Picking a full-time SEO agency can be tasking – selecting a good one is even more challenging for a typical business owner.
These days, there are hundreds and thousands of SEO agencies out there, and every one of them is good for something. If a wrong or an inexperienced SEO company is hired, you may fail to see any fruitful results in the search engine ranking in two or more years.
Hence, your question should be, “How do I choose the right SEO Agency for me.”
Fortunately, I will also show you to avoid choosing the wrong SEO Agency that is not relevant to growing your business and achieving your business goal.
Benefits of hiring the right SEO Agency
When you hire the right SEO company for your business, these are some of the benefits you stand to gain:
- Improved ranking on search engine result pages (SERP) resulting in increased brand awareness
- You will have more time to build and focus on your business
- You will have an improved website and a better user experience resulting in higher conversion
Red flags you should look out for
Some SEO agencies often make claims and promises that are good to be true. This should always raise a red flag whenever you notice these claims. If you see any of the following sign lists below, it is a red flag, and you should look for another SEO company:
- Rankings on search engine guarantee: Any SEO company that promises to rank your site in little time does not understand how Search Algorithm works. Ensure you discover the fine print of such performance guarantee and specifically which phrases or keywords they guarantee their Search Engine Optimisation performance against – particularly with broad competitive words. You should see that you cannot speed up the entire process. A website needs to earn authority and trust over time.
- Underpriced or overprice services: if the SEO company provides you with a low quote, there is a high possibility that you will receive a low quality work. If you are provided with a high quote, they are not an aware commercial agency. This is why it is important to choose an SEO company with a good reputation and experience in the SEO industry.
- Several search engine submissions: submitting your site to several search engines other than the major search engines is a total waste of time.
- Copyright request to SEO and metadata: You should avoid contracting the services of an SEO company that wants to retain copyright to any metadata created, edited, and analysed for you.
Other red flags to look at includes:
- Claiming to know someone at Google and Google partner
- Can’t provide referrals, previous clients, and current client
- Assuring you that your site will rank at the top page in one week or less.
- Does not want to disclose their SEO process and knowledge (uses SEO terminologies that’s hard to understand)
- Assuring you that Google will index your site in two days
List Of Questions To Ask Your Next SEO Agency
Before choosing an agency from a list of numerous SEO agencies, ensure that you check out the agency’s review. Yes, I mean all the customer testimonials if you can. If you notice that many people have had issues with them in the past, then that is a sign that something is wrong.
They must have a track record of success in your particular industry. Why? Because each industry has different customer expectations and challenges.
It is also vital for you to ask these questions:
What is in my current contract? You must read what it includes and excludes.
How is the process to cancel?
How often will we communicate? Constant communication is an essential part of any SEO & Digital marketing campaign. You must know what is always happening in the campaign.
What is the reporting process?
What will you need from me? You may feel alright to leave all the SEO activities to the agency, but you will begin to see better results when you provide them with more input.
Will I have complete access to my site and Analytics/Adwords account? It is essential to know who has CMS access, Analytics access, FTP access, or Adwords account.
Do I own my website? Some SEO agencies have a website ownership clause attached to their contracts. Some may build a “free website” for you, but you will lose all rights to it if you leave your contract early – Any reputable agency does not do this.
Have you done work for companies like mine? This is very important. Since different industries have different SEO requirements, you will need to find an SEO company that knows your industry’s ins and outs.
What options, contracts, or marketing budgets are available?
What type of payment and fee do they offer? Ensure that you know every aspect of how you will pay for the SEO services you will get. Or else, your work may be withheld because “you did not pay.”
How will keywords be chosen?
Besides SEO, what is your Digital Marketing experience?
Will most of the work be done by the in-house team? These days, some agencies outsource some of their SEO work. It would be best if you understood when these works are being outsourced, the SEO company will have little control and accountability over your results.
Understand your goals and budget
When it comes to your goals, discover the service that any reputable agency will be offering to you. Does it align with your goals and your business model? This helps in narrowing down your search and singling out the right agency for your need.
And as for the budget, it is best to consider it before hiring an SEO company. It would help if you concluded on how much you are will to invest. Also, it would be best if you inquired about the SEO package that falls into your budget.
Setting The Right Expectations (setting KPI’s or targets quarterly, bi-annual, and annually)
You can set the right expectation by tracking your businesses key performance indicators (KPI) quarterly, bi-annual, or annually. This depends on the agreement(contract) you have with the prospective SEO agencies.
These are some crucial KPIs you need to track to determine how the agency is going about with your SEO strategy:
- Organic search traffic
- Search visibility
- Search ranking
- Click through rates (CTR)
- Cost per click (CPC)
- Bounce rate
- Average session duration
- Return on Investment (ROI)
- Unique keyword
- Lead or Conversions
- Conversion Rate
- Page load time
- Page session
- Crawl errors
- Top exit page
You have seen how SEO is vital to your business goal and something you should not overlook as one of that technical stuff. The earlier you begin, the better for the long term success of your business.
We have also seen why you need to pick the right SEO company for your business. You need to select the agency with experience working with similar companies and is readily available to answer all your inquiries on an SEO strategy and their SEO process.
Always look out for agencies that make false claims and isn’t willing to communicate openly with you; they are not the right one for you and your business.
Remember that road to obtaining SEO success is a long one – do well to select an open, relevant, and informed agency.