If you have hired a few SEO agencies in the past couple of years, you’ve already made your first mistake. SEO takes time. Switching agencies too often will hurt your SEO efforts.
But there are a few more things you need to know before you make another agency switch. Hiring an SEO agency takes time and resources. It takes attention away from other activities. And if done too often, it can hurt your results. Before you hire another SEO agency, here are 5 things you need to know and take to heart.
SEO Results Take Time
Often it sounds like a cop-out when agencies say this. But it’s true. Moving up in organic search rankings takes time. Yes, you may get lucky and have a quick jump. But, that kind of ranking improvement is usually just that, lucky, or low hanging fruit that pops up in a less competitive vertical.
If you switch focus or switch agencies, you risk losing momentum with your organic traffic. You may change tactics when things aren’t moving well enough. But the overarching SEO strategy should stay in place until it is either working, or several months have passed with no indication of improvement.
It’s Not All About Keyword Rankings
It is not that you ignore keyword rankings. But, your objective is more business and there are more upstream metrics that point to improvement than just rankings, especially early on.
When just starting out, the upstream metrics are seen in Google Search Console (GSC). Before you see keyword rankings improve, you’ll see more impressions, usually far back in the SERPs. As time moves forward, the impression volume will shift from pages 5+ to pages 2-4, and then eventually on page 1. This is also true when you add content or shift focus.
Google is connecting your site content to more queries. If your content is well crafted, the queries to which it is associated will be beneficial to your business. Using the GSC queries reports, you will see what they are. These should be related to the keywords for which you are tracking rankings.
Your site traffic, and lead generation or sales will increase even if your rankings are not. Since Google maps content by theme and not individual keywords, it’s possible the specific keywords you track may lag behind the overall improvement.
Be Wary Of Agencies That Focus On A Keyword or Two or Three
In line with the above, promises of getting you on the first page for a couple of keywords misses the big picture. Agencies can game the system to get a few keywords to rank better for a short period of time. This usually doesn’t last and comes while sacrificing the SEO health of your website and the traffic associated with a keyword theme.
SEO Results Fluctuate
Your presence in the SERPs is not a simple formula. There are things happening that can affect your organic traffic. Understanding that your positioning and traffic will fluctuate allows you to be prepared to adapt. Broadly, there are three things affecting your results.
Yours is not the only company trying to improve your organic search results. Other companies are trying to unseat you, and sometimes they’ll succeed. Be ready to fight back. The tactics will vary, but the adjustment will be needed.
Search Engines Change
You’ve heard it before. Google (Bing, Yahoo) change their algorithm, and a lot of sites get slammed. This can happen to you. By employing good SEO hygiene, you can mitigate (but not eliminate) the impact of these changes and be prepared to respond.
Customers can change the way they look for information. Keep an eye on your site search data and review google trends at least 2x per year. Subtle changes in the way people search for things can have a big impact on how or if they find you.
A Good SEO Agency Helps You Convert The Traffic
Driving traffic is only part of the equation. Your objective is to gain more business. Increased traffic without mover conversions is useless. Your SEO agency should be focused on the conversion level, not just the traffic level.
SEO Terms vs Positioning Terms
Every company wants to be uniques, differentiate themselves in some way. They’ll use unique terms to describe their service or products. These are positioning terms. They set you apart from other companies. Because they are unique, they are not things that people are generally searching for.
The SEO terms are what people actually search for. They tend to be the explicit product or service without your positioning terms attached.
So, when preparing for SEO, you need to draw people in with the terms they use for search, then convince them to buy from you (or at least contact you) using your positioning terms. If you confuse your positioning terms for SEO terms, you will be disappointed.
Finding a good SEO agency requires patience. So does letting good SEO have an impact. Don’t switch focus, or agencies, too often. This will waste your time and your money.
If you have any question about SEO, or digital marketing in general, give us a call.