Those questions are therefore very important to ask, but the Seek Social team knows that the SEO journey doesn’t end when you’ve decided on who your ‘SEO expert near me’ is – or at least, it shouldn’t end there – because even after you’ve sorted the people that can help you from the people that can’t, there are still things you should be expecting an ‘SEO expert near me’ that’s worthy of the title to do, or ask of you as their client.
Today we’re going to move on to that next step, and show you what you should expect a reputable SEO company to do when they on-board a new client. As a reputable provider (and an ‘SEO expert near me’ – particularly if you live in Greater Manchester) we feel that its important for the sake of our industry to educate clients on processes such as these – so you know what’s coming and why, when you’re not being involved enough, or when a provider is asking too much. So, join us today as the Seek Social team continue our look at how to recognise good practice in the SEO and Digital Marketing industry…
Blog Table of Contents
Step 1 – Sign on the Dotted Line
We mentioned last week how much finding an ‘SEO expert near me’ was like finding a ‘builder near me’ or ‘local joinery services’ – and this is an extension of that. We know it’s a pain, but written contracts are a necessary evil when exchanging money for a service like this, and SEO is no different.
If it eases the pain then remember that contracts work both ways – in addition to agreeing how much money you’ll be paying your ‘SEO expert near me’, you’re also formally establishing what they are going to do for you in return. In short, you’re setting them goals, and a signed contract is your legal recourse to either hold them accountable or hold back payment if those goals aren’t met.
Because of this, our advice is to be wary of SEO providers that don’t require, or don’t want there to be a contract in place – especially if they want money up-front too. If it’s someone you know and trust really well then sometimes a contract isn’t necessary – but if it’s strictly business then a contract between you and that ‘SEO expert near me’ is a must. It’s the only thing protecting you from getting burned by people who take the money and then just don’t do the work – a situation that sadly we’ve had to help clients out of more than once before…
Step 2 – Access Requests
In order to do the work you’re requesting of them, your SEO or digital marketing provider will need to be given certain login credentials. For SEO, they will need so-called ‘backend access’ to your site so they can log in and optimise your existing pages for you, post new content as and when necessary, and so on. If you’ve signed up for digital marketing then your provider will need your login details for whichever platforms you want them to work on (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and so on).
Of course we know that users are told to keep credentials like these to themselves and not share them, and so we understand how alien it can feel to do so. However, there really is no way around it – your ‘digital marketing pro near me’ or ‘SEO expert near me’ simply can’t do their job without this access. That being the case, you can at least rest easy in the knowledge that such requests are normal within our industry.
However, there’s a right way and a wrong way to go about things. A reputable provider or ‘SEO expert near me’ will be transparent and tell you why they need whatever details they need, they’ll have an answer for your questions, and they’ll also give you any time you need to think about or double check their request. Here again, our advice is to beware any provider that’s asking for credentials but not telling you why they need them, or seems in too much of a hurry to get them from you. These could be a red flag, and a sign of someone trying to access details that aren’t necessary.
Step 3 – Initial Audit
Depending on how they work, a reputable ‘SEO expert near me’ might even be able to do this before contracts are signed – but in any case it’s time for a landmark moment in your journey – the initial audit. This should be one of the first things that your ‘SEO expert near me’ or ‘digital marketing pro near me’ does on your behalf – because good practice says they can’t carry out effective work for you without this audit. After all, if they haven’t evaluated what’s there as a starting point, how can they know that what they propose to do to improve things will work, or even that it’s relevant?
A good ‘SEO expert near me’ will absolutely want to run an audit at the earliest opportunity. Firstly, we love seeing the data as it really helps us identify and get to grips with any problems that a site is facing. And secondly, this audit serves as our very first benchmark. We can measure later audits against it to see if things are improving and how much, and it’s something we can use to demonstrate that improvement to clients.
