Phase 1: How do we decide what to do?
- First we ask you what you’re looking to achieve.
These are your objectives, and they derive from our consultations.
- We then look to agree a way forward.
This is our contract.
- We then establish how far you are away from achieving objectives.
We call this the audit.
- Finally, we propose a strategy to get there!
These are the recommendations we send you in the report which follows the audit.
Let’s take each in turn.
1. The consultations
The number and format for the consultations varies depending on the client.
The starting point is often the first step discovery report!
Following this we recommend any informal chat to find out about each other. Check we’re compatible! Allow 15 minutes for this call.
2. The contract
If you’re keen to progress we’ll ask you to connect us to your data to we can start the audit – and to make a commitment to us.
We’ll ask you for access to your Analytics and Search Console properties, as well as your Google My Business listings.
We’ll also look to start the process of moving your WordPress website to our preferred hosts. We’ll need access to the site itself, as well as your existing hosting control panel and domain registration. We’d also recommend migrating your site to HTTPS if it hasn’t been already.
In the spirit of GDPR we ask that you send us these securely. We remove any login credentials from our records as soon as we’ve finished using them.
In terms of your commitment – this needs to be more than just financial. Yes we do ask you to choose from one of the three packages and to sign up for at least 12 months.
But it’s worth reiterating that your involvement in the process is crucial. We will have ideas we want your thoughts on. We will have questions we need you to answer. We will send you reports which we hope you’ll study.
Whilst you won’t receive a legally binding contract as such, we will send you a purchase confirmation document which will include our terms and conditions.
Once you’ve provided the required information and paid the first installment, we’ll get started.
3. The audit
It’s important to reiterate that we won’t complete the keyword and topic research during this phase. Why? Keyword and topic research takes time. One client might only have one topic they want us to research for them, another might have 50 or more.
Before we start the audit we’ll have agreed a list of topics to research and a priority order for the research which will start in earnest after the audit and recommendations are delivered.
We’ll also discuss your options with regard to keyword rank tracking.
The audit can take anywhere between 8 and 24 hours which is largely dependent on the size of the website.
We will audit:
- the content on your website
- the website itself
- the key search engine results pages (SERPs)
- the links.
Let’s look at each of these briefly.
We will be looking to establish which content to retain as it is, which to remove or improve, and any gaps we need to plug. We’ll base these recommendations on the data you’ll have provided access to.
Whilst we won’t get into how individual pages should be optimised – there would be little sense in doing that until the keyword research for each topic is completed – we will make recommendations about how the content is structured, how it is linked internally and how individual page templates could potentially be improved.
We’ll address technical issues with questions like these. Can Google see all the content they need to see? Is it all indexed? Is the content accessible? Is it loading fast enough? Is it secure?
We’ll make some initial assessments of the key battlegrounds where we’ll be looking to compete. This will involve analysis of some of the key SERPs – most likely for the keywords or topics where you’ve directed us to prioritise our efforts – where we hope to identify opportunities.
We’ll also assess the existing presence of your brand and your competitors.
The quality and number of links to your website – i.e. your link profile – is still an important ranking factor. We’ll assess your existing profile and that of your competitors.
We’ll also make some assessments of where you could potentially earn some links.
4. The report
The report you receive from us is the end product of the audit. In fact, its the end product of the whole Discovery phase as it’s informed by the consultations too.
It will include a executive summary detailing the main findings and recommendations and will highlight all the short and long term fixes and recommendations in priority order.
Once discussed and approved these will be fed into the 12 month plan and the task list for the first quarter.
The implementation phase is next. Read on!