Search Engine Optimization or SEO has revolutionized the way companies do things online. It is the most important form of marketing in the online world. A successful SEO campaign influences the reputation and promotion of a business. There are many benefits of leveraging SEO to grow your business, especially if you are running an online business. However, creating your own SEO team is not always affordable or the best decision for your business. This is where SEO agencies come into place. An SEO agency has a team of SEO experts who are committed to providing businesses with the services needed to boost their online presence and for managing the brand image online. If your company has received bad reviews or press online, then it is crucial to hire an SEO agency to help your business improve its online image.
More and more businesses have started to hire the services of an SEO agency to ensure that they are better prepared to deal with online traffic. Whatever your goal might be for hiring the SEO agency, one thing is definite and that is the fact that the SEO agency can help you achieve whatever you want online. But, as there are many SEO agencies that are dominating the market, it is important that you hire the right agency to help your business. Online marketing heavily focuses on the importance of SEO and that is why you need to make sure that you ask the right questions to determine which SEO agency to hire. Keep in mind that hiring an SEO agency to work for your business is the same as hiring any other person for different services. The key to hiring the best SEO agency is asking the right questions. Never make the mistake of hiring a company just based on the promises made. You need to determine whether hiring a company is the best decision. The following 16 points will help you hire the best SEO agency in order to take your business to the next level.
- Case Studies & Success Stories
Anyone can easily claim to be running a professional SEO agency. This is why you need to check the history and background of the SEO agency to determine if what is claimed is in fact legitimate. A great way to find out the best SEO agency is by asking the agency to provide you with examples of the work done such as reports which prove that online traffic increased after the agency was hired by a business. After you have gone over the examples provided, do a quick Google Search to determine if the websites provided have a good Google Search Engine ranking. Avoid hiring an agency that has does not have any examples of past clients whose websites rank high.
- Determine If Black Hat Practices Are Used By the Agency
Another important point that you should consider is if the SEO agency uses any black hat practice. There are some SEO agencies which are a scam and only use black hat practices for achieving higher rankings. In the beginning, you might find the results to be appealing, but later on those websites would be punished or rather removed from the search engine results altogether. Hence, it is important that only the agency which makes use of white hat methods is hired. A great way to find out if the agency is legitimate is by asking the agency for a detailed list of what would be done on the website.
- Success Cannot Be Instantly Achieved
Many people who hire an SEO agency tend to have a misconception that the agency should provide them with instant results. SEO is more complicated than that. There are different algorithms in place which allow websites to be ranked. Only a professional SEO agency would know about this.
There is no such thing as a quick fix. It takes time for the results to show. There are some agencies which claim that they will provide you with extraordinary results within just a short period of time. This could only be further than the truth. Such statements are only made for luring unsuspecting and uninformed businesses. A lot of time and effort is required for long-term rankings that are also reliable. Only hire an SEO agency that is straightforward and tells you about the reality. A company which promises less and divers more should be hired.
- Money Is King
Although the statement “Content is king” is popular among marketers, the statement “Money is king” is the most effective. If you want to achieve the best results, then you have to spend money. If you are looking for a cheap service, you should save yourself from the trouble and not spend any money at all as you will only regret it later. Just like any other industry, there are some SEO agencies that offer services for the lowest price. However, it is such agencies that provide sub-standard service. If you want real results, you have to be willing to spend several hundred or even thousands of dollars depending on your goals.
- Focus on ROI (Return on Investment)
Return on investment is the most important factor that you should be considered. Do not focus on keyword rankings alone, but supplementary to return on investment. Avoid agencies which do not focus on ROI. Besides, would you want to rank for keywords or generate higher ROI? The answer is simple. ROI is everything. A great thing about SEO and online marketing in general is the fact that they are highly measurable. A reputable SEO agency will inform you about each conversion and from where it originates such as if the traffic generated was paid, social, organic, or neither. It all comes down to ROI. Thus, consider hiring an SEO agency that focuses on ROI the most.
