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If your company is new to search engine optimisation (SEO) then you need to remain in control of the work that’s being done, whether you’re using an agency or you’ve hired someone in house.
Of course, not everyone has time to research optimisation tactics so they may not understand the work that’s being done on their company’s behalf. So here are my five tips to help you successfully manage your SEO team:
Manage your expectations
Forget all those misspelled spam emails you’ve had from the ‘Supreme SEO Company’ promising you a top Google ranking for your most competitive term within three days.
Organic SEO can be a lengthy process and, depending on your industry, reaching the very top of the search results for the more popular terms can take some time and a fair whack of investment.
Talk to your optimisation team about what terms they plan to target and what their own expectations of success are. If you’ve picked a reputable agency then it will give you a realistic outlook. Hold them to it.
Managing your expectations is one thing but you still need to hold your team to targets, otherwise it’s impossible for someone who doesn’t understand the industry to keep tabs on the work.
You don’t want to pay for substandard work because an unscrupulous ‘expert’ has blinded you with jargon.
Unfortunately, optimisation is a new sector and that means there are a few snake oil merchants around. Ask for references and use a decent agency or new recruit.
Once you’ve found them, ask them to outline their ambitions for your website and then hold them to those targets. Just because you don’t have an in depth knowledge of the work, doesn’t mean your team can get lazy – but it’s up to you to check they are achieving their promised goals.
Brace yourself for the long haul
Make sure you have put resources in place for ongoing work – you can’t budget for three months and then decide SEO isn’t for you.
Boosting your search engine visibility takes time and then it takes effort to maintain. You can’t dip your toe in and then abandon the effort after a very short time – it’s a waste of money.
Make sure there’s a company commitment to your optimisation campaign and that the resources are in place to maintain the work.
Involve your staff
Whether it’s being run inhouse or you’re using an agency, the work that team is doing can be supported by the entire company. Keep them involved, keep them informed and keep them on board.
For example, your email marketing team can learn from your paid-search work about which subjects get the most clicks.
Your PR team, if you have one, can enhance your onsite optimisation by targeting some of the trickier keywords in their press releases. And your whole workforce can tweet your blog posts, share links with friends (if you’re a consumer-facing business) and create buzz around your online marketing efforts.
Be prepared to get involved
Are you a well-known name in your sector or even your local sector? If you are, you can help enhance your optimisation team’s work.
Blogging, tweeting, guest blogging – your name could really help spread the word about your company online and build inbound links to your site, which are really helpful for your optimisation.
To be honest, even if you aren’t well-known, you could still garner credibility as an industry expert if you start blogging and building an online reputation.
If your SEO experts decide you need a blog then it’s best that it’s in the name of a prominent figure within your company. It will also enhance your corporate reputation, so it is well worth it.