Maybe you’ve just watched some online marketing videos on YouTube, maybe you heard it mentioned at a recent webinar or networking event. No matter how you arrive at the topic of SEO you are sure to be confused to start.
All of the online gurus seems to always leave out the part that puts 2 and 2 together that shows you how to take actionable steps towards building a successful SEO campaign for your business.
Even if you do grasp the concept right away, finding the time to run your own SEO campaign or finding the right team to trust can weigh on your resources.
In this article we will be answering some entry level SEO questions, providing you with a way to vet an SEO agency, and tips on where the industry is headed in 2022. When you’re all done here, reach out to a team member at Mad Mango Marketing to learn how we can help your business reach an organic audience.
Before we start…
One of the most challenging parts of SEO is getting other websites to link to yours. This creates what we call in the SEO world, a backlink. Backlink building can be much more challenging than creating content or making sure your site is fast because link building should be a continuous effort. Backlink building the right way takes hours of research.
Luckily, Mad Mango Marketing has been building hundreds of whitehat links monthly for our clients over the last 3 years and have perfected the research process.
And don’t worry…all of these leads can be filtered by any Ahref or Moz metric so you never have to worry about your link ending up on a penalized site.
Watch this video below and if you are trying to conduct your own SEO in 2022 (or own an SEO agency), our new “Do It Yourself Backlink Building Lists” could be just the product your team needs!
Common Questions We Get From New SEO Clients in 2022
Can I do SEO for a year and then stop?
Sure! You can also maintain your office for a year and stop too…odds are people will stop visiting after the cobwebs start to form. SEO is a supply and demand game. If you are in an industry with not a lot of websites writing and ranking on the topic (low supply), you may be able to get away with tapering your SEO efforts. If you are in an industry that is hyper competitive, there is a good chance you need to factor in SEO as an annual expense.
How quickly can I rank?
Again, supply and demand. If there is no competition for the keyword you want to rank for, you can rank in as little as a few days. Here at Mad Mango Marketing, we provide your business with an SEO road map on day 1. This document will show you how difficult your main services are to rank for based on your competition. We will provide hard metrics that we will need to hit to make ranking possible and show you the way we plan to get there.
How often should I post content?
There is no magic number. The best way to gauge this is to Google search what you want to rank for and see how often these sites post. Matching their output, or even surpassing it, does not mean you’ll rank, however. The content still needs to flow with the rest of your site and will typically require a few other websites to link to your content before you rank.
Is there a quick way to the top?
There are a few ways you can get a quick shot up the rankings which we have outlined in previous blogs.
How can I appear as a voice search result?
Everyone claims voice search will be all the rage! No one knows for sure. But let’s say they’re right and voice searches and results become the majority. You can encourage Google to serve your site as a voice answer by utilizing heading tags properly and implementing certain schema, like FAQ schema, to the site. Google and other search engines are tuned in to notice these markups and when done correctly, can encourage Google to serve your site as the answer to voice searches and other featured snippets.
How much of my marketing budget should go towards SEO?
The only time SEO should be 100% of your marketing budget is if you are in an advertising restricted industry like CBD to Gambling. If your industry is allowed to market on the traditional online channels, SEO could be anywhere from 25-50% of your advertising budget. To some this may seem like a very large portion of your funds, but proper SEO is a manual effort. You will need to pay real people to create useful content, spend time reaching out to other sites to get them to link to your content, and stay on top of your backend issues as they arise.
** Something else to note **
Users from organic traffic are more likely to spend more time on site, visit more pages, and convert at a higher rate because of the naturally inspective nature of organic searches.
How To Vet an SEO Agency in 2022
Here is a short list of questions you can ask any SEO agency and what we think is a sufficient answer:
How do they quantify site health?
Hearing an SEO agency offer to “make your site compliant with Google” can sound great but few business owners know what it takes to accomplish this task. And to top it all off, Google has recommendations but no real checklist that works for every site the same. So, when you hear an agency offering to make your site "ready for Google", ask them for a list of deliverables.
