Search Engine Optimization (SEO) service providers often talk with clients who know they need SEO, or have read that they do, but don’t understand exactly what optimizing entails or where to begin. If this sounds like you or your company, you might be wondering how a provider will be able to assess SEO needs for your business if you’re not even sure what they are. Perhaps you’re thinking that a guide to SEO assessments would be helpful.
Assessing a potential client’s SEO needs is a detailed job for a SEO provider, but it’s one that a skilled company offering these types of services should have tackled many times before. Which means, after a detailed discovery session and some onsite/offsite SEO Audits, a good SEO service provider will be able to determine if a potential client requires Keyword Science, optimized content, link-building programs, a local search campaign, or a combination of these or something else entirely.
What’s more, SEO for the travel industry is a unique beast and it requires a service provider that has specific experience implementing SEO throughout a travel customer’s journey. Travel is like other industries in that it has consumers who search for information online and use mobile apps to find content on the go, but it’s a different niche where customers rely heavily on continued value and opportunities to gain trust in a brand.
So, any SEO company given the task of assessing a potential client’s SEO needs, especially a travel client, should be addressing the following with the possible future business partner:
In-Depth Customer Discovery
Let’s not forget that the goal of any SEO campaign is to better serve the customer, and to meet them where they are in their journey to serve their specific need at that specific micro-moment. At Galileo Tech Media, we rely heavily on interviews with the potential client to create Buyer Personas, which are fictional representations of the target customer. We then map out each buyer persona’s Customer Journey to the product. What would be the steps that person would take? Is “Small Business Owner Olivia” more likely to rely on social media reviews or a product demo? Would “Social Media Manager Mark” find your product by first landing on one of your blog posts or from an event? The level of clarity these 2 methods provide is crucial to a SEO service provider delivering Visibility AND ROI.
Assessing SEO Needs in Terms of Business Goals
An SEO service provider should be asking about the client’s business goals. It’s not enough to talk about rankings and traffic. What’s first on the agenda is understanding the client’s goals to figure out which aspects of SEO best fit the company’s needs.
Does the client want more conversions? Is product or brand awareness at the forefront of concerns? Are negative reviews or Google penalties first on the list to fix? Missing Title Tags and/or Meta Descriptions that need to be corrected to improve CTR? Depending on a business’ goals, a precise SEO strategy will be implemented.
Reviewing Current Performance as Part of an Overall SEO Strategy
Current website performance is another aspect of SEO that a service provider needs to discuss with a potential client. An SEO provider should look at a company’s analytics, which will include traffic and conversion numbers, to see what there is to work with or what the provider is up against.
For example, a travel company that has analytics data reflecting a downward trend over the past year may need to invest quite a bit of time and money into turning things around, while a company with average and adequate traffic and conversions might not need to make this the focal point of an SEO campaign. Any business that’s trending negatively needs to come back to center as a major part of an overall SEO strategy.
Available Resources for SEO Needs
When talking with a potential SEO service provider, it’s extremely important that a business be upfront with its available resources. If the business and provider have determined that content is a key part of an SEO strategy, for example, the business will need to be honest about its access to good writers and the time it has to edit writers’ work.
If it can’t supply these aspects of SEO in quality form, this is something the SEO provider will need to include in a proposal or program. Being realistic is crucial to implementing a successful SEO campaign.
SEO Assessments Specific to Travel Industry
An SEO provider taking on a travel client must inquire about factors specific to the industry, such as where that client already shows up along a travel users’ journey and what type of value is being provided along the way.
Usually, a travel customer will not land on a travel business’ website with the final goal of booking a trip (the conversion). The customer has likely visited the site many times before, or looked up the company on booking sites, on social media channels, and in Google search. So, an SEO provider will want to discuss where a client appears within customers’ journeys – across a range of devices working from mobile, home, and office locations.
Understanding a potential client’s goals, current SEO performance, and resources – as well as being savvy to the unique needs that travel companies have when it comes to SEO – can mean the difference between an average (or even failing) SEO campaign and a successful one.