A lot has changed in the world of search engine optimisation over the past few years. Link building, blog writing, on-page SEO, title tags - how do you know what makes a difference to your Google ranking and what doesn’t? If you are tired of playing catch up, it might be worth hiring an expert. To help you pick an SEO company that’s just right for you, we’ve created a short guide on finding a partner that’ll deliver tremendous and meaningful results for your business.
What is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)?
Search engine optimisation is a strategy aimed at boosting your website’s ranking in Google search results. As opposed to paid Google advertising, it focuses on practices that promote your ranking organically. SEO is therefore a long term investment. We differentiate between two types of SEO. Both aim to make your site more user friendly and attractive to search engines. There’s:
- On-page SEO - Optimisation that’s done on your website. For example:
- Selecting a search engine friendly website domain
- Optimising the page URL structure
- Ensuring that the website is mobile-friendly
- Following best practices for internal linking
- Writing keyword-optimised content
- Off-page SEO - Optimisation that’s undertaken off your website. For example:
- Building backlinks from other websites
- Investing in influencer marketing
- Social media marketing
What is an SEO agency? What do they do?
An SEO company or agency offers search engine optimisation services to businesses that want to improve their visibility online. Most SEO agencies hire team members with different specialities, including content, technical and analytical experts. Together, they can audit your current site, help you develop an SEO strategy, set up SEO tools, execute optimisation and provide measurable results. Depending on your agreement with the agency, they may act as an SEO consultant or support your team with day-to-day SEO efforts, execution and reporting.
How do you find the right SEO company?
Nowadays, SEO is essential to helping your target audience find you on the web when undertaking a relevant search. But choosing an SEO agency isn’t an easy job. With so many companies offering SEO services, how do you pick one that will deliver on its promises? Here are the things you should look for when choosing an SEO company to partner with.
Tips on choosing an SEO agency
- Be clear on your expectations
SEO is an ongoing process, so you can’t expect results overnight. It’ll likely take months before you get to reap the benefits of your hard work. This fact plays an important role when picking an SEO agency to partner with. Considering that you’ll be working with their team for an extended period, you need to be clear about your expectations. For example, do you want to work with a large company that serves hundreds of clients or work with a one-person show that focuses on your business alone? And do you require one-off consulting services or ongoing support? It also means that you need to look for an SEO agency that is realistic in its goal setting and timeline.
- Be clear on your goals
Before beginning further research, ask yourself what you are hoping to accomplish by hiring an SEO agency. Knowing what you want to achieve with your SEO efforts will be essential to picking the right partner. Because, without goals, even the best SEO partner has no directions to follow. So think about the following before hiring help:
- Are you looking to boost sales or bookings by ranking for certain keywords?
- Are you trying to get found locally, nationally or internationally to boost your sales?
- Are you looking to reduce high bounce rates and increase your conversion rate?
- Do you need help building social media profiles, creating blog content, or any services that go beyond SEO?
- And of course, how much are you willing to pay for these services?
- Research potential partners online
According to an SEO services report by Backlinko, more than two-thirds of business owners consider an SEO agency’s reputation as very important when choosing an agency to partner with. As a result, most businesses find SEO providers through direct referral or Google search. Mind you, Backlinko also found that client satisfaction is higher amongst marketing agencies than freelancers.
So, the question is, how do you determine the reputation of an SEO agency?
- Check their Google and Facebook reviews
- Check independent, third-party review sites
- Read company case studies and client testimonials
- Make sure the SEO company is Google certified
There’s a tonne of competition in the SEO industry. Yet, there is no governing body, no regulations or official guidelines that apply in the space. So, how can you make sure an agency has the professional accreditation to back them up? Google thought ahead and created a Google Partner program that certifies online advertising professionals that meet their requirements. Agencies will have to pass Google Ads certification assessments to become certified and display a badge on their website. These certifications are valid for a year, ensuring that marketers stay up to date on the latest developments and changes.
- What’s the agency’s experience?
Depending on the agency’s size, staff experience, and the number of projects they’ve done across varying industries, they will be more or less well equipped to handle your SEO. In most cases, it’s safe to assume that agencies who have serviced many clients across industries know what works well and what doesn’t.
Now, you might think hiring an agency that has been around for a long time will bring you success, but the digital marketing industry is forever changing. 2020 alone saw three core updates of the main Google algorithm. Having an SEO agency that keeps up to date with relevant changes in the digital world is the way to go. When you find the right SEO agency, your overall marketing strategy becomes more effective. Yet, there are a bunch of pitfalls to avoid on the way. We hope that this short guide will help you separate the wheat from the chaff. Lastly, we’d be more than happy to hear how you've chosen good SEO partners in the past and if you’ve found our tips helpful. Anchor Digital, a Brisbane-based SEO and Digital Marketing agency, is your partner on this journey. We live and breathe all things SEO. So if you’ve got a website that just won’t show up in Google Search results, give us a call and schedule a strategy session with our team of experts.