Partnering with an SEO agency is a significant marketing choice businesses must make. With the internet dominating the marketing world, it is an annual boardroom topic. Professional SEO services, when done right, are the key to newfound brand recognition and online visibility.
Some offer contracts, others do not, but in this article, we will look at five things to consider before you go ahead.
5 Tips When Getting Professional SEO Services for your Website
1. Beware SEO Consultants that Promise Quick Results
In the ultra-competitive world of digital marketing, organic SEO is not an overnight solution. Working and growing together with an SEO agency is about a long-term investment that will see your brand grow exponentially, but with no guaranteed timeframes.
Any SEO professional that brushes over SEO as something they do quickly and will have you on page one of Google within a couple of months is unrealistic, especially if you work in a highly competitive sector.
Companies that allude to understanding Google’s algorithm should be avoided. It is a heavily kept secret. This talk could be indicated using ‘black hat techniques’. Black hat techniques cut corners such as:
- Keyword Stuffing
- Buying Links
These are all black hat techniques sometimes used by companies promising you fast results without a thorough interview and assessment process. Google’s algorithm is advanced and will spot these and penalise you; then, you are back to square one.
What you are looking for is a company that is transparent and honest with its time frames and will look to set target indicators every quarter and give regular reporting and support.
2. Find a Firm That Ranks Themselves High
You may well go about searching for your new marketing partner by searching for ‘professional SEO services near me’. The ‘near me’ prompt at the end of the search plays a significant role in local SEO, which would be part of your SEO campaign considerations.
You can use other variations of searches such as ‘Best SEO services in Canberra’ for example. Once you have conducted five search variants, you ideally want to find a few companies that have consistently appeared on page one of Google.
I’ll ask you a straightforward question – Why would you want to listen to a company that promises you they can get you to the top of Google for ten-plus keywords quickly when they haven’t achieved that for themselves since they have been in business?
When put like that, is it fair to say we agree on this? I’m sure we do.
3. Find an Agency That Suits your Size
Many people mistake entering one search term into Google and contacting either the company at the top of the SERPs or a paid ad.
Neither of these is necessarily a good idea. Let me explain. The SERPs can reflect the size and age of a company.
Like your competition, you can be up against some much larger corporations and enterprises with a considerably larger marketing budget. Well, the same applies to SEO agencies. They have some intense competition for ranking places, so to be consistently at the top in Australia will have taken a lot of time and investment.
Great, I’ve found a massive SEO agency; they’ll be perfect. NOT NECESSARILY!
If you end up with an agency that regularly deals with large projects with a monthly spend of between $5000 to $10,000, then they may not be a good fit for a new start-up or small business and growing a company over three to five years, starting with a $1000 per month budget.
You want to find some common ground. More modest SEO agencies share the same growth patterns as smaller businesses so that they can be more intuned with your growing pains.
4. Professional SEO Services Require Through Research and Assessment
This particular point adds to tip #1 above, ‘Beware SEO Consultants that Promise Quick Results’. Where a consultant could tell you everything you want to hear about how quickly they will achieve results; really, much more of the initial conversation should be coming from you.
The initial interview is a good sign that you are dealing with an agency that will take your campaign seriously.
Something is wrong if you are in and out of an SEO agency’s office within 20 minutes.
The initial interview should be thorough, and many questions should be asked:
- Previous Marketing Campaigns
- Goals and Expectations
- Current Product / Service Performance
- General Brainstorming
Naturally, everyone is different, but as a general rule, I would feel comfortable with 45-minutes to 1 hour and a lot of topics covered and leaving with a website audit and keyword research examples being put together for you over the next 48 hours or so.
Effectively you want to feel that they will be as engaged as you throughout this business relationship.
5. Designated Campaign Manager
Following on from a successful interview, what you are looking for is a campaign manager.
This also follows from tip #3 above, ‘Find an Agency That Suits your Size’.
This is where you could fall short with a larger company that prefers to deal with customers over the phone, and you are moved between departments depending on why you have called.
You’ll have a more personal relationship with a smaller to medium-sized agency, which is vital for smaller businesses on a tight marketing budget.
Having someone that did the initial evaluation and helped structure your campaign on hand every day is crucial to building your brand in the long term.
Other alternatives to help filter down your initial shortlist of possible professional SEO services, such as online testimonials and ratings, are effective. Also, I know all reputable SEO agencies will be happy to show you case studies. Seeing previous people’s experiences with the agency will give you a helping hand. Don’t forget, if you are choosing a local company, be sure to ask for local expertise within your industry. Good luck.