SEO is a really important part of your business and is something that you want to get right first time. A good SEO strategy will help to improve your rankings on search engines, increase click-throughs to your site, and ultimately drive revenue for your enterprise.
However, when it comes to this buzzword, many professionals feel slightly out of their depth. SEO has come to be known as a bit of a wizard’s act, a combination of technical computer language and creative writing.
As a result, many businesses are turning to SEO agencies for help in creating an effective SEO strategy. But what should you look for in this type of agency?
We here at Digitaloft, an SEO agency based in Lancaster, like to think we know what we’re talking about when it comes to all things digital marketing, so we’ve put together some top tips for choosing the right SEO agency.
Examine the portfolio
Portfolios are one of the main tools that you have to gauge whether your business is the right fit for this SEO agency and it’s important to see a full portfolio before you make any decisions.
Whilst website testimonies can be helpful to some degree, these are often the highlight reel and are chosen for certain reasons. To get a real sense of the agency, ask to see a full portfolio of all the work they’ve conducted, regardless of its success.
It’s also helpful to see a portfolio to understand whether they have a track record in your industry or whether they’re versatile across multiple industries.
Write a business plan
It isn’t much help meeting an SEO agency if you don’t know what you’re looking for and you can only find the right fit when you’re both on the same page.
So, before you dive in head first, take a step back to make a business plan for your SEO goals. Do you want more conversions? Do you want to increase your website traffic from specific groups? Or do you just want more exposure?
Once you have a better idea of your own objectives, it’s easier to see whether this SEO agency can deliver on this.
It’s also key to identify your budget so you don’t waste any time in interviewing the wrong agencies, as well as the vicinity of agencies to your company.
Check out this post by Moz for some example SEO business goals.
Beyond looking at the portfolio, it’s important to get real-life testimonies from previous clients of an agency or to ask fellow businesses for their own recommendations.
By getting references from an agency’s previous clients, you can get a much deeper understanding of how the agency works, in terms of their customer service, the actual returns versus what they promised, and the general day-to-day working relationship.
However, if you can’t decide on an agency to start with, getting references from similar businesses to your own can give you a good starting point.
This post by Forbes has a list of good questions to ask when looking for references.
When it comes to SEO, many businesses make the mistake of jumping head first into the first agency they meet.
However, as with any other business decision, it’s important to look around and interview a few others to make a more informed decision. Your chosen agency will take up your time, money and resources, so it’s important to be picky to make sure it isn’t wasted!
Establish your expectations
Before you agree to anything, it’s essential that you really nail down the small details and establish your expectations from the beginning.
Find out the techniques they’ll be using to achieve your goals, what the return on investment is expected to be, how often you’ll receive progress reports, how long results will be expected to take, what tracking processes they have in place, and how you will be contacted.
Knowing this before moving forward will help you to evaluate whether this agency is the best fit for your company and, if you decide that it is, receiving a written proposal helps to keep everything official.
This video covers some great questions to ask when you’re looking to establish your expectations with an agency.