Beginning your journey to hire an SEO agency for your firm without knowing anything about SEO is like trying archery for the first time blindfolded. You have to be absolutely lucky to hit your target. Understanding the basics of SEO and knowing what you want to accomplish with your business marketing campaign.
Whether it be an increase in sales for all your products or services or a selected few, or it could be brand awareness, knowing what you want to achieve by setting goals and objectives before approaching the SEO agencies is a great start.
Here's what you need to know before hiring the right SEO agency.
Bigger is not always better
A large SEO firm has bigger teams, bigger offices, and many clients. Where there are benefits to working with large firms, there could also be some down points. For instance, if your goal is to improve the ranking on search engines in your local area within your niche, you will not want your SEO company to represent your competition. It is not ethical, but there is no stopping a firm from working with your competition, and yes, desirable results still could be reached for both your firm and your competition, but there can only be one 1st position on search engines.
A small SEO boutique firm will have a smaller office, a smaller team, and not many clients; hence, your business will matter to them more and motivate them to retain your business continuously by producing results.
Communication is the key
A right SEO agency is like having an extension of your company. They do more than just work on your website. One of the most important aspects of good SEO is developing and implementing an outreach strategy same as a PR firm will do for your business. An SEO company has to be in sync with your company's core brand values, goals, and objectives to get the right message across that truly represents your firm and on the platforms with your targeted audience.
Budgeting for long term
A good SEO is not a short term strategy that would instantly achieve results for your company. SEO takes time. How long before you start seeing results depends on the condition of the website. If you have a brand-new website or a website with no SEO will take more time than an older website with already some SEO done on it. SEO is an ongoing process, but to see results could take up to 6 to 9 months.
Transparency is essential
You have decided to hire an SEO agency because that area is not your expertise, but that doesn't mean you should remain clueless. The right agency will brief you through their process, give you reasons for their actions, address any of your concerns, and send you regular reports. SEO is challenging managing your expectations by getting straight answers saves you from unnecessary frustration. Therefore, it is in the interest of the right agency to educate you through the process.
SEO is not a one-trick pony
A good SEO strategy is a combination of different digital marketing elements. Elements like content marketing, backlinks creation, web design and development, and technical SEO are a niche on their own. Therefore, implementing a solid SEO strategy is the work of a team of individuals who have high-level skills or knowledge in their chosen niche.
Experience and skills matter
SEO is not a straight forward process and not a kind of investment that you could afford your website to be a learning curve for your hired agency. You will want to hire an agency that has dealt with similar projects like yours previously. That's why studying the SEO case studies of the previous work done by agencies is crucial. Case studies give you a great idea of the agency's capabilities and skill level. The right agency will proudly present its case study or case studies on its website.
Beware of dodgy agencies
Yes, there is a practice called black hat SEO. A practice that is detested by all search engines and goes against their guidelines. It is not a matter of 'if,' but 'when' discovered by the search engine's algorithm, the website with black hat SEO runs a risk of getting penalized and, in some cases, permanently removed by search engines. Therefore, checking the SEO agency's reviews on different platforms and interviewing them via zoom call or in-person to get a better idea of the agency and its culture is a logical process before hiring.
If it is too good to be true, you can bet it's not
Google's famous search algorithm is an intellectual property and is only known to Google. SEO experts use their experience and insights to optimize their client's websites to the best of their knowledge. The right agency will never lead you on by making promises of first page rankings for your website. The right agency will instead focus on producing results for your company by increasing your web user's experience and achieving your company's goals and objectives.