Search engine optimization (SEO) can be a complex digital marketing strategy to understand. To comprehend SEO, you first have to understand how search engines work, which is a topic that requires its own article. Moreover, search engine algorithms are continuously updated, guidelines change, and tactics keep evolving, making SEO a constantly changing process that needs to be kept up with.
As a business owner, you may not have enough time to keep up with these changes. That's why you may have hired an SEO agency in the first place. You have entrusted your website to (hopefully) capable hands so that you can focus on other aspects of your business without worrying about implementing new strategies or updating ROI reports.
However, how can you be sure that your SEO agency is doing a good job? Of course, you would see an increase in your website's rankings and traffic. But that's the ultimate goal. How can you be confident that your SEO agency is working towards your goals and website's objectives during the campaign?
Let's explore this further.
Search engines deliver the best and most relevant content to users, so the quality of your website's content significantly impacts its search engine rankings. Here's what to look for regarding content quality:
Relevance: The content should be highly relevant to your target audience and industry. It should address needs, answer questions, and provide valuable information.
Originality: Search engines prefer unique and original content. Plagiarized or duplicated content can lead to poor rankings. Ensure that the agency creates content that is not copied from other sources.
Revisions: A competent SEO agency should enhance your website's existing content, which should include both service pages and blog entries. Content revision involves incorporating relevant information, updating references, and optimizing for new keywords.
Optimization: The agency should optimize content for relevant keywords. This includes proper keyword placement, use of headers, and ensuring a natural flow that enhances user experience and search engine understanding.
Backlinks, or links from other websites to yours, are crucial for SEO. However, the quality of backlinks is more important than quantity. A healthy backlink profile involves the following considerations:
Authority: Backlinks from authoritative and reputable websites carry more weight. The agency should focus on acquiring links from sources relevant to your industry and with a strong online presence.
Diversity: A good backlink profile is diverse, with links coming from various sources. This diversity signals to search engines that your website is valued across different platforms.
Monitoring and Cleanup: The agency should regularly monitor the backlink profile to identify and address any low-quality or harmful links.
Adherence to Best Practices
Following ethical SEO practices and adhering to search engine guidelines is essential for long-term success. Avoiding black hat tactics helps prevent penalties and ensures sustainable growth. Key considerations include:
White Hat Techniques: A reputable SEO agency employs white hat techniques that align with search engine guidelines. These techniques focus on improving the user experience and providing value.
Natural Keyword Integration: A reputable SEO agency focuses on natural keyword integration rather than keyword stuffing. Keywords should be used in a way that enhances the overall content and provides value to users.
Transparent Practices: The agency should be transparent about the strategies they employ. If they are unwilling to share their methods or if they make promises that seem too good to be true, it could be a red flag.
Staying Updated: Search engine algorithms evolve, and best practices change. A good agency stays updated on industry trends and algorithm updates and adjusts strategies accordingly to maintain compliance with search engine guidelines.
Communication and Reporting
A reputable agency should inform clients about their strategies, progress, and any changes made to the website. Here's what to look for in terms of analytics, reporting, communication, and transparency:
Customized Reporting: The agency should provide regular and customized reports with key performance indicators (KPIs) relevant to your business goals. These reports could cover metrics such as organic traffic, keyword rankings, conversion rates, and other relevant analytics.
Clear Insights: Reports should not only present data but also offer clear insights into the performance of the SEO campaign. The agency should interpret the data, explain trends, and provide recommendations for further improvement.
Communication Channels: A good agency establishes clear communication channels. This includes regular meetings, email updates, and a designated point of contact. Open lines of communication facilitate a better understanding of the strategy and progress.
Strategy Explanations: The agency should be willing to explain its SEO strategies in understandable terms. This includes discussing on-page optimizations, link-building efforts, and any technical changes made to the website. Transparency builds trust.
Proactive Recommendations: A proactive agency reports on past performance and makes recommendations for future improvements. This could involve adjusting strategies based on data analysis or addressing emerging trends in the industry.
Feedback Incorporation: A responsive agency listens to client feedback and incorporates it into its strategies. This collaborative approach helps tailor the SEO campaign to the specific needs and expectations of the client.