Many business owners know the importance of search engine optimisation (SEO). It is the process of improving organic web traffic by optimising their website’s performance on search engines. In most cases, businesses need to hire SEO agency to help them improve their visibility to search engines. Like most other marketing methods, SEO evolves rapidly. Therefore, companies need to invest in it constantly to enjoy the many benefits it brings to their businesses.
There are numerous SEO agencies, and finding a good one can be daunting. However, if you follow these simple tips, you will find the ideal SEO agency each time.
Set a Clear Goal Before you Start Searching
You do not need any technical knowledge to find an SEO agency. All you need is to figure out your objectives for outsourcing SEO services. If you have chosen to take the SEO route, you might have one or more of the following objectives in mind:
- Increasing traffic from search engines to your website
- Boost online sales
- Improve lead generation
- Improve your brand image
- Engage more users
- Reputation management
- Implementing targetted marketing
- Improve customer experience
When you hire an SEO agency, you can use a combination of these goals to judge how well you are doing.
1. Evaluate and Compare Several SEO Providers
Before you hire a provider, you need to understand your options. You can know the kind of SEO agencies available by conducting research. Find out the services you can get from several SEO agencies to determine the industry norms.
Market research will help you to separate professional agencies from average ones. You will also be able to know the agencies that provide good value for your money. Sometimes, established SEO agencies could charge you a premium based on name recognition but under-deliver
2. How Much Experience Does the Agency Have?
The history of an SEO agency is key to understanding who they are. You can tell a company’s ability to deliver based on its history and customer relationship.
You can get a company’s performance by checking their website and asking about their previous campaigns. Root out unwanted companies by looking at their body of work.
3. Check References and Reviews
When you are sure that a company can deliver the services you need, it’s time to learn what other people think of them. If a company has multiple reviews from its previous customers, you can make a reliable opinion about whether you should hire it.
4. Check how well you get along with their communication team
You can tell what type of experience to expect from an SEO agency based on your interactions with it. Get in touch with the company to judge if it understands your goals and can deliver upon them. Furthermore, if they can give you the right answers, they likely know how to fulfill your needs.
5. Identify Which Techniques the Agency Employs
One of the best ways to judge how effective a company will be at SEO is its key performance indicators. Even if the company cannot share its previous performance because of confidentiality, it can still demonstrate its ability to deliver by guiding you about the techniques they use.
6. Ask for Referral from Businesses that have used SEO Agencies
Sometimes you don’t have to spend a lot of time finding an ideal SEO agency. You could spend this time contacting businesses that have hired SEO companies before. The experience of these companies could help you cut many hours from the search for an SEO agency.
7. How much are you Prepared to Spend?
Budgeting is a critical part of any marketing effort. It helps you to decide which companies you can work with and the services to expect from them.
Even if your budget is not substantial, you can still find companies that provide excellent SEO services without blowing your budget. You can even help an SEO agency out by signing up for free services like Google Analytics that can help them determine what your business needs.
8. Always get a written agreement
The agreement should detail the services offered, how much they cost, and when the payment is due. The written contract protects both you and the agency and provides you with solutions if things go sideways. It is a great way to keep the SEO agency honest and deliver specific milestones so that your campaign goes as planned.
9. Maintain regular communication
Keeping in touch with the SEO agency ensures they meet your targets.
Do not make the mistake of hiring an SEO agency and letting them conduct the marketing campaign without updating you on their progress. If you fail to maintain contact with them, any problems they encounter might cause delays in your project. In the worst case, they might deviate from your plans. The only way to ensure you get the most out of your investment is to keep a close eye on the project.
10. Understand what a reasonable timeline looks like
The proliferation of SEO agencies has turned them into a service you can take for granted. Unfortunately, this increased number has also made it harder to find an agency that will deliver within reasonable timeframes.
Although it makes little sense to expect a new marketing campaign to deliver results within days, it shouldn’t take a year either. The amount of time to wait for results varies depending on your marketing strategy. However, you should wait for at least a couple of weeks to a few months to notice any improvement in your organic traffic.
11. Don’t Choose an Agency Based on Price alone
Before I begin, let me reiterate that price is important. The amount you will need to hire an SEO agency depends on your industry and the services you need. It also indicates the quality of service you should expect. You will undoubtedly encounter cheap agencies that deliver sub-par results.
Before choosing the cheapest quote, consider other offers and what you will gain by spending more on them.
Warning Signs of Bad SEO Agencies
The sheer number of SEO agencies has increased the probability of coming across a bad one. However, you are not completely defenceless in your search, so long as you look for the tell-tale signs that the agency is not dependable. Remember that hiring a bad agency can do more harm to your business than not hiring one. Here are some of the prominent warning signs that you should not go into business with an SEO agency.
Be Wary of Companies Promising the Moon and Stars
Of course, you want to increase your online visibility when you hire an SEO agency. However, avoid being fooled by offers that seem too good to be true. If a company comes promising you that they will triple your organic traffic in two months, turn around and run!
SEO is a long-term process, and few companies can guarantee that you will top the search engine results page (SERP) within a month or two. Remember that search engines frequently tweak their algorithms to favour certain things over others. They are too complex to figure out within a short time. Companies that get to the top of SERPs organically have taken the time and a lot of effort. Furthermore, even those that get to the top cannot remain there indefinitely.
Companies With Weak Strategies
If you hire an SEO agency, it needs to prove that its strategies work. One of the ways they can prove that is to have a website and content that does well in organic search performance.
Generally, a good SEO agency has an easy-to-navigate website with regularly updated content.
An SEO agency should be dedicated to providing services to its clients. Steer clear of companies that appear to be freelancers’ side hustle for earning a few extra bucks.
Before you pull the trigger and hire a company, send them a few emails to see how responsive they are and how well they understand your needs. If they seem disorganised and communicate poorly, walk out and start seeking a different agency.
Keep an eye out for Black hat SEO Techniques
As mentioned before, an SEO company can decrease your visibility online. This is the exact opposite of what you’d want when you hire an SEO company. How do you determine if a company uses legitimate SEO methods? The first thing you should do is find out what black hat SEO tactics entail.
Black hat SEO is the practice of increasing a website’s online performance without following search engine guidelines. Black hat SEO is also called spamdexing and includes actions like keyword stuffing, cloaking, sneaky redirects, poor quality content etc. There are numerous ways unscrupulous people can try to boost search results, and to learn about them can help you avoid black hat SEO tactics.
Despite the many SEO agencies available online, finding one does not need to be a game. The best defence against bad agencies is educating yourself about what you need to avoid. But any amount of education you receive cannot surpass the value of real life experience, which is necessary to have to make a better judgment for choosing the best SEO agency.
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