SEO has proven to be one of the top marketing strategies, which explains why all your competitors are using it. So, it makes sense that you’re finally ready to get on the organic search bandwagon and escalate your business.
But although the benefits of SEO are clear and tangible…
Mastering it as a strategy while you improve your service and handle other business operations often turns out to be impossible.
So, you find yourself forced to outsource your SEO to an agency.
In a perfect world:
All you need to do is find a local SEO partner and pay them to handle everything while you go with your day.
But in reality:
The process is more complicated as you have to invest time, money, and mental energy once you’ve made the hiring decision. An SEO contract is a long-term commitment with many ups and downs. And you don’t want to have any regrets later on.
That’s why we created this guide to help you hire the right SEO agency for your brand.
What is an SEO Agency?
Before we answer that question, you first need to understand what SEO is.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of getting a website to rank higher on search engines such as Google and Bing. Through that, businesses can attract highly-targeted prospects and convert them into customers.
While SEO may seem like a walk in the park, getting to the top of Google involves a lot of time, effort, and expertise. There is both on page and off page SEO along with technical SEO to keep up with.
That’s when an SEO agency comes into play.
An SEO partner helps your business gain authority in the SERPs and claim higher rankings to attract more traffic. SEOs optimize your website and content for more than 200 factors to make increase keyword rankings and traffic while ensuring you’re playing by Google’s rules.
Are SEO Agencies Worth It?
The common goal between all businesses is to grow and achieve further success.
You want your brand to reach more interested people and get them excited about your offers. You want to attract fresh leads to your business and convert them into long-lasting clients.
You want to set up a firm ground for your business so that it dominates local markets for many years to come. All that while you outperform your biggest competitors and stay at the top.
Such goals can be easily attainable with the help of an SEO agency that should set up a solid, consistent SEO strategy based on your needs.
As if that’s not enough:
Working with an SEO company saves you time to focus on more important business aspects. Instead of learning SEO from the basics, you can partner with an SEO company to achieve your desired results and beyond.
How Will An SEO Agency Help You?
As we said earlier, SEO is an marketing field with many technicalities and more than 200 factors to optimize for. It’s a science that keeps changing as search engines adapt better to human behavior and improve the user experience via algorithm updates.
In this part:
We’ll cover the main services an SEO agency can help you with. You may notice that some key aspects of SEO often overlap — leading to the same end goal.
As part of ensuring a terrific user experience, Google wants you to publish quality content that’s clearly valuable to prospective clients. So, that makes content quality one of the top ranking factors for SEO.
Hence the popular saying:
Content is king.
In simple terms, you have to consistently publish a lot of informational content to get Google’s attention.
But now you may be wondering:
Why would I need an SEO agency if I already have the industry knowledge?
Content marketing goes beyond putting words on a page. Publishing high-quality content requires lots of SEO optimization — which includes keywords, internal linking, proper on-page structuring, etc.
On top of that:
You also have to ensure that your site has no duplicate pages, keywords cannibalization, or decaying content. All of which are difficult problems your SEO agency will help you solve.
On-page SEO involves optimizing many page elements — such as the URL, title tags, meta description, page headers, and more. Which you can improve before publishing to make your site more attractive to search engines.
Without prior knowledge of SEO, it’s impossible to keep up with all these page elements every time you publish a new page. It gets even worse when you have dozens of unoptimized, live pages not performing well on Google.
Some of the basic duties an SEO company will handle for you are:
- Analyzing and removing all duplicate content
- Optimizing all pages for relevant keywords
- Optimizing images for quick loading
- Creating a robust internal linking structure
- Improving copywriting and text readability
See all those internal elements you had to optimize on your website?
Those are just the first part. Because as it turns out…
There’s a whole other list of factors you have to optimize for from the outside. These off-page SEO elements will enhance your brand reputation — which further improves your rankings and authority.
The most important off-page SEO practices to outsource to an SEO agency include:
- Link building (and not link buying)
- Guest posting on credible, industry-related sites
- Social media management (multiple platforms)
- Building strategic partnerships
- Creating shareable infographics and videos
- Launching PR campaigns
Local SEO is the sub-segment of SEO that focuses on local traffic and rankings. It’s a more efficient way to escape intense competition and get your share of the local market without much hassle.
With local SEO, you don’t have to be the top law firm in the whole state to get enough clients. Instead, your brand can thrive on local customers and make its way to the top from there
Your SEO partner will help you:
- Create and optimize your Google My Business profile
- Develop a local content focused on attracting nearby customers
- Inspect and optimize NAP citations
- Research the best local keywords and use them strategically
- Analyze local competition and identify gaps in the market
- Gather positive reviews from local clients
- Build local links and improve your backlink profile
Why would an SEO company offer web design services? You might ask.
Because user experience is one of the top-ranking factors for SEO. And there are specific aspects of your site design that will directly affect SEO performance.
An SEO agency will help you create a user-friendly website that loads fast and delivers a superb user experience on any device.
That can be broken down into the following:
- Branding and design (logo, fonts, typography, colors)
- Web page structure
- Site architecture and navigation
- Core Web Vitals
- Page loading speed
How to Find The Best SEO Company For Your Business?
Finding the right SEO partner could mean the difference between life and death for your business.
Many SEO companies will tell you what you want to hear and over-promise just to get into your pockets. But when it comes to results, these agencies couldn’t be less efficient.
Avoid an SEO agency if it promises any of the following:
- Guaranteed rankings
- Instant results (days, weeks, or a few months)
- Early traffic forecasts
- Specific metrics for monthly leads and customers
A reputable SEO agency helps you set realistic objectives, then delivers on them consistently through a detailed plan.
Aside from that:
You want to find an agency that you can trust with your business plan and future objectives.
You’ll also be putting your reputation on the line, so you must ensure that the outsourced SEO company won’t use any blackhat techniques that will put your company at risk.
A reliable SEO agency is one that’s cost-effective and upfront on the expenses from the start. Meaning, you won’t exhaust your budget on expensive services while your business is still struggling to land new clients.
7 Questions to Ask Before Hiring an SEO Agency
Having some positive reviews and success stories online is often a key indicator of the company’s reputation. You don’t want to be the first one to try a new SEO agency and risk your time and resources.
Before hiring an SEO partner, ask yourself the following questions:
- What type of contract does the company offer? Do they have multiple options available?
- Does the agency specialize in my industry? Do they have proof of concept?
- What’s the cancellation policy? If I cancel, will I be penalized by losing my ownership rights and budget?
- How is the customer service based on online reviews? What’s the quality of communication?
- Do I own my website? And do I get access to my analytics accounts?
- Which SEO plan should I go with? And what are my payment options?
Wrapping It Up
Outsourcing your SEO to the right company helps you edge out all the competition while you focus on improving your products and services.
It’s quite common for business owners to hire the wrong company and waste their time and resources.
To make an informed hiring decision, start by learning more about SEO companies and the services they offer. Then, ask yourself a set of questions to know if each agency is a good fit for your business.
Looking to hire an SEO agency with proven results in your industry?