Second Opinion SEO

We have an existing SEO team, would it make sense to get a second opinion?

A phrase that often pop ups amid SEO circles is “it depends”. This refers to some of the varying opinions you may hear regarding certain SEO activities and how it may impact on traffic and revenue. 

While there are some clear SEO truths and best practices, there are various methods and potential outcomes of certain activities depending on the wider context. For example, a venture to noindex or delete lots of low-performing pages to clean up your site may be discouraged from Google’s point of view, though there are plenty of reasons why this could make sense and improve performance if the data suggests so.

Depending on the size and seniority of your SEO team, it might not hurt to get a second opinion on certain activities. This might not apply to everyday optimisations such as content refreshment or structured data implementation, but may be relevant for bigger potential SEO changes that might have a larger repercussion on your business. Examples may include site migrations, expanding to the global market, or budget allocation on link building.

The SEO community is very active and thriving, often offering advice and opinions on what to do in certain situations without obligation. Encouraging your marketing team to get involved in some of these conversations and gathering up second opinions on some of the bigger decisions would be a wise move.  

Can you review without alerting our current SEO agency or team?

As a business owner you are very much within your right to review SEO activities you want a second opinion on. Most agency agreements won’t have exclusivity clauses in their contracts (if they do, take care to avoid these) so there won’t be any issues in reaching out to other suitors or practitioners in the field even if it is for advice. 

The best way to handle this however, whether it’s with an SEO agency or an in-house team, is to be as forthcoming and transparent as possible. Reviewing the SEO activities your team are working on isn’t undermining their work as long as you’re upfront and honest in your intentions; indeed it can be used as a way to show interest and build a better understanding and relationship with SEO as a practice.

If you are repeatedly consulting a third-party for opinions and then second guessing the work your team is doing then this may harbour an atmosphere of distrust and low morale. Instead, be upfront if you’re looking for second opinions elsewhere and frame it in a way in which you’re onboard with the SEO programme and want to ensure the best success for everyone as well as the business.  

How do I approach the subject of second opinions to our current SEO team?

A good SEO team should always have a sprinkling of foolproofing and caution when it comes to embarking on major activities. This isn’t to say they should always be second guessing themselves, but SEO as a practice is always moving forward and there aren’t often simple yes and no answers for a lot of activities. 

With that in mind, if you are embarking on a major change within your business from an SEO standpoint and your team are going through the process of strategising, debating and gathering opinions on how to proceed, outsider opinions may even be welcome. 

Objective third-party opinions from a body outside the cut of thrust of your business operation may offer an opinion that hasn’t yet been considered, or may validate an approach that has already been discussed. Getting in additional professional opinion in the form of a consultant or otherwise, whether it’s for a major site change or even a rebrand, is a sensible thing to consider if you’re stuck on how to proceed. Just ensure you’re being as transparent and involving as much as possible with your SEO and marketing teams.

What is useful data to get a second opinion on?

When it comes to data from an SEO perspective, additional opinions can help consolidate your objectives to ensure your team are on the right track.

Any major change or undertaking is worth a second opinion, though one that stands out could be any fresh content strategy that you’re looking to launch. Of course, your marketing and SEO teams will have done all the relevant number crunching and competitor analysis to inform this, though it can often help to get a second opinion from a focus group or target consumer to make sure the strategy is on point. 

Further down the funnel, you may also want additional insights on your analytics data, in particular your conversions. The further you get into a strategy or approach of working, the further you may not see the wood from the trees in terms of areas such as gaps in your analytics setup, or how certain pieces of content are performing. There may be a blog post that is revered due to its generating of lots of traffic, but this may disguise shortcomings in its actual lead gen ability. A second opinion may be able to spot such things to help you and your team pivot where necessary. 

Is it worth having two SEO agencies work on the same website?

Having multiple SEO agencies or teams working on one business or website is a relatively common occurrence, particularly when it comes to enterprise business. Global businesses with setups and offices worldwide will often operate under some degree of devolution in terms of the agencies they use and the approach they take, although “global” structures and strategies may exist at the same time.

A common pitfall in this department is the siloing of multiple agencies in their workflows, which can end up with them competing with each other and duplicating work. This can be a very costly and unproductive approach. 

If you’re managing more than one agency on your website, take steps to make sure they have a clear remit separate to each other and are in continuous communication over work being done, findings, as well as wins or losses. It may be inherent for agencies to try and compete against each other, though it doesn’t need to be like this. Set clear boundaries on this early on and encourage a collaborative environment.  

Overall, having more input and additional eyes on your business from an SEO standpoint will give you extra insights and managed well, can be a huge benefit.

Second Opinion SEO Case Study

Global computer hardware brand brings in secondary SEO agency to cover APAC market expansion.

Problem: A fast growing computer hardware company with a large footprint in the US owed a lot of its organic success to a well-appointed US SEO agency. However, it felt there was a ceiling in terms of growth, with the agency struggling to strategize for the APAC region. This was where the business wanted to expand digitally.

Solution: Instead of stretching their existing agency’s resources into an unfamiliar market, an APAC-based specialist SEO agency, that knew markets such as Japan, South Korea and China very well in terms of digital marketing and consumer nuances, was appointed to grow their ecommerce offering overseas. The agency was able to consult to ensure that the language variants of the website were localised correctly, were relevant to target consumers in the market and helped them gain footprints on digital platforms that they weren’t familiar with. 

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