SEO results uncertain? What are you thinking?!

Google analyticsI read an SEO blog by a marketing professional recently that carelessly talked about the uncertainty around whether SEO services will produce positive results for clients in the form of more website visitors and leads. This was then related to a list (seemingly aimed at potential investors in SEO) of "variables that are out of our control", which I have also seen echoed elsewhere.

As an SEO agency, isn't it potentially damaging and negative to inform clients of the uncertainty of algorithmic variables and market conditions that may affect the quality of your work and the performance of their website as a lead generation tool? Isn't it far more constructive to tell them that the SEO campaign they are investing in will work with other marketing and comms channels to produce the desired increase in web visitors and leads, which is after all the reason for their investment? Why be defeatest? In our experience, a structured SEO strategy based on content works every time - sometimes it requires a little more effort than we have planned, but it always delivers results. 

If you're an agency or an SEO professional that recognises the opportunities that have become available since Google's recent algorithm updates, then you really shouldn't be needing to make these complaints or excuses. These updates have, indeed, made SEO more challenging (unless your SEO team works alongside a PR agency) but in no way have they made SEO services uncertain. If anything they have opened the doors to a partnership that could offer even more effective results.

PR + SEO = Marketing Monster

Integrating with PR should be at the top of the agenda of every agency offering SEO services. This will be an important partnership that could potentially produce great results for businesses in 2013 if it's done right. Google has made it clear, through its Panda algorithm updates, that it wants to fill the web with unique, quality content - not just optimised content, which is quite different.

If SEO agencies decide to partner with professional PR agencies (or teams), rather than taking on the task of PR themselves, then it's a winning formula. It opens the door to potentially wider audiences for prospective clients, which, if ever it was uncertain, boosts the certainty levels in the success of SEO services substantially.

What can PR teams do that SEO teams can't?

Try the following:

  • They write content for a living. Optimisation isn't the first thing on their mind but engagement and interest is, which is equally important, if not more so.
  • They possess direct relationships with large online news and media outlets, which opens the doors to potentially wider audiences.
  • The larger of these online media outlets often have high levels of authority, which provide great inbound linking opportunities if you have engaging content.

SEO services that leverage these obvious benefits can really offer their clients something quite valuable. The potential for increasing visitor numbers and leads just increased a little more and rather than telling your clients that there are too many variables that make the results of the SEO campaign uncertain you should be filling them with confidence in your ability to work within Google's guidelines.

It's a two-way street - no need to fret!

SEO agencies have a lot to offer the PR industry too. Like...

  • Informing PR teams about the keywords that clients are targeting to rank for in the search engine results. This can provide real integration between all SEO and online PR campaigns, increasing the impact of both for the client.
  • Keyword research to uncover the trending, high search volume keywords and phrases that will attract the initial attention of the search engines and target audiences.
  • Client website analytics data, which can be used to link successful lead conversions with the regular, fresh content publication. Furthermore, it can be used to look for patterns relating to content topics and increases in website visitor/lead numbers, which can then be used as a basis for future content production.

One thing is definitely certain....

There really is an opportunity for a highly effective, reciprocal relationship that SEO managers should be taking advantage of. There is no reason for managers of SEO services to tell clients that there are too many uncontrollable variables affecting their work to be able to say with certainty that it will result in an increase in visitor and lead numbers to their website. There is a solution to the challenge that SEO managers are facing and it lies in this PR partnership, which also potentially offers access to an even wider, engaged and targeted online audience - the kind that SEOs have wanted to promise their clients all along post Google Panda updates.

If you are currently considering hiring an SEO agency for 2013 then read our free SEO ebook for valuable insights and questions you should be asking.