If you are hiring an SEO professional to run your SEO campaign then you might think that all you need to do is pay on time and give them access to your website and whatever other logins they need. In fact, that is the very minimum required of you. To reap the benefits of an SEO campaign you should of course hire someone who knows what they’re doing but you must also be a good client, the 2 go hand-in-hand.
So how can you be a good SEO client? Here are some golden rules to follow:
Do Some Research
Ok I’m not saying that you need to become an SEO aficionado or anything but you should at the very least familiarise yourself with SEO, what it involves and how it works. Once you get a basic understanding of it then you will start to see how it can be used to benefit your business. A major problem that most SEO agencies face is having to educate their clients on SEO to manage their expectations and make them understand its role in an overall marketing strategy.
As I alluded to above, SEOs often have a full time job managing unrealistic expectations of their clients. It is the joint responsibility of the agency and the client to set out the goals of the campaign at the beginning based on the facts. These facts include the current strength of the website, the competitiveness of the targeted keywords, the industry and how easy it is to create quality content and earn links and a whole host of other factors. If you think that you can just pay an SEO and sit back and wait for the customers to come flooding in then you’re in for a surprise… which brings me nicely on to the next requirement.
SEO is a great marketing strategy but it should be used as a compliment to the rest of your marketing efforts. Don’t just hire an SEO and expect them to run your business for you. You need to be active on your social media profiles, add regular content to your blog, engage with customers and potential link opportunities and generally provide the best possible service that you can. Before you engage in SEO you must accept one simple fact, just because you are paying a professional SEO doesn’t mean that you automatically have the right to rank first on Google for whatever keyword it is that you are targeting.
Your website must be the best source of information and/or provide the best experience/service within your niche. A good way of making sure that you’re one step ahead of your competitors is to analysis their SEO strategies and use that information to your own benefit. That responsibility is ultimately yours and the SEO work will complement it and eventually rank you where you deserve to be.
Trust is a huge factor in the client/agency relationship. Without trust your SEO campaign will be doomed to failure. There are some dodgy practitioners out their but buy educating yourself on the topic you should know what to look for in an SEO professional and more importantly, what to avoid. If you don’t trust in the agency you hire and give them the time, space and cooperation they need then they won’t be able to perform to the best of their ability which will ultimately harm your campaign.
Patience is not just a virtue, but a necessity when it comes to SEO. By its nature SEO is a long term strategy which means… you guess it, it takes time! Gone are the days when you could submit a website to a handful of online directories, include a keyword within the content a few times and see the rankings shoot up. Modern SEO is about building a content strategy around a optimised website designed to earn links naturally i.e. make your website so good that people will want to link to it and share it on social media without you even having to ask them to.
Have Clear Goals
I touched on this in the ‘Be Realistc’ section but having clear and defined goals is so important that it needs its own section. You should ask yourself if you don’t know what you want your SEO campaign to achieve then why are you investing in it in the first place.
Lots of clients say that they want to rank first for a particular keyword but it may be the case that nobody is actually searching for it online therefore ranking number 1 for it won’t drive any traffic to the website. Instead of focusing on keywords and rankings focus instead on improving brand awareness, traffic to the site, increasing sales etc. and that way you can properly measure the success of the campaign.
If you are thinking about hiring an SEO then bear in mind that you will be entering into a partnership and if you follow all of the advice above then it should be a successful one.