“You get what you pay for” – that’s how the saying goes. However, sometimes, you don’t even get that!
SEO, in some cases, has enabled vendors to sell something intangible, unaccountable, and, in some extreme cases, unmeasurable.
Hearing from businesses who are “getting SEO done” but are not entirely sure what exactly is being delivered, and how, is more common than you think.
In fact, some vendors bask in the misunderstandings of SEO. Using its seemingly complex and ever-changing nature to sell you a service, they either poorly deliver or fail to complete at all.
If you’re reading this, thinking “how can I tell if I’m getting what I pay for”, take this short, simple quiz. It will quickly give you some guidance or reassurance as to the SEO service you are getting.
Are you getting any bang for your buck?
Answer these five questions to find out...
Five signs you are not receiving a professional SEO service
If you are concerned about the SEO service you are receiving. Or, if you simply want to advance your understanding of what a bad service looks like to help you avoid the pitfalls, we’ve put together five signs to look out for.
- No Action Plan or Strategy
If you are wondering what your priority keywords are for each page, or what outputs your SEO vendor will deliver this month, it’s hard to measure success.
Fail to plan, plan to fail. And in this case, if there is no overarching strategy or action plan for you to hold your SEO vendor accountable to, then it could be something to investigate further.
A solid SEO action plan will outline the monthly deliverables across content, technical optimisation and online reputation, aligned against your keyword priorities.
- No Clear Monthly Reporting
Even without an action plan, if you are paying for an SEO service, it is reasonable to expect a report to inform you of progress.
A clear monthly report that identifies search performance for your priority keywords and overarching search performance, will help you understand the outcomes of the campaign so far.
It is often said that the impacts of SEO changes take a few months (or more) to take effect. In a lot of cases, that is indeed true. However, there are many changes or additions that have an immediate impact.
Fresh content, consistent directory listings, metadata, and fixing website bugs, will be noticed almost immediately. If not by search engines, by real people.
- Ignoring Technical and On-Page SEO
There are many keyword-agnostic on-page SEO enhancements you can make that will enhance your overall SEO campaign.
If your campaign doesn’t include a focus on page load speed, mobile friendliness, structured data, internal links or user experience, then this is a cause for concern.
The misunderstanding that SEO is a keyword-stuffing exercise, means that businesses sometimes don’t expect anything beyond this. When in fact, signals from users and how they experience a site play an increasingly important role.
- No Transparent Content Optimisation
If you do not have visibility of what content changes or additions are being proposed or made to your site, it is difficult to keep your site on brand and on message.
Some SEOs will make content changes to your live site, that will, from a search engine perspective, tick all the boxes. However, not all SEO changes are good for your business.
Imagine having a page that incorrectly lists your services or misrepresents what your product does, just because it works for SEO.
This is why it is important to have some transparent processes that outlines proposed changes so you can review them before they go live.
- Lack of Cohesion Between Titles, Descriptions and H1
This one is a bit of a giveaway. When visiting a website, if the title tag in the browser still says ‘Home’ then you’re probably looking at a site that hasn’t been “SEO’d”.
If you are looking at your site and the title and the main heading are in no way aligned with your priority keywords, then again, this is a sign of poor- or no-SEO.
When it comes to descriptions, you should look at how search engines present your website. Simply enter “Site: [your web address]” into Google and it will show you how your web pages appear.
If you are missing succinct overviews of that page in your descriptions and the titles do not include a priority keyword, then your web pages are still waiting for SEO to come to town.
There are, of course, many more signs, but the five tell-tale signals above, provide those who are “getting SEO done” something to look out for.
In 2020 we launched SEO360, a holistic SEO service that ensures businesses receive a transparent, accountable and measurable solution. If you’d like to discuss your SEO requirements further, we’d love to hear from you.