Trusting any part of your business to someone else is a challenge and one you should expect a good return on investment for. At least, that’s the way I feel about it. At Lifted Logic, we’re not just here to take your money and plop a shiny new website loaded with keywords in front of you. It takes more than that to deliver results with great SEO practices. If you’re wondering whether or not your SEO company is doing a good job, keep reading for insights from someone who’s been in this business for a long, long time.
Let’s dive right into the habits of a good SEO company in Kansas City.
They make sure your business interests are clearly defined in the first place.
What the hell does that mean? SEO companies get you higher on Google search, right? Why do your overall business goals matter? If you get more “likes” or rank higher on the search engine results page (SERP) but don’t get more leads, it’s not accomplishing anything for your business unless your only goal is to have more exposure.
When you go to the doctor and explain your symptoms, you want them to ask follow-up questions. You want them to gain a deeper understanding of your symptoms in order to put together the full picture of your health. If you complain about stomach aches, and they don’t ask about your diet and instead prescribe you a pill, are they really helping? Nope.
At Lifted Logic we’re all about honing in on your goals, your brand, and what your business believes in. Armed with this information, we can discover what you want to accomplish.
So how do we clearly define your business interests?
They ask the right questions
Knowing the right questions to ask lets us find the root cause of why you need an SEO company. The need is usually for more business. Every company needs to increase revenue in order to stay afloat. You may think you can get that business from Facebook likes, but that’s rare.
Do you remember the story of the Instagram influencer with more than 2 million followers who couldn’t even sell 36 shirts? Her followers were real and her posts got genuine engagement, but she couldn’t sell shit. Her marketing wasn’t adequate, and she didn’t understand her audience. You can have all the social media clout in the world, but it will not translate into revenue without some work. In fact, studies have shown that search beats social media by more than 300% as a traffic source.
A good SEO company is going to find out exactly how to translate your digital marketing into leads and revenue for your business. We ask the questions and come back with our own ideas, suggestions, and recommendations to help you achieve your goal.
Even more important than ideas is accountability.
They think of ways for the client to measure their performance
A good SEO company is constantly asking themselves, “how can the client measure our efforts? How can I help the client measure us?” That’s what it’s all about. If you’re not measuring, you don’t know what your outcomes are.
Imagine you’re trying to run a faster mile. So you buy yourself a fresh pair of running shoes, run a mile in them, and then ask yourself, “Did that feel faster?” Maybe you felt faster, but you don’t actually know if you were because you weren’t measuring anything.
If you want results, you need your SEO company to use their expertise to find out how they’re measuring, what they’re measuring, and how that develops into increased revenue for your business.
Only once the goals and ideas are fully understood should the conversation turn to controlling expenses. Basically, you should know what you’re paying for before you talk expenses.
They give you deliverables
Okay, let’s say you’ve gotten past the first meetings. You feel comfortable with the amount of questions your SEO company has asked you, they’ve talked through expectations with you and you’ve come to a mutual understanding about what your goals are and how to execute. SEO improvement doesn’t happen overnight, but there are some things you should expect when they’re getting started.
Lifted Logic helps you find how your website is performing with analytics reporting. We also do keyword research with the goal of understanding the intent behind the search. We do SEO audits to see how well your site is already optimized and make suggestions for improvements. A good SEO company will also help optimize the content on your existing site.
Not only can our content gurus put their brains to the task, they’ll teach you how to do it, too. There’s a reason it says “Content Optimization In Kansas City” at the top of that linked page. And there’s a reason I linked it there in the first place! The good thing about good SEO content and practices is that it’s good for your business (more hits when people are searching for ‘content optimization near me’ when they’re around KC, and encouraging readers to visit more of our website to see more of how awesome we are) AND it’s good for the user. The user knows exactly where we are and doesn’t have to hunt around or do any extra Googling to find that specific service I linked to.
A good SEO company is going to teach you all about that. Which leads me conveniently into my next point.
They teach you what they’re doing
Nothing we do at Lifted Logic is a mystery. We explain everything and teach you how to do it all yourself. It all comes back to our goal of increasing your success. It doesn’t help your business if your SEO company keeps their methods a secret. Different companies have different approaches, and if they’re not willing to keep you informed of what they’re doing along the way, you probably don’t want them handling your business.
