Search Engine Optimisation Management Checklist
Far too frequently I speak to people who have attempted Search Engine Optimization Management themselves or have engaged an organisation who promise the world for $100 per month but are ultimately under qualified and engaging in practices that violate Google’s best practices for Search Engine Optimisation.
Often, SEO Campaigns fail because of the time or budget allocated to doing it properly and, more often than not – even with organisations who undertake the work as part of their profession, decisions are made based on assumptions instead of reviewing data and forming a strategy data.
SO if you have never done SEO before, how do you know if you are on the right track? Here are some important questions to ask as part of your success checklist.
Know Your Goals
Having goals that are unrealistic is where people can lose serious money when it comes to getting Search Engine Optimisation Management. If you are not in the industry, it can be hard to know what your goals should be and this is where many companies who engage in unethical practices make millions of dollars every year in overpromising and under delivering.
If you have been told that you will dominate position one of Google for every service or product you have to for $100 per month, your campaign will inevitably fail. It doesn’t matter how much or little you pay someone, they can not make Google’s system work any faster. The reality with SEO is that it can take some months to get a stable presence for advertisers trying to break into a competitive market on Google.
A common time frame set by many Search Engine Optimisation Management Companies is six to twelve months – while this is a solid investment of time (and by no means unreasonable) you should be receiving weekly work logs that show you what has has actually been done on a weekly basis (i.e. which links have been created and any page changes that have been made by your SEO Company.
You need to know what your company is doing on a weekly or at least monthly basis for you to justify paying them on a regular basis and this is not just a report of where your keywords are showing on Google and how many clicks you have received.
Set a time frame to crack the market, and then phase in all of your products and services. Remember that the keywords that you are trying to get ranked should bring in a return – Its not all about volume of traffic, its about the value of the traffic you get to your website that lead to conversions.
SEO FOR Conversion – Set The Right Keywords
At this stage you have set a realistic time frame for your Search Engine Optimisation campaign and you are ready to hit the ‘GO’ button, right? Sure, but lets quickly reflect on why you are doing Search Engine Optimisation in the first place – to drive quality traffic that adds value to your business beyond just getting the initial click through to your website.
This step is essential for a successful campaign – remember that a successful campaign is measured by the quality of traffic to your website and the value it adds to your business, not just by getting your keywords on the first page of Google and doing it as fast as possible for all your product names.
If you have hired an individual or a Search Engine Optimisation Agency, you should be working with them to educate them as to the ideal market that you want to capture and you should discuss what you want customers to do when they have clicked through to your website. These are your post click goals and they will inform your SEO strategy. From this point, your Search Engine Optimisation Manager will do extensive research into the keywords that will generate traffic that will meet these post click goals.
However, if you’ve selected your own keywords based on what you “think” your customers are searching, without verifying with real data, it’s highly probable that your campaign is not using the right keywords. Ongoing analysis of these keywords and feedback from you will help determine if they are doing what you want them to do.
Is Your Website Working With Your Search Engine Optimisation?
How customers behave after they have clicked through to your website is often considered the ‘unanswerable question’ by most businesses. Many business owners have been signed up to SEO Management after they have bought a Website. After the website goes live, there is not much conversation about visitor behaviour and this knowledge is key to understanding what you can do to convert the traffic on your website into valuable clients for your business.
Your website is like a hotel – if people feel uncomfortable they won’t stay. Here are some questions to ask yourself about your website:
1. How old is my website?
We think of websites in terms of the devices that they are being displayed on. If your website is one year old, then its the same as a computer or phone of the same vintage. If you are considering running a Search Engine Optimisation, I would encourage you to consider upgrading your website if it is more than 2 years old.
2. Is it professionally designed?
Having a professionally designed website by a reputable organisation will help you ensure that it is Search Engine friendly and mobile responsive. Your website is like your storefront – you need to make sure that it is structurally sound (in website terms, your website needs to be able to cope with a high volume of traffic without crashing or behaving in a way that will turn your visitors away).
3. Is it conversion friendly?
This is the whole point of doing any online marketing campaign. If your website is hard to navigate, hard to read and ultimately hard to enquire or buy, then you will lose opportunities and ultimately money. You should also be able to track how many people are enquiring or buying from your website on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis by connecting Analytics and setting Conversion Goals.
Do Your Visitors Like What’s On Your Website?
The content on your website has a big impact on visitor engagement and ultimately conversion. Often people write blogs to assist with Search Engine Optimisation and I need to say two things on this point. Firstly you can’t rely solely on ‘on page’ strategies like writing blog content – people keep telling me that they have employed someone to write blog content to improve their SEO rankings but thats like cleaning your car every day and expecting it to go faster.
Secondly, blog content as with website content needs to make sense and add value to your prospective clients experience. Your content should not be solely written for SEO purposes as its not the Google Search Engine Bots that are buying from you – its actual humans!
If you have well written, engaging and original content, people, will be more likely to engage and ultimately buy from you. Bad content is much like a bad date – confusing and random conversation with unoriginal jokes and no personality will ultimately lead to you wanting to get out ASAP and its the same for your prospective market.
Are You Tracking The Success Of Your Campaign?
I will always come back to this point regardless of if you are running a Search Engine Optimisation Campaign or a PPC strategy or even s Social Branding Exercise – are you measuring your results and then using that data to inform the direction of your campaign or are you running it off assumptions?
It can prove to be a costly mistake to measure the success of your campaign from one data point and then filling in missing data with assumptions. Even if its not you doing the optimisation, you should have access to all that data, not just where your keywords rank and how much traffic is hitting them.
You need to know how many of those clicks (sessions) are turning into sales and enquiries, because this is how you will truly measure the value of your campaign. The person you are working with to undertake your Search Engine Optimisation needs to be accountable to you with all the things they have been doing (ideally on a weekly basis), not just reporting that its going to take six to twelve months to get ‘results’ and then when you ask them what they are doing they saying ‘coding’.
Search Engine Optimisation is about all the points of data working together to benefit your business in terms of conversion and ultimately generate a return on investment. Even if you know nothing about the Search Engine Optimisation Management process, you still need to know what you need justify its expense. Your SEO Manager should be accountable for generating these results and should work closely with you to show you what they have been doing and translate any process that is more technical into a practical explanation.
If you don’t know what you should be seeing from you SEO campaign or you would like to benchmark your campaigns progress, get in contact with one of our Search Engine Optimisation analysts.