Business owners and marketing managers often ask: How can we verify that our SEO company is successful? Some data and tips to answer this question are outlined below. Remember: SEO is constantly changing, so be patient with your agency as they work to get you the search results you deserve.
Is Your SEO Performing?
SEO is a long-term project. It can take months or years to see results. Our clients understand they won’t see any improvement within three months of work. After six months, they can expect to see signs of improvement, and within 12 months, clients are usually excited by the changes in organic traffic. With Google indexing sites more quickly, changes in search engine results can take place within weeks or even days. However, we can’t expect drastic, long-lasting results in that short of a time frame. If your SEO company has explained this to you, that’s good! This indicates that you’re working with an honest company.
Monitoring Improvements in SEO
If you aren’t seeing improvements after a year, address your concerns in a straightforward manner. Your SEO company should be reporting their progress to you on a monthly basis. The reports should show improvement in both organic traffic and keyword rankings and may include other metrics as well. But if your agency isn’t able to show you increases in organic traffic, they should either tell you why or explain how they are troubleshooting. If they say there’s nothing to worry about, they should show you data to explain.
Attend the regular monthly meetings and continue to ask questions. Know in advance what metrics you’d like to see improve. Once you tell your SEO company that you’re concerned about performance, be patient. The following months should be evaluated based on a trend — not on a single month. It’s not sustainable to measure SEO effectiveness a month at a time. SEO should be measured in three to four-month time periods. Don’t get too excited about an increase, and don’t get too discouraged about a decrease in short time periods — just continue to look at rolling three-month trends. If you’re still unhappy after a few months, revisit the conversation. Your SEO company should be able to give you insight that you’ll trust.
Give Your SEO Company the Benefit of the Doubt
With certain clients, we were able to make careful and methodical adjustments to SEO that resulted in long-term top-three rankings in Google and huge increases in organic traffic. If we had given up or our clients had given up on us, they would have had to restart the arduous process and wouldn’t have seen positive results as quickly. This is a good example of why it’s wise not to give up too soon.
Letting Go of Your Agency
If your SEO company isn’t able to explain a lack of performance and improvement, it may be time to find a new agency. Set up a 30-day transition or honor your contract for ending the agreement. Ask them to help you with the transition. If there is a lack of trust, revoke access to all your properties and accounts and end the relationship immediately. Even if there is a 30-day clause, absorb the cost and protect your business. You can live without an SEO company for a month or two, so don’t panic — SEO takes a long time to either improve or tank (in most circumstances).
Tips for Finding A New Agency
Is it time to replace your SEO agency? While you may be dubious after letting your last agency go, you have time to find a company that you truly trust. We recommend asking yourself the following questions in your agency search:
- Is the agency a cultural match with your company?
- Does the agency provide testimonials from current clients?
- Is the agency honest about failed client relationships?
- Can the agency show you case studies or data to back up successful SEO results?
- Do you believe the agency has expert knowledge in the SEO field?
The goal is to end up in a long-term, successful relationship with your agency. For further tips, check out our blogs on how to hire an agency and, once you’ve hired your dream agency, how to optimize your agency relationship.
Interested in expanding your SEO knowledge? Check out our free ebook 16 SEO Myths You Should Stop Believing. If you have further questions on how to manage agency relationships, or other questions specific to SEO, we look forward to hearing from you!