Whether you’re an agency or a do it yourself SEO, you know that the amount of time it can take to competently perform SEO tactics takes time. So much time in fact that many businesses look to outside agencies (even when they themselves are agencies) for help. Doing this is often referred to as managed SEO or fully managed SEO services.
Defining Managed SEO
Managed SEO is the process of SEO professionals taking on a client’s entire campaign. This campaign could include all typical organic ranking tactics or only a few depending on where the client’s website is at. For example if you’re taking on a client looking to build a brand new web presence you would require your managed SEO services to include a “soup to nuts” approach. If you’re working with a client whose website has rankings the services provided may be focused on only a few tactics to help improve on their previous success.
No matter where that client may be at the purpose of a managed campaign is that trained professionals come on-board, work with the client, and provide the necessary services and expertise to lead that client’s web business to a successful outcome. And that’s the true attraction both for SEO service providers looking to outsource and DIY’ers.
This is a true “take you by the hand” type of business model. As the client you’re essentially saying “Yes, please take over my SEO operations and get me rankings!”.
Types of Services Covered
You or your client may need any number of different services to achieve the desired end result (that result ideally being ROI positive rankings). Let’s just go through a run down of the types of services that may be included in a managed SEO experience.
Research & Analysis
This is portion of services is extremely important when setting up new clients with a site designed for success. The research done here will build a road map or a blueprint of sorts that will guide all of the work done after this point. Doing an exceptional job at this stage of the game will produce superior results in the end. If your managed SEO service partner does not include comprehensive research and analysis – look elsewhere.
Utilizing reverse engineering software will expose your client’s competition’s biggest strength’s and weaknesses. You’ll see what keywords produce the most traffic (and which are most profitable!), which keywords multiple competitors rank for, and where the biggest keyword opportunities lie.
This is where they’ll expand on the initial list built through the competition research. Here is a chance to develop a website blueprint as well. You’ll know exactly which pages your site should have and which keywords they’ll target. This is a huge time saver down the road.
If the client already has a website they will need to know just how well it’s performing and what needs to be improved. Most likely, there is a great deal that will need improvement or the client wouldn’t be looking for help in the first place.
Here is where your managed SEO professionals will really earn their keep. Uncovering backlinking opportunities and dangers are at the heart of a good analysis. They’ll want to have a good idea of quantity and quality of the kind of links they’ll need to build. They’ll also need to examine what links in the backlink profile they may need to get rid of in order to keep the client’s site healthy.
What To Look For When Hiring Fully Managed SEO Services
When you start your search for a managed SEO service provider there are several questions you’ll want them to be able to answer. This is obviously true whether you’re an agency looking for a white label partner or even just a small 1 – 10 person business. The hiring process will be very similar to a typical SEO hiring process with a couple of slight, but key differences.
Standard SEO Qualifications – Make sure that your prospective partner can cover the basics first. There’s got to be a solid foundation or you move on. Simple as that. These qualifications include:
Years of Experience – We all know by now how easy it is to setup an online “business.” A shopping cart and paypal is all someone needs to take money from someone these days. Make sure they have at least 5 years of experience and can back it up.
Proven Track Record – This just goes almost without saying. If they have no results or projects they can “talk about publicly” then move on to the next on. You don’t need names and addresses, you just need proof of results.
Knowledge of All SEO Aspects – Technical site architecture, on-page, and off-page tactics are all a must for a fully managed service provider.
Well Rounded & Understanding of The Big Picture – You want your provider or team to live and breathe online marketing. SEO is a piece to a very large puzzle. Make sure they know that puzzle and what it means to truly play the game. It’s all about positive return on investment!
Communication Chemistry – Talk with the guys and gals you’ll be handing over the keys to. Get a feel for their personalities. Did you enjoy speaking with them? Did you get a positive vibe or was there a moment where you felt uncomfortable? Listen to these feelings. If you don’t communicate and gel with your new team then there will be trouble in the future.
Specific Qualifications For Managed SEO Service Providers – These qualifications and perks are what makes the difference between them and regular SEO firms.
High Level Marketing Plan – You should be provided with a strategic, well thought out marketing plan. This is where a well rounded perspective becomes so important. You want someone that has the fortitude and knowledge to see the big picture and how to get you to the top.
Dedicated Account Attention – If you are not going to have an account manager with whomever you work with – move on. It’s essential that you have a single point of contact to rely on.
Full Website Audit – This is going to be critical to making sure that you get the most out of your experience with managed services. Your new service provider must know the strengths and weaknesses of your site in order to provide you with the most comprehensive strategy possible.
SEO is a time intensive, highly profitable, online marketing traffic source. In fact, it may still be the highest ROI traffic strategy available to you. You should be taking this process seriously. If you don’t have the time to put into this traffic source then fully managed SEO services are the way to go. You’re not only getting services but you’re getting a partner taking a close look at your business and building out an entire traffic source. This goes way beyond outsourcing link building or content creation.
The pricing may be high compared to what you’re expecting. Let’s just put that out there now. To get great results you’ll need to pay for quality work. But before you’re turned away by sticker shock consider a few things. Consider 1 – the time it takes to produce great results, 2 – the amount of revenue you could be driving with several page 1 rankings. When you do the math you’ll find that managed SEO services will produce such a high ROI that their cost is just a drop in the bucket.
Q. Why Is Keyword Research So Important?
A. Search engines like Google rely on keywords to understand the relevancy of a webpage. The better you do your keyword research for each page on your site the more likely Google is to rank them for those words. It’s ideal that your pages are found based on phrases that are relevant to the content on the page.
Q. Why Is Market Research Important For Business?
A. Market research is such an important part of your online marketing strategy because it tells you about the people you’re hoping to sell to. You must know your market to understand where they are, what they like to do, what products they buy, and so forth. All of this information is perfect for guiding you design and advertising efforts. Well researched markets respond to you and your products better than if little research is done.
Q. What Do Backlinks Do For You?
A. Backlinks pointing to your website can be either a good thing for your rankings or a very bad thing. It all depends on the source of the link. If the link comes from a website that Google finds trustworthy then it will help increase the value of your own site in turn. The more of these high quality links you acquire over time the higher you’re going to rank in the search engines.