- Does your agency monitor keyword positions?
It might seem like a given, but knowing if and how your agency tracks priority keywords is essential.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- how many keywords does my agency track for me?
- how often are positions being checked?
- does my agency have the tools and expertise to check keyword positions across multiple browsers and simulating multiple scenarios such as the location of search and whether historic search activity should be included when determining results?
- does my agency track how difficult it will be to rank for a keyword based on my own domain’s strength?
- Does your agency track changes in content?
OK, so your agency is tracking where you are in the search pages but are they keeping a log of what got you there? It is important to know what impact the changes you may have so that you can learn from mistakes and build on successes.
Make it a priority to ask your agency how they’ll go about monitoring and recording changes to your content + code, as well as wider changes affecting search engines as a whole. They may even want to go as far as tracking the top 10 positions (alongside cached results) for each of your priority keywords so that you’ll know what changes your competitors are making too!
Our SEO change tracker is a free and powerful tool to monitor keyword position changes in relation to content changes you’ve made on your own site. With it, you can keep a log of new/removed text and changes in meta information amongst other things. When something has proven to have worked well, you can replicate the steps for success, or revert if you see a dip in search performance.
- Does your agency regularly check search console for errors and issues?
Google’s search console (formerly Webmasters tools) is a developer and tech SEO haven of information. Capable of providing information on impressions driven by organic searches, click through rates and more, it serves as a hub of detailed data.
One key area it supports is providing information on crawl errors that may occur when search engines attempt to scan your website. So, does your agency regular check this information and apply fixes to any errors found in order to maximise your visibility in the eyes of search engines and humans alike?
- Does your agency review and improve the quality of your code for SEO?
We have to say it. Some SEO improvements cannot happen by changing text alone. Without editing HTML structure or templates as a whole, you might be limiting the maximum impact that your SEO changes can have.
Does your agency have the in-house expertise to apply changes to code where needed in order to boost search results? As important, can they automate the placement of heading tags, alt information, structured markup and other SEO relevant data to not only make you more SEO ready but also more efficient in the process?
- Does your agency work on improving social?
So, this may be a bit of a cheat here – but we’ll mention it anyway! Search engines are placing increased emphasis on building frequent and quality social links. Whilst choosing the right social channels can be a task in itself (check out our article on killing it with great social strategy), once you’ve got it right, you can find your search efforts improving too.
How old is your agency with tying social efforts into search ones? Even if they aren’t a content producer at heart, are they partnering with you to suggest relevant pages to link back to and helping to formulate social strategies that help you climb the search results ladder?
- The SEO optimisation game has evolved so much is such a short period of time. Finding ways to be genuinely innovative and proactive for clients has made the task harder for SEO agencies. Sensible brands keep themselves in the loop with changes in algorithms and keep abreast of the best software to perform daily SEO tasks.Marc Fabregas, Digital Marketing Manager @ Debunc
- Does your agency stress the importance of content creation?
So you’ve got a shiny new site (or maybe an old rusty one), now what? You can spend time optimising existing pages until your blue in the face but without an ongoing content creation strategy both your visitors and search engines will struggle to see you as relevant or current.
Has your search agency worked on a long long-term content creation plan with you? Have they suggested how many articles to produce related to each keyword each month, and worked out a plan for content distribution to make sure your articles are reaching the right number of people at the right time?
If your focus is pulling in traffic, then the steps above cannot be avoided.
- Does your agency stress the importance of page optimisation?
We’d hate to seem like we’re going back on the last point, but on-page optimisation does matter (albeit just one of numerous SEO factors)!
How does your agency track and measure the quality of your on-page optimisation? Can they find broken links, missing alt text, keyword density with ease and provide actionable recommendations to improve your optimisation. Do they test their recommendations for approval before applying to the live site?
When it’s done right, agencies who find common changes may be able to suggest code fixes at the templates or site-wide level to save you both time and money.
- Does your agency recommend paid search part of your overall search strategy?
Google have made a number of to their search display pages over the years. The most recent change of removing sidebar ads and placing them within the flow of organic results has made natural search rankings have a reduced impact on the whole. Coupled with ad extensions (call, locations, site links etc), there are increasing reasons to engage with paid ads first.
Many companies have avoided the paid search route, citing large costs preventing an entry to channel. However, see you have done the oh so vital research of working out their margins and conversion rates, then comparing this to the average cost per click.
Your agency should keep you aware of the many bidding models available in the paid search network including campaigns to Match your cost per acquisition, campaigns that are geared toward impressions over clicks, and campaigns that I’ll get towards search market share. You may find that one or a mix of these models can not only generate quality traffic but increase business.
Whilst results may differ from company to company, at a minimum your agency should work with you to understand the viability of any paid search campaign to validate if you can be profitable using this medium.
In light of our page optimisation points, your agency should work with you to improve the quality of landing pages to ensure the optimal number of conversions.