In the digital marketing industry, taking on new clients can sometimes become a daunting task. Especially once you become successful and are consistently bringing in new customers who all have different expectations and goals. Before you reach this point, it is important to put some standards in place that can make onboarding new clients seamless and handling and delivering on expectations simple. As an SEO specialist, there are certain procedures we perform with each new client that ensure we are on the right track before we began production. We call this an Initial Analysis Review and it helps us determine, quickly, if SEO is the right fit for the new client before they even sign up. This is a standard that can be used across industries and can keep clients from wasting their time and yours.
What’s Included in the Initial Analysis Review?
We think of the SEO process as a three-legged stool. The 3 main components, (the legs of the stool) are Content, Authority, and Technology. Each of these has equal importance in a successful SEO campaign and missing any of these components will make the stool unstable, and eventually topple over. The Initial Analysis Review (IAR) presentation will show the client each of these areas regarding their own business’ website and shows the owner where they are currently, as far as SEO is concerned, where they can go from here, and whether SEO will offer a good ROI if they pursue it. This presentation gives a ton of useful data to the business owner and gives them an insight on what they are missing as far as requirements of satisfying Google, as well as what they are already doing well. Each portion of the C.A.T. diagram is broken down further to highlight issues and red flags as well as opportunities available to the business.
How Important is Content to SEO?
Most people think of the content on a website as just the text that is visible for reading on a page. Few realize that every asset on a page and across the website is considered content. Images, files, forms all contribute to the total content of a website. The goal of every piece of content on your site is to satisfy the search intent of the user doing the query. Google is so popular because it is accurate. More than likely, when users search on Google they find what they are looking for within the first 3 results of the first page of Google’s SERPs (search engine results pages). In order for Google to keep that reputation, it ensures that they only rank websites that successfully satisfy the search intent of the customer searching. It is the job of your content to make sure it is supporting the page and helping to ensure that when someone lands on the page, it is the page they are looking for and Google is satisfied.
In these reports about the business’ content, we view the keywords that pages of the site are currently ranking for. Most times this list is full of keywords that aren’t relevant or aren’t converting well for the business, which is why they come to us. We then show the customer the list we gather for them using our research and innovative tools. We find keywords that will give the business the most benefit if they rank for them and we use this list to plan a strategy to create content supporting these keywords in the hopes of ranking new pages, with valuable keywords that help the site satisfy search intent.It is the job of your content to make sure it is supporting the page and helping to ensure that when someone lands on the page, it is the page they are looking for and Google is satisfied. Click To Tweet
How is Technology Important to SEO?
The next report we share with the business is a Technology report. This report highlights all of the tools and software in the backend of the website that make it functional. We check for specific red flags in this report as well as items we expect to see that make it possible to perform SEO on the site. One of the most important aspects of the site we check here, however, is PageSpeed, and specifically mobile site speed. As Google has taken on a “mobile-first indexing” role, the time it takes a site to load on a mobile device is a strong ranking factor for Google. Not only is Google one of the most accurate search engines there is, but it is also one of the fastest. Google will not allow its reputation to be damaged by ranking sites with low page speed scores, so this report is important in letting the business owner know where they stand in Google’s eyes. We not only show the speed score here but also some issues that are related to the low score as well as some ways we fix those issues.
Your Authority – Are You Popular with Peers?
The final reports we share are those that represent the authority of your website. You can think of authority as popular as it has to do with the number of links peers have pointing to your site. These backlinks are rarely present with brand new businesses and although they are important, they are not very easy to gain. As your content grows and your site stabilizes, eventually other sites will find your content relatable enough to point a link towards your pages. As these links grow, so does your backlink profile. However, this isn’t always a good thing.
In our reports, we also share the current “trust” score and “citation” score of the client’s business as well as every referring domain that is linking to you. Sometimes, at no fault of the business, the trust and citation can become low simply because of the referring domains linking to it. Backlinks take constant monitoring and there are procedures to have these links removed or disavowed, which is a consistent task for those doing SEO services on the site.
There is More…So Much More
While these reports pertaining to the initial analysis review is very important and help understand the business’ expectations and goals, the final report should tie all of the individual parts together and summarize the overall value that an SEO campaign can bring to the business. This review not only helps the client make a decision, once they can see there is an actually ROI with the campaign, but it also helps the SEO consultant who will work on the account begin a strategic plan that will ensure the most current and beneficial data is being used to create content and which pages of the site currently need optimization or even deoptimization. While these reports here are specific to an SEO campaign, using the idea of an initial analysis review can easily be adapted to most industries and will always offer the same benefit. Learning expectations and goals of a business before a contract is ever signed and any work is performed. This is a common practice for those offering white label digital marketing services, however many others offering services can benefit from this simple procedure. The alternative is going in blindly, which is rarely effective.