Planning to hire an SEO agency? Wait a minute. It’s a crucial decision. If taken in haste, it can soak your budget and hit your business growth. In the hugely populated crowd of SEOs, every one claims to be the best and vouch to be the one who could bring you ranking and traffic. If you are planning to launch an SEO campaign, hiring an SEO agency is a better idea than doing by yourself.
It's not about whether you'll be able to handle campaign's technicalities or not, it's about a new business that need a professional agency to handle the campaign. Searching a right agency is indeed a tedious task, as there are a number of agencies that guarantee results. If you rely on them, you'll be at at higher risk for manual or algorithmic penalties by Google.
Why You Need An SEO Agency?
To get your project done, you have two ways to go. Either you do the campaign by yourself or hire someone full-time. Whatever the option you choose, you need to deal with its merits and demerits. Hiring full time experts is an expensive affair that requires addition resources to manage and monitor them. This is why, contracting an agency would be a far better idea than this. It's the right choice, if you're with limited budget and want full control over the process.
Top Qualities of An SEO Agency
No one can really validate those claims. These are the overrated assertions for selling their SEO packages. It holds sense that a right SEO agency can bring your website on forefront. So, before locking the deal, observe their claims wisely.
I am listing here five basic yet pertinent points about search engine optimization. While negotiating with the SEO firm, see how they are aligning with those points. Here we go:
1: Viable Claims
SEO is a time taking process. It consumes time to fetch better results. Optimization is a lengthy process that bundles several complex yet necessary activities. An ideal SEO strategy assimilates these activities together. Even after that, it may take up to few weeks to several months to get the desired outcome.
And the most important thing- There is no short cuts in SEO. You have to watch it growing gradually over time. All that it takes to bring results is sound knowledge of how search engines work, attention to every detail, and deeper insights into how Google’s algorithms change over time.
Black hat SEO techniques such as buying links, keyword stuffing, and cloaking are now obsolete. Instead of helping you, they can invite Google penalty. Now they are deemed as the sheer violation of search engines guidelines. If Google finds your website violating the quality norms, they may demote your site in their rankings. It will eventually turn into traffic drop.
2: Understanding of Your Business Goals
You may have certain aspirations to live and a few goals to achieve. Before signing off the deal, prepare a checklist of goals you want to accomplish. Setting unrealistic expectations in early stages is no brainer at all. Tell the SEO agency what exactly you need from them. Be specific. Are you looking to increase product sale? Are you seeking posturing for more visitor traffic? Or you want to accomplish anything else.
3: Recommended by Existing Clients
Almost anyone would go for Google search to find a right SEO firm. The common belief would be if an agency ranks higher, it’s a right bet. But I think it otherwise. When I have to opt for a right search engine optimization company, I trust on a company that served many hundreds clients and retained long-term customers.
I am essentially not undermining the power of the companies that are on the top of SERPs. My only observation is that I can’t blindly follow the listings that can be purchased and search rankings that could be manipulated via black hat SEO. Period…
It’s difficult to ascertain that listings showing an agency in top 3 are impartial or genuine. Instead, I mostly like to go with the real time recommendations and user reviews. Rather to sway by rankings and listings, I ask my friends, relatives and industry influencers if an agency is worth believing. It’s an added advantage if you manage to ask other businesses within your industry. Their recommendations would be an add-on as they have huge experience in the domain.
4: Understanding of Process KPIs
Once you’ve done with your business goals and shared it with a few SEO firms, it’s time to observe alignments. Track down a company that understands your needs and agree to work together to unleash your KPIs in a better way. Before signing off the deal, it’s important to that you both are agree to work on Key Performance Indicators.
These key performance indicators could be anything including the number of people visiting your website; what percentage of visitors being converted into actual buyers; which keywords do you rank for and if there are Google crawling errors exist on your website.
5: Effective and Timely Communication
Tools just present data. They don’t explain or simplify them. This means, your SEO agency should be one that could communicate you every aspect of the insight collected. Though, there are several tools available to measure your KPIs, you need an SEO specialist to explain terms in simple language. Go with an agency that works well in terms of communication and fostering trust.
Throughout a campaign, smooth communication is very important. Smooth exchange of the messages eases out the process. So, look for an agency with whom you can communicate smoothly. You need to be able to contact your SEO Company when you have a question , and they need to listen to you with proper attention. Speak with the person who is directly responsible to your project and ensure his promptness in response.
6: Updated to Latest Trends and Strategies
SEO is a constantly changing vertical that gets new updates by each passing day. So, you need to hire an SEO agency that's able to cope with the latest trends and happenings in the search engine optimization field. If an agency is still using decade old tactics that were only relevant 10 years ago, they're not going to give you any better result.
In addition to that, spammy and obsolete techniques can invite Google penalties too. That's why you should pay attention to your agancy's knowledge and skill set about latest Google updates and trends. Keep raising questions about their procedures and strategies.
7. Vertical Knowledge
An agency should have experience in multiple areas of digital marketing. They should equally be specialized in various facets of SEO such as on-site content writing, on-site optimization, and link building. Since SEO is a complex strategy, an agency should have knowledge of the other significant SEO verticals as well.
While choosing an SEO agency, consider their transparency quotient. This should be the most important quality to look for. An agency should be open about the strategies and processes they follow. Ask the agency if they are open about how they do their work or how honest they are about any risks or setbacks that might be involved during the execution.
Tarun Gupta, CEO of Brainpulse Technologies, is a prolific author and digital marketing specialist. His insightful writings span SEO, content marketing, social media strategy, and email campaigns, offering invaluable expertise to businesses worldwide. Tarun’s contributions continue to shape the digital marketing landscape, guiding success in multiple niches.