Choosing the best SEO agency is vital to achieving sustainable organic business growth. This applies to not just the next 12 months but will determine your website’s success for the next few years. A robust and sustainable SEO partnership may effectively increase your sales and reduce overall advertising costs. Why pay for expensive billboards when customers can find you within seconds, through a Google search.
To help you make the right business decision, here are five 5 tips that you should think about before signing with a new SEO agency.
1. Understand that SEO is a long-term strategy, it takes time
Search engine optimisation or SEO requires in-depth knowledge and understanding about how search engines and search engine algorithms work. Furthermore, driving organic traffic into your page needs considerable time and work to accomplish.
Thus, it would be best to stay away from SEO agencies that promise excellent results within a short span. With Google’s algorithm changes occurring almost weekly, securing the top ranks from nothing within weeks or a month is merely impossible.
Also, agencies that implement shortcuts such as link buying, keyword spamming or stuffing, and cloaking may end up penalising your website. These methods are known as black hat SEO, and search engines are critical and unyielding to webpages that violate search engines’ policies.
Once crawlers discover black hat SEO in your page, you’ll lose your hard-earned rankings and organic traffic. That’s why it’s best to talk with your SEO agency and have a good idea whether or not they’re implementing legitimate and proven methods. Having your SEO agency violate search engine rules will only make you pay a high price.
2. Identify your most meaningful business goals
Most SEO agencies will most likely aim to increase organic traffic or keyword rankings. Organic traffic can come in different types; some of them don’t automatically translate into revenue. With that in mind, you want to make sure that you’re leveraging quality traffic that’s going to make a difference to your bottom-line – your revenue.
To prevent confusion, your team should plan on what you need to achieve with SEO. Consider these guide questions for short-term and long-term SEO goals:
- Do you want to boost product sales by ranking on specific keywords?
- Are you struggling to minimise webpage bounce rates and optimising conversion rate?
- Are you hoping to maximise ad revenue and reach?
- Do you prefer a wider audience reach? Or a smaller audience that spends more time on your site.
- Do you want to establish a social media following and publish sponsored content?
Therefore, whatever SEO agency you sign with, make sure that you have a clear objective in mind and that your SEO partner can deliver their services accordingly.
3. Consider SEO agencies that go by word of mouth
SEO agencies that rank first on Google SERPs are reasonable choices. However, the best local SEO agencies are widespread, even by word of mouth. Most often, the best search engine optimisation agencies have several long-term partners that may have referred other brands within their professional circle.
Moreover, if you want to excel in your local niche, signing with a local SEO agency may prove ideal. With your office and your SEO agency only a drive away, you’ll be able to closely collaborate between teams and share ideas. We all know the power of Zoom, however, nothing beats old-fashion meetings right?
That said, the most ideal way to choose the right SEO agency is by asking people within your professional circle about which agency they would recommend ━ but not your direct competitors. It will also help if you ask other companies within your niche, since any SEO agency they’ll recommend may have sufficient knowledge and experience in your field.
4. Deciding on the right SEO KPIs
After establishing a solid goal and nailing down your options to a few agencies, the next thing to make sure is that you and your SEO agency will have a clear and accurate method of keeping track of your progress. Your SEO investment won’t make sense if your team don’t understand the reports provided by your agency.
As a result, you and your SEO agency should be on the same page when choosing which Key Performance Indicators (KPI). KPIs are sets of metrics that measure relevant data for virtually all elements a company may find significant.
Moreover, tracking the right set of KPIs have considerable impacts on your SEO strategy and your projected sales itself. For instance, an eCommerce company would have different objectives than a news company. Hence, they would have unique sets of KPIs to evaluate their progress.
On the other hand, KPIs are correlated to big data ━ and the sheer number of trackable KPIs make it easy to monitor irrelevant ones. Because of that, you need an SEO agency that can scour through large amounts of data and provides you with a list of metrics that makes sense for your business. In other words, the agency can effectively translate complex information into a language you can understand.
Here are some key performance indicators that are relevant to a wide range of niche:
This is the core of all KPIs and is an essential metric for SEO. Organic traffic describes how many people visit your website using organic searches. It will help you derive related factors such as average page views, length of visit duration, number of unique visitors, and bounce rates, among others.
Another helpful KPI, particularly for eCommerce websites, is conversion rate. This helps you identify what percentage of visitors who actually purchases your products, signs up for email newsletters, or shared and engaged with your content.
Over time, keyword ranking has always been a ranking signal for search engines. That said, see if your keyword rankings have shown any improvements since you hired your SEO agency.
Google Crawl Errors
Google and other search engines deploy internet crawlers to index and rank websites depending on its content. If Google struggles to visit and read your page in the first place, it will be impossible to index and rank your site the way that it displays in the search engine results page. In other words, having several crawl errors will adversely affect your organic traffic.
Page Loading Time
People with short attention spans tend to abandon websites that take a while to load. Moreover, Google revealed that a website’s bounce rate increases up to 90% for a page load time of around one to five seconds. With that in mind, make sure your SEO agency is capable of optimising web content and design to maximise loading speed.
5. An agency that can communicate effectively
Even if you have 24/7 access to analytics tools such as Google Search Console, Google Analytics, and SEMRush, you might have too much on your hands that doing the analysis yourself merely is off the table.
For this reason, it’s important you have to look for a team of SEO specialists that don’t only relay accurate and relevant reports but also communicates them effectively and fosters trust between both parties.
Remember that search engine optimisation is a comprehensive and lengthy process, so you may need to work with your chosen SEO agency for years – not months. Besides, even if you’re only targeting short-term goals, achieving your desired SEO results requires time, patience, and a strong professional partnership.
Crafting the right SEO goals for your business is just as crucial with choosing the right SEO agency. Skimming through the first page of “best SEO agency” search results makes sense, and it is typically the first option for most brands. But finding an agency that’s tested by partner companies and experienced brands within your niche gives you the potential to expand and transform your business.
Once you’ve pinpointed your online goals, make sure that your SEO agency agrees with it and has sufficient data to evaluate how much you’ve already accomplished over time.
If you have found our tips helpful and would like to learn more, please drop us an email at [email protected] One of our experienced SEO consultants will be more than happy to discuss your project requirements.