As a business owner, you have a business to run. So you’ve probably hired an SEO agency to develop your website and online presence. That’ll almost always give you the best possible results.
But how hands off should you be? Does the SEO agency do everything, or are you expected to help in some way? Here are eight simple do’s and don’ts:
Do Focus on the Basics
There’s always some new technique or strategy touted as the Big New Thing in SEO. Learning about the latest SEO enhancements can interesting and even fun. But nothing beats the basics.
Trust the SEO team who stresses site fundamentals over anyone pitching new, “cutting edge” techniques. Instead, your site should have:
- Solid Onsite Strategies such as keyword-rich content and local optimization
- Dynamic Offsite Strategies such as backlinks from high ranking sites
Of course, new techniques can be experimented with once the fundamentals are built. Just be wary of an SEO agency which emphasizes special strategies.
Don’t Check Rankings Each Day
Achieving a high position in the search engine rankings is a marathon, not a spring. There’s no need to drive yourself crazy by checking your rankings each day.
A long-term plan will hit some occasional ranking drops as strategies unfold. Your team of SEO experts will let you know if anything major is happening.
Do Emphasize Customers
Your SEO agency will provide you with detailed reports about traffic and user behavior. The technical strategies are driven by data. As a business owner, there’s not much about this aspect you need to be personally involved with too much.
Where you can help – and help significantly — is with the non-technical strategies. Behind all the numbers, successful optimization is about delivering a fantastic customer experience.
Do Showcase Your Personality
Potential customers want to know about the real human beings who exist behind the brand. That’s you and your team! Make yourself available to your customers through marketing.
You’ll want to dedicate a portion of your website to employee biographies. Highlight the cool, fun people who are working hard each day for customers.
Videos can be a very effective way to connect with customers. Your SEO agency might suggest video content involving you and your team. There are a few options here including an introductory video, how-to videos and more. Even if you don’t have any on-camera experience, your SEO agency can help you.
Don’t Look at Your Site Daily
This one can be hard to stick to, especially after you first hire an SEO developer. Wanting to check out any new changes is only natural. But try to avoid viewing your site too often.
Waiting a few days between site visits is a great way to mimic the customer experience. When you’re not immediately able to navigate the site, you’re more like a first-time visitor. This might help you spot any oversights with design, content or navigation.
Plus, solicit other opinions. If you have employees, ask for their feedback on your site. After all, they understand the industry, too.
SEO pros can help identify key target audiences. But nobody knows how to talk to your customers like you do. You can help the SEO agency develop content in a language which your customers will respond to.
Do Ask Questions
You’re not expected to understand search engine optimization. Feel free to ask questions. While learning about SEO on your own is always a plus, asking questions about your site allows you to learn SEO concepts as they apply to your brand specifically.
Don’t Respond to Social Media Comments
Social media has a so-so effect on search ranking, but a much larger effect on brand awareness. Unless you have a background in public relations or something similar, you’ll likely want to leave social media to the experts at the SEO agency.
Part of managing social media accounts is dealing with complaints. Even the best businesses will get comments from dissatisfied customers. Responding in the right way, even if the complaint is wrong, helps your brand’s image with future customers.
Do Set Long-Term Goals
Some SEO techniques, such as a visual update to your site, can be seen right away. But the majority of optimization strategies will typically take between six months and a year to show results. That’s just the nature of SEO.
During the process, especially initially, don’t worry too much about results. Give the strategies time to connect with search engines and customers.
Aside from the long-term goal of increasing traffic and leads, you’ll always want to discuss any additional goals with your SEO agency. Maybe you have a new product you want to promote during a specific time period or another short-term objective.
Working with an SEO agency to build your business online can be fun, exciting and even stressful. The tips above will help you add your expertise to your site while also freeing up your time to manage your business.