Analysis of your SEO Program
Because you initially set out the goals of your Search Engine Optimization project you will now want to determine if this SEO thing has been worth it to your business since your internet marketing dollar can be spent in several different ways.
Since your SEO provider explained that Search Engine Optimization isn’t an exact ‘science’, there is no way to predict where you will show up in the rankings of your targeted keywords/keyword phrases. More importantly, they won’t have promised just how soon a high ranking will occur for those targeted keywords. In all fairness, it will be easier for some than others. For example, if you wanted to rank for something like ‘used cars’ – good luck! That will take a lot of TIME and MONEY. I mean a LOT!
Some areas are less competitive than others. As an example, SEO work in the Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge and Guelph areas is minimal in general terms. It seems to me that companies in the Tri-City area (+ Guelph) haven`t realized just how `valuable SEO can be to their business. If they have, they haven`t realized that those Indian companies that keep calling them are only slicing off a small element of Search Engine Optimization and selling it as true SEO. Remember in my last blog entry I mentioned that if you think there is a loophole/easy way to do SEO, it can come back to haunt you and it would have been better to do it right from the outset of your SEO initiative.
Some industries are extremely lack in regards to SEO work having been done. There are very few quality (from a SEO perspective) websites within industries such as Landscaping, Skilled Trades, Manufacturing, Roofing (this is FAR from an exclusive list). A lot of these can be smaller businesses but think about companies such as consultants, engineers, accounting, specialty services (again, far from a complete list). By having 1 or 2 additional customers find them each year because of your SEO efforts, your Search Engine Optimization program MORE than pays for itself.
So what I’m saying is additional online generated revenue can be something that can be analysed. The amount of traffic your site generates is also an item to review. The monthly SEO ranking report can certainly provide you an idea of how your SEO efforts are doing. By analysing what additional keywords are users utilizing to find your website you can either expand or tweak your SEO program to gain additional momentum.
Advanced Web Solutions recommends to everyone with a website to have Google Analytics installed to give you insight into the items listed above plus MANY others. We recommend it because it is fairly accurate and it is FREE!! It is also the most used form of online analytics used in the market today by far. As a note, it is surprising just how many companies we deal with that prior to dealing with us actually had Google Analytics installed on their site (properly most of the time) but had no idea or didn’t have access to it since their ‘web guy’ did it and then did nothing with it. (Yet another example of why web designers don’t get the power of SEO – read here about the difference between website design and website development)
I have a cautionary tale about SEO providers and their monthly reviews.
I came across a company who decided to take the forward thinking step of hiring a SEO provider. They asked that I review their SEO situation since they were thinking about actually dropping this service that was costing them $1000/mth. The firm they were using was claiming to be working on 50 keyword phrases making $1000/mth which would be an extremely inexpensive cost to do Search Engine Optimization on this amount of keywords. In the 8 months before they contacted Advanced Web Solutions, about 15 of the phrases definitely were improving… slowly (relatively non-competitive marketplace/phrases). Another 15 phrases were seeing up and down results but were up over those 8 months. It was hard to determine if the final 20 keyword phrases were improving or not because when the SEO project started they were ranking so poorly that they didn’t make it on the ranking report. After 8 months they still weren’t ranking. Considering how non-competitive these phrases were, there is no way that they shouldn’t be ranking by now.
I took three important things away from this. This SEO service provider wasn’t actually doing the SEO work that they said they would. Of course at the price they were charging, they would be out of business in weeks not months. Secondly, they didn’t know how to do true Search Engine Optimization. Thirdly, the phrases they chose were of very little value to the customer. Yes, the results they were getting were moving in a positive fashion for around 30 keyword phrases; but, if they concentrated on selecting the right keywords for the client, as discussed in part 4 of this series, they definitely wouldn’t have even chosen those 30 keywords. They shouldn’t have chosen them because they may have brought a small amount of additional traffic to their website, but, it was a long way off of quality traffic that would actually help increase revenue.
I realize that this post is generally longer than most may want to read but I feel that it is important to highlight a couple items and help increase your knowledge so that you will be able to better determine just how successful your SEO project and SEO service provider really is in actually helping achieve your business SEO goals.
Do you have any examples of poor SEO service providers leading your company astray?
SEO Program: Analysis – part 7