How To Hire The Best SEO Agency For Your Business: 10 Tips For Success
SEO stands for search engine optimization, and it refers to the methods used to make your website rank better on major search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
An SEO agency can be a valuable asset to your business if you’re trying to increase traffic or drive more leads to your website.
But with so many agencies out there, how do you know which one will be the best fit?
In this guide, you’ll learn 10 tips that will help you hire the best SEO agency possible, ensuring that they are equipped to take your business to the next level!
Tip 1 – Show Them What You Have
Before hiring a company, see if they have any prior experience.
If they’re new to your business niche, and if so, how long has it taken them to establish themselves as an authority in their field?
Once you have evaluated their experience, sit down with them and show them what you have done so far.
Tell them about your website and current search engine rankings (this will indicate where your business is at).
Show them traffic analysis reports, keywords, and competitor info that can help set realistic expectations for your business’s future success.
Further, if you are just beginning with the SEO for your business, discuss your expectation.
This will allow both parties to decide whether or not working together is worth all of their time and energy.
Tip 2 – Explain the Goals and Results You Want
Any good SEO agency will explain what they think you need and why.
However, if they’re really focused on delivering value, they’ll also give you actionable results that you can track to make sure their work is paying off.
Having a clear understanding of your goals will help evaluate a potential partner’s expertise and approach.
For example, if you’re selling e-commerce products online, it would be helpful to know how many customers an agency has brought to similar businesses through their services or experience with other clients in similar industries.
You can always ask for references from past clients; there’s no reason not to check these out before hiring an agency.
Tip 3 – Ask Questions That Filter Out Bad Agencies
If a company doesn’t want to answer questions, it should be a red flag.
If you want to hire an agency and don’t already have relationships with them, ask for references and contact some of those clients.
How did they feel about working with them?
What were their results?
How long did it take for them to notice the impact of their work?
While you shouldn’t expect an agency to know exactly how they’ll perform before signing a contract, you can get a sense of their expertise and customer service just by asking.
Ask questions like if I had x amount of money to spend, what would be some ways that I could ensure my site is as optimized as possible? or what are some things that have helped your clients see an increase in sales after working with you?
If they can’t articulate clear answers, it might be time to look elsewhere.
And if they don’t ask any questions about your business -, particularly your goals – that’s also a big red flag.
Tip 4 – Don’t Rush to Hire
It’s easy to look at all of your work, see a lack of progress, and decide that you need to hire an SEO agency right away.
But, as we mentioned earlier, it’s important not to rush decisions like that.
If you’re going to hire an SEO company on a long-term basis—and especially if you’re going to be paying them thousands—you want to make sure they’ll be an asset.
You don’t want your money wasted or, worse yet, your business harmed by making a poor decision at any point during the process.
Tip 5 – Beware of Free Consultations or One-Time Deals
Free consultations are great, but avoid companies that offer free consultations or one-time deals.
These limited-time offers never have anything to do with your business and are always a way for companies to get you in their door.
There are some exceptions, to be sure (like extended periods of evaluation for new clients), but most of them simply offer a fantastic discount because they know that if you take them up on it, they will have captured your loyalty and won’t need to discount again in order to keep your business.
At least not right away!
If a company offers you a one-time deal or a free consultation (and remember we said there were exceptions), just say no.
Tip 6 – Read Reviews of SEO Company Before Signing On
Just because an agency says they’re great doesn’t mean they are.
Ask around and look at reviews of companies to figure out who you’d like to hire before talking with them.
And, if you can, try to talk with one or two businesses they’ve worked with in person; you’ll get a much better sense of whether they’re right for your business if you see them operate in real-time.
It is essential to read reviews of any SEO company before signing on to their services.
Pay attention not only to their ratings but also what customers have to say about them in their own words.
This will give you a sense of how they operate and how honest they are with potential clients.
Tip 7 – Ask for expectations for their SEO services
Before you commit to hiring an agency, ask them what they can do for your business.
Ask if there are other ways of optimizing your website that may not be in their scope.
Ask for a list of some past clients and projects.
Understand how well they know about Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Suppose they don’t even mention it as a significant part of their plan. In that case, it is probably not their strength and should be avoided because the most important part of SEO is identifying keywords and using them on-page for good ranking.
Most importantly, define some goals before hiring them so that you are assured about what exactly you want from an agency.
One of the most important things for you to do when looking for an SEO agency is to ask them about their expectations.
What do they expect from you, and what can you expect from them?
Obviously, one of your main goals should be to get more traffic, leads, customers, or conversions, but there’s no fixed way to achieve it.
So make sure you have good communication with your vendor.
Tip 8 – Inquire about their SEO processes
Since search engine optimization relies heavily on content and website structure, it’s important to find out how your agency plans to create, organize and optimize relevant content.
For instance, will they perform keyword research?
If so, what tools will they use, and what is their process for determining keyword relevance?
Additionally, do they optimize for the mobile experience?
And lastly, do they have a strategy in place for ongoing link building?
You should ask just a few questions to better understand how the SEO agency operates.
By getting answers to these questions, you can ensure that your SEO campaign is done correctly from day one!
Tip 9 – Ask the SEO company about reporting
Before you sign on with a company, ask them about reporting.
You want to know what kind of information they can provide and how often they’ll send it to you.
Reporting is important because it shows your ROI or return on investment.
A good SEO company will provide you with insight into how well they’re doing their job and show which keywords are performing well for your business.
In addition, make sure that their reporting features are detailed enough so that you can make informed decisions moving forward.
Many companies now offer integrated keyword analysis tools that are particularly useful in helping businesses determine where they should focus their efforts going forward.
Tip 10 – Ask about time commitment on your end
Good copywriting, link building, and content marketing efforts take time, so ask how long you should expect to commit (in hours) each month.
You don’t want your agency to disappear for a month at a time; conversely, you don’t want to spend 50+ hours per week working with them.
A good rule of thumb is 3-5 hours per week.
If it’s less than that, it might not be worth your while.
Even if they can’t show you their calendars and projects with existing clients, they should give you an idea of how much time each client spends on their end—and whether or not they’re happy with that amount of commitment from that client.