SEO or Search Engine Optimization is a controversial promotion tool, enjoying thousands of conflicting opinions, devoted fans, and sworn haters. So why does it happen? Is SEO really a mere beautiful deception of marketers for making money from the business owners? We will consider what is SEO, how to select a promoting company, what outcomes to expect from it, how to check whether your SEO specialists do not cheat, and how to do not overpay.
What is Search Engine Optimization?
Whether you are a newbie or a business veteran with bitter SEO experience, primarily, you would have to sort out what is SEO to form realistic expectations and be capable of checking whether it brings any positive outcomes. So, Search Engine Optimization is a queue of tricks aimed at the website’s adjustment in accordance with the search engines and internet users’ requirements. It involves internal (everything that concerns inner website pages) and external optimization.
Why does it matter? Competent promotion of websites in Google will increase its visibility by ranking higher in the search results, bring new customers and investors, boost sales. The ultimate purpose is to drag the TA (target audience) that is converted into targeted actions.
How to Check the Efficiency of Your SEO Agency?
Now, when you have some general insight of what SEO services are, let us provide you with the basic manual on how to check whether the guys you’ve hired really do things for the profit of your business or simply try to rob you.
1. Position Growth Trend
It is the crucial point to track the successful SEO campaign. It not merely implies that you compulsory should be displayed at the top, but if there is a constant positive growth, you may make sure you have hired the reliable specialists.
Mere positions in search results can’t provide a comprehensive picture of the efficiency of the expert’s performance. Even if your ranking position currently remain unchangeable, but you see considerable growth in the organic traffic and active visitor’s behavior, your business is in safe hands.
3. Link Reports
Two things that speak about the quality of your links are: 1) those who refer to your website; 2) the presence of clicks on the link to the website, their naturalness. When checking the profile of your resource’s backlinks, orient on their natural organic and constant growth. Pay attention to the quality of the donors (platforms), the content of the publication, and affixed links.
4. Reports + Plans for Internal Optimization
Internal optimization aims to improve your website’s performance and adjust it in accordance with Google’s requirements. You may check the list of completed works and future plans with the time they have spent on this. If you see that for the whole month, your specialist was uploading only a few pictures and rewriting titles, make sure he/she plays games with you.
5. Index Pages
If the number of Google indexed pages suddenly decreases, this is an alert sign. The exception is when the pages are deleted deliberately from the index, but you should be informed about the causes for such actions. All other cases are reasons to ask your SEO specialists for explanations.
6. Website Visibility
Using Serpstat services, you may check the general number of queries when your website appears in the search results. If this number shows a positive dynamics of growth, the SEO agency is doing the correct steps to promote your website. If it remains stable or, God forbid, drops, you are wasting your money.
Tools to Check the Effectiveness of Your SEO Campaign
1. Google Analytics
GA is the basic service to check whether your search engine optimization is on the right way. It will give you an insight about traffic to your website. You can check the algorithms. If the traffic drops, your SEO expert may be receiving his salary for nothing. If it goes up, there are chances you are implementing successful SEO tactics.
It is a unique service to check the keywords ranking on your website. In the first stages, you, together with the SEO agency, should determine the semantic core relative to the products or services you want to promote and choose the most relevant keywords. Then, according to the semantic core, SEO experts should optimize all inner pages content and fill them with the number of keywords.
How to check what keywords are being promoted? You should enter your URL in the search bar, and it will display the list of keywords with detailed data: engine searches per month, its rank in Google, etc. You may see whether the queries with your target keywords rank higher or not, what exactly keywords are being promoted, maybe you are being promoted for the wrong keywords, or not promoted at all.
One of the basic SEO tactics is to increase the organic traffic to your website, increase the number of backlinks, the number of organic keywords, etc. SEMrush is a tool where you can check all the data regarding these points. With all this information, you will be able to check whether your agency is working hard on your search engine optimization or simply wasting your time.
For instance, if the organic traffic increases, the number of backlinks is higher, as well as keywords stuffing, you may be sure your SEO moves in the right direction. However, there are a few exceptions here. The first is when you want to check this info, and here we should talk on how long does it take for SEO to work. This promotional strategy takes time to show real results, and you should not expect being in the TOP 3 Google search results and a considerable boost in sales in the first months. It will take at least three months for the first result to appear. Although, in general, it requires five-six months for Google to rank your website higher in the search results.
Keywords, links, content, and so on are not the only things required to make your website rank higher in the Google search results. Google algorithms are cunning and track lots of factors where users’ behavior is a crucial point. SEO tactics should aim to ‘catch’ and ‘hold’ the website visitors, make them interact with the page, and stay there as long as possible.
