Dealing with SEO providers: Patience & Accountability
Cultivate a good relationship with your SEO team or provider for better SEO results.
Choosing your SEO provider and creating a good working relationship can take its time. The first hurdle you need to face is what kind of SEO delivery method will best work for your business.
- Agency SEO: Working with an agency should mean you have access to a team of experts under one roof. You may get preferential rates or turnaround times for other web services like web design or development. Sometimes working with an agency can mean working with their internal politics – you may not always get 100% out of their SEO service.
- In-house SEO: Internal SEO resource can sit within a marketing, digital or IT department; or exist on its own. Bringing SEO into your organisation is a great idea when the time is right, but finding the right talent can be challenging.
- Freelancer SEO: Freelancers can offer more budget-friendly SEO rates. As they are working for themselves, you’ll often find that they are very dedicated and motivated. However, as with recruiting finding talented freelancers can take time and they may not be the best fit for long-term ongoing work.
SEO can take its time
SEO doesn’t always yield immediate results and it isn’t a good idea to hold SEOs or SEO agencies accountable for immediate rankings benefits. It’s called ‘organic’ for a reason – it takes time. Fast results are often a tell-tale sign of bad SEO mistakes & practices that you will want to avoid.
- SEOs that claim they can guarantee instant rankings improvements are often using cheap SEO that may harm your business in the long run. Avoid any suppliers who try to reel you in by promising fast results.
- On the other hand, good SEO should, and will, improve website rankings, engagement metrics, and overall site quality. If you aren’t seeing any measurable results, something’s wrong and it’s time to review.
SEO specialisation – what does it mean for you?
SEO is becoming more complex and sophisticated, meaning that we are seeing more and more SEO specialists – whether that be in local SEO, mobile SEO, content SEO or B2B SEO. Seek out advice and find out what SEO your business should focus on. Then find SEO resource with sound experience, and testimonials to back that up, who can help.
Play the long SEO game
SEO is a long-term investment, you won’t get away with just paying for an audit and leaving it at that. The best type of SEO takes into account:
- Channel prioritisation – where can the biggest wins be had right now, you can’t do everything at once
- Overall organisational goals – integration with long-term business strategy
- Capacity – what can be realistically achieved within the budget and timeframe
SEO Priorities for B2B Businesses in 2017
What do you need to prioritise for your B2B business right now?
Invest in great B2B copy & content
Investing in great B2B content is extremely worthwhile. Great content forms a central tenet of the inbound marketing methodology and helps you connect with your audience in wider sense. Great content helps build up your SEO and brand profile.
- For B2B, it’s very important that your experts get involved in content production so that good content can be created cost-effectively. Especially when it comes to covering complex B2B subjects – SEOs can’t do it on their own.
- B2B businesses often deal with a wide range of stakeholders and customers with different pain points, so it’s important to conduct accurate customer segmentation for the purposes of SEO content creation. You don’t want to be sending out the wrong messages and messing up your sales funnel.
- Great content should form part of your lead generation and sales strategies as well – don’t just create content and then let it sit on your domain. Make it pay its way by proactively pointing people to it. Here’s some tools to kick start your content marketing.
Websites need constant pruning
Consider investing in frequent SEO audits and optimisation blasts – SEO is no static craft. As sites age, their code gets less sharp and errors like broken links creep in.
- Investigate any speed issues – they can have an immediate negative effect on conversions. Here are some common reasons why websites slow down.
- Issues that are likely to affect user-experience must be addressed fast. You can often diagnose usability issues by looking through your analytics or site search logs. What pages are people exiting at? Are there any web questions that customer services have to deal with? Does your online customer journey break down somewhere?
- Get to know your customer and web data intimately – the more information you have, the better decisions you can make.
Think about your keywords thematically
Optimising your website for your primary, secondary and longtail keywords is a complex business. Get fully immersed in a vertical to do this kind of research properly, so work closely with your SEOs to make sure you you’ve got access to quality B2B keyword research.
Set out a clear purpose for every page on your website to help you avoid any keyword competition or crossover.
Branch out with your keyword research and think about the bigger picture – explore keyword themes and user questions to help you create compelling landing pages.
Aim to provide a great mobile experience for your users – don’t make the mistake of seeing it as a lesser, secondary platform.
- Mobile usability is all about speed and clarity. Use the Accelerated Mobile Pages Project to help speed up your mobile website.
- Explore the opportunities of mobile for your business in the form of apps and gamification.
- Ensure your menus are optimised for mobile and that your pages load well and fill the screen.
Give search engines as much information as possible about your website’s content to make your business a more attractive search candidate.
- Implement structured data to give your site a better chance of appearing in the rich snippets box. This can help you communicate key information like ratings and reviews to the user, and can improve click-through rates and conversions.
- To maximise your search power, format your site’s content well, and have clear and unique page titles and well-written meta descriptions. Step away from old hat techniques like keyword stuffing and focus on quality content instead.
For more SEO tips, check out our article How to do B2B keyword research and increase leads in 2017.
Gareth Simpson – Technical SEO & Startup Founder
Gareth has worked as an SEO for almost a decade now and has recently started freelancing as a technical SEO in Bristol. His SEO specialisms are content and blogger outreach…and he likes green tea.