Say, “No” to SEO Agency Smoke and Mirrors
Time and time again MeMedia hear that Australian organisations are being mistreated by third party SEO Agencies. This is 2015 and there is no room for “SEO cowboys”
“SEO cowboys” think that by peddling outdated SEO tactics they are going to;
- Make their clients see results quickly, and
- Keep their clients happy long term, and
- Avoid long-term penalties from Google.
These so called “SEO Companies” are not only ruining their own reputations but they are also ruining the reputations of every other credible SEO Agency.
Not only are clients having their website disemboweled by lazy SEO consultants but they are also being robbed of some very important elements associated with the practice of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO):
- Customer Service and Regular Communication
- Education about SEO best practice
- Transparency about what updates / changes and activities are occurring
- Detailed Online Marketing Reports with information on how the most recent data may alter or reinforce the ongoing strategy
WHAT SHOULD YOU EXPECT QUALITY SEO CUSTOMER SERVICE TO LOOK LIKE?
Quality Customer Service is simply about being in regular communication with your client, with each communication having a clear purpose and outcome associated with it.
There should be an initial strategy meeting at the beginning of each new campaign. A monthly (or at least quarterly) meeting either by online meet up, phone or in person. And discussions should centre around how the SEO campaign is tracking by analyzing reports and also what activity has been performed and what is planned for the coming month(s).
WHAT QUESTIONS SHOULD YOUR SEO AGENCY BE ASKING YOU?
With clear communication and openness from both the agency and client, the agency will receive the best possible insights into the client's business. This enables the agency to develop content to match seasonal trends and also meet the client’s customer expectations.
QUESTIONS MAY INCLUDE:
- What is happening in your business right now?
- Based on previous experience what trends do you expect might happen in the next 3, 6 or even 12 months?
- What SEO activities have you performed before?
- What is your knowledge of SEO best practice?
- How regularly would you like to meet?
- Who is your ideal client?
- What social media channels are you already using and have they been effective?
SEO EDUCATION SHOULD NOT BE JUST FOR SEO AGENCIES
Let’s stop with the smoke and mirrors! SEO is not some voodoo, black magic or secret recipe for conjuring up better ranking pages within the Google Search Engine Results Pages (SERPS).
Search Engine Optimisation came about as a service when achieving good organic Google rank became important. Google have over 200 ranking factors which decide how your website will be ranked for certain keyword searches within the country you're searching from and from what kind of device you're performing the search.
Nobody outside of Google knows what all of the ranking factors are, however Google does indicate what some of the best practices are for programming a website here:
Via the power of partnership, SEO competitors world wide will occasionally share information to discover some important truths.
One of the World Wide Web’s biggest authorities on sharing best practices for SEO is MOZ.com. Recently they announced the release of the 2015 ranking factors which is a competitor partnership studying what factors correlate with good ranking pages:
QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR SEO AGENCY MAY INCLUDE:
- (Following a website review) What do you believe to be the most important factor(s) for achieving better rank for my website?
- What activities will you be performing in the first, second and third months?
- How will you be undertaking these tasks?
- When, Where and How will we meet?
- What will be the ongoing activities you will be performing?
- What will you require of me to ensure you get what you need and when?
- Is there anything I can do to assist your campaign?
- Can you arrange that I can have full administration access to my Google Analytics account?
- Who will be doing website code, content and design updates? Will it be my developer or your company? Will this be an extra investment?
WHAT SEO ACTIVITY IS YOUR SEO AGENCY DOING EACH MONTH? WHERE IS THE TRANSPARENCY?
In case you haven’t noticed, many of the traditional SEO agencies are rebranding to Digital or Online Marketing Agencies. “Why does this matter?” I hear you ask. This is because simply updating your website code or design to meet all of the Google’s SEO recommendations is not enough for you to be successful online.
DO I NEED TO BE DOING MORE LINK BUILDING FOR MY WEBSITE?
There is no denying that having reputable, relevant links to your website is an important ranking factor - as mentioned in the 2015 ranking factors on Moz.com. However obtaining these links should be organic and because you deserve them versus paying for them or requesting them.
Every Digital Marketing Agency (AKA SEO Agency) will have their own tactics for obtaining links to your website, but it is important to note that the following tactics are outdated and can be detrimental to your website:
- Publishing links to your website in online directories
- Emailing / SPAMMING webmasters requesting a link to and from your website
- Guest blogging (if it is completely irrelevant to your business)
WHAT IS THE BEST METHOD FOR GETTING LINKS TO MY WEBSITE?
Earn them. Think about it. Why would anybody want to link to your website? The biggest reason people will link to your website is because you have an amazing piece of content hosted on your site which resonates with a similar target audience of the linking website.
The content which you create on your website therefore must be content worth sharing. It must be human generated and it must speak the native language associated with the target audience.
WHAT SHOULD BE IN MY MONTHLY ONLINE MARKETING REPORTS?
I hate to say it but, it depends. Monthly online marketing report KPIs will differ for each client however some obvious KPIs will be:
- Increase in traffic
- Increase in referral links
- Improved search engine rank for pages targeting specific keywords
- Increase in social media followers
- Increase in enquiries
IF SEO AGENCIES ARE REBRANDING TO MARKETING AGENCIES, IS SEO DEAD?
Articles circling the internet cry out that “SEO is Dead.” Traditional SEO tactics conducted alone, cut-off from other marketing activities means that SEO alone is only going to address part of your marketing challenge.
MeMedia believe that SEO still plays a hugely important role in conducting any online marketing. SEO has therefore become one term used to describe one set of tasks required to be analysed as part of an overall online marketing strategy.
WHY DOES MEMEDIA HAVE ANY AUTHORITY ON SEO AND ONLINE MARKETING?
MeMedia first began as a web design and development sole trading business specialising in eCommerce Shopping Cart development in 2001. Once a site was launched we were inevitably asked, “Now what?” and so we had to educate ourselves and also become marketers.
The term SEO popped up around 2003 where MeMedia lept into action to find out what this SEO stuff was all about. Attending many seminars and conferences it was soon discovered that we were already practicing SEO and that the term was simply a name for something we did everyday. The hype around SEO seemed like it was just that; hype.
While the practice of SEO was quite basic early on, ensuring that best practice is upheld has required agencies and clients to keep constant watch on changes which occur to search engine algorithms. MeMedia regularly attend events and trawl the web for up-to-date information to ensure we are kept up-to-date and share this information openly with our community.
MeMedia now practice the art of in-house Integrated Digital Marketing, and we’re one of few agencies in Australia who are capable of doing so due to having the skills and experience to Strategize, Develop and Execute the marketing all under one roof.
HERE’S HOW MEMEDIA START THE PROCESS OF MARKETING YOUR BUSINESS.
MeMedia prefer to follow a simple process centred around you, our client. MeMedia like to:
- Get to know each other and who your ideal client is
- Get to know (analyse) your existing website and what is required to make this perform
- Discuss and create a strategy
- Execute the strategy
- Communicate regularly