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What Should I Consider Before Choosing An SEO Agency?

SEO is a little bit of the background magic that happens at every successful business. It might not immediately be obvious what your competitors are doing – you just know they’re killing it online!

So, if you want to beat the competition, you need to up your SEO game but how do you do that with no resources in-house? Again – copy the competition and work with an SEO agency. If a competitor seems to be doing suspiciously well suddenly, you can bet your bottom dollar they’ve partnered with an SEO agency or a digital marketing expert.

But how do choose an SEO agency when it seems like there are sooo many people out there all promising the same thing? Well, you’re going to have to roll your sleeves up, get stuck in, do a bit of detective work and assess what you need.

Choosing the wrong SEO agency can be disastrous so you need to get it right. Keep reading to learn what you should consider before choosing an SEO agency.  

Defining Your SEO Needs

If you don’t have the first clue about SEO, it can be a little bit difficult to work out what you need exactly. Do you need on-page SEO, technical SEO, off site? Try not to think about the actual services you need but rather your business goals and target audience. Armed with that information, an SEO expert will be able to guide you to the right services. If your business goal is ‘more sales’, and let’s face it, it usually is! Then that’s fine, but just be clear with any agency, what you ultimately want to achieve.

You may also have a little bit of SEO knowledge and approach an agency with goals such as ‘I want to rank number one on Google’ or ‘I want to rank number one for such and such keyword’. That’s ok too, a good SEO will rein you in and let you know if what you want is possible or not.

Whether a goal is possible mostly depends on your budget and timeline too. Work out how much budget you can set aside to achieve your goals, and the time frame you would like to achieve them. You can be totally off with your figures but don’t worry! A transparent SEO agency will let you know if your ambitions and budget are in alignment or not. If you’re clueless about SEO costs, you may find this article helpful.

Researching Potential SEO Agencies

After you’ve established your needs, you should make a shortlist of SEO agencies and whittle them down to your top three. What would put an agency in your top three though?

We recommend considering…

  • The experience of the agency you are interested in and whether they have any industry specialisation that aligns with what you do. For example, we work with all sorts of businesses but have loads of experience working with the manufacturing and healthcare sectors. We’re also good with start-ups and businesses that operate in very niche or competitive industries.
  • What evidence there is that the agency is as good as they say they are….can you find independent reviews? Will they give you references and let you speak to their clients? Do they have relevant case studies you can look at? Are the company respected in their industry and have they won awards?
an image of a man looking at a wall full of images and documents
Research…boring but essential!

Assessing SEO Agency Transparency and Communication

Transparency, honesty and communication are something we bang on about a lot! We think transparency is super important in our industry though because SEO agencies not been very transparent and honest in the past is why some businesses are very cautious about working with agencies.

So, we implore you to choose an agency that really underscores these values. Not by saying they do but by proving it. Ask your shortlisted agencies what strategies they use, why they use them and how the work they propose to do will be visible. Do they report on exactly what they’re doing and why?

Another big red flag in terms of honesty is any agencies that promise you big results. Results cannot be guaranteed in SEO. SEO is an ongoing process that needs fine-tuning and tweaking. Plus, some variables are beyond our control too (such as big Google updates).

Cost and Contracts

Before you sign on the dotted line with any SEO agency, make sure you fully understand the costs and the pricing model the agency uses. Will you be charged for work on an hourly basis, have a retainer contract, or will the cost be project-based?

Ask for a detailed proposal that outlines services and deliverables. You should also check what sort of account management or reporting is included in your fee or whether this is a separate charge. Oftentimes, account management and reporting are charged separately to give you greater freedom over the level of communication and reporting you would like. Some clients like a top-level check-in once a month whilst others may prefer in-depth reports, and update meetings.

Finally, you should consider the terms of the contract and how willing you are to commit – to a 12-month contract, for example. A lot of agencies, including ours, prefer to sign you up for longer simply because you won’t see huge immediate results…just being honest! Starting out with a new SEO strategy requires a little bit of holding your nerve and trusting the process!

Final Consideration Before Choosing An SEO Agency

Our final point for this article is considering what type of SEO folk you want to work with! In terms of cultural fit and personality compatibility, you must choose an agency you can get on with. The best SEO results come from collaborative partnerships with excellent communication between the client and the agency. Plus, nobody likes working with dicks.

If you are looking for a decent SEO agency that fulfils all of your digital dreams, don’t hesitate to contact us!

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