How to Prepare Your Business for Search Engine Optimisation


Why Search Engine Optimisation? (SEO)

SEO, the scourge of unsolicited marketing emails and endless phone calls promising the earth, but is it all it’s cracked up to be?

With such a bothersome reputation, it’s easy to view SEO as an unwanted or unnecessary evil, however, executed correctly, SEO can transform your online presence and provide a big boost in earnings. 

So where do you begin?

Understanding SEO

A recent report carried out by highlighted some very interesting data from a survey carried out to understand the state of the Search Engine Optimisation industry.

While the survey was conducted in the USA, it’s fair to say the experiences can be correlated worldwide.

One of the most interesting findings we noted was that 50% agreed with the statement, “I need more training to fully benefit from SEO”.

27% agreed with the statement: I do not have the staff resources to fully benefit from SEO

This suggests that client dissatisfaction with SEO is not necessarily down to poor quality of work, but that they don’t have the resources or training to fully understand how it is benefiting their business.

27% agreed with the statement: “I find SEO to be confusing and unclear about what services they offer”, while 25% stated: “I am not sure what I am really paying for with SEO”.

Investing time in understanding the basics of SEO and why it benefits your company will contribute to the overall success of your campaign, especially as it starts to gather momentum and you make decisions based on the data it reveals.

Your SEO company should be glad to assist you if you need some guidance. If they are not, it may be time to look for a more approachable company.ear

Managing Expectations

When engaging an SEO company, it’s crucial to have a clear idea of what you want the campaign to achieve for you. 

Any respectable digital marketing company will make a point of ensuring that the campaign objectives are clear on both sides, and that any work carried out focuses on a mutually agreed strategy.

It’s also the job of your SEO company to manage those expectations. For example, a common question is “Can you get me to number 1 position of the first page of Google?” 

The simple answer here is that no company can guarantee that, and you should be very suspicious of any company that makes such a promise. 

Ranking Factors

Every company is different, and your potential for ranking highly depends on many factors, including (and not limited to):

Measuring Results

Accountability is a major element of any SEO campaign, and it’s important that the company you choose to work with can provide you with a reporting structure that is easy to understand. 

It goes without saying that you should already be collecting Google Analytics data on your website. If you are not, this should be a priority as it can provide essential data to formulate an SEO & website design strategy.

You should also make sure that the report actually contains the necessary information to enable you judge the effectiveness of the campaign.

Failure to set these expectations right from the start could leave you out in the cold when it comes to tracking the return on investment. If you don’t make clear what you expect from your campaign, don’t be surprised if the campaign fails to meet its objective.

Keeping Everyone In The Loop

It’s common for most companies to have a number of stakeholders involved in the maintenance, design and hosting of their website.

An SEO campaign will have an impact on everyone involved in the website and it’s important that everyone understands the part they will play in any digital marketing activity.

Define Responsibilities

During your campaign, your Search Engine Optimisation company will often make recommendations to change content and/or elements of your website design that will require the involvement of your web developer. 

It’s essential that you discuss this with your developer prior to commencing the campaign to ensure that everyone understands their roles, and more importantly that any additional costs are agreed.

On a small number of occasions in the past, we have experienced reluctance from some web developers to cooperate with SEO companies, hence it’s vitally important to define responsibilities from the start.e

Set A Realistic SEO Budget

We are often asked “how much does SEO cost?” This is a very ambiguous question, as the investment required is dependent on the ranking factors mentioned above, and will require a website review to ascertain what work is required.

Beware of any company offering a flat rate pricing structure, as it may not cater for the level of work required to deliver the results you expect.

The research mentioned at the start of this article reveals that the average monthly  spend on SEO services is $497, however it also found that monthly spend is tied to client satisfaction.

The data shows that clients spending over $500/month were more likely to consider themselves extremely satisfied compared to people who spent less than $500/month.

Consequently, the research also shows that business owners who invested less than $500/month were 75% more likely to be dissatisfied with their SEO campaign than those who invested over $500/month.

This clearly demonstrates very clearly that you get what you pay for!