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SEO project from the perspective of a marketing agency

27 April 2021

When discussing the essence of SEO activities, I most often focus on the client and his goals. This is fully understandable, because the customer is at the very center of every SEO campaign. However, it is worth looking at this issue also from the perspective of the agency that implements such projects on behalf of clients. In the webinar hosted on the Senuto profile, I talk about what working on an SEO project looks like from the perspective of a large agency. Here I have a short summary of this webinar for you.

 

SEO is black magic?

First of all, I would like to point out that the client's idea of the SEO project is different from the perspective of the agency. Typically, what the customer sees is only the tip of the iceberg. As a result, SEO activities are sometimes perceived as less transparent than paid activities (e.g. SEM). For many clients, SEO is downright "black magic", although in reality it is the hard work of many specialists, including: SEO specialists or content writers creating content.

An SEO project consists of many stages:

  1. The first is SEO strategy development and audit.
  2. Then it's time to implement the recommendations for changes obtained as a result of the audit.
  3. Next in order are link building and consulting activities
  4. Finally, it's time for continuous optimization of activities and reporting to the client.

From the client's perspective, work is often limited to only these four activities. In fact, it all starts much earlier. For an agency, an SEO project begins when a client comes to the agency (invites a tender, sends a brief, etc.). It should be remembered that a well-prepared brief is a huge help for both the agency and the client.

Preparation of the offer

What do the elements that make up an offer for a client look like?

  • Depending on the complexity of the order, from 1 to even 4 people are involved in preparing a cooperation proposal.
  • Then a preliminary SEO analysis of the website takes place and the scope of activities is developed (customers appreciate individually selected, unconventional offers).
  • Now it is possible to refine the offer presentation and meet the client (preceded by several internal meetings in the agency).

The average time to prepare a response to a brief sent by the client is from several to several dozen hours of the entire agency team. Of course, unless we are sure that our offer will be chosen. That's why it's so important for clients to share the reasons why they didn't choose a given agency. this feedback is very useful for future tenders and inquiries. It also happens that clients pay for the preparation of an offer, but in my experience this is not a common practice.

From the client's perspective, when inviting agencies to tenders, it is important to have some experience that will allow you to invite to the tender those companies that will prepare the best, individually selected offers. Therefore, awareness on the client's side is crucial, because already at the level of preparation of proposals by agencies, their competences and substantive involvement can be assessed. The client can also verify the agency by the level and type of questions it asks of the brief. are they standard, like in most briefs, or do they stand out in some way?

The first weeks after winning the tender

Let's assume that our offer won the tender. What's next? It all starts with an audit, which can take various forms. an extensive document or tasks in tools such as Trello.

The audit involves the analysis ofseveral dozen SEO issues (both from the technical and content perspective) that affect the technical aspects and content on the website. SEO specialists use many toolsanalysis tools that allow you to draw information and conclusions. An audit including phrase analysis takes the agency from a dozen to over 100 hours. This is work that must be done at the very beginning so that the next stages of the project can start. The next stage issetting the reporting. In this case, it is important to prepare different levels of reports depending on the person's function in the organization. The scope of monitored phrases is also determined. This stage of operation takes the agency from several to a dozen or so hours.

After completing the previous tasks, the agency proceeds to setting a schedule of content marketing activities. It is said that "content is king", so you should start by analyzing the client's previous activities and its competition and drawing conclusions. ;w, what content sells best. It is also important to select appropriate copywriters and content writers who are specialists in their field. At this stage, guidelines are created for people creating content, containing information about the number of texts, keywords, useful links, etc.

In the following weeks and months of activities, we will introduce audit changes. Appropriate effort must also be put into educating the client so that SEO activities do not seem to him only "black magic", but so that he actually sees the hard work of many specialists. The process of implementing audit changes may vary depending on the client. in small websites, changes are introduced faster. An important step at this stage of work is direct contact with the company's IT department, which can speed up many activities. The stage of introducing audit changes takes from several to a dozen or so hours per month.

Further SEO activities for the client

From approximately the second month of work, link building and content marketing activities begin. This stage includes, among others: creating, managing and publishing content. It is a complex process, related to the selection of appropriate copywriters and the best possible content. Then it's time for non-standard actions and outreach, i.e. preparing reports, promoting and establishing relationships in the media and other websites. At this stage of work, it is also important to analyze the competition in order to further optimize the activities performed by our agency for the client. All these tasks require from several to several dozen hours a month.

The next important stage of work is consulting and reporting. This is a very important stage from the agency's point of view, but from my observations it is not always noticed by the client. Google changes almost every day and the saying "adapt or disappear" applies here. Observing and implementing changes on an ongoing basis is a key element of the success of an SEO project. The level of complexity of the reports reflects the level of the agency's work. The task of specialists is to provide conclusions, not just data, which will mean nothing to a client unrelated to the industry. SEO consulting and reporting take the agency from several to several dozen hours each month.

The final, key stage of work is summaries. Depending on the client's wishes, they can be reported monthly, quarterly or even annually. The summary of SEO agency activities is intended to show the effectiveness of work. Sometimes the time needed to prepare such a presentation can be up to 3 business days.

To sum up, the agency's activities during the implementation of an SEO project are much more than what the client sees. It often takes several hundred hours of work by specialists in many fields. It is worth remembering this when choosing an agency and taking into account not only financial considerations, but also the actual results after implementing the changes proposed by the agency.

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