One of the challenges of working with a search engine optimization agency is knowing what they should be responsible for. Depending on the scope of the contract, an agency should provide these 11 basic services.
11 tasks of a SEO agency
Take an SEO perspective. Unless you have deliberately defined your agency’s contract more narrowly, you should expect the agency to have an SEO perspective on any question you ask or any task assigned to you. Staff may need time to come up with a written response if this is a complex issue, but they should not hesitate to ask for it. Plus, you shouldn’t have to wait for a standing meeting to quickly chat or get short answers.
Alert you to SEO news. When an algorithm update occurs, your SEO agency should notify you. When a new search results feature is released that you can take advantage of, your SEO agency should tell you. When voice search becomes viable… you get the idea.
When a new search results feature is released that you can take advantage of, your SEO agency should tell you.
Be your emergency responder. An SEO agency should be an extension of your business. If you’re forced to put everything on hold in a crisis, your agency should do the same, re-prioritizing deadlines for existing assignments.
Look for keyword themes. SEO revolves in part around contextual relevance. But relevance to what? Keyword research determines what topics your content needs to signal its relevance to search engines. This research will also shed light on several SEO issues, such as your company’s content strategy, prioritization of action items, and risk assessments.
Define the objectives and the SEO strategy. It is difficult to know what is realistic when setting growth targets. Your agency should have a methodology to help you set solid and reasonable goals. Based on these goals, the condition of the site, planned improvements and natural search performance, the agency should be able to develop a strategy for next year.
Recommend a content strategy. Content strategy plays a big role in your natural search performance. Your SEO agency may not be responsible for producing the content for your site, but they should have a clear vision for the strategy. Agency staff should generate new content ideas based on natural search visitor behavior, search trends, and your site’s architecture. The agency should also have opinions on how this content is designed and developed, to ensure that it provides the greatest possible benefit to natural search performance.
Performance report. No matter how closely you work with your agency, your agency should report monthly on what was recommended and implemented, the impact of the recommendation, and plans for the following month. This provides a good deliverable for your management to show progress and also provides an important schedule of activities.
Monitor tools for webmasters. The Google Search Console and Bing’s Webmaster Tools provide a wealth of information about your site, including errors, crawl stats, impressions, traffic, and rankings. An agency should monitor all of these items on a regular basis. When a message is sent by one of the engines through webmaster tools, your agency should investigate it and let you know.
Audit your site regularly. Sites change. Search engines are changing. Your agency should audit your site quarterly to assess its changes and correct any negative changes. It should use auditing to form a roadmap of activities and deliverables that will move your SEO program forward.
Sites change. Search engines are changing. Your agency must audit your site every quarter …
Identify technical problems. An SEO agency must discover and resolve technical issues that impact crawling, indexing, relevance, and authority. Once it finds the problem, the agency should clearly communicate it with the solution. You shouldn’t expect your SEO pros to know exactly how to troubleshoot coding or technical issues, but they should work with the developers to get the result you want. The agency should then test the fix before and after launch.
Optimize individual pages. Finally, your SEO agency should optimize your content. This is the last of 11 items on my list because it is the least scalable approach to SEO, which means it will likely have less overall benefit for an ecommerce site. When performing manual optimization, your agency should target pages that have the highest potential for earning revenue. However, rather than focusing on individual pages, it would be more effective to develop scalable content such as programmatic title tag optimization. So, your SEO agency should recommend automation first for faster results.