I get it. It’s super scary to get an email from a complete stranger that says, “Here, look, count the many and complicated ways in which your website is failing at SEO!!” Of course, you know it’s cold lead prospecting, and you probably shouldn’t be concerned, but at the same time, it makes a pretty compelling case for what you might be missing out on.
These emails list every possible detail of un-optimized content. Every missing meta description. All of those unresolved 302 redirects. Worst of all, they talk about all of the missed revenue because you’re not ranking #1.
Of course, they do offer to fix it for you, so that part is nice, I guess.
I want to tell you, preemptively or reactively, we are on it. To hope you feel even more confident of that, here are four things that you can do as we work together that mitigate the impact of these uninvited drama queens.
1. Pay attention to the audit results.
An SEO audit of your website will reveal any SEO-related weaknesses and problem areas. That is why we always start an ongoing client engagement with an SEO audit. We take a deep dive into the guts of your site, and then we go out into the world to identify opportunities specific to your business and your industry. The audit result is a comprehensive analysis of everything that is good or bad about your current digital presence as relates to SEO. Our clients don’t always understand the details of the report — which is perfectly fine, as that’s our job! — but we will make sure that they always understand large-picture, important SEO trends, and themes.
Specifically, it’s good for you to get familiar with the types of SEO opportunities we talk about (right now these are on-page, off-page, third party, crawlability, and accessibility) and the scope of the opportunity in your particular case. If, for example, you already understand what it means that your off-page SEO is your weakest area, that goes a long way in helping you stay confident in the face of an alarmist stranger. [Note: if you feel you’d like more clarification or help to understand these terms, drop me a line! We’re always happy to help].
2. Own the priorities.
Clients who can afford to pay for a full SEO makeover in one lump sum are few and far between. On one hand, that’s actually fine, since Google responds well to ongoing site and content improvements as a validation of site quality. On the other hand, it does mean that we have to make some choices about what gets done and when. We will always recommend an approach that balances your budget against the expected impact of our SEO activities on your behalf, to make sure we’re always doing the most beneficial things we can.
This does mean that some small, relatively unimportant SEO features may go unaddressed in the face of budget constraints. For instance, URLs that are too long, alt text on images, even the occasional missing meta description are all things that we can let slide if we think that the cost to fix them will not produce a meaningful return.
But beware! These are exactly the types of “detrimental flaws” on your website that show up in the alarmist cold emails. You can protect yourself from the resulting anxiety by understanding that some things might not be perfect, but we’ve agreed that they’re not worth fixing right now — and THAT’S OKAY.
3. Listen to your expert.
I’m passionate about this one. Not just because I run a business built on my own many years of expertise, but because I recognize the value of other experts in my business and personal life. Imagine if I didn’t trust another person to cook for me! I’d be missing out on the joy of a novel, complex, exciting, new tasting menu. Quelle tragédie!
My point is that if we at Diamond + Branch say something is a big problem with your SEO, it is. If we advise against fixing something for the reasons listed above, that’s real, too, so don’t let uninformed interlopers with no clue about your business, goals, or priorities knock you off your horse.
4. Watch the numbers change.
Most clients have heard me say that the reports aren’t just about proof of success, they are also about holding us accountable for results. We expect our work to generate a measurable impact for you based upon our mutually agreed-upon goals. So, let’s be real: Are you seeing more traffic? Are there more conversions? Are you getting what you wanted? If not, then you certainly do have a reason to consider taking a different tack.
But if you see monthly progress (especially after month number six) then rest assured that you are already taking care of business! The crawl report sales tactics that these cold emailers employ show only a snapshot of your site, which might be accurate, but doesn’t consider any growth or improvements that we’ve already accomplished.
In all honesty, I don’t care that these random SEO prospectors are trying to steal your business away from us. Anyone who knows me knows that I expect results from Diamond + Branch’s work. I want you to get the absolute best results possible for your marketing dollars. If that’s with another agency, then it a huge incentive for us to be better next time.
Still, I don’t like that they’re scaring you. Usually, I get a hastily forwarded email with comments that range from a nonchalant “I’m sure you’re on top of this, but thought you should see it,” to a panicked “ARE WE FIXING THESE?!?” No matter where you may fall on that continuum of worry, I’m sure it is unpleasant at best, I hope this post brings you a bit of comfort.
Either way, please take a deep breath and give us a call. We’re on it.