Avoiding Black Hat SEO Agencies
Many B2B companies find it hard to understand Search Engine Optimization (SEO). When there are companies that practice “Black Hat” SEO and make promises they have no intention of keeping, it becomes even more difficult for a B2B client to understand. How can you tell if you’ve got the right agency to manage your B2B SEO? 3 steps that you can take that will hold your B2B SEO agency accountable are:
1. Make Solid Keyword Choices
2. Follow More Than Rankings
3. Research ROI
Solid Keyword choices
A strong B2B SEO program is built off of a platform of good research. Much of the research performed will be put to use when selecting keywords used to help increase visibility in search engines.With that said, do you know what criteria your SEO agency had in place when choosing your targeted keyword phrases?
It’s very important that your keywords match audience or searcher’s intent.When a keyword or phrase that you are optimized for is searched, the user should be looking for your specific service.
Do the chosen keywords have good search volume figures (the average number of monthly searches for that keyword or phrase)? Your B2B Search agency should suggest appropriate keywords based on level of competition, search volume and applicability to your service. Tools such as Google’s free Keyword Tool are a good resource for determining search volume and PPC competitive data. In addition, your SEO agency should also analyze your online competition and get to know your services.With all of the research combined they should be able to determine the best keywords and phrases for your SEO program. Get involved during this process of your SEO program, don’t get left in the dust. Don’t hesitate to ask questions and get all of the information you need, on why certain keywords are being chosen.
I Want More Than Rankings…Give Me Traffic!
Tracking results should be a service that your search agency provides as part of your B2B SEO program.This means looking at more than just rankings. Better rankings are a good step in the track to SEO success, it’s not 100% reliable data point due to factors like localized and personalized search.Search results can change from location to location, it doesn’t matter the distance it could be from home to the office or state to state the search results will be different.
Organic traffic is a more accurate measurement for SEO success. You can find these results in any analytics provider, of course only if your company in fact set up analytics. Analytics should show increases in traffic from search engines, if your B2B SEO agency took the right steps in choosing keywords and implementing your SEO program. These statistics should be on the rise in addition you should be seeing direct traffic from your selected keywords and phrases.
Can You Track ROI?
Perhaps one of the largest challenges in finding success in your B2B SEO program is finding your Return on Investment (ROI).While analytics give you a lot of data, tracking your organic traffic to the final conversion can be hard because B2B companies have such a long complex sales cycle. Most end conversions happen off-line rather than on your website, so how do you hold your Search Marketing Agency responsible for your ROI?
Conversion objectives!B2B companies will find the value of a lead and then use that to determine the success of their off-line marketing like print and television advertising. The analytics you have in place should be set to track the actions of your users , like filling out a contact form, reading a case study, downloading a whitepaper, or signing up for a newsletter.
Although these actions don’t convert users into clients, they do make them more involved with your company and closer to becoming an actual prospect.Give every unique action that provides a prospect a value and then you’ll be able to analyze if you’re getting an ROI on your SEO investment from your B2B search agency.
You can also use this as a way to hold your agency accountable for traffic quality. Determining the targeted keywords and phrases that are driving high quality traffic can be filtered through goal conversions.
Good Expectations to Hold Your B2B Search Agency Accountable
You can hold your B2B SEO agency accountable on delivering results even if you don’t know every detail of your SEO program. You can detect a great search marketing agency if they start every project with proper expectations. Program goals should be considered along with those expectations.Is there a benefit to your company?Can you track your success? It’s important to insist that your agency gives you the data and thinking for selecting your keywords.It’s necessary that you see more than search rankings as proof of success. Track activity on your site and assign value to prospects to determine your ROI. Become part of the process and you won’t have a problem holding your agency accountable.