Given the fact that so much depends on making the right choice when considering a Search Engine Optimization Agency, you would be well advised to use a systematic and thorough approach before deciding on any specific agency. If you do it right and choose the right company to work with, you might enjoy significantly increased Google rankings, which means much more traffic for your website, and probably an increase in conversion rates as well.
On the other hand, if you make a poor choice, you might see no benefits whatsoever to your company, and you will still have to pay the agency which didn’t achieve much of anything for you. Before you lock into a contract with any specific Search Engine Optimization Agency, use some of the following recommendations to help you choose the best possible partner.
Avoid Agencies That Play Up the Mystique of SEO
Search engine optimization is not a big mystery, and there are known principles that can help you achieve all the goals and objectives you have in mind. All that’s required is a good understanding of how search engines work, paying attention to the details which those search engines are looking for, and regular updating which keeps you in sync with changing Google algorithms. Any agency which recommends shortcuts such as keyword stuffing or purchasing links should be avoided, because chances are these practices will only downgrade your search engine rankings.
Be as Specific as Possible about your Goals
It’s not enough to have a vague goal in mind when you’re searching for an SEO agency, for instance simply ‘increasing organic traffic’. You’d be much better off consulting with your in-house team to come up with some very specific goals which will tell an agency what you’re trying to achieve with SEO. For instance, you may want to reduce the bounce rate on your website or increase the conversion rate.
You may want to target a smaller audience that spends more time on your website. Another possible goal might be to help build up a social media following, or to create additional sponsored content. The more specific you can be with the goals and objectives you’re trying to achieve, the better chance you will have of collaborating with an agency that can produce measurable results.
Rely on Word-of-mouth and Local Businesses
It is usually a mistake to look for the best SEO agencies using their own Google ranking to rate them as contenders. For the most part, these kinds of specialist agencies are too involved with helping clients to achieve their goals than to allocate much time to optimize their own websites. Generally speaking, the best SEO agencies have plenty of long-term customers which have referred colleagues to the same agency because they have been great at achieving results.
Word-of-mouth tends to be much more effective in becoming a well-known agency than any advertising a firm might do in an effort to acquire new customers. That means if you were to conduct a search for the best SEO agency, you probably wouldn’t get results any more reliable than looking for the ‘best restaurants in Los Angeles’.
The truth is that the best way to find a really good SEO agency is still by the tried-and-true method of word-of-mouth advertising. This means before trying to do any kind of online search for a company to work with, you should simply poll all your colleagues to find out which agency they would recommend. It will be especially useful to consult with colleagues who are in the same industry or business which you are in because the results will be more applicable.
Choose a Search Engine Optimization Agency that Uses Appropriate Metrics
After you have clearly identified your goals and objectives with SEO, and you have narrowed down your list of agency candidates to a few, it’s time to find out how some of these companies might help you. Make sure that any real contenders are on the same page as you in measuring key performance indicators that will be meaningful to your business.
As an example, any company with a brand-new product line will have many different objectives than a company that has been around for ages and has an established line of products and customers. Keep in mind that there is literally a flood of data available now which can be analyzed to help improve your business, but you have to know which data is most meaningful to your company so it can be measured effectively.
It won’t do you any good to ally yourself with an agency that measures KPIs that have no real relevance to your business. Most likely you’ll want to measure the number of users who visit your website after having used it in organic search. However, after this, the field is wide open in terms of other metrics you might use.
For instance, the conversion rate might be especially important to you, or which keyword rankings have increased since hiring a Search Engine Optimization agency. Page load time is another important metric you might want to include because there’s a direct association between loading time and how quickly users will abandon your website. You should have a clear idea of which kind of statistics you want to analyze and monitor in order to evaluate any progress you might be making.
Choose a Good Communicator
One of the most important qualifications of any good SEO agency is that they are capable of communicating with you and your team consistently and meaningfully. This will allow you to build up trust with the agency you choose because you will have confidence that they are providing meaningful analysis on all the data which is being collected.
You should be aware that since SEO is an ongoing process, it’s entirely possible that you might be affiliated with your chosen agency for several years into the future. That means you should choose a firm with which you can have a good rapport with, and that you would be comfortable working with for the long haul.