One way we at Mad Mango Marketing show our clients we are improving their overall site health with Google is by utilizing Ahref’s Site Health tool. This tool will break down any SEO errors or warnings into an easily understandable to-do list. As we work our way through the list, you will see your site health in Ahrefs rise. We can trust that these suggestions are accurate because Ahrefs is in the business of analyzing websites to identify what Google prefers and what they don’t want to see.
How do they generate their keyword research and content?
SEO needs a plan. If you aren’t given a plan on how to rank for your desired search terms within the first 60 days of working with an SEO, you run the risk of wasting a lot of time and money. Your SEO team should be using 1 of 3 tools for keyword research, Moz, Ahrefs, or SEMrush. Inside of these tools you will find valuable data such as average content length of page 1 listings for your desired search term, the average number of backlinks needed, as well as other versions of the keyword that may be easier to rank for while still bringing valuable traffic (known as long tail keywords). All of these hard metrics help create a plan that will outline how much content you need, the quality/length of that content, and how many other sites need to refer to yours before Google associated authority with your page.
How do they conduct backlink outreach?
This is one area where a lot of black and grey hat SEOs will get more and more vague when pressed. They show you a list of backlinks they have built but when you take a quick look at the domain names…they don’t seem completely aligned with your industry. Be wary of PBNs and ask the SEO team you are vetting what they know about PBNs and what they do to keep your site out of any.
For those who don’t know, a PBN is a private blog network. These are clusters of sites, built by people with the intention of tricking Google’s algorithm into believing a site is popular. The problem with these networks (besides going against Google’s policies) is that if one bad site slips into the network, it can tip off Google and cause all sites in that network to be penalized. If links are being built without much effort from your business, this could be a sign of a PBN or blackhat tactics because most legitimate site owners will want some sort of contribution from you in exchange for the value of the backlink.
Backlink outreach should be a manual effort where a member of your SEO team researches relevant sites, reaches out to the site owner, and negotiates a deal for content placement.
What service do they use to get you set up on all directories?
SEO agencies love to make potential clients believe that setting you up on all directories is some difficult feat. In reality, they are signing you up for a service like Moz Local, Bright Local, or Yext.
Making sure all of your info is accurate across the web is a very important part of SEO but don’t let an agency tell you it’s some intense manual effort. In most cases, the agency is signing you up for one of the 3 services above, inputting your info once, and then these software companies communicate with the directories online to set this up.
Any transparent SEO agency should be able to tell you exactly how they set you up on all directories and what software they use. This could also save you a few bucks off your monthly bill because you can just as easily opt to sign up for one of these services yourself and manage your listings in house.
Is there a link to track hours worked?
SEO is a very ambiguous task for many business owners. All agencies should be providing you with a timesheet upon request. You can read more about our time sheets and what we provide here.
How do they report and track the progress?
In person meetings are critical for many SEO efforts. Being sent a video can only do so much because you lose the opportunity to ask questions in real time and are left waiting for an email response. If you are paying an SEO firm whitehat rates ($1,000+/mo), you should have some face time with your team to make sure the content is staying on schedule, links are being built, and any other site health questions can be answered.
The Future of SEO in 2022 and Beyond
Organic traffic is king in 2022. Paid traffic is getting more and more expensive and less trustworthy.
Organic traffic is also becoming more competitive as SEO related positions have been some of the fastest growing job offers on LinkedIn.
The fact of the matter will always be that it is never too late to start building your online authority but you need a plan and you need to stick to it for 12-24 months and beyond.
Imagine you are Google and the searcher is your client. If you value this client, and they come to you asking for a referral, you are going to recommend the best options you can. Most likely you are going to suggest options that have proven themselves to you over time…Google works the same. You can’t earn that referral from Google without putting in the work to make yourself valuable. While it is never too late to start SEO, you can be losing critical traffic by not starting sooner.
All blogs are written by our incredible staff here at Mad Mango Marketing. Your Connecticut SEO, App Development, and Online Advertising experts.