When investing in an internet marketing company or SEO optimization for your business, it’s important that you work with someone who provides you with transparent monthly reporting. Transparent reporting on a regular basis allows you to see where you might be losing or gaining traffic and why. Without transparent reporting, you might still gain traffic but have no idea why, making it difficult to repeat. You might also lose traffic without knowing why, making it difficult to stop the loss and regain the flow of potential customers to your site.
Benefits of Transparent Reporting
Transparency in SEO reporting benefits both you and the marketing or SEO agency with whom you’re working. It allows you to have a better relationship because you both have access to recent information about what’s driving traffic to your site. If changes occur, you’ll notice it right away, and you won’t have to make guesses later on about where and when fluctuations in your site’s traffic occurred or why. Additionally, it gives you the ability to have a better understanding of where your money is going and how much of a return it is bringing in for your business. There are several key performance indicators you should look for and understand when working with any online marketing or SEO company.
Understanding How SEO Works for Your Business
The first two things you should ask for from your marketing or SEO company is a report on organic traffic and data on conversion rates. You need to know your site’s organic traffic before you begin any new marketing strategies, or you’ll never really know the effectiveness of those strategies. Organic traffic simply refers to the amount of traffic your site receives with your existing marketing methods. Conversion rates measure the amount of people who get converted from elsewhere on the web to your site, often through clicking a link. You’ll want to have the ability to contrast these two rates in order to see how much your traffic has increased with your new marketing strategies and SEO.
Link Building: Black Hat and White Hat
One thing you’ll also want your marketing company to do is keep track of your links and the link-building methods they employ. You should maintain an awareness of their methods and whether or not they are using what are termed black hat methods and white hat SEO methods. Black hat methods defy algorithms and generally break the rules that search engines like Google and Yahoo have in place around driving traffic to your site. White hat link-building methods stay within the rules, but frequently take longer to develop increases in traffic. Black hat methods can often generate a great deal of traffic right away, but carry risks. If you get caught, you’ll likely get penalized by the search engines, so the volume of traffic you generate at first might take a sudden dive if you get caught.
Staying Informed Is Key
Your SEO firm should provide you with all information related to backlinks and how much traffic each link generates. Ideally, you should receive calls or emails about your website’s traffic status on a regular basis throughout the month in addition to monthly reporting. If you don’t know what your SEO or marketing company is doing, you don’t know for sure how effectively you’re spending your marketing dollars.
Beware of Secretive Marketers
One thing you definitely want to watch out for are companies that refuse to report regularly on your site’s traffic and its links and link-building methods. If you aren’t getting the information you need to understand your true ROI, you can’t work collaboratively with your marketing company. Remember that you’re spending your money in order to increase traffic to your site and, ideally, to increase your business’s overall volume. If your SEO company won’t provide you with the information you need to understand whether or not the money you spend on marketing is actually bringing your business more money and visibility, your best bet is to find a company that will.