We encourage our clients to check in monthly to evaluate the way their SEO campaign is going, and we train them on how to use and understand paid search tools.
They don’t over-rely on automation.
Automation is the easiest way to cover up issues. Say you’re getting a ton of new traffic to your site, and they’re all filling out forms and submitting requests for quotes and yadda yadda yadda. That’s outstanding, that’s exactly what you want. But if every single person who submits a form is getting some canned “Thanks for your interest, give us a call when you’re ready to get started!” response with no followup from you, you’re not really getting any value out of those leads. You must call and follow up and reach out to these people instead of relying solely on your automation. A good SEO company is going to explain how to approach different leads.
Because a good agency should deliver multiple kinds of leads in a specific way, it’s going to require a more hands-on approach. For me, a lead that says “I’m looking to start in the next month” versus “I’m looking to start next year” is a higher quality lead. So I should call the first lead back ASAP compared to the one who wants to start next year.
Relying too much on automation can cover up successes and, most importantly, failure.
They focus on failure (in a good way)
Okay, just follow me on this one. When I was growing up my dad was an entrepreneur, and after 50 years of business you can imagine he went through a lot of economies. It’s easy to make money in a good economy, because for every screw up there are more positive outcomes. But in a bad economy, every transaction is that much more valuable. Opportunities are worth more.
For me, the value of bad leads is where a great SEO company can really make up the difference. Back to our running example—you want to run a faster mile and you know your pacing is great, but your breathing needs work.
If you’re running a mile and manage to improve your already great pacing, it will help you make a better time, sure. But if you fix the issues you have with your breathing, it’s easier to make up more time. You see massive opportunities when you focus on the things you’re not doing well and clean that up. Each gain there is exponential versus linear.
Consider this: There are two ways to make money in business; increase revenue or decrease expenses. If you make $100,000 and it cost $50,000 to make it, you’ve earned $50,000. If you can lower expenses by $30,000, you’ve now made $80,000 profit. To make that same profit at a 50% profit margin, I would need $160,000 of income. That’s clearly way more work. Reducing expenses (i.e. what can I do better to spend less?) is easier than drumming up twice as much business out of nowhere (i.e. doing more of the things that got me business to begin with).
Because you can’t improve upon number one
How can you optimize a first position blog post to be higher than first? You can’t. You focus on your negative, which is another blog post that didn’t rank as well. If you rank first for “plumber in Kansas City” but you also provide the service of main drain clean-outs, how do we follow up on that to increase your ranking for “main drain clean-outs in Kansas City” in order to pull in more specific leads?
If your SEO company focuses on what they’re doing good on every call, you’re not with a great company. Most of our calls comprise what we need to do better. If you listen to a professional coach for the NFL, you would think the people they were coaching were the worst players in the world. You don’t hear the coaches just sitting there fluffing the players’ egos because that’s not what someone who excels focuses on. The way we improve is by focusing on where we’re not doing well and by letting you know what you need to work on, too.
Sometimes it’s because you’re not following up on leads. Maybe you’ve gone in and made too many changes to content that was important for your users. Maybe you need to be more engaged with your reviewers on Google. SEO results can depend on how well you’re operating, and if you don’t know how well you’re doing, it’s a good SEO company’s job to tell you.
So if your SEO company is not working with you to explain what you need to do better on your end, they’re not doing right by you at all. It isn’t like there’s no time for a pat on the back for small successes along the way, but if you only focus on what’s going right, you’re missing out on major opportunities to hit goals.
They set goals, then meet them
This is what it all comes down to. If your SEO company understands your business, has worked with you to develop specific goals and tools with which you can measure success, and then meets (or exceeds) those goals: Congratulations, you’ve got a great SEO company.
Clear goals and ways to measure them give context to where your marketing dollars are going. Say you increase revenue by $10 grand—that’s awesome, right? Not if you had to spend $1 million to reach that goal. You want the right value in the cost per acquisition.
Is your SEO company doing a good job? We will
Learning about our clients, setting goals, and reaching them is what our entire team is doing every single day. We’ve done business with companies like Tesla, Cerner, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, and with tiny startups alike. For those who already have an SEO campaign, we offer a free one-hour discovery meeting to go over the performance of your strategy and see what needs improvement.