5 things you should expect from your SEO agency
Nowadays, it might seem like every single business in existence has a website. With so much online competition, it can be difficult to stand out from the crowd and have your content get the attention it deserves. Having an invisible website is an unfortunate reality of many online businesses, but this situation can be remedied when working with a good SEO agency.
Understanding and correctly implementing SEO is an essential investment to the visibility, reach and success of your company. But what can you expect when working with an SEO agency?
Finding a reputable and trustworthy firm shouldn’t be hard, and with the help of our article, you’ll know exactly what to expect from one.
Here are 5 essentials to look for when choosing an SEO agency
1- Face to face meetings
We’re starting with the point that communication is essential to how effective your SEO strategy comes across. Communication by way of e-mail is fine for certain things, but it is important to work with an agency who also privileges open, face to face communication. This type of communication will help foster a comfortable and positive environment between your business and your agency. Although a conference call can suffice, it’s ideal to meet in real life to ensure that your agency has the best possible understanding of the work you need completed.
If the agency you choose is in another part of the country, it’s important for meetings to occur throughout the time of your work together to keep both parties in the loop about which discussing areas that may need improvement. Bear in mind that an SEO agency will be highly skilled in SEO, but they may require a little bit of background in relation to the marketplace you’re targeting. An excellent agency will want to talk with you about what you’re looking for and work alongside you throughout the process. If you are in talks with several agencies and find a few are keeping to themselves, make sure to take stock of this. Lack of communication or none whatsoever is a bad sign.
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2- Monthly check-in
As we mentioned in our first point, communication is fundamental to the success of working with an SEO agency. Not only are face to face meetings with your agency essential, it is important to schedule a monthly check-in to track progress on both sides. This would be the point when you discuss frequently changing aspects of SEO such as keyword rankings, link building opportunities, as well as places where web traffic, visibility and conversion efforts need to be improved.
Further, these monthly check-ins offer an opportunity to answer questions pending on either side. Since things move very quickly in the world of content marketing, it’s crucial for your company and the agency you’re working with to stay on top of things. However, remember that there also needs to be work and effort coming from the side of your company. If you find the agency you're working with hasn't reached out in a while, then take the initiative and reach out to them.
We’ve already discussed the importance of open communication and a monthly check-in when it comes to working with an SEO agency. But the communication involved needs to be transparent and direct. Many SEO deliverables require direct changes to both the back and front end of your website, and in some cases, this requires a highly technical understanding. Even if you have no experience with SEO yourself, your agency should provide concrete and detailed information regarding the status and performance of your website.
It is recommended that you do a bit of research to first understand the basics of a content management system (CMS) as well as page structure and commonly used language in this field.
In the online marketing world, all information is measurable and translatable in quantitative data. Your SEO agency should not only offer this information but must have the ability to present it to you in an understandable way. This should include statistics and performance reviews that look directly at website conversions and social media interactions. If the agency you’re working with isn’t being transparent about the numbers, chances are there’s a reason.
4- Strategies that comply with Google
Each SEO agency will approach improving your website in a different way. Ultimately, you’ll want to find one whose strategies work in relation to the goals of your company. Find out what techniques each agency uses to improve your SERP rankings. Most will use strategies such as on-site optimization, social media marketing and methods of website engagement.
Off-site strategies should also be considered, such as backlinks and website outreach. In certain cases, agencies may choose not to reveal all their trade secrets so don’t anticipate full disclosure.
Another important point is to find an agency that will adhere to Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, as this is a set of rules developed to determine what Google considers good and bad SEO practices. It’s crucial for the agency you’re working with to know what this means and only use safe and effective marketing strategies.
5- Number 1 rankings, no guarantees
If you walk into an SEO agency and the first thing they’re promising you is the number one spot on Google, that’s a red flag. An SEO company shouldn’t begin a meeting by guaranteeing you the prime website ranking. It’s common to ask if the agency has been able to rank high with previous websites they’ve worked with as well as concrete examples of how they’ve used their own techniques for success.
Make sure to see more than one example of ways in which the agency has improved the visibility, reach and rankings of other sites. If they express it in technical terms that go beyond your understanding of SEO practices, ask them to explain it in terms you can understand or work with an agency who can.