Getting started with SEO can be a daunting undertaking for any business owner. There is a purposeful lack of transparency from many companies on what is already a complex area of digital marketing. With the hurdles you have to jump over just to get information on what SEO even is, you would not be alone in thinking that SEO is a digital service that belongs in the ‘too hard basket’.
At BeKonstructive Marketing, we’re on a mission to try and educate as many business owners as possible about SEO – what it entails, what the typical benchmarks for pricing are, and what results you can expect to see for your investment. We truly believe that SEO is one of the best long-term lead-generation channels a business can invest in, and that the compounding results will benefit your business for years to come.
So, in the interest of 100% transparency, this article is all about BeKonstructive’s approach to SEO, including our framework for understanding, the tools and software we employ to deliver our service, and the SEO activities that our team do in a typical month. To cap it off, we’re also going to run through tracking & reporting, and share a bit of information on what kinds of results you might be able to expect from a service such as ours.
Back to Basics: Understanding SEO
It’s really important that you have a thorough understanding of what SEO is, and what it entails before you start looking at the different campaign strategies for your business. At BeKonstructive Marketing, we’ve come up with a simple framework to help our clients wrap their head around search engine optimisation.
Our framework divides the different requirements / activities / criteria needed to perform well in Google into three core areas:
- Website Health – often also referred to as ‘technical SEO’, this covers all the factors related to having a healthy, functional website. Think fast loading, simple navigation, works well on mobile devices, meets all privacy and security requirements etc.
- Website Content – or ‘on page SEO’, this covers the content on your website. The basic rule to remember here is that if you want to rank for a particular search term, you need to have content (text, images, videos, blogs etc) relevant to that search term on your website. There are also several criteria relating to page formatting, image optimisation and other on-page activities.
- External SEO – this is the category that backlinks, reviews, guest posting, directory listings and social sharing falls into. Basically, anything that happens on a website that is external to your own.
This is a very quick and basic overview on the BeKonstructive SEO framework. We have created a detailed explanation in a previous blog article which you can read here.
Keyword Research and Keyword Selection
When you sign up for an SEO service with BeKonstructive Marketing, the first thing we will do is audit your website’s health. The second thing we’ll do is conduct extensive keyword research.
We use our industry-leading SEO software ‘SEMRush’ to conduct the keyword research. We provide a keyword list with up to 100 different search terms / phrases that we’ve investigated and depending on what SEO package you’ve signed up for, we’ll have highlighted anywhere from 5-30 of those keywords as our ‘recommended’ terms. If your recommended keyword list has more than 10 terms in it, we may also divide those terms into ‘high priority’ and ‘medium priority’.
We’ll then jump on a call with you and discuss the terms. Theses keywords are recommendations, so we invite questions and conversation – you know your industry, target audience, and ideal customer better than we ever will, so if you feel that a different term or phrase will hold greater returns for you then we will work with you to finalise a list of keywords that you’re comfortable with.
Choosing Your Keywords
There are a couple of key metrics that we look at when we work with you to determine the set of keywords your SEO campaign will be targeting:
- Search Volume – this is the obvious one. Keywords with high search volume typically generate higher levels of traffic for your website.
- Competition – the flip side of terms with high search volume is that they often have the highest level of competition as well. Keywords are ranked on a scale of 1-100 with a 1 being the lowest level of competition and 100 being the highest. We like to have a good range of competition / difficulty levels in your keyword list to ensure that we can gain some rankings early in your campaign, while we work on the more difficult terms.
We’ll talk you through the different options and work with you to compile a balanced list of target terms, ensuring that you have a good understanding of what will be involved to get your site onto the first page of Google for each term. It is not an exact science, but we will be able to give you some initial estimates for the timeline and the level of work that will be required.
Monthly SEO Deliverables
BeKonstructive Marketing is a Brisbane SEO and content marketing studio, which means we take a very content-focused approach to SEO. For this reason, all our packages include a healthy dose of new, optimised copy for your website each month. Depending on the package that you are on, that might include anything from blog articles and landing pages through to adding FAQs or beefing up your product descriptions.
We’ve outlined our three core SEO packages below and what you might expect to receive as part of that package*:
Starter SEO Package
This is our standard SEO package that includes 10 hours of work each month. We generally focus on local SEO strategies for this package, and it works really well for bricks-and-mortar businesses, trades, and non-competitive/niche industries. Standard monthly deliverables include 1-2 optimised blog articles, on-page optimisation of 1 page per month, basic backlinking activities (directories, forums etc.), a site health audit, and monthly reporting.
Growth SEO Package
Our growth package includes 18 hours of work each month. The additional time is primarily used for a more comprehensive off-site campaign involving guest posting, content collaborations and other activities that require more resources but yield stronger results.
Complete SEO Package
This package includes 26 hours of work per month. It is for businesses in very competitive industries or with multiple locations. The target keyword list for this package usually includes around 25-30 terms, and the monthly deliverables include weekly blogging and content creation, optimising 2-4 pages per month, and complex link building activities.
We have recently added a new package to our service that is designed for micro-businesses. It is just 4 hours a month and has a focus on helping new and emerging businesses rank for their own business name, generate Google reviews, and build some brand awareness in their own communities.
*The deliverables will be shifted to suit the specific requirements of the client and their industry. Less competitive industries do not need as much time spent on backlinking / offsite SEO to gain results, allowing us to focus on targeting a wider range of keywords with new content each month. Competitive industries such as travel, law, fashion, lifestyle, and insurance will require more of our resources to be allocated to off-site activities each month, resulting in less new content and smaller keyword lists.
