What I wish clients understood about SEO


Mardel Davis, Account Manager
Mardel Davis
June 27, 2022
What I wish clients understood about SEO - Ontario SEO

As an Account Manager, a portion of my time is spent answering client questions about their accounts, their results and SEO in general. Since I find myself having similar conversations with many clients across different industries, I figured it was time to share key takeaways about SEO.

1. SEO is a Long Game 

I understand you want to be better than your competitors. You want leads! And we want to help you get those leads. By incorporating a comprehensive SEO strategy into your marketing plan, you will gain website traffic over the coming months. But how many months? That part is less clear. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to predict SEO timelines. There are many factors at work that make it difficult to say just how long it will take for a keyword to hit a certain position in the search results, which plays a part in driving leads. We usually expect to see results within 3-6 months, but that can change depending on the competitive landscape, search algorithm updates, and human behaviour shifts (like the time we all went home for a couple years).  

If you need the phone to ring this minute, a paid advertising strategy might be a better option for now. Or even more likely, a combination of both paid advertising and SEO will get you on the right track. Ontario SEO will gladly help you with both solutions.  

2. Don’t Obsess Over Being #1

We understand that you want more visitors to your website, which should correlate with more leads. But getting to that Number 1 spot in Google isn’t the only way to get more website traffic.

Being obsessed with ranking in the Number 1 position can sometimes cause clients to completely miss the other important places that we could (and should!) be dedicating time and attention. At Ontario SEO, we prefer to focus on your core business KPIs.

A strategy focused on what we can do to make sure you are getting more leads, downloads or sales will be far more effective than a strategy focused only on keyword rankings.

3. US Traffic to Your Website is a Good Thing!

Clients often wonder where their traffic is coming from, and the answer isn’t always where they would guess. Often clients will have traffic from the United States and wonder if this isn’t helpful since they are a local Canadian business. Rest assured, you can think of US traffic to your website as a positive. By sending traffic to your website, Google sees your content as useful and valuable and therefore makes it visible to users. If you are a local, Canadian business, your business may not directly benefit from US website visitors, however the website does benefit from the large number of users and from links from US sources. For example, when a blog post (or many blog posts) receives a lot of organic search traffic, it signals to Google that you are an authority on the topic you rank for. This makes it more likely Google will dish up your content when the next Canadian visitor (and your potential customer) does a similar search in Google.

So how does that tie into a local business search? When someone does a local search, Google is going to use a combination of local signals, like Google Business Profile, user proximity and off-site citations, and website ranking signals to decide what websites to show. A business that has a strong overall website that generates a lot of organic traffic through informational queries combined with a strong local presence (highly optimized Google Business Profile listings with lots of good reviews), is much more likely to rank first and/or in the maps pack of a local search.

4. We Do More Than You Know

SEO is so much more than adding keywords to your webpages. The core of our on-page SEO strategies is to create useful and engaging, high-quality content. This content attracts visitors to your website and keeps them there. This content, whether new or optimized, is what I send you regularly to review and approve.

The work that keeps us busy in the background is technical SEO. We obsess about website architecture, linking, menus and footers, site speed and all of Google’s latest technical guidelines for user experience. We also work on conversion optimization, user experience and off-site website signals. The cornerstone of our SEO success is this “invisible” work.

5. Please Approve the Content We Send to You 

SEO is cyclical. We work with the intention of revising content on your webpages continuously and optimizing based on current trends. This should be an iterative process, it is not perfection, nor is it a science. 

When we suggest SEO-based page updates, we are telling you that you need this content on your site to improve your visibility in the search results and to increase traffic. Unfortunately, if my emails sit in your inbox for weeks or months, we are unable to implement our recommended optimizations. These are missed opportunities to improve your site.  

We hate to see the bottleneck at the approval stage because the most important part of the work we do is the implementation! I like to remind my clients that we can always come back to a page in the future to make more edits. You can send me content updates any time, and we will implement them right away.  

But most importantly, when it comes to optimizing content, the page that you are obsessing over is already live. Making small iterative changes to improve it is always better than doing nothing at all.   

It is an account Manager’s job to make the client’s life easier. Often, Account Managers would be happy to customize your approval process, so it is simple and fits within your process.  At Ontario SEO we are happy to work with the systems that our clients have in place. There might be a way to make things easier on you – just ask.  

6. Let Us Be an Extension of Your Marketing Team

If you are a business looking to add Search Engine Optimization to your marketing plan, Ontario SEO can help. We can also run your digital advertising, manage your social media and play a part in your overall digital marketing strategy. In our experience, our clients get the best results when we take a holistic approach to their digital marketing needs, by creating and implementing omni-channel digital strategies. Rather than having two or even three separate agencies each producing strategies and working in their own separate silos, we recommend bringing us in at a strategic level. We can be most helpful to our clients when we act as a partner for your marketing team. We want to learn the ins and outs of your business, test hypotheses, learn from the results and apply them back across your whole marketing strategy.

Let me be clear – We absolutely play nicely and share learnings with clients and their partnered agencies. However, in our experience, having our team involved from a more strategic approach gets our clients the best results for their investment.

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