The year is 2019. Simply ranking a website on your own research is extremely hard. Every company on page 1 of Google these days is utilizing SEO and you are already behind. An experienced SEO company can analyze your current website, implement content and optimization immediately for the best possible results in as little time as possible. Most company web sites are already equipped with layout and theme, especially those built with WordPress, GoDaddy GoCentral or other template builders. These websites just need more industry relevant pictures and text content written by someone with experience in SEO.
Any good SEO or digital marketing agency is going to want to clear up any data integrity issues prior to setting goals or moving ahead with a project. Google Analytics is confusing and if you don’t know what you are looking at, your site most likely isn’t converting those leads. Without knowing how much you have in your bucket and what holes need to be plugged, how do we really know what is achievable? From double-counting sessions, including traffic coming from your or your employees computers to having e-commerce tracking set up to knowing your conversion funnel, there’s a lot to track (and track confidently) prior to starting SEO.
Any agency worth their weight is going to review your site to ensure there is a strong technical SEO foundation and which pages are already generating leads. This is typically where a lot of extra costs can occur as recommendations could change URL structure or site hierarchy and end up creating or updating significant resources or content on the site. Adding content and changing your site is not something we like to do but sometimes it is necessary to achieve the best possible results.
Many SEO companies are pushing PPC (Pay Per Click) these days. We have seen $2500 a month and higher. That is outrageous prices for a small business owner to justify. That is why our belief is that SEO and PPC are two separate items. SEO should come first and when you get enough traffic and leads to afford PPC, your site is ready to convert those paid leads. Our SEO plans are geared toward small business start-ups and require a process. This typically includes technical SEO, a dedicated team, project plan & strategy, setting goals, content strategy, etc. SEO is not guess work anymore, there are certain factors that Google requires in order to rank your site. Our SEO pricing structure allows for a small budget, but don’t think that budget stays low for long. As you get more leads and grow, so does the work that is involved with keeping your site generating well.
I want to ensure Digitally Distinguished is as much of a fit for our prospects as I want our prospects to be a fit for us. If your culture has plans that might change at the drop of a hat because of what the CMO says, a lot of agencies might signal that they can’t work in that environment. On the other side of the coin, if you’re looking for an agency to communicate daily, have weekly calls, send reports weekly or monthly, and be an extension of your team, you need to ask how they communicate with clients to ensure it aligns with your needs.
We all want to be treated fairly. If for some reason you’re not getting results after six to seven months and need to pull the plug, you shouldn’t have to pay for another five to six months for something that isn’t working for you. With us, you are only required to pay for the first month of service. We believe that a month to month contract allows you to opt out at anytime for any reason. We are so confident in our service because we haven’t had one client deny our services. Most of our clients have been with us for years!
Any agency that leads with “we can get you ranked for XYZ” should be an immediate flag to slowly move the phone away from your ear and back on the hook. Hang up. The correct philosophy is, with a properly structured website, the traffic you get from ranking for “XYZ” is highly convertible. It’s not the quantity, it’s the quality. Finding the proper search term and having your pages match them correctly is crucial to gaining high quality leads. We always track amount of phone calls, website form submissions and the revenue they generated for you during every month. Without generating revenue, all our work is for nothing.
SEO in a vacuum doesn’t typically work. It plays nicely when used in combination with PPC, PR, email, social, and brand advocates. SEO can provide a technically sound site and well-optimized content, but if there aren’t other channels helping to drive authority and traffic to the site, SEO could take an extremely long time to pay off. Even the best content needs a way to be shared and gain authority to then drive traffic organically.
Your potential SEO agency should want to collaborate with these other channels, sharing information to create a data-driven approach for success. An SEO company will want your search query reports, calls to action that drove open rates for email campaigns, and so much more. Finding data-driven opportunities is exciting and you should hear that over the phone or see it in person with the agency you select.
Unless there’s something easily fixable on your site (like blocking it entirely with your robots.txt file), the majority of SEO is building long-term successes and value. If you need immediate traffic, paid search is a much more realistic way to achieve those quick wins. You’ll spend some to get some, but you could set up a campaign within a day and start selling and learning how customers react to different calls to action in PPC.
Before any of that, you’ll want to ensure you have your analytics configured and set up correctly so you can track what people are doing on your site. If you have data integrity concerns, perhaps finding the right analytics team is the first step you’ll want to take, or just find an agency like Digitally Distinguished that does both.
10, Yes, hire an agency if you’re invested in knowing your audience
Any good SEO agency isn’t going to talk about keywords and throwing content up to see what sticks. They’ll want to connect with you, the expert on your business. They’ll want to connect with customer life cycles, life stages that trigger actions, how people use your product, how people search for it, understanding if we’re reaching everyone just about to enter your funnel and catering those ready to convert too.
Behind every search is a person. Your agency should understand that and look towards sending the right audience and the right people to your site, not just sessions and rankings.