We make the business decision of choosing an SEO agency by answering a few key questions.
There’s no escaping the fact that SEO has garnered a negative reputation over the years for not being “trustworthy”, but we’ve seen that the benefits of SEO are plentiful – especially if you have the right team of SEO wizards at your disposal.
You now have a good understanding of what SEO is and why it’s important, but for whatever reason, putting this into practice may not be as straightforward.
If you don’t have an in-house SEO team, or simply don’t have the time – how do you go about choosing the right SEO agency that’ll help boost your rankings?
In this section, we’ll make this business decision easier for you by looking at the key questions you should ask yourself as well as highlight the pitfalls and common mistakes to avoid when choosing the right SEO agency.
Do They Cover All Bases?
There are a lot of moving pieces when it comes to SEO – content, links, technical, design etc. A great SEO company will not only have brilliant strategists, but also:
- A team of content writers who create strong pieces of content that targets your keywords by understanding search intent and semantics.
- A dedicated team of outreach specialists who secure links from authoritative websites within your niche.
- Tech wizards who can fine tune the website’s technical elements like site speed, structured data.
- Designers who can offer their expertise on the aesthetics of your website and create engaging content like infographics to be used as link building material.
Each of these components influence each other, so hiring an agency that synergises every aspect of SEO and is able to follow through on them is vital to an SEO campaign.
Are They A Leader, or a Follower?
There are hundreds of SEO agencies out there who have the basics covered down to a tee, but very few are actively pushing the boundaries and thinking outside the box with their innovative strategies.
SEO is all about problem solving – the top SEO agencies are the ones who are bold enough to experiment with the ways they rank their clients. But how can you tell if an agency is the real deal?
- Are they associating themselves with other leading members of the SEO community
- Are they actively contributing to the SEO community by speaking at or even holding their own conferences and networking events?
- Do they have a research and development division that runs and tests future-proof strategies that are proactive as opposed to reactive?
How do They Operate?
What do we mean by this? Well, the best SEO agencies will invest in and even build their own SEO software tools to provide better value and insight to their SEO campaigns. Tools like Ahrefs, SItebulb, SurferSEO are pivotal to a campaign as they enable us to analyse lots of data which influences strategy.
At SUSO we use a range of SEO tools (some of which we’ll walk you through in this course) but have also invested in our own in-house software we call The SEO Zone which helps us to streamline how we track progress, analyse websites and manage campaigns.
Software tools are great, but another key factor to consider when choosing an SEO company is their processes. Whether it’s communication and reporting or how they build their links and conduct a technical audit, an SEO company’s processes define its quality as a service.
Are They Transparent?
This one’s pretty big. There are countless SEO companies that over-promise and under-deliver; this doesn’t just apply to results, but also on what the service entails. Therefore, it’s very important that realistic expectations are set when it comes to your goals, but also, that you know exactly what you’re paying for.
- What deliverables are included within the service and when can you expect them? Core deliverables include Keyword Research, Backlink Audits, On-Site Audits, Technical On-Site Audit, Monthly Reports, Links, CRO Audits, Local SEO Audits (for local campaigns) etc.
- What’s included in reports and how often are they sent?
- What metrics are they tracking? – there’s no point getting ranking results for keywords with zero search volume.
- How are links being built? – if they avoid answering this, then they’re most likely securing links in a way that is against Google’s guidelines and could potentially be harmful to your website
- Does their website include case studies and testimonials from past clients?
- Are they happy for you to reach out to existing clients about their experience with the agency?
- When should we expect to see results? – it’s important to understand that there is no guarantee as to when (and even if) you will see results, so look for SEOs who set realistic timeframes for this. Six months is when our clients’ start to reap the rewards for the foundations we build during the initial stages of the campaign.