Sometimes it is difficult to find yourself in the jungle of web SEO agencies, as the offer has evolved and diversified in recent years. And when choosing an SEO provider, it is not always easy to find one that will be able to perfectly meet the needs and specifics of your business. So how do you find a serious and qualified agency? Which criteria to take into account? Here are some tips that will help you see more clearly.
5 Key Steps To Choose The Right SEO Agency
1. Start By Establishing A Budget
The first thing to do is to set a specific budget. Yes, but there you go. The rates vary significantly from one agency to another and also depending on the project. Indeed, the creation of content will not be billed at the same price as a full site audit. Ditto for the creation of backlinks or the implementation of an inbound e-marketing strategy which will certainly be more expensive than a simple optimization of HTML tags.
And to make matters worse, the opacity shown by some agencies on their prices and services makes any comparison impossible. Difficult under these conditions to effectively evaluate a budget. Note however that the prices of SEO providers are on average in a range between $200 and $2,000 for freelancers and between $2000 and $5,500 for agencies.
2. Identify the weaknesses of your site
If you have decided to hire the services of an SEO specialist, it is probably because your site has serious technical shortcomings. No matter how hard you go about the content, it doesn’t appear anywhere on the search engines. In this case, you will have to put your hands in the sludge and find out for yourself what is wrong. This step is essential because it allows you to refine more precisely the fields of intervention of your provider.
Rest assured however, you are not going to delve into the dark entrails of your site. You will be satisfied with a superficial analysis in order to identify the origin of the problem. This will lead you to perform a technical audit of the site to make sure that it is properly optimized against Google’s SEO rules or that it must be partially or completely reworked.
The results of this diagnosis will help you define the tasks to be entrusted to the SEO provider and will in turn allow him to submit a realistic quote to you.
3. Identify Your Needs
Companies do not have the same expectations in terms of visibility, since their objectives will depend above all on their sector of activity and the keywords on which they wish to position themselves.
Thus, an e-commerce site specializing in the sale of winter clothing and accessories will have completely different needs from those of an accounting firm or a service company that wishes to make themselves known primarily in its region.
The e-commerce site will, for example, position itself on requests with strong competition in relation to the products it sells (eg: “women’s winter coats” or “earmuffs”). On the contrary, the accounting firm will seek to target a local audience (eg: “Royal chartered accountant firm”). All of this demonstrates the importance of studying keywords.
4. Set Specific Goals
Once your needs have been defined, you will then set yourself long-term goals.
- What results were you expecting?
- Are you looking to position yourself on the same keywords as your competitors (need for awareness)?
- Or would you rather bet on the long tail?
- For what period?
- Would you like to be listed first in the search results (SERPs) for a particular keyword?
Having a clear idea of your goals will guarantee more realistic results.
5. Be Patient
If an agency promises to appear on the first page of the SERPs in no time, run away! Unless you use techniques prohibited by Google, and under penalty of being blacklisted from the engine, no professional worthy of the name will make you shine about such promises. On the contrary, a reliable and serious provider will ask you to wait several months before seeing the efforts bear fruit.
Natural referencing is a long-term job. Depending on the target audience, your ranking will progress steadily. It would take at least 3 months to get results.
If you want a quick and effortless result, it is better to orient yourself towards paid referencing (SEA method or Adwords ads). Thus, you would be sure to quickly appear at the top of the results, without having to risk bypassing Google rules and being penalized.
How To Recognize A Reliable Agency?
Some agencies have no qualms about impersonating what they are not. Fortunately, there are different ways to sort the wheat from the chaff:
- Check its reputation online. Thanks to the magic of the Internet, it is now possible to know in a few clicks whether or not a company enjoys a good image with the public. For that, you just have to peel the positive or negative opinions left by the old customers on the social networks, forums, blogs… They are often veritable mines of information which will allow you to make your own opinion on the service provider.
- Contact directly by phone. To be sure that you are dealing with connoisseurs, what could be better than speaking with them orally. During your discussions, be attentive to several points: the way your interlocutor approaches you, his mastery of the subject, the impression he gives you, his ability to explain his solutions to you in simple words, etc. However, beware of the beautiful speakers that guarantee success.
- Examine its positioning in Google. An SEO agency must be able to apply the principles it advocates for others for its site. It is a matter of common sense. It should then appear on the first page on requests such as “internet referencing agency”. Otherwise, it is better to contact another provider. Please note, this does not apply to Adwords ads, which are more like paid advertising.
- Learn about its services. A reliable agency will not only offer content creation (Google’s appetite for content no longer needs to be demonstrated) and monitoring over time of the evolution of the site’s ranking.
- Guaranteed results: some highly qualified agencies have fairly good confidence in their skills and reimburse their customers in the event of failure to achieve the objectives. In addition, they do not hesitate to explain how to calculate the Return on investment of all the actions carried out.
- Finally, be careful if an agency tells you that it has existed for more than twenty or twenty-five years and cites references with which it has worked for several years: pure invention since Google was born only ‘in 1998 and companies only started to look at its engine years later.
We hope that these tips will be useful to you and that they will really help you find the ideal provider for your future SEO campaign.
Name- Raunak Pandey
Bio- Raunak is a Mechanical Engineer by qualification & Marketer by passion. He is the founder of Maiden Stride, a leading digital marketing company that provides world-class search engine marketing services and website & application development.