I recently saw this question asked on LinkedIn and thought it would make for a great post.
The person who posted was asking, is it to hide actual work done?
I can’t speak for other seo companies, but there is a lot of activity that goes on behind the scenes that clients never see. Unlike PPC where one can practically see in an instant what is happening, organic efforts take time to be seen in the search results.
When you go out and acquire links from quality sites, that takes time. Researching the potential websites where it makes sense to get links from can be extremely time consuming.
If you are utilizing an optimized press release strategy, that takes time to create the copy in a way that tells a compelling story that will benefit the reader while also providing some seo help by focusing on the keywords the site wants to get ranked for.
What about social campaigns? It takes time to think of an idea that provides incentives for people to “like” your page or follow you on Twitter. Then you have to activate the campaign, track and measure activity, and then look at the analytics to see the impact each effort provided.
Throw in the need to look at keyword rankings and how the visitors navigated through the site to set up the next set of objectives is extremely time consuming when properly executed.
This doesn’t even cover other possible activities such as a seo audit of the site itself, or just doing a check on inbound links. There may even be coding recommendations that need to be implemented. That documented takes time to create and then followed up on to make sure it was updated properly.
So, for that person who thinks that no actual work gets done and that weekly reports are the answer to accountability, that poor company who has to produce them probably spend more time generating the report instead of delivering results.