Hiring an SEO company is a great step towards effective online marketing, but what happens after you hire someone? Here’s what to expect.
What To Expect From An SEO Service
The best way to tell if the SEO company you’ve hired is doing what it should is to know what to expect after you’ve hired them. Here’s what to expect in a typical SEO program.
Step 1: SEO Audit / Review
The SEO expert that you hire should start by reviewing your website in the following ways.
- Structural Review - A structural review looks at how your overall website and each individual page are structured. Your website structure matters for usability and findability. A sound structure will guide your visitors to the information they’re looking for. It’s important for SEO because it helps Google understand your site. A site-wide structural review includes reviewing your website’s sitemap, the core/static pages such as about us, contact us, etc. A page-level structural review includes determining if the page follows a good flow, such as having one H1 (main heading) tag, proper use of subheadings, bullet points, anchor tags, and so on.
- Functional Review - Website functionality is what your website can do and how it works. It is everything from the actions a user can perform to dynamic content and interactivity. A functional review looks at how your website functions and addresses issues that affect the user experience (UX) of visitors to your website. Good UX should provide visitors with meaningful, relevant, and flexible experiences. If you aren’t giving your visitors good experiences, they will leave and find someone else who will. Good UX, on the other hand, can lead to better customer retention, more customer recommendations, additional repeat customers, and higher conversion rates. Some aspects of a function review of your website include determining if it loads properly on all devices and if it loads in a satisfactory amount of time.
- Content Review - Your website content matters because it boosts SEO and increases traffic to your site. Search engines need a way to identify which websites are relevant and which aren’t so that they can provide value to their users and they use your website content to do it. For instance, search engines will determine how often your website is updated. Search engines prefer websites that are updated frequently and may move your listing up in the search results based on this. Moving up in search results means more traffic for your website. A content review looks at the content on your website. In this type of review, your content will be assessed using criteria such as whether a page actually talks about what it is supposed to be talking about, how well it reads, and more.
- Off-Page or Backlink Review - After these initial reviews, the SEO expert you’ve hired should assess the quality of the referral links or backlinks your website has. A backlink or a referral is a link from some other website that brings visitors to your website. Backlinks matter for SEO because they indicate to search engines that other resources find your content valuable enough to link back to it. One thing to understand about backlinks is that they are not all equal. Quality matters more than quantity because search engines can tell the difference between good backlinks and bad ones. Good quality links are links from other good websites that think you have good content. A high-quality backlink is one that is natural, highly reputable, and highly relevant. Having links from high-quality websites to yours builds the trust of search engines. The purpose of reviewing your backlinks is to give the SEO expert what they need to come up with an effective referral link strategy.
Step 2: SEO Action Planning
Once the SEO expert has completed these reviews, they’ll use them to craft an action plan. Creating an effective plan may require professionals with different skillsets to work together. For example, a network administrator may be needed to make speed-related improvements on firewall servers, a web designer may be needed to design mobile-friendly pages, a content writer may have to be brought in to rewrite some parts of the website, and so on.
Step 3: SEO Execution And Back To Step 1
The members of this team will work together to manually update your website, build referral links, add new content, and do whatever else needs to be done. This process can take weeks or even months since all the work is being done manually and seeing the impact of the work takes time as well. Lastly, the SEO team will continuously review the results being produced from the SEO effort, and if needed make changes to their plan. A good SEO team will perform regular SEO audits and come up with an updated SEO plan every 6-12 months.
If you want to know more about SEO, read our article, “ABCs Of SEO”, or contact us.
Tags: SEO, what to expect