So, you’re considering embarking on a kick-ass SEO campaign from Exposure Ninja. Great choice! SEO can have a significant, positive impact on your business. But it’s important that you understand exactly what you are getting, how it works and what to expect before you get started.
A great SEO campaign from the right digital marketing agency can transform a business — just check out some of our glowing testimonials — but the wrong SEO company can destroy online visibility. Lots of business owners come to us for help after being locked into a long contract with an SEO company that hasn’t met their expectations.
Understandably, those clients have plenty of queries before committing to another SEO campaign. They deserve to have those questions answered — and so do you. Let’s break down the truth behind the questions we receive about Exposure Ninja’s SEO campaigns.
What does an SEO company actually do?
Whilst every SEO campaign is different, there are some key similarities.
The first and most important part of improving the ranking of any website is to get the website itself in order. So this is where we’ll focus our attention first, going through the site and suggesting or implementing (depending on our arrangement) changes and additions which will improve your site’s visibility. This work could include improving the content on the website. It could include changing headings, recommending structural tweaks and editing the metas behind the scenes. We might even be able to speed the site up, or any number of technical tweaks.
This on-site optimisation phase usually takes anywhere from a couple of weeks to a few months. It could be a longer, ongoing process for larger sites.
We’ll also be promoting your website and business across the internet. Google views the inbound links to your website as a measure of your site’s authority. So, if high-authority websites link to you, as well as generating traffic to your website, that’s a sign that your site if of a high quality, improving your ranking.
We use a variety of methods to attract these links. Our choices depend on what sort of business you are, who your target audience is and the link profile you have already built. We’ll first check to make sure that you are listed in the best directories. We’ll properly link up your social channels and ensure any videos you have put online are delivering you the most useful links possible.
How do you decide what to do and when?
Because SEO is open-ended and never “finished”, we have our own way of ensuring your campaign follows the right priority structure for your business. All the while, we’ll be giving you the peace of mind of knowing exactly what you are getting for your money.
We quantify all our SEO campaigns by setting a minimum number of hours worked per month. For example, if you are on a 40-hour campaign, we will work a minimum of 40 hours on your SEO each month.
Prior to the start of the month, our SEO and Digital PR managers decide the campaign’s priority for the coming month. They will then apportion the hourly budget in the places which will lead to the fastest possible improvement. For example, optimising the website will always take priority early on in the campaign. A year down the line, however, the campaign will usually focus mostly on Digital PR. This is because the website will be optimised and the goal will now be to attract more links.
Every month in your report, you’ll receive a breakdown of the hours worked on your campaign. We keep extensive internal logs on exactly what was done throughout, should you wish to know more.
How long will the SEO campaign take?
This is both the most predictable and most frustrating question any SEO company faces; frustrating for both the client and the SEO company!
The truth is that the answer is frustratingly vague: it depends.
So why can nobody give you a straight answer about how long it should take you to hit the top spot on Google? Well, there are so many factors that define the speed and success of an SEO campaign. Whilst many of them are visible using various tools, many more are far harder to anticipate.
Your competitors may begin running an extensive SEO campaign. Google could take a dislike to something you have done on the website. We might get a bunch of links from really high-authority sites one month. It’s like the teenager asking when she can expect to get married. We know it’s likely to happen and we know it’s not going to be today or tomorrow, but the exact date isn’t possible to predict. However, when she starts dating the right person, the progress towards this goal will be obvious.
Just as you wouldn’t trust a dating agency that promised you would be married within three months, you should not trust an SEO company that promises top ranking in a given timeframe.
When “it depends” is not good enough
As a fellow business owner, I understand that this is like being asked to invest for an indefinite amount of time in something which will hopefully bring a large return. This sounds suspiciously like a Saturday morning real estate investment meeting held in a hotel on the outskirts of town, hosted by two men who look like they could probably get you too good a deal on an “as-new” BMW…
This is why we earn our keep through demonstrating. We visually show you ranking, traffic and sales increases as the campaign progresses. We are one of the few SEO companies on the planet that doesn’t tie any of our clients into minimum-term contracts. The pressure is on us to show you enough month-on-month improvement to continue with the campaign. Otherwise, you’ll leave! The success of our company depends on the success of your campaign. It’s that simple.
Who will I talk to?
Throughout your campaign, your main point of contact will be your Project Manager. It’s their job to coordinate your campaign, keep you up to date with progress and get your feedback on what the business impact of the traffic is having. You’ll be able to schedule calls with your Project Manager, too. They will arrange your quarterly campaign checkups to ensure you are happy with how the campaign is progressing.
What should I expect to see happening?
Usually, the first signs of progress will happen one to two months into the campaign.
In this example below, notice how the ranking visibility (blue line) steadily increases.
This steady improvement is what will give you the confidence to continue, so we know that it’s extremely important we demonstrate this sort of progress for you.
How do I know if my SEO is working?
There are three metrics that should be tracked in any campaign. These are search visibility (including rankings), organic traffic and organic conversions.
In the early days of a campaign, it’s unlikely that the number of conversions will increase significantly. So, we’ll report rankings and organic traffic. As the site’s visibility and traffic start to increase, we’ll see the number of conversions follow a similar pattern.
As you’ll see from any ranking graph, during a successful SEO campaign, there are times when keywords move down in visibility, as well as up. This is inevitable and unavoidable. Every campaign — no matter how successful — sees this sort of movement.
On a longer timescale, there will be weeks or months that the site is doing better than others. Again, this is nothing to worry about and is totally normal, as long as the general trend is upwards.
Our general guidelines are that you should see some ranking movement in the first couple of months. Within three to six months (depending on the competition in the market), you might expect to see significant improvement. After twelve months, the full impact of any work carried out in the opening months should have borne fruit. As you can see, there can be quite a lag between work being carried out and its impact being felt. The good news is that you should see steady progress along the way, meaning you don’t have to take a year-long gamble.
What if my SEO doesn’t work?
So, your site doesn’t increase in ranking over the course of the first few months. Why? It’s usually due to either an underlying problem (penalisation, lack of content, duplicate content issues) or us trying to compete in an extremely competitive market with a serious lack of funding available. In these cases, we will have been in contact with you to discuss progress and next steps.
Remember: you are not tied into any minimum-term contract.
Once I have the ranking I want, can I reduce the amount of work Exposure Ninja does?
So, the sites you are competing with are not doing any serious SEO. You are totally dominant in your market. You have no desire to widen the range of phrases you are targeting. In these cases, it can be possible to reduce the amount of SEO work we carry out.
In very competitive markets, it’s typical for a site to have to maintain the level of work it took to get a prominent position to just stay there. We will be happy to discuss this with you when the time comes. If we honestly believe it’s possible to maintain visibility with a reduced SEO package, we will let you know.
To find out how your website could benefit from SEO and have us design you a bespoke SEO plan, free of charge, request your free website and digital marketing review today.