If you choose your SEO agency based solely on its low price, you shouldn’t be surprised that instead of getting off on the right foot, you’ll have to deal with numerous problems. Before deciding which agency should be entrusted with doing SEO for your website, you need to carry out a thorough analysis that covers several important aspects. What aspects? Keep reading!
What’s the scope of activities of an SEO agency?
All activities undertaken by an SEO agency on (and outside) websites of their clients influence the position of particular keywords in organic search results. A good SEO strategy will make your website more visible for all users entering specific phrases in the search bar which, in turn, will positively affect traffic to your site. Below you can find a list of the most popular elements that fall within the scope of responsibilities and services provided by SEO agencies.
A website audit
It’s simply a thorough website analysis conducted to examine aspects such as the structure of the site, its URLs, content and other off-site activities and elements like external backlinks or domain age and authority. A website audit aims to evaluate the current state of the site and indicate any irregularities which later help to devise the most efficient SEO strategy. During a website audit, specialists take advantage of the gained experience and support of available professional tools.
Technical optimization of subpages
It consists of taking appropriate steps that comply with Google guidelines. Subpage otpimization can be done after conducting a website audit and drawing proper conclusions. The optimization is based on carefully selected keywords, which accurately describe the client’s website and are characterized by a large volume of searches.
Link building aims at obtaining top quality external backlinks from trustworthy websites. It’s due to the fact that the higher the amount of valuable backlinks to the site, the higher its position in the SERPs.
Thanks to intriguing content that is valuable for end users, the website can record increased traffic and, consequently, gain new potential customers. Content marketing – because this is the professional name for providing useful and engaging information – is designed to attract the interest of as many Internet users as possible.
What to focus on when selecting an SEO agency?
Today most website owners realize how important it is to promote their sites online. Consequently, there are also more SEO agencies which emerge on the market and promise spectacular results. So how not to get confused by all these offers and how to choose a company that will really allow you to achieve satisfactory results? There are a few key issues that need to be taken into account when browsing through the offers of SEO agencies.
1. Contract type
Check the terms and conditions of the contract proposed by the company – focus on the regulations concerning the term of cooperation and the circumstances under which it can be terminated. It’s a good omen if the agency adjusts the duration of contracts to the needs and expectations of the client. Choose companies that clearly and legibly determine the conditions under which the contract is terminated. Beware of contracts that bind you for a long period of time and exclude the possibility of early termination.
2. The development and scope of the website audit
As it’s been already mentioned above, a website audit is a basis for all subsequent SEO activities. Thanks to it, the agency is able to detect problematic areas or shortcomings of the site and come up with a strategy adjusted to the needs of an individual client. That’s why it’s important to spend some time checking the scope of the audit, meaning the information the SEO agency is about to analyze.
Here, it needs to be mentioned that there is something like simple audits which are generated automatically with the use of scripts and in most cases don’t provide any information that would be valuable from the SEO point of view. This type of audits is done for clients as a form of incentive even before the start of cooperation.
Remember that a professional website audit takes from a few to several dozen hours. Obviously, the SEO specialist performing the audit also takes advantage of all available technological solutions, nevertheless, the evaluation and conclusions are generated individually for each case and are based on the knowledge of the specialist. Go for a company that specifies the scope of the audit in detail, presents a sample document and obliges itself to support the subsequent website optimization that will be done in accordance with the recommendations developed during the audit.
3. The quality and quantity of keywords
The selection of appropriate keywords is one of the basic activities that an SEO agency should do. The chosen phrases need to accurately reflect the scope of the client’s business. The process of keyword selection is preceded by a thorough analysis of the client’s website, the industry in which he/she operates and his/her competition on the market. For this purpose, SEO specialists often use tools such as Google Search Console, Semstorm or Semrush.
You should also find out how many keywords the company will prepare for you. You know you chose good if the SEO agency asks you questions about your business goals or nature of your company and wants to get access to your Google Analytics or Search Console accounts. On the other end of the spectrum, you need to be careful if the agency opts for low quality phrases based solely on their low search volume instead of interviewing you or analyzing your website first.
