Total SEO Tips Part 3: What To Expect During an SEO Campaign
SEO campaigns are confusing for those who aren’t familiar with how it works
But are made even MORE confusing without addressing common misconceptions, without setting realistic goals, and without good communication
Now that we have a firm understanding of how search engines work and how to users interact with them, it’s time to start discussing the expectations of an SEO campaign. One of the first things that a team of digital marketers will examine is your website. Is it mobile-responsive? Was it built in WordPress? Is the CSS optimized? Do the target keywords appear throughout? If there are any glaring issues, the first step is to take care of them. You wouldn’t build a house on quicksand just like you wouldn’t build an SEO campaign with a website that could hurt your rankings. Let’s start by taking a look at some common misconceptions we encounter fairly often:
Common SEO Misconceptions
- SEOs are pointless. The last agency ruined my rankings.
We are very sorry to hear about your last experience with an SEO agency but any good group of digital marketers genuinely want the best for you and your website. While it’s true SEOs do have a bad reputation for utilizing black hat SEO techniques in the past, they are not representative of the entire population.
- Meta keywords tag is crucial!
This is absolutely false. It has been disproven by a countless number of top bloggers and community sites. Don’t even waste your keystrokes on adding the meta keywords tag. If you really want to make sure your keywords are in the right place, look at the meta title, description, body text, and header tags.
- MORE LINKS!
While backlinks are a huge focus of SEO campaigns, it is important to remember QUALITY of QUANTITY. One backlink from an extremely reputable source is far more lucrative than 20 backlinks from spammy sources.
- Social media will help my SEO rankings.
This one’s not necessarily a misconception, it’s just taken out of context. Social media will indirectly help your rankings, not directly. A strong social presence could lead to more visitors and in turn lead to higher rankings, however, the more likes or engagements you earn don’t directly influence it.
- Startups don’t need SEO.
SEO is EXTREMELY helpful for new business owners. This cost-effective digital marketing technique will drive visitors to your site long-term and ensure consistent growth, if done right!
Goals for an SEO campaign
One of the first things any digital marketer will do once a campaign is underway are establish goals. These goals should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-Based.
Identifying these kinds of goals will let us know how we’re doing at all points throughout the campaign. Typically in this phase, we will discuss timelines on when we can start to see results, what kinds of results they will be, possibilities for future content ideas, and much more. One of the most critical elements is making sure the client and SEO team is on the same page in this phase because if there is disconnect it will only amplify as time goes on.
As a business owner, it is important for you to understand exactly what you would like out of an SEO campaign. Are you looking to increase your eCommerce sales? Are you looking to strictly increase brand awareness? Are you looking to maintain your reputation across several different social/review platforms? Are you looking to become an influencer in your industry? All of these questions and more are some of the first and most important steps involved.
What kind of timeline should I expect?
This will vary greatly depending on what your goals are but we typically give clients a 3-6 month window to start seeing favorable results. Below is a chart that refers to the “Gap of Disappointment.”
To put it simply, the return on investment for an SEO campaign does not go positive for a few months. No two campaigns are alike, so where one might only take 2 months to see results, another might take 8 months. This is largely dependant on competitiveness within a certain industry, changes to the Google Algorithm, delays in communication between the SEO agency and client, the budgetary restraints of the agency, and several other factors. SEO is a long-term commitment. If you expect to see your website in the top spot on Google in the first month, then your goals probably aren’t SMART!
We take pride in the fact that we get to know our clients on more than a professional level. Some of our clients grow to become more than business associates and we love that! Your success is our success! With that being said, expect TONS of communication in the initial phases of the campaign. Between emails and phone calls, we try to open up a dialogue at least two or three times per week to ensure each party is on the same page. After a few months and the results start to turn favorably, then you can expect more of a hands-off style but if you’d prefer constant contact, that is fine by us!
We tailor your campaigns to meet your needs. Just want the highlights of your campaign and don’t care about the nitty gritty details? Want every piece of information that has anything to do with your campaign? Any good digital marketing agency will ask what kind of reporting you’d like to do.
Now in terms of forms of communication, we at Total Web generally prefer to send the information via email, then discuss it with you over the phone. Having that paper trail of points of communication keeps both parties accountable for any wrong-doing or missed deadlines. Plus we generally only send emails for non-time-sensitive issues, meaning if we need an answer right away well give you a call! But again, SEO agencies will leave it up to you by asking what your preferred method/frequency of communication is.
SEO agencies will ALWAYS take your needs into consideration regarding any aspect of an SEO campaign. We advise caution against agencies who are cut and dry from one project to the next because no two projects are cut and dry. Whether it’s a simple web design or a full digital marketing campaign, it’s important for clients to know what to expect.
What kinds of expectations did you have when you started an SEO campaign with an agency? Did they live up to the expectations and if not, how did you act? I’d love to hear from you! If you have any questions leave a comment or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to reading your comments! Best!
Come back next week for Part 4!