It’s one thing to hire an SEO agency and another thing to hire the best SEO agency for your brand. The latter is not as challenging as the former.
There are wrong and right ways of getting a befitting SEO agency. In this article, you will find the wrong approach to hiring an SEO agency and how best to go about the process.
But before all of that, why do you even need an SEO agency?
What to Expect From Your SEO Agency
Here are some of the services SEO agencies provide
- Website Auditing and Optimization Recommendations
Your website may look cool and quite attractive, that does not mean it’s optimized for search engine. Your SEO consulting agency would help you carefully audit your website for SEO and make recommendations accordingly.
The auditing would take place in these three different forms
- Technical SEO Audit
This would include recommendations on crawl errors, checking your robot.txt file and sitemap and other technical aspects of SEO.
- SEO Content Audit
This involves optimizing the contents on your site for better performance on the search engine. This would also include the provision of researched keywords for some of your top pages.
- Content Marketing Strategy
This would help to make sure your content marketing efforts focus on what works in your industry. It would also ensure that keywords used are indeed what your target audience search for.
- On-page Optimization
It’s public knowledge (among SEO ‘stakeholders’) that good on-page SEO play an important role in influencing a website ranking position. This is one of the responsibilities of your SEO consulting agency.
Most times, this would only be in the form of recommendations. However, there are times when your SEO agency would have to do the implementation. This depends largely on your staff strength and your willingness to provide administrative access to your website among other reasons.
- Link Building Opportunities
A good SEO agency would help you discover related websites and blogs that your competitors are linked to. This includes finding guest posting opportunities on related websites.
You probably already have Google Analytics linked to your website. But what of Google Search Console and other paid analytic tools such as SEMRush and Moz Pro?
Using these tools and some processes, your SEO agency would help you with following up on your website performance and possible challenges.
How NOT to Find the Best SEO Agency for Your Brand
When it comes to hiring an SEO agency, there are two mistakes a lot of businesses make. The good thing is you are here now; so read up and make sure you don’t make the same mistakes.
- Filtering with Google
It makes sense right? You need an SEO agency to help put your website on the first page on Google so anyone who can make it up there when you search for “SEO agencies near me” is right for the job. For instance, if you are looking for an SEO agency in Toronto, you can just search for the best SEO agencies in Toronto and the first result you see is your man?
Well, maybe not. That’s not how this works. There are two theories:
A good SEO agency should be busy handling too many clients’ project that ranking on the search engine would be the least of his concern.
Most of the times, the SEO agencies who commit so much time and energy to ranking for relevant keywords do so because they have no projects to work on. And that can only mean that they are either inexperienced or not just that good. However, this only applies if they have PROVEN results in working with other clients or brands. Just saying they’re too busy to rank doesn’t cut it!
The other theory is that a good SEO Agency should demonstrate their expertise by ranking ‘organically’ for relevant keywords in their industry. While this can be used as a measure, it isn’t a foolproof one. There are tons of great SEO agencies that aren’t anywhere near Google’s first page and there are lots of bad ones that use blackhat SEO techniques to bloat their rankings on Google.
The measure should be this: Find an SEO agency that has proven results and an easily verifiable portfolio of brands they have ranked; be it theirs or others. Be sure to check that they have an extensive portfolio and most importantly, long-term results!
- Deciding Based on “Top SEO” List
Another mistake businesses make is similar to the first one but this is even kinda funny. There are businesses who think they would get the best SEO agency by reading through a bunch of “Best SEO Agencies in Canada” lists.
The truth is that most of those lists are paid for. What those writers do is they create the list using the right keywords so they rank high on Google, then start reaching out to different brands and individuals offering to sell spots on the list.
How to Find the Best SEO Agency for Your Brand
Interestingly, the process of getting the best SEO agency for your brand begins from within. Here are the steps to take in identifying and recruiting the best SEO agency that would suit your brand.
- Set Your Goals
No, you don’t wait till you get an SEO agency before you will talk about your goals. Neither should you make the mistake of letting your SEO agency tell you what your goals should be. Instead, you should set your goals ahead as these goals would influence the kind of SEO agency you would hire.
Call a board meeting, talk to your top executives, discuss with major stakeholders – just talk to everyone who participates in major decision making so you all can set goals for your business.
Answer questions such as why you want SEO? Why do you want to rank for relevant keywords? What actions would you want website visitors to take after clicking from search engine? Among others.
- List out Three Consultants to Talk to
Now that you have decided what your goals her, list out three SEO agencies that you’d want to work with. How you’d come up with the list? Do your research, talk to friends, business partners and investigate competitors.
Some of the criteria to use in coming up with this list may be:
- Previous projects
Here we are – time to make the final decision. You’ve avoided the mistakes, set goals for your business, listed out agencies that you think suit your needs and now it’s time to decide who you’d be working with.
Here are the factors that should influence your final decision
If you got good testimonials about an SEO agency from a trusted source, that maybe your guy. Nothing beats word of mouth. What’s even better? Great testimonials from two or more trusted sources.
- Communication Style
You always have to communicate with your SEO consulting agency, so it’s something you should consider before deciding which one to work with. Whosoever you’d hire must have a similar communication style with you for your working relationship to be smooth.
Of course, you have a budget for this. You have evaluated how much value an SEO agency would add to your business in relation to your business’s financial obligations and have decided how much you are willing to pay.
At the end of the day, you’d only hire an SEO agency that’s within your budget.
Getting the right SEO agency for your brand would help make sure your website takes advantage of the organic traffic opportunity made available by search engines. It is therefore a top business priority and you should treat it as such.