- SEO Is Not Just Links
Although links are crucial, that does not mean that they are everything. Avoid SEO agencies which solely focus on establishing links and do not mention factors like content, user experience, load time, page speed, and on-page optimization. Remember, if the website takes a long time to load, offers an average mobile user experience, then an increase in traffic would not prove beneficial. A professional SEO agency should look at the big picture and not only inbound links. Links do not instantly lead to increased revenue or conversions even if they are important for gaining popularity online.
- Never Place All Investment in One Basket
It cannot be stressed enough just how important it is to invest in not just one basket. A reputable SEO agency should recommend to you how various streams of traffic can be established. Despite how successful an SEO agency might be, it can never forecast the Google search engine. This is why it is a good idea to invest money in organic ranking.
- Understand Your Target Audience & What It Requires
The key to SEO is an understanding of your target audience and what it requires. If you want to convert leads into sales, then it is important that the SEO agency you hire also understands the needs of your customers. The SEO agency should be familiar with the requirements of your client. The agency has to understand your business expectations and offer suggestions on how to best attract customers and convert them. To determine the right SEO agency, you need to identify if the SEO agency has a systematic approach to understanding the needs of your clients from the beginning.
- Creativity & Innovation Are Crucial
If you want to hire the best SEO agency, then you need hire one that offers creativity and innovation. Not every SEO agency has the ability to turn ideas into a success. If you want to target customers, you need to be unique. Nobody likes a follower. This is where creativity and innovation come into place. The service provided to you by the SEO agency must be designed in a completely unique way that stands out in the crowd.
- UX and UI
There have been significant changes in SEO due to technological developments. In the past desktop computers used to reign supreme, but now, smartphones have taken the lead. This is why you need an SEO agency that offers the best user experience and user interface. Everyone uses their phone to look up a website. Thus, your website has to be designed in such a way that makes it extremely compatible to mobile phones. The font size, image, and text should change on the smartphone to show that the website is truly tech-savvy and up to date. Furthermore, the page speed of your website should not be more than three seconds.
- Good Command on Social Media
Social media platforms like Pintrest, Tumblr, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook are there to keep in touch with friends and family. Businesses also use such platforms for promotion. This is why you need to hire an SEO agency that has excellent command on social media. It will help promote the business and boost brand loyalty.
A crucial factor that has to be considered is accountability. A professional SEO agency would take accountability for its performance. It will work diligently to ensure that all the responsibilities have been fulfilled. The agency would strive to promote the business and make sure that none of your customers face any type of inconvenience. Accountability has to be taken seriously. The SEO agency must do all it can to ensure that it meets your requirements and honestly reports to you of the developments.
- Customer Support
Another important point to consider when hiring an SEO agency is how supportive the agency is to all its customers. Never opt for a cheaper agency that does not provide efficient customer support. It is something that should never be compromised. The SEO agency should keep you updated about the progress.
Find out whether the SEO agency you want to hire regularly updates its customers on the progress made and the requirements that have been met. The agency can report you monthly, weekly, or even daily depending on the terms of the agreement between your business and the agency. It is vital to discuss the progress made periodically so that you can also assess your marketing strategy accordingly.
- Quality Is Crucial
When it comes to hiring an SEO agency, you have to ensure that the agency provides quality work. Poor quality work would only end up harming the ranking of your website and brand loyalty. The content that is published on the website has to be of great quality if you want the desired results. There are several factors that influence the quality of content on a website such as accuracy, relevancy, reliability, and authenticity. When deciding which SEO agency to hire, check if the agency can also provide you with original content. Moreover, the website has to be timely updated with quality content. There are certain free tools which can help you determine just how unique is the content on your website.
- Seek Opinions and Reviews from Colleagues and Friends
It is always a good idea to ask your colleagues and friends for their opinion. Before making the final decision of which SEO agency to hire, make sure that you have taken the reviews of your business partners, colleagues, and friends into account. Getting outside opinion will allow you to effectively evaluate which agency to hire.
- Other Services Offered
Finally, when hiring an SEO agency to serve the needs of your business, you need to consider other services offered by the agency. SEO is a continuous process. In order to get your website to rank high on Google search engine or any other search engine, you need the agency to provide your business with other services as well. Hence, you need the best SEO agency by your side. Post-optimization maintenance is a service that should be considered. It will help ensure that your website remains at the top.