We strongly believe in providing a service that is good value for the investment. To that end, it is easy to be unfairly judgemental when looking at the offerings of other companies and agencies – expertise, services, and the use of automatically generated reports with no context – charged at rates that are either overcharging for the five minutes of work or worse – charging very little to the point where you know they either can’t be delivering any work or if they are it’s to such a minimum quality.
One of these areas I’ve always had a particular bugbear about in particular was (and is) SEO.
I’ve worked with hundreds of different businesses and I’ve watched literally hundreds of different SEO companies come into these businesses, and be gone again in a few months. I’ve had however many automated reports sent to me about the ‘problem with the website’ which is preventing ‘good SEO’ and I’ve also made these changes and watched nothing happen.
Many could argue that businesses don’t truly understand SEO and that’s why they keep flicking between SEO companies. While this might be true for a few, for the majority this is the biggest load of rubbish I’ve ever heard and told by terrible agencies to keep their own egos intact.
The truth is that lots of SEO agencies, don’t actually understand the businesses that are paying them, more so they don’t actually deliver any results beyond best practice reports which are generated by commonly available software. For years I would receive SEO reports that were sent to my clients to review and take any action points. When these consist of ‘Your page is missing an H1’ – Adding it won’t get you to the top three results on Google. SEO is more than making sure you tick the boxes of an automated report.
So when working with an SEO company –
Hold them to account.
- Make sure they understand who you are as a business
- What your ethos is
- What your actual targets are
- Who your customers are
- More importantly make sure that your SEO company know what question it is that your business answers.
A good SEO company shouldn’t focus month on month with the technical aspects of your page, H1s and Schema etc. These should be nailed quickly in month one as an off comment.
Instead a good SEO company should be talking to you about the keywords and phrases that your website should look at listing for (based on the #5 from above – What question does your business answer).
They should form this into a content plan, based on new written content being created for your website pages or blog etc that focus on these – Written ‘not for Google’ but for your customers and visitors. Remember that Google ranks what he believes is best for it’s users – Good Content and usability that they’ll enjoy. As soon as you start focusing on doing things ‘for google’ you’re already on the backfoot.
A Good SEO company is likely to move this onto a subject of ‘Good Usability’.
- Is the customer journey on your website clear and easy?
- Is your mobile website easy to use and thumb friendly?
- Is your website slow to load?
- Is the design of your website modern and aimed correctly at your target audience/personas.
This is a massive door to open and can feel overwhelming but just keep telling yourself these key things.
- Google rewards good user experiences with high ranking positions.
- If you want your website to convert all this lovely traffic from high ranking positions (or PPC / Social campaigns) then it needs to be on it’s game anyway. It needs to convert visitors into customers and a poor experience won’t do that.
The world of SEO is full of black magic, guess work, lazy third-party program use with automated reports. Don’t let it be a money drain for your website. Make sure it’s part of your on-going digital strategy that has a trackable ROI. Hold your SEO company accountable and if it seems too cheap to be true then it probably is.
If you’d like some impartial review and help, or even some hands on SEO, PPC, Usability and general digital marketing strategy covering your entire web offering then we’re here to help. Reach out and lets book in a review of your website and have a conversation about your business and where we can help you grow.