Search engine optimization can seem like an overwhelming challenge no matter how much experience you have. And when a brand opts to enlist a digital agency such as ZOG Digital for help with SEO, being involved in the SEO process may seem like an afterthought to the company. Rather, it’s important for brand representatives to invest time into SEO through the client/agency SEO relationship because a symbiotic approach to SEO will garner your business more leads and a better return on investment.

Business Insider recently ran an article about problems that may arise after an SEO audit is done, and the article touched on points we at ZOG can relate to. After an SEO expert conducts an SEO audit for your company, it is important that the relationship is open and honest about the work that needs to be done and how that work will be completed. Often companies have many other parties or even third parties they need to coordinate with to complete website changes for SEO. Maintaining fluid communication among all who are involved ensures efforts are coordinated and are more effective.

Defining clear goals and strategies is the most important thing. Once that is done, it is imperative all key metrics are baselined so both sides can see the success of the program. You must be able to show the results you have achieved–without clear agreement to baseline reports, this can become an issue, and that’s why ongoing dialogue is essential.

Ongoing dialogue can be important for several reasons, mainly to keep the agency up-to-date on changes and updates within the company, including new goals or campaigns that are upcoming, or even new content being created that could have SEO benefit. Many times, clients make changes or have new things happening, and how those things fit in with SEO is an afterthought. By not consciously thinking about SEO in business decisions, brands spend more time and money having to retrofit something that could have been included at an earlier stage.

Another big challenge SEO experts tend to face are with clients who do not implement change requests or partially implement them. Clients oftentimes do not understand the effects of not completing certain recommendations and how that will alter their results. We try to remedy this issue by educating the client as much as possible on the importance of each recommendation we make, why we are making it and the improvements that should be seen with the change.

While most clients are never going to be experts in SEO, it is important that they understand what the goals of the program are and what we are doing to reach them. We depend on the client contacts to be the champions of our work internally within their organizations. They may not be able to explain the exact details of the program, but they have to be able to tell people what the program is going to accomplish and then also pass along the successes that we see. A lot of people believe that you make one set of changes for SEO, and the work is done–they do not understand that SEO is an ongoing process with constant adjustments to improve results over time.

Ideally, a company should have a person that is in charge of SEO specifically. Many large companies are now realizing the importance of this position as they see their websites as major business channels. Some companies are even treating the website as they would another store within their network. If the company does not have a person that has any specific technical or SEO-related knowledge, the ideal internal leader should be a person that has the ability to communicate effectively across several departments, specifically marketing and IT or web development. If a person from one of these specific departments is assigned as a lead, we see issues with getting individuals from the other departments to buy off on the SEO program. This creates an internal struggle that wastes time and hinders results, and that’s why cultivating a working relationship between your company and SEO provider is vital to the success of the entire company.

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