• 29 Mar 2023

5 things to know before your first campaign with an SEO agency

If you’ve recently decided to team up with an SEO agency like ours, then congratulations! You’ve already taken the first step towards growing your online visibility. While you’ll no doubt already be looking forward to seeing better rankings, traffic, and revenue, you might be wondering what else you can expect from your new strategy as it progresses.

Here at Glass Digital, we’ve helped countless brands grow via organic search over the years, so we’re very familiar with guiding businesses through their first foray into SEO. In this post, we’ve shared five insights that will be helpful for anyone who is starting a brand-new SEO campaign with an agency or consultant, so you can be fully informed as your campaign evolves. Let’s get started.

1.     It can be a long game

It’s often said that SEO is a marathon, not a sprint. And, it’s certainly true that many SEO techniques can take a while to translate into results — at least when compared to other forms of digital marketing, such as paid search or affiliates.

While the latter two forms of marketing work on a cost-per-action basis and so deliver ROI very quickly, SEO often requires comprehensive site-wide updates. These can take time to implement, depending on the scale of your site and the number of issues or weak spots it has. Some brands may also be facing bigger challenges, like a platform migration, which will require a lot more foundational technical work before other SEO projects — like content creation — can begin. Additionally, it can up to eight weeks for Google to index site updates and new pages (Search Engine Journal). So, even after SEO work is underway, don’t expect to see the impact overnight.

All that said, SEO can drive excellent results in the long term, so it’s well worth the wait. As a transparent digital marketing agency, we’ll always provide an honest and realistic timeframe on when you’re likely to see results, as well as ensure you’re kept up-to-date on performance increases via regular custom reports.

If you’re concerned about the wait to see results, we recommend covering all bases and running PPC, affiliate, and SEO campaigns simultaneously. This way, you can drive revenue via affiliate and paid search while your SEO tactics kick in. Take a look at our guide to PPC vs SEO to learn more about why these two channels complement each other so well.

2.     No two strategies are ever the same

There’s no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution in SEO. Every business is unique and requires a bespoke strategy that’s tailored to its individual needs and goals. You might have heard that are three core pillars of SEO: content, outreach (link development), and tech. While your campaign is likely to incorporate elements of all three disciplines, the exact make-up of your strategy will depend on the needs of your site and sector.

For example, at Glass Digital, we always perform an initial SEO audit to identify weak points in your current performance, and then tailor our tactics and strategy accordingly. So, if we discover a site has a poor domain authority score, we’ll recommend focusing on link building during the early stages of the campaign, to help improve the backlink network and boost the overall site authority. Or, if a lack of content on category pages is the biggest obstacle to rankings, we’ll attack that first.

The takeaway? It’s important to go into your campaign with an open mind, as you might be surprised to find the tactics your SEO team recommends are quite different to what you initially expected.  

3.     It can seem very different to traditional marketing

If this is your first foray into the world of SEO, or you’re coming from a more traditional marketing or PR perspective, you might be quite surprised by just how different SEO tactics can be from conventional marketing practices.

The goals of an SEO campaign are quite different to those of a traditional marketing campaign, in that SEO is very focused on delivering quantifiable increases in traffic and revenue via organic search channels. As a result, tactics like link acquisition, onsite content optimisation, and content marketing can feel quite alien when viewed through a traditional marketing lens.

There’s a lot to learn, and some strategies might seem counter-intuitive at first. But if you trust the process, you’ll see the biggest impact. Plus, once your SEO campaign is paying dividends in terms of traffic and revenue, you can direct some of that budget back into your conventional marketing strategies, as well as investing in other digital channels, such as PPC and affiliate.

4.     You might need to compromise

The customer is always right — well, unless they’re using Google Search. Online shoppers tend to search in an imperfect way: they don’t always know the right word for what they’re looking for, and will use generic terms rather than branded trademarks. While you might prefer to describe your products using certain words or phrases, searchers might be using another synonym to find what they’re looking for. So, if you’re not using the same keywords that searchers are entering, they won’t be able to find you.

One of the most beneficial things your agency will do for you is provide optimised category content to make each page more relevant for certain high-volume keywords. However, those keywords must be present within the content to have the desired effect. That means that you may need to be flexible and open to trying out new keywords within your content.

A good SEO copywriting team will be able to strike the right balance, producing copy that is true to your brand and products, while also increasing relevance for these important traffic-generating keywords.

5.     The more hands-on you can be, the better

Naturally, one of the biggest benefits of outsourcing SEO work is that you don’t need to do everything yourself. However, the most successful campaigns are those that involve plenty of collaboration between client and agency.

You know your brand better than anyone. And, even though your SEO team can take on most of the heavy lifting for you, they’ll still require your sector-specific knowledge and skills from time to time. For example, one of the most effective link development tactics involves leveraging your brand’s expertise to secure coverage in relevant publications. You will also need to review, approve, and publish optimised onsite content, too.

The more hands-on you can be, the faster you’ll see results. So, it will help if you’re able to devote some time to your campaign. You could even delegate this to someone else within your company, if you won’t be able to pick up everything personally. If possible, we’d also recommend establishing a direct line of communication between your Technical SEO team and any external web dev teams — this will allow for a seamless workflow and free up your time, too.

If you’re new to SEO, there can be a lot to learn. We’ve helped countless brands with their organic search over the years, building campaigns from the ground up for businesses of all shapes and sizes. We pride ourselves on our clear, honest communication, so you’ll always know exactly what’s happening, every step of the way — even if you’re not familiar with SEO. Get in touch today to learn more about exactly how we could help your site climb the search results.

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