is dodgy. False promises claiming first page results is a big red flag. Not even Google can promise you that – so stay away from any practices that say otherwise. Unless your site is a sponsored result through Ad Words, no number one (organic) ranking can be definite.
2. Face-to-Face Meetings
Communication is key to effective SEO strategies.
When you sign up with an SEO firm, you want an introductory meeting with the person who will be looking after your account. Ideally, it’s best to have a face-to-face meeting but a conference call is sufficient too. Meetings should be organised throughout the service to keep you in the loop about what’s happening and discuss any areas for improvement.
These meetings will ensure you have the best understanding of what work is being done and what is required from you, as the client.
Your SEO team will be highly skilled in the industry but that doesn’t mean they know your industry. Great SEO involves working with the client throughout the process. Be prepared to put in ideas for content and specific industry knowledge that can be used as fuel for the SEO firm to create good link building strategies.
3. Monthly Check-Ins
As essential as face-to-face meetings are for consistently good SEO, monthly check-ins are also a must. These check-ins should outline keyword rankings, link building opportunities, website traffic and conversions. Reporting on a weekly or monthly basis gives you a detailed insight into all the activity that your account manager has done.
At White Chalk Road, we pride ourselves on regular monthly reporting. Account managers will inform you if there are any changes that need to be made or if something doesn’t look right. Whilst your account manager will be looking out (and fixing) any issues that come up along the way, the monthly check-ins are a good chance to ask any pending questions too.
4. Account Management and Content Marketing
Good account management means you know who your point of contact is and how often you can expect to hear from them.
Your account manager should be up to date with industry developments so the latest knowledge is applied to your site. They will know who your competition is and work with you to define a marketing strategy that sets your business apart from theirs. Expect great communication.
Helping clients understand the value of SEO services can be challenging, but your account manager should be able to put it into a language you understand.
SEO makes demands and content marketing is there to fulfil those demands. SEO can’t exist without content because you need substance, words and specifically chosen keywords for the package to work. Every website landing page, product description, blog article or industry-related piece are all examples of content. And it shouldn’t be created to simply rank higher, but to educate and communicate a message to relevant audiences.
Content marketing is strong brand awareness that introduces valuable link juice back to your website and should be expected from all reputable SEO companies. Expect quality content on relevant sites that establishes a strong brand awareness for your business.
5. Client Education and Training Sessions
Client education and training sessions aren’t an essential part of an SEO company, but wouldn’t you like to understand some of the technical tools better? Whilst your point of contact will be the most skilled in auditing your website and managing your account, it’s handy to be in the know with a few vital tips too.
White Chalk Road have Google Analytics training courses to assist with client education.
Google Analytics is an important tool for developing your online marketing strategy and honing in on the necessities. Everything online is measurable and GA is your ticket to tracking the finer details. It creates valuable data on what your audience is doing on your site and who’s coming from where.
GA can also help generate content ideas and tailor your online marketing strategy for better results. With relevant workshops and training sessions provided by your SEO company, you’re in a better position to wrap your head around these tools and understand the work your account manager is doing.
6. 100% Transparency
Good SEO doesn’t happen in a bubble. It takes a working relationship between the client and the SEO provider to make the package work.
Openness and 100% transparency plays a big role in this. Without it, you’re never going to know what work is being done behind the scenes. Keeping the lines of communication open between the provider and client ensures you know exactly what you’re paying for.
The best part about online marketing is everything is measurable. Thus, it’s inevitable for a reputable SEO company to report back on the essentials regularly. Search engine rankings are increased through the number of website conversions, valuable content, social media interaction and natural link building. As the client, you should be informed about all these aspects.