SEO Tracking and Reporting
All our monthly SEO packages include comprehensive SEO reporting. Our reporting is consistent and includes keyword tracking, organic website traffic, average positions, a site health audit, and any other metrics that you request.
Providing inconsistent SEO reporting is one of the oldest tricks in the books for marketing agencies and SEO providers that are getting poor results for their clients. They pick and choose which metrics to show their clients each month and lean into confusing jargon and terminology so that the client doesn’t fully comprehend that their campaign is failing.
We’ve previously written about some of the SEO red flags to look for when deciding who to engage for your SEO – you can read that full article here.
There are two core metrics that every SEO report needs to track. If you have one without the other, then you have an incomplete picture:
- Organic Search Volume
- Keyword positions
Organic search traffic is obvious – you want to be seeing a steady month-on-month and year-on-year increase in the quantity of people that Google is sending to your website.
The keyword positions are equally important. They tell whether the traffic that is being driven to your website is relevant to your product and services, and therefore likely to result in conversions for you.
One of the most common dodgy SEO tricks is to get a site ranking for search terms that are high-volume and low competition using educational blog articles. The site starts getting heaps of traffic, which makes their reporting look great, but the reality is that the traffic in question has no interest in the client’s products / services.
We have one example where a removalist client was getting several thousand hits on their website each month but felt like they weren’t getting many leads from the traffic. When we ran some audits on their site, we discovered that their previous provider had written a blog article about different packing symbols and hidden it deep within their website. This single blog article was responsible for generating close to 80% of their website traffic. The types of people who are searching for information about packing symbols have received a package in the mail and want to know what the symbol means. It is quite unlikely that they also happen to be in the market for a removalist.
What to Expect When Getting Started With SEO
When you first start out with a BeKonstructive SEO package, we will do our best to communicate with you the anticipated time frames and the level of work that will be required to get you ranking.
Our general rule of thumb is that it may take up to 3 months to see significant improvement, but that there should be some month-on-month improvement straight away.
There are a lot of different variables that can affect how long it takes to get to the first page of Google with an SEO campaign. Some of these include:
- The level of package that you’re on – obviously a package with 26 hours per month is going to achieve results faster than a package with just 10.
- Your industry – some industries are a lot more competitive than others, and therefore take more time and resources to gain (and keep) your results.
- Your chosen keywords – we aim to have a keyword list that has a really good balance of easy, medium and difficult keywords/phrases. But ultimately, it is your choice, and if you choose difficult, niche terms then the results will be a bit slower for your campaign.
- The age of your domain name – brand new domain names are harder to get ranking. They lack history, backlinks, and brand authority. If you’re launching a new business on a new domain name, you can expect your SEO results to be a bit slower than if you have a business / domain name that is 5 years old.
- Your domain authority (DA) score – following on from the point above, all domain names have an ‘authority score’. Without getting too technical, things like your domain name age, the health of your backlink profile, and how well your brand is known in the industry can affect your DA score. The higher your DA, the faster your SEO results will be. Brand new domains have a DA of 0.
- The strength of your brand – this also ties in with your DA. If there is a lot of chatter happening online about your brand (on social channels, being mentioned in other people’s blogs, in forums etc), then that helps improve your DA score.
- The strength of your other digital marketing channels – there is a correlation between the strength of your SEO campaign and the strength of your social media channels, your email marketing efforts, paid ad campaigns, and other digital marketing channels. Again, without getting too technical, this has something to do with how people engage with the content on your website, and if Google can see that people who visit your website via email, social, or paid ads are engaging with your content and finding value, then it will be more inclined to rank your content higher.
There are two big misconceptions that a lot of people have about SEO:
- The results are immediate – this is not true. There can be a 4-6 week lag time on the SEO work that we do. This means that we can do some work on your SEO campaign today, and the results of that work won’t show up until the following month’s reporting. This is why we ask our clients to commit to a minimum of three months for SEO, and why we often see continued improvements in performance for 1-2 months when a campaign is paused.
- SEO is a Once-Off Service – this is also false. SEO is an on-going service that requires continued maintenance. We can optimise your website pages once, and you’ll see a spike in rankings, but eventually that spike will fade and you’ll return to your previous rankings. SEO is competitive; if your competitors are continuously working on their website’s SEO month-on-month, and you only engage an SEO service once, you cannot expect to overtake your competitors. New/fresh content and a well-maintained website are two critical factors that contribute to your site’s ranking – if you aren’t adding new content to your site each month then you’re putting yourself at a disadvantage. We really want to emphasise that an on-going SEO service is absolutely worth it in the long run – it is an investment in your business that can be slow to start but will gain momentum month-on-month, just like compounding interest. It is not a ‘set and forget’ service, but rather a monthly investment in the future growth of your business that requires long-term commitment to see the best gains.
Getting Started with BeKonstructive’s SEO Services
If all of this is sounding good to you so far, then the next step would be to request a copy of our SEO package and pricing brochure which you can do here. As mentioned above, we have several different options starting at 5 hours per month and working upwards. We can also put a custom package together for you based on the specific results that you’re looking to achieve.
We also welcome you to read some of our case studies for current SEO clients that we work with, and are happy to provide client references if you’d like to talk to some of our SEO clients directly before getting started.
If you have any other questions about getting started with SEO, or would like to book an initial consultation, please get in touch.