Setting measurable targets is vital during your SEO project. Usually SEO agencies deliver weekly or monthly reports on,
- Backlinks that they created for the week/month
- Changes made to your website pages
- Details of added content to your website
- Changes in current ranks for target keywords
- Updates to social media
Even everything on such reports are important for you, it is better to give more attention to the changes on your ranks for target keywords. If there are any improvements on ranks that is a good sign of the progress. If there are any decrements on ranks – You should question your SEO consultant to explain the reason. Sometimes, in the middle of the project, your ranks may drop down and may not be on a stable position which is called “Google Dance”. Anyhow, by getting more backlinks and keep on improving optimization, ranks can be improved to better and stable positions.
You may find it difficult to translate/understand the delivered report if the reports are not user-friendly and with lots of technical things. In that case, you should ask for explanation and get better understanding on what is delivered and make sure that your project is moving forward with positive impact.
It may take about one to two months to get your website to listed for your target keywords. For some keywords it may take more time, all it depends on competition. Anyhow, if you notice there is a rank drop and no more improvements for few months, you should contact your consultant and discuss on what to do next to take the project forward. On such case, you may hold on paying them until they improve your ranks on search engine results.