When Google sees that people stay at your website for some time and interact with it, the search engine understands that it is valuable and automatically makes your position higher in the ranking. MarketingCloudFX is a service where you can track the users’ behavior at your website: what pages they open, how long they stay, what buttons click, etc. If this interaction is lower that you expected, you may assume that your keywords do not reach the target audience, and you, together with the SEO expert, are spending SEO cost in vain.
5. Raven Tools
It is a wonderful tool to track and check the analytics of your website’s link building and keywords stuffing. The more links your website gets, the better it is for your website and its search engine optimization. Moreover, it will give you the ability to monitor and compare the performance of the keywords on your website and your competitors. If you see that the competitors do much better than you with the same keywords, it is a great reason to ask your SEO expert why it is happening.
How not to Fall into the Trap of SEO Agencies Scammers?
So, we have discussed what is search engine optimization and the basic tools on how you can track the success of your SEO tactics. However, if the middle or even at the end of the campaign, you will find out that no one has actually done something to improve the performance of the website and boost your business. Do not expect anything except for excuses: changes in Google algorithms and on the market, too high competitiveness, shortage of time for promotion… reasons may be different. The point is that no one will refund you a single coin, and taking into account search engine optimization prices, it would be better to know some tips on how to check the SEO agency whether it is really determined to provide you with a quality service or merely to make money on you. Here are a few insights on how to distinguish the truth from dexterous marketing tricks.
1. SEO Guarantees
- Guaranteed results;
- We’ll take you to the TOP 3, 5, 10…;
- Financial guaranties.
All this is a pure scam. Even the god of SEO cannot guarantee you any results. The thing is that Google algorithms are complicated mechanisms that constantly change. The tactics that work today may become totally ineffective in a week, and no one can predict what impact these changes may have on your website and search engine optimization.
2. Fast Results
SEO is not about ‘fast’. This adjective has no relation to search engine optimization. If an SEO agency promises the first noticeable result in a month, two, three, this is nothing but a marketing fraud. They would need this time just to analyze your business, website, market, business niche, competitors, select the semantic core, create content, improve the structure of the pages on the website if needed, and implement other required changes. Adequate time frames are five to six months to see the first noticeable results. Indeed, sometimes there may be unique cases, depending on the initial ranking of your website in the Google search results, but this is rather an exception to the rule than a rule.
3. Numbers may Lie
To catch the potential customer, SEO experts may operate by exacerbated or not sufficient statistics. It is not a lie exactly, but it may be misleading. We will explain what we mean. To justify the search engine optimization cost, they may provide you with incredible results and a number of new customers and potential income. For example, you have a new website with low traffic – let’s say 1-2 visits per month. These 1-2 visits are 100% of the traffic. Then, your SEO agency tells you that traffic will increase by 600%. Wow, sounds impressive. However, if you think closer, this is just 6 visits in a month. Now, it does not seem that sunny.
4. Ask for no Information
To determine the headaches of your business, the SEO specialist would need a lot of data about your business and company, the specifics, competitors, priority goals, key products or services, plans for business development, previous SEO campaigns, keywords, etc. They would also need access to your:
- Google Analytics,
- Webmaster tools,
- Social media accounts.
If your agency does not ask for any of this info, there are great doubts whether about they are going to do any search engine optimization from the beginning. It concerns the SEO company and freelance specialistlinkss as well. Quality SEO is impossible without these parameters, and do not believe that a lower search engine optimization cost should not include this stage.
5. Give no Suggestions for Improvements
If your website ranks low in the Google search results, there are high chances your website would need to implement certain changes to meet the requirements of Google. When SEO specialists tell you that you need to add or change content or alter the internal structure and menu, they are not trying to sell you more of their services. Successful search engine optimization is impossible when the performance of your website leaves much to be desired.
6. Do not share еheir Strategies
As a client, you have the full right to know everything is being done with your business project. If the company says something of a kind:
- We do not share our secrets;
- The confidential terms of our company do not allow us to reveal such information;
- It will take a long time to explain…
It is very likely they simply do not have something specific to share and just try to play for time.
Final Search Word
SEO optimization is a long and complicated process, which demands efforts and dedication from the agency and patience from you. In return, this is a strategy for the long perspective that will build your company’s reputation, strengthen your name on the market, increase visibility and audience’s awareness, bring new customers and partners, boost sales, and so on and so forth. SEO is not a scam or fraud. It is not a trick of the marketing companies to make more money. It really works in 2020-2021, and we are sure it will be effective even in ten years and more. Why did it not work for you? Perhaps, you have picked up the wrong SEO specialists. Give it the second chance.