What to do if SEO is black magic for you and your boss wants to reach top positions in the search results? How to choose an SEO agency that won’t burn your budget and will help you rank higher on Google? Don’t worry – there is a way to do it. In today’s entry, we’ll give you a step-by-step guide on how to select an SEO agency that your supervisor will be delighted with.
Table of Contents:
- Quality research is a key to success – a few things to check before making a direct contact
- First talks and offer analyses – a few pieces of advice concerning the direct contact with the agency
- A few tips before making the final decision
Quality research is a key to success – a few things to check before making a direct contact
It’s quite a challenge if you had nothing to do with SEO before and now your boss gave you the task to choose the right agency. But don’t worry, our today’s entry is for people like you. Before sending any forms, offer inquiries, or briefs to SEO specialists, take some time to do the research and prepare yourself for conversations with SEO companies.
To achieve long-lasting SEO results, you need long-term, consistent work, and a lot of knowledge. The first noticeable effects of activities performed by an SEO agency are visible only after a few or even several months. Therefore, make sure that you don’t make any decisions hot-headedly. Learn about SEO as much as possible to be able to easily verify ideas and offers of agency representatives. So, what to start with?
Which SEO agency is the best?
Actions speak louder than words. Search the net for case studies and customer reviews discussing cooperation with a selected agency. Check which companies or online stores operating in the same industry are ranked high on Google in response to queries, products, or services that are of interest to you. Once you find out which of your market rivals can boast quality SEO activities, try to learn what agency runs the SEO process for them. To identify who benefits from the services offered by a specific SEO company, use testimonials, case studies, and clients’ logos frequently published on the websites of SEO agencies. Additionally, it’s always a good idea to take advantage of Facebook groups where you can ask for recommendations.
Ranking of SEO agencies
Take into account current SEO agency rankings prepared by official and industry-recognized media and platforms such as Clutch.co, European Search Awards or Global Search Awards. Moreover, remember about business rankings like Deloitte Technology Fast50.
Ebooks and blogs discussing SEO
Gain some basic knowledge of SEO and website optimization. The Internet abounds in quality, free materials. Being familiar even with a few terms at the initial stages of communication with a potential SEO agency may make you feel more self-confident during the negotiations. Moreover, it’ll help you understand the presented offer much better.
First talks and offer analyses – a few pieces of advice concerning the direct contact with the agency
At this point, you already know some SEO basics and you’ve done the research of potential agencies to cooperate with. Send your boss a short summary of the first stage – your efforts and reliability will surely be appreciated. So, what’s next? What to pay attention to when negotiating conditions with selected SEO companies?
Talks with agency representatives
The more information you give to the agency representatives at this point, the easier it’ll be for them to tailor the offer to your business needs. During the meetings, discuss the objectives your supervisor hopes to achieve. Before every conversation, even the online one, prepare a notebook with a ready-made table for notes where you can compare the working standards of several agencies. Analyze the offers and remember to ask:
- How does the agency analyze the company profile? Does it want to know about your offer, key products or potential customers? Does it try to understand your user personas?
- What are the costs of doing SEO? This is probably the most important factor for every boss. What settlement models are offered by the agency? Does the contract include information about a fixed, monthly subscription fee or a specific amount paid for achieving given objectives? Do the agency offer previously prepared packages or does it tailor the offer to your brief? An individual approach may be a key to success. Consequently, the prices may vary depending on performed activities and expected results that should be obtained within a given time. Do you know what’s the SEO budget prepared by your supervisor?
- What’s the time needed to see the first results of SEO activities? Don’t believe in someone who promises great improvements overnight. There are numerous aspects that affect the time period needed to see the first results of the performed activities. It’s crucial to take into account your company’s domain history (has it been penalized or banned by Google?), industry competitiveness, the structure of your company website (the number of subpages and products), or the way your market rivals fight for top Google positions.
- How precise and reliable will the SEO audit be after signing the contract and does the agency intend to conduct such an audit at the beginning? To what extent will the agency’s specialists examine your website? The SEO audit is a starting point for all possible activities. To plan your entire route in Google Maps, you need to know the starting point. The same applies to the SEO world. If some agency wants to cooperate but doesn’t mention this element, you should start being suspicious.
- Will you have access to the current SEO strategy and reports after signing the contract? Each management board, including your supervisor, wants to have full control over every spent dollar. Make sure that the SEO agency will be providing you with comprehensive statistics and plans concerning the next steps that will be taken as a part of the planned strategy. The reports should include information discussing the effectiveness of activities related to internal and external linking. One report a month is a standard solution. It needs to summarize SEO activities, obtained links, changes of Google positions of specific phrases and subpages as well as the ongoing implementation of the objectives set by you and the SEO agency.
- Will the SEO agency give you specific tips on website optimization? Or maybe it’ll implement the modifications for you? It would make the whole process of increasing website visibility much easier for both you and your supervisor. It’s impossible to conduct an effective SEO process without optimizing the page and its interface so that they’re compliant with SEO and Google principles. Collecting data from Google PageSpeed Insights and Mobile-Friendly Test is the starting point for the activities.
- Will the SEO agency ensure the appropriate quality of the website content? Quality content is the key to success when it comes to any SEO activities for online stores and websites. It helps to improve sales and thanks to it, your online store or website is visited more frequently. Check if the selected SEO agency hires professional copywriters who are familiar with your industry.
- Will the SEO specialists take care of Google Ads and Facebook Ads campaigns as part of the cooperation? Although these aren’t basic services of every SEO agency, they’re a perfect complement to organic activities. If all the elements are bundled together in one strategy and handled by one team of specialists, the results are even better.
- Do you understand all the points and paragraphs of the contract? All provisions in the concluded contract must be clear to you. If the SEO agency used some professional terminology you don’t understand, ask for clarification. The expected time needed to see the first results of SEO activities is at least 4 to 12 months – after this time, you’ll notice a real difference when it comes to your brand visibility, website traffic, or a number of micro-conversions. Compare the contract drafts prepared by a few agencies and select the one you think is best for your company.
After collecting all the answers to the above questions, compare your notes and choose 2-3 agencies that offer the finest reports and are able to achieve the expected results within the specified budget. A sense of security and control are other important factors that will surely impress your boss. Arrange meetings with the top 3 agencies – this time, your supervisor should accompany you. With the collected data and materials, it’ll be definitely easier to make the right choice.
A few tips before making the final decision
You’ve done research and interviews. You already know the principles of operation of SEO agencies and right now you’re able to select one or two companies that meet your expectations. Take the final look at the offers, compare the following data, and choose an agency that will help you reach top Google positions.
Summary: The perfect offer of an SEO agency – what should it include?
- An experienced, individual SEO specialist that will be assigned to your project and whom you may contact during the cooperation,
- Your business analysis,
- An SEO audit,
- Recommendations and solutions related to your website development, UX and UI optimization,
- Keyword research and selection, monitoring of positions of phrases,
- Content marketing: blog entries, product descriptions compliant with SEO principles, optimization of the content that has already been published,
- Implementation of missing elements, title and meta descriptions, refined headers and their appropriate structure,
- Acquisition of external links (through sponsored articles) and organization of internal links,
- Competitor analysis,
- Regular reports discussing Google rankings, website traffic, conversion, and the implementation of defined objectives.
Appropriate research, diligent preparation before selecting an SEO agency, and comprehensive interviews with potential partners are a recipe for impressing your management board. The above tips will help you successfully complete the task. Are you wondering if our offer includes all the elements from the above-mentioned checklist? Maybe we’re the agency that can delight your supervisor? Contact us to get a free quote and to find out more about the cooperation with Delante experts.