What should I expect from my SEO campaign?
This blog will clearly explain what results are realistically achievable from your first SEO campaign and when you can expect to see them. If you’re working with a digital marketing partner and want the best ROI for your business, it’s essential reading.What is an SEO campaign?
An SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) campaign uses organic (non-paid) digital marketing techniques to grab your business a great ranking on search engines like Google. In turn, this leads to increased website traffic, more leads and conversions like sales.
It’s essential for expanding your brand’s online reach and rising above the competition, but beware of any digital marketing agency that promises you instantaneous success – SEO is a technical process which requires expertise to achieve sustainable long-term results.
So when you partner with an SEO specialist , how do know that you’ve chosen wisely, which metrics confirm that your campaign is really working and when to raise concerns and ask questions?
Read this blog to arm yourself with vital information on all of these questions and more – it provides the peace of mind that comes from knowing exactly what to expect from your SEO campaign and when.
Let’s get cracking.
SEO Campaign introductory meeting
The best agencies will arrange an introductory meeting with you before your SEO campaign kicks off.
It’ll ideally be conducted in person and you’ll meet key members of the team like the SEO Manager, Content and Design specialists and crucially, the account manager, who will be your key point of contact.
This is the agency’s opportunity to find out more about your business and marketing vision and highlight the SEO services that would achieve the best possible ROI for your budget.
Any agency worth its salt should be able to explain technical SEO terms and concepts to you in Plain English so that you’re completely clear on the purpose of each recommendation and can move forward with confidence and trust.
While it’s not essential to leave the meeting knowing the complete ins and outs of SEO, you should be clear about the results to expect from each service offered (e.g. increased conversions) and how these will be measured.
This will empower you to keep an active eye on your campaign and ensure that the agency is delivering on its promises and predictions.
Month 1 of your SEO Campaign
As we mentioned earlier, SEO is a long-term investment, so don’t expect to soar up the rankings during the early stages of your campaign.
Any firm that claims they can achieve stellar SEO success in the blink of an eye for your business is either lying through their teeth or adopting black hat techniques which push you down the rankings faster than a chubby child careering down a well-greased waterslide.
Month one is something of a preparation stage, where you SEO partner will spend time looking at the effectiveness of your past marketing strategies, formulating new ones and putting appropriate procedures into place to ensure smooth delivery.
During this period, your partner will also ensure that website tracking programs such as Google Analytics are set up so they can monitor your website traffic and gain a better insight into customer intent and behaviour. You’ll learn how long customers are spending on your site and which pages driving conversions.
With this delicious data at their fingertips, your SEO strategist will be able to pinpoint the most delectable SEO areas to focus on in terms of content development and lead generation.
Month 3 of your SEO Campaign
The first few months of your campaign will involve improving your website so that it can withstand the impending surge in website traffic and meet the needs and expectations of visitors.
In addition, your SEO agency will also identify and eliminate the weak points that have been hindering your search marketing efforts.
For instance, this could involve rewriting your web page meta titles and descriptions so that they’re easier for search engine spiders to read when indexing and ranking your site – and that they’re also acting as well-written free adverts that entice customers to click through to your site.
During this time the focus will also be on raising your business profile and expanding your reach using local SEO techniques such as citations. A citation is an online reference containing your business name, address or phone number (NAP).
Citations are usually found on online directories and business listings websites, so building yours up ensures that your business is highly visible amongst competitors in location-based searches (e.g. ‘Manchester optician’, ‘London plumber’).
By the end of this period, some businesses will begin to see tangible longer-term benefits of SEO come into play, such as more organic website traffic, a higher SERP position and increased conversions.
However, if you’re not seeing your desired results just yet, don’t panic. Three months is early days in SEO and your partner will have enough data to be able to make timely tweaks that will keep you on the right track.
Month 6 of your SEO Campaign
With your website nicely tidied up, your SEO agency might look at adding additional features to your site – for starters, a blog will enhance its appeal to search engines and consumers alike.
Search engines like Google love fresh and regular content, so a blog delivers value to consumers by answering their pertinent search queries precisely and engaging them with your brand.
But any new content that you create for your site will be created with your business goals and priorities in mind, be it a blog, whitepaper or explainer video. Combine this with keyword and audience research to ensure that your content reaches the right people at the right time and you’re well on the way to SEO success.At this stage of the campaign, depending on the level of competition in your market and the way your SEO targets customers precisely, you can expect to be on the first page of search engines for several key topics, phrases and words and should therefore be seen a significant increase in high-quality, organic website traffic.
