Getting stuck into an SEO campaign is a big commitment. It’s an incredibly powerful marketing tool, but it takes time, money and expertise to get results. You need to be patient and you need to take into account a lot of different things at once. To help ensure your campaign is as effective as possible, we’ve put together an outline of what you need to think about before you start.
How to start an SEO campaign
Before you begin, you need to review what you’ve already got. Not only does this mean a quick rundown of your existing marketing performance, it also means having a think about your own SEO understanding and your other marketing plans. SEO isn’t a quick or easy “fix all” solution for your marketing. But done right it can be incredibly profitable.
As with most marketing techniques, if you’re going to do SEO at all, you need to do it properly. If you know little more than that SEO means Search Engine Optimisation, do a little reading around the subject so you know what to expect. You can read some introductory information about what SEO involves and what it requires on our SEO marketing tips blog.
Once you’ve got to grips with the basics, have a look at which pieces of the puzzle you already have in place. You’ll need strong foundations in order to build long term SEO progress, including:
- An information packed website (with all unique content that isn’t copied from elsewhere on the web)
- A Google My Business Account (with a Google Maps listing)
- Social Media profiles (at least Facebook and Twitter)
Any half decent SEO company can help you get these things in place. Just remember that spending money on getting setup, won’t necessarily contribute to much in the way of SEO progress, they are just the basic foundations you need to get started and enter the race.
What’s the goal of my SEO campaign?
Unless you have an unlimited budget, you’re going to need to focus your SEO campaign. Your website is unlikely to pop up in search results for every possible search around your business. Have a think about which key services or products you want to promote and who you want to promote them to. It’s important to start off with realistic expectations; check who is currently ranking on page one for the search terms you want to target. If they’re gigantic multinational companies it could be extremely expensive, but there may be alternative search terms that offer more realistic targets.
When do I need results from my SEO?
Compared to many marketing techniques, SEO is slow. It’s going to be a few months before you see real results, so make sure you can sustain your investment for long enough to get a return. If you’re desperate for results in a matter of weeks, it might be better to focus first on a pay per click campaign. If you’re willing to be patient, SEO is much more cost effective over the longer term. Or even better; use a combination of both.
What input can I have into my SEO plan?
Sometimes a small amount of input on your part can help to seriously amplify your SEO campaign. For local SEO, you may need to ask your customers to post online reviews. For a larger scale SEO campaign you might need to get involved in the creation of content such as blog posts, press releases, infographics, video, white papers or research.
Of course, an agency like Alloy, can often do the content creation as well as the campaign delivery for you, but if you can offer your input in the early stages it will undoubtedly speed things along. If you have a finite budget, contribute wherever you can so that your SEO team can concentrate on the more technical aspects of the campaign.
What feedback do I need?
Since SEO takes a while to kick in, you’ll want to make sure that you can keep an eye out for the early signs that things are working. If you really know your stuff, then make sure you have access to all your website, SEO and rankings data. If you aren’t keen to dive into the data, find a metric that will let you know things are working. For example, just check where your website is ranking for an important keyword once a week.
What can I expect from an SEO agency?
There are many different ways of delivering an SEO campaign. As in any sector, depending on the goals and budget there are going to be differences in service. SEO campaign budgets can start at only a couple of hundred pounds per month, but could cost tens of thousands per month if you’re competing on a national or international scale. The type of work involved in SEO also varies massively. So in short, there is no definitive list of services that every SEO agency will offer which means it’s vital that you ask them what to expect.
As an example, SEO work can often draw on work done in the areas below, however not all SEO agencies will provide these in-house:
- Web design
- Hosting and domain name management
- Marketing strategy
- Content creation
- Social media management
- Press release creation and online publishing
It’s worth checking in which of these areas your SEO campaign will require work. Having to outsource additional labour can incur extra costs and be a less efficient use of your budget. So, in short, your SEO agency should be able to tell you what they can do and that’s going to be different from agency to agency. The point here is that it varies, so ask around- and if you’re talking to multiple potential partners, see how well they actually measure up.
What’s the future for SEO?
It’s very difficult to predict the future. Especially when it comes to the future of SEO. You’re very unlikely to get much certainty when it comes to predicting SEO results. While an SEO company can tell you what work they will actually do, they cannot always say for sure where that work will impact on a website’s search performance.
That doesn’t mean that the campaign won’t produce meaningful results; with time and effort a good SEO agency will certainly make an improvement to a website’s performance, it’s just indicative of the fact that a campaign entails a lot of different work that yields results collectively rather than individually. Make sure you have access to rankings reports- these offer the best indication of how your rankings are improving whilst your campaign progresses. We provide them from a third party source for impartiality.
Choosing an SEO agency for your campaign
Hopefully you’ve learned enough from this article to make a more confident entry into the world of SEO. If you’d like more information our team would be more than happy to have chat with you and point you in the direction of some opportunities to achieve rankings progress for your business. Contact us today for more information about our SEO services and Local SEO services.