When it’s time to hire a digital agency to focus on your SEO, make sure you’re getting what your business is paying for. SEO isn’t a “set it and forget it” project. Regular check-ins and calibrations are necessary to see the most benefits, and an overall game plan is also a must. When you interview agencies for SEO work, make sure these digital marketing tactics will be part of the package.
An agency should make sure your site is healthy, — not just today, but tomorrow, next week, next month, and next quarter. At a minimum, a good SEO firm will check up on the following:
Crawl Your Site – SEO spiders can see problems that aren’t visible to the naked eye. Broken links and missing URLs need to be fixed, and new and different URLs should also be assessed as your site adds blog entries, static web pages, and so on.
Check Your Metadata – Reports on metadata, including title tags, meta descriptions, headings, robots tags, and such, should be compiled to give you SEO specialist a good picture of what’s new with the site over the last 30 days.
Check Your Redirects and Status Errors – Your agency will look at a crawl errors report to make sure your site’s pages are showing the right status. If they find 404 errors, they’ll look for a new location to redirect to.
Check Your XML Sitemap and Robots File – These files provide the basic instructions to search engines about your site. Your SEO person should check the sitemaps report and verify your robots file correctly identifies what areas the search engines should access and what is closed.
Check Your BackLink Report – Your agency should check out who’s linking to your site. A large quantity of low-quality links could be an issue for your site’s authority score and should be removed or disavowed.
To get the most from your SEO investment, you want an agency that will analyze your site’s performance monthly, calibrating and tweaking to improve your site’s SEO performance. Here are some high ROI checks a good agency should perform:
Check Channel Performance – The performance of the natural search channel can tell you a lot. An expert can compare your marketing goals and KPIs to see how your site is performing.
Check High-Change Pages Thoroughly – A good SEO firm should spend some time with your pages that have the biggest positive and negative changes in traffic. They’ll look for patterns that could suggest broad performance optimizations.
Check on Past Optimizations – An important piece of SEO work, your agency should check in on past optimizations to make sure the impact was positive and make further adjustments if needed.
Check Your Top Referring Sites – When a new site starts sending you traffic, that’s a golden opportunity. Your agency can monitor referrals and alert you when there’s an opportunity to work together for improved site authority.
Check Your Search Competitors – A good SEO analysis will look at sites ranking for your target phrases and topic keywords, looking for what worked for them and how it could be applied to your site.
Check Google’s Search Console – Search Console is your direct SEO line to Google. The app provides all manner of messages and reports, which your SEO expert should retain and archive for reference.
When it comes to the future, your agency should have a good grasp of what’s coming up and how to help you make the most of it. Your optimizations should be proactive, not reactive. Make sure your SEO experts are looking ahead to next month’s potential target pages to tweak. Keyword research is yet another important part of SEO strategy. You won’t have to worry about things changing every 30 days, quarterly is fine, but keeping on top of trends and planning for future campaigns will be important to success.
These are just some of the items your digital agency may check to improve your SEO performance. Experts may disagree on which items take priority or how often to run reports, as every company’s goals are different. However, the bottom line remains the same. Your SEO firm should be doing the regular groundwork that’s going to get you results in the SERPs.