These metrics are excellent indicators that the SEO savvy of your agency has driven qualified leads towards your website and converted them to customers that are likely to purchase your products and services.
So that you can see exactly what we’re talking about, take a look at this real-life 6 month SEO Campaign case study which shows a Goal Conversion Rate increase of 115% and a Goal Completions increase of 440% for a local law firm.
By the end of month six, it should be pretty clear to you whether or not the SEO techniques that have been employed are working. If you’re not seeing the ROI you were promised, now’s the time to start asking your agency why.
Year 1 of your SEO Campaign
If you’ve partnered with a good agency, by the end of the first year, you can expect to be reaping the rewards of a robust SEO campaign. Your business should be benefiting from a regular flow of engaged visitors who explore your site, follow your CTAs and buy your products.
If you’re not seeing increased traffic flows, leads and conversions, bear in mind that your SEO strategy might not be the main fault and bigger issues might be at hand. SEO works by driving traffic to the doorstep of your website, but what welcomes your customers when they arrive is vital too.
So at this point, your SEO strategist will look at wider ranging factors which might be working against your marketing efforts, such as customer service, website user experience (UX) and seasonal fluctuations.
Year 2 of your SEO Campaign
During year two, your campaign should have found a steady momentum which your partner will build upon. If they also specialise in other areas of marketing, they might suggest using other strategies such as pay-per-click advertising, email and social media to enhance your SEO efforts.
At this point and with your agreement, your SEO will compare the campaign KPIs month-to-month and use these insights to set goals for year 2 and beyond.
Just be aware that SEO practices and search engine algorithms can change at any time, which means that what worked in year 1 might be redundant in year 2.
Fortunately, your SEO partner will be waiting in the wings to swoop down and make swift amendments that will keep you sitting comfortably at the top of the search engines.
How do I choose a partner agency for my SEO Campaign?
Choosing an SEO partner is a decision that should not be taken lightly.
With an agency by your side that intimately understands your business and the way search engines operate, your brand will rise up the rankings and overtake competitors.
However, with a partner that cuts corners, lacks the technical expertise and makes unrealistic promises, your brand’s online stock could take a permanent nosedive.
So just how do you choose an SEO partner? Here are some key things to consider.
Experience: Does the firm have a positive track record of working with businesses in your industry? You can find this out by looking at case studies and reviews, which will also give you an idea of the quality of service to expect.
Working audit: SEO is about driving traffic to your site, so if your site’s not fit for purpose, your efforts are wasted. Any responsible agency will therefore carry out an audit of your website at the start of your campaign, to highlight any issues that could hinder its success (e.g. slow page load time) and deal with them at once.
Working relationship: SEO is about driving traffic to your site, so if your site’s not fit for purpose, your efforts are wasted. Any responsible agency will therefore carry out an audit of your website at the start of your campaign, to highlight any issues that could hinder its success (e.g. slow page load time) and deal with them at once.
Alignment: The best partners are those with a vision that aligns closely with your own. So look for an agency that really gets to know your business and gets on board with your mission. Quickly establishing a shared vision and expectations ensures that you stay on the same path through the course of the campaign.
Communication: You need to ensure that you’ll be able to get in touch with your agency when required and that you’ll receive updates at predetermined times. You also want an agency that doesn’t bamboozle you with unnecessarily complex technical language – it should be able to explain what it does and the benefits for your business in a straightforward way.
ROI: When you’re not an SEO expert, it can be hard to accurately assess the effectiveness of your campaign – ensure that your partner gives you a clear explanation of the metrics they’ll be using to help you achieve you goals and the tactics they’ll be using to measure success.
Your size fits you: Every business is unique and has distinct goals and ways of working, so avoid agencies that use a one size fits all approach. When it comes to your SEO campaign, ‘your size fits you’, so find an agency that can identify the services most suited to your needs and deploy them in a bespoke and flexible package.
Key takeaways on what to expect from my SEO Campaign
- An SEO campaign is a long-term undertaking that requires ongoing monitoring, adaptation and work.
- It can take up to six months before you really start to see the results of your campaign.
- The benefits of SEO include, improved search engine visibility, higher click-through-rate, increased website traffic, and boosted sales.
- You should avoid SEO partners who adopt a one size fits all approach or promise quick short-term results.
- You should choose an SEO partner with a strong track record, who shares your vision and can adapt to meet your specific business needs.
Want an SEO campaign that delivers high ROI? Call 01484 213 102