I don’t have any favorite clients; I love all of them equally. But that is almost entirely down to the fact that, like any good relationship, there is give and take and a huge degree of mutual understanding. Also like any good relationship, it has taken time to grow into this comfortable, supportive, dare I say loving arrangement.
Here are five crucial dos and don’ts for developing and nurturing a beautiful marriage with your SEO agency.
DO help your agency understand your business in more detail. This will help in defining keyword strategies, and identifying opportunities moving forward. It will also help ensure that your agency is concerned about the same metrics you are, usually profit.
DON’T cut all contact with them for months on end then call them up asking for a full breakdown of links built, ranking metrics, ROI, and more – especially if they have been sending you these reports on a weekly basis. It’s just rude.
DO arrange quarterly all-agency meetings to foster a culture of working together. Internal teams and other external agencies are producing data and running campaigns that can help SEO.
DON’T treat SEO as a silo and a channel that can just be left to its own devices. It isn’t an affiliate network. SEO is an ongoing process of convincing search engine algorithms that your site is more worthwhile and relevant than those of your competitors. As a result, it should be central to everything you do online.
3. Ranking Improvements
DO accept that these are important. Higher rankings equal higher traffic levels. Choose to monitor as many keywords as you like to show success, but remember you will never be able to see all keywords driving traffic to your site. Good metrics to monitor are improvements to an “indicator” set of keywords, the level of overall non-brand traffic to your site, and the total number of keywords driving traffic. Between these metrics you can be confident that your site is ranking highly for more keywords, and for your target categories in particular.
DON’T focus on a small set of 100 keywords and think that your agency is only responsible for revenue coming specifically from those keywords.
Based on expectations of increased rankings, DO ask your agency to project what improvements in traffic should be, and estimate what that should mean in increased revenue. This gives realistic expectations of what revenue increases you will see.
DON’T change your tracking solution after making these projections. Make sure you track all visits through to sale. If you don’t, you won’t know what ROI you’re making from SEO or anything else. This may sound simple, but there are actually still large retailers not tracking through to conversion.
5. Changing KPIs
DO set a range of KPIs that reflect your overall marketing goals. You can afford to do this more with SEO as you aren’t paying for each and every click, so the value of thousands of visitors to your site who have been searching for “TV’s” may not be that high in terms of direct tracked ROI, for example, but you can guarantee there is value to your brand.
DON’T chop and change target keywords on an ad hoc basis. SEO isn’t PPC; you can set much broader targets, but you can’t pick and choose what keywords to go after to the same degree. Keep to your agreed metrics for success and add tactical campaigns by all means, especially for new product launches, but don’t randomly move the goalposts.
Meet Your Favorite Search Engine Watch Contributors
Many of SEW's leading expert contributors will be at ClickZ Live, the new online and digital marketing event kicking off in New York (March 31-April 3). Hear from the likes of: Thom Craver, Josh Braaten, Lisa Barone, Simon Heseltine, Josh McCoy, Lisa Raehsler, Greg Jarboe, Dan Cristo, Joseph Kerschbaum, John Gagnon, Eric Enge and more!