SEO, as a digital marketing channel has increased in popularity over the past few years, and as a result, there are now so many different SEO agencies and full-fledged digital marketing agencies available at your service. While more options are—in most cases—, a good thing, choosing the right SEO agency or company for your business can pose its own issues, turning it into a challenging process.
The Ever-Changing SEO Landscape
SEO is one of the fastest moving marketing fields, mainly to how fast Google updated its search ranking algorithm and changed the SERPs. In 2018 alone, there are more than 3000 Google algorithm changes.
On the other hand, SEO is by nature, a long term game. We should expect to invest 6 to 18 months in SEO—meaning, working with the same SEO agency for that long— before we can see any significant results.
With that being said, having the right SEO agency as a partner that can stay up to date with all the current changes and trends, while at the same time maintain a good long-term approach is necessary.
The days of easy, get-rich-quick SEO strategies are, admittedly, over—if someone tells you it’s not, most likely it’s a fraud—. Black hat, and even grey-hat SEO tactics like keyword stuffing, getting hundreds of backlinks via Private Blog Networks (PBN), paying for backlinks, and other similar practices, simply no longer work.
These obsolete SEO practices not only won’t get you the desired SEO results (ranking on the first page of Google SERP, or even ranking on the #1 spot) but can get your site penalized permanently by Google: that is, permanently banned from the search results.
6 Tips in Choosing The Right SEO Agency
As we can see, choosing the right SEO company as your long-term partner is very important in ensuring the success of your SEO campaign. Here are some of the important factors to consider when choosing between different SEO companies.
Keep in mind, however, that this is not an all exhaustive list, but you can think of them as your solid foundations in making an informed decision:
1.Know Their Strategy
Truth is, there’s no secret’ SEO method, holy-grail tactic, and any other cheat strategy in SEO, not in 2020. The only secret in SEO is consistency in the quality and quantity of your content, your site’s technical optimizations, and off-site link building, period.
So, if you are working with a valid SEO agency, they shouldn’t have any issue in discussing their actual SEO strategy. Different companies might have unique takes on their link building tactics, but even then it must revolve around content quality and consistency.
Also, a good SEO company will provide a realistic, long-term expectation of the potential results. In choosing an SEO company, in most cases, modesty is preferred, and flashy tactics are often a major red flag.
2. Don’t Focus on Vanity Metrics
SERP ranking, even ranking #1 on Google search results, is not the end goal of SEO. Instead, it’s just a means to an end to other objectives like organic traffic, lead generation, or conversion. You should especially focus on organic traffic since, without website traffic, you can’t achieve anything from your site.
3. Look For A Holistic SEO Approach
A good SEO Agency will perform a thorough SEO audit and the SEO plan should address everything from content planning to website architecture to various technical aspects (page load speed, mobile responsiveness, etc.)
4. Check Their Past Projects
SEO is, fortunately, a very transparent field. Simply check their past clients’ websites and check the site’s performance: keyword rankings, organic monthly traffic, website’s technical performance, links profile, etc. Nowadays, we can easily check all of these metrics via various analytics tools.
5. Clarity on What You’ll Get
Before you start the partnership, be clear on what exactly you’ll get: will content creation be handled in-house or by the SEO agency? How much of technical optimizations will you get? and so on. If possible, put it all in writing.
6. Evaluation Process
As mentioned, SEO is a long-term process, so it’s important to establish an evaluation system in place to monitor the ongoing progress and make the necessary adjustments if necessary. Decide together on when you should receive progress reports (weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc.), and decide on KPIs and metrics to monitor.
Choosing the right SEO agency, specialist, or a full-fledged digital marketing agency to execute your SEO campaign begins with asking the right questions. Transparency and communication will be the keys to achieving SEO success.
The SEO specialist should also provide a clear direction on how to grow your organic traffic and overall online presence and will be transparent in justifying the ROI of your SEO campaign.