4. The frequency and form of the reports
Reports of the performed activities and achieved results are an extremely important part of the SEO services. Thanks to this document you’re able to determine whether the steps taken by the SEO agency bring satisfactory results and whether the tasks you pay for are carried out in a proper way.
When selecting your SEO agency, find out what is the content of the provided reports and the frequency of sending them. A good agency is the one that regularly (once a week, month, etc.) sends reports and includes in them all the information concerning performed activities and specific aspects that might be important for the client’s business. Avoid agencies that inform about the results and performed operations only at the client’s request.
5. Contractual penalties
Remember that the contract signed with an SEO agency should be structured in a way that protects both parties. When selecting an SEO agency, examine carefully the regulations on contractual penalties and the situations in which they may be enforced. The contract ought to secure both parties agreeing to cooperate. If the agency you’re considering informs in its contract about numerous possible penalties and doesn’t allow contract termination in the event of lack of satisfactory results, then it’s a sign that you should rather keep looking.
6. Contact persons and specialists responsible for the SEO process
People you’ll have to communicate with during the SEO process are also an important aspect you need to consider when selecting an SEO agency. That’s why, before signing the contract, you should find out who is the person you’ll cooperate with and what’s his/her scope of responsibilities. If you want to learn more about the SEO agency and its specialists, visit its website. Usually it contains the “about us” section which provides information about the employees of the agency. It’s definitely better to sign a contract with a trustworthy company which presents many details concerning the nature of its operation and information about the employees than to enter into a cooperation with an agency which provides such information only vaguely.
7. References and reviews about the agency
On the basis of references that can often be found on the website of the SEO agency, one can learn which brands or companies have had the opportunity to cooperate with it. Obviously, you should consider only such credentials that can be verified. Agencies very often showcase their case studies or letters of recommendation. On the other hand, if you want to check out what other clients think about a particular SEO agency, you should visit its Google My Business and Facebook profiles. Choose reliable and trustworthy agencies that are known for their reputation and positive feedback.
8. The contract expires… and what now?
Find out what the situation looks like after the contract expires. Check what will happen with backlinks created during the cooperation. Deleting many links suddenly can result in drastic decrease of your position in the search results. During the initial talks with the agency ask about the sources from which your backlinks will be obtained and find out what will happen to them after the termination of cooperation. We believe it doesn’t need to be mentioned that it’s better to choose an agency which clearly states what your situation will look like after the contract expires than to enter into cooperation with someone who avoids giving specific information.
9. The costs of the service and the settlement methods
The proposed costs of the SEO services are another factor you need to pay attention to while searching for a perfect SEO agency. However, remember that quality doesn’t come cheap and choosing an agency based solely on its low price may end either with unsatisfactory results or with a deterioration of the initial condition of your business.
Moreover, when choosing an SEO agency, you should also take note of the offered settlement methods. Search for a company that will explain what the settlement looks like and that will tailor the budget to your website.
10. The website of the SEO agency
If you want to see for yourself how professional the SEO agency is, it’s a good idea to take a closer look at its website. If the page is designed thoroughly with care for details, you can expect that the services provided by this company will be of similar quality. Check the positions on which the agency’s website is displayed in the search results after entering appropriate industry key phrases. If a given SEO agency isn’t particularly visible in SERPs, you can suppose that its level of competencies is rather low. A professional SEO agency is the one whose SEO strategy is equally professional.
To sum up
As you can see, there are quite a few aspects that need to be considered in the struggle to select the best SEO agency. Start with defining your expectations and later analyze the discussed factors according to them. The overview of the agencies should be carried out gradually and it should involve comparison of individual offers. Remember that choosing an inappropriate SEO company may lead to very critical consequences, including the exclusion of your website from the search results. A thorough market analysis will surely help you choose the right agency that will contribute to the improvement of your organic traffic, sales or position of your website in the search results.