A good SEO expert near me will also want further audits carried out periodically as – if nothing else – it lets them show off how awesome they are. However again, beware an SEO provider that doesn’t carry out periodic audits, or doesn’t share them with you. Such providers could be hiding bad results, or the evidence that they’re not doing the work…
Step 4 – Review Your Initial Audit & Create a Strategy
Once that initial audit has been carried out, it needs to be reviewed. After all, it’s a waste of time and effort for your ‘SEO expert near me’ to carry out any kind of audit if they’re then going to disregard its findings. In fact audits – while they are great things to give to a client to show them what’s wrong with their site – are if anything more important for the SEO provider. This is because under the trained eye of someone who lives up to the term ‘SEO expert near me’, audit results and reports really do provide a ‘to do list’ of tasks that need to be undertaken in order to improve a site’s ranking, or a client’s digital marketing potential.
That being the case, once the audit is complete, your ‘SEO expert near me’ should be studying the results, and using them to develop a strategy and an action plan for how they’re going to improve things for you. At this point it’s important for clients to know that these plans should be presented in a manner which they can understand – don’t let your SEO provider keep you in the dark with technobabble and jargon.
It’s okay for them to use such language amongst themselves if it makes things easier, but you have a right to know what’s being done with your online presence. In addition, keep in mind that a reputable SEO provider will want you to understand what they’re doing too – if nothing else, it means when they succeed you understand how awesome they are – and so they absolutely won’t mind explaining what they’re doing at any point, and raising awareness about good SEO.
Step 5 – Enact Your Strategy
Once your ‘SEO expert near me’ has audited what needs to be audited, studied the results of that audit, and put together a plan of action for how they’re going to help you, it’s time to roll up those sleeves and put that plan in motion.
Exactly what work is carried out by your SEO expert near me and in what order, will depend on the problems that are identified during the audit and how serious they are. However, again you should not be afraid of asking questions about what’s happening and why. A good SEO provider will have no problem explaining why they’re doing what they’re doing, or why they’re doing it in a particular order – but questions like that could help you identify someone who’s lacking confidence or experience, or trip up someone that’s trying to pull the wool over your eyes.
Step 6 – Review Your Results & Modify or Maintain Your Strategy
The important thing for clients to remember is that once the actual optimisation work is finished, that isn’t the end of the job for your SEO expert near me – the good ones, at least. You see, SEO is NEVER truly ‘done’. Because the algorithms that decide where Google and other search engines rank your page are constantly changing and being perfected, just because a page ranks well right now doesn’t mean it will do so forever.
A true ‘SEO expert near me’ is aware of this however, and will have their methods, your keywords, and how you’re ranking under constant analysis and review. So, once they’ve finished their tasklist from the point above, a quality SEO provider will go and analyse the results that their work produced. They’ll then make decisions on what aspects of the strategy should continue or be discarded, and which new elements and approaches should be added into your strategy – crucially, basing their decisions on the analytics data rather than gut feeling, or hunches, or ‘it worked for someone else’.
There’s a certain amount of ‘back to the drawing board’ here, it’s true – but don’t forget that when your SEO expert is working in the right way, they’re going back to the drawing board with new information that they didn’t have before… Information that will help them further refine their strategy for your site and get better results. Lastly, you should also never lose sight of the fact that here again, an SEO expert near me that’s worthy of the title will share their results with you, and they’ll be able to explain what they mean in plain English – because as we’ve said before, this is your online identity they’re working with, and you have a right to understand what’s being done.
The Final Word, From the North-West’s ‘SEO Expert Near Me’
In closing the one thing that we want to say to clients is ‘don’t be scared’. We know we’ve mentioned a few horror stories over the past couple of blogs – some hypothetical, and some based more in reality – but we’ve done so only to illustrate the perils of going into this unprepared.
So, don’t be scared to speak up for yourself, to challenge or make demands of your provider, or to ask questions – however silly or annoying they may feel to you. Speaking personally, it’s something Seek Social take pride in and actively want our clients to do, because we have a real passion for our work – we want to show people how cool we think SEO is, to raise awareness about how powerful a marketing tool it can be when done correctly, and how to do it correctly too!
A good SEO provider – one worthy of the title ‘SEO expert near me’ – will absolutely understand and take the time to answer and explain the what’s and why’s of anything that you want to know. If that sounds like your kind of provider, and you’re looking for SEO right now, you should definitely get in touch with the Seek Social team – reach out to us via the details on our contact us page, and lets have a chat!