Signing on with a digital marketing agency can be nerve-wracking. Some find it challenging to grasp exactly where their money is going. To feel more comfortable with your digital marketing investments, here’s a guide to breaking down what you can expect from both SEO and PPC in the first 90 days.
We can’t speak for other agencies but we can tell you the kind of results you should expect to see after your first quarter of investing in digital marketing with Intuitive, what kind of work we do to get you there, and what to expect after the honeymoon phase is over.
Our Approach: Strategize, Execute, Accelerate
You wouldn’t set out on a cross country trip without mapping a route and making sure you have a spare tire. Well, we don’t want to start doing work for you without making sure we know what your goals are, who your audience is, and what the competitive landscape looks like.
That’s why we start by auditing your current SEO setup, your existing PPC accounts (if you have any), do competition analysis, and a website audit (just to name a few).
Taking the time to do our research and think things through before we dive in headfirst to ongoing work is how we create thoughtful strategies that can help you reach your business goals. We want to make sure we’re all on the same page, and agree on how to get where we’re going. The best way to do that is to know where you currently stand.
At this point, we’ve presented our findings from the Strategize phase and we’ve all agreed together on how to move forward. Now we need to lay the groundwork for success.
It can be tempting to jump into the fun flashy stuff first, but ensuring you’ve met the baseline for SEO/PPC/Web best practices is essential for long term success. The strategy created in phase one will lay out exactly what we plan on doing during this phase but it’ll most likely include work like writing SEO Titles and Metas, setting up goal tracking, developing the voice and tone guide, writing paid ads, building audiences and more. It might seem a little dry, but it’s the foundation for success.
The last—and longest—phase is the “Accelerate” phase. During the “Accelerate” step, we will monitor, maintain, and optimize your account to pull in the strongest results, while continually pushing you to the top. This phase is ongoing and remains in effect until you pull the plug. It’ll take about 90 days to start seeing results, and speaking of expectations…
We Know You’re Excited
Take a deep breath. Even when you pay for advertisements, you won’t reach the top of Google in a month. When you start a new Ads account with Google their algorithm takes some time to see how your ads perform with users, and against everyone else in the auction. So ad placements can feel a bit sporadic in the first few months.
You’ll see clicks and impressions from the start of your PPC campaign, but the real numbers will come in after the 3-month mark. Three months sets our baseline and after some initial testing and updating in that first quarter we move to the real good stuff: ongoing optimizations, A/B testing and updated targeting based on our data analysis and feedback from you about the quality of leads our paid ads are bringing you.
Between A/B testing and optimizing for the best cost per lead, and adjusting strategy based on Google or Facebook Algorithm updates, the work is never done!
That’s why it’s crucial to hire marketing professionals to run your online ads, because we all know you’ve got better things to do. So rig up that hammock and take a nap. Or do the 8 million other things on your plate.
Give it a Little Oomph
With PPC, sometimes a little extra budget can go a long way. Your agency team may be able to pull in more leads with some additional spending by showing your ads for more searches.
Tortoise and the Hare but With Marketing
Unfortunately, even with PPC, you can’t snap your fingers and be at the top of Google. The 3 months needed for a PPC campaign to gain traction can get you into the top search ads quickly, but paid traffic has less weight than organic. Organic users usually have higher conversion rates than paid. And paid traffic users are often higher in the sales funnel, such as the awareness stage, meaning it’ll take several more ‘touches’ before that user is ready to convert.
On the other hand, with SEO, it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon. You might not see search engine optimization results for 6 months, but it’s not about month-to-month improvement—you’ll see your biggest improvements in year-over-year data.
Both PPC and SEO are investments, and investments take time to bring in those sweet, sweet successful numbers.
Set Phasers to “Stunning Content”
The more relevant, up-to-date content you have on your website, the more likely that Google will see you for the beautiful business you are and rank you higher. Organic landing page content needs to be high-quality and hard-hitting; the best of the best.
Again, this isn’t a hyperdrive feature that’s going to beam you to the top, but it’ll definitely speed up the process. It’ll take Google some time to notice the changes on your website, so the best way to get its attention is to make your website bigger and better.
For this same reason, SEO improvements last a while after you’ve stopped making updates, whereas paid ads can get turned on and off in a second.
It’s Not Purgatory, We Promise
Why should you wait for SEO when you could just hop to the top with PPC? Unfortunately, not even PPC works that fast. SEO and PPC are star-crossed lovers that do their best work when used in tandem. PPC may work twice as fast as SEO, but PPC has its own holes that SEO will fill.
SEO has higher conversion rates because let’s be honest, customers hate ads—organic search results are trusted more, which means that SEO will give you a higher click-through rate. 53% of people will click on the first organic search result, while on 33% will click on the first paid ad.
What to Expect After 90 Days
By the 90-day mark, you should already see some promising results from both SEO and PPC. We should have our feet firmly planted in the Accelerate phase by now.
All digital marketing techniques require you to calculate your ROI, so yeeeah if you could just calculate that before we start, that’d be great. ROI is completely dependent on your marketing, business goals, and sales cycle, so familiarizing yourself with industry standards and goals is important for accurate analyses.
Your ROI after 90 days is most likely not going to be your ideal cost per acquisition. Don’t watch the numbers too closely; it’ll take a while to justify the money and show significant improvement. If you’ve never done digital marketing for your business, you might have to wait a bit longer for good results. Be patient! It can take around 6 months for Google to adjust and bring you some amazing stats.
First Report Highlights and Frosted Tips
Since SEO and PPC need at least 3 months to show any change, we provide you with quarterly, detailed reports. You’ll receive your first full report at the 90-day mark, but some of these performance updates can be made available each month. At the end of every year, your quarterly reports will be integrated into an annual overview so you can get a sense of your long-term investment and success. In order to see the full effect of our services, it’s best to compare these annual overviews year-over-year.
Peep Those SEO Results
Your SEO results at the 90-day mark can range depending on your goals, but ultimately you should see increased traffic and slightly better rankings on Google; improved visitor quality and time on website; lower bounce rate; and a higher conversion rate.
Peep Those PPC Results
At the 90 day mark, your PPC report should show more conversions and declining conversion costs (#nice). Your cost-per-click will start decreasing as your clicks, impressions, CTR, and conversions increase.
As we build an Eiffel Tower out of quarterly reports, we can then sit down and strategize about the next steps so you can keep bringing in the big bucks. We tailor reports based on our strategy and your goals. But we’ll always be clear about where your money is going with essential KPI’s like cost per lead and conversion rates.
This is Just the Beginning
If you’re thinking “now that I’ve got a fab conversion rate, awesome click-through rate, and a sweet Google standing, maybe it’s time to close up shop with the agency,” DON’T. Your accounts are doing well because you’ve got professionals tending to them regularly. If you decide to drop your digital marketing help, it’s almost guaranteed to send those stellar rates into the gutter in a matter of months.
In order to keep Google interested, you need to continue updating and improving your website content. The industry and algorithms are (almost) constantly changing, so whatever worked last month might not work this month.
As a digital marketing agency, it’s literally our job to stay up to date on Google’s ever-changing quirks and be proactive for the benefit of our partners. Digital marketing is an investment in long term ROI and shouldn’t be expected to happen yesterday. We can prove it works.