How to find a great SEO Agency – Google’s Advice

30th November 2021

We can’t think of many businesses that don’t need some sort of digital presence these days. For many a dedicated business website is essential to sell, collect leads, provide brand awareness, or company information.

For this website to work well for the business it needs to be found, and it needs to stand out from competing websites. This is where the search engines come in, and SEO. Unfortunately, the world of SEO can seem impenetrable to the inexperienced, with its secret algorithms, computer languages and technical knowhow. It is a highly specialised discipline that most companies need help with on a regular basis. A particular challenge is often how to get the balance right between SEO, eCommerce and usability in your page content. You may need the support of SEO experts for this, hence a proliferation of national and local SEO Agencies.

All SEO Agencies promise higher rankings and more traffic for your site, so how can you be sure you are hiring the best, the one that will be able to deliver on that promise and more? There are no professional accreditations, no formal qualifications for SEO. But there are things you can do to make sure you are hiring a great SEO Agency to work with you.

5 Steps to Finding the best SEO Agency for You

Step 1 – Research SEO Agencies that have a similar client profile to your business

This might be similarities in the industry you work in, or in company size or budget size, or even in ethical outlook or company vision. Have a detailed look at their website – is it professional, useful, knowledgeable, and engaging? And where do they rank for terms relevant to their business like ‘SEO Agency in [INSERT CITY THEY ARE IN]’, ‘SEO Agency in [INSERT INDUSTRY THEY WORK WITH]’

If they can get their own website to rank well for highly competitive terms like these then they know what they are doing!

Step 2 – Make a short list

Research and make a shortlist of 3 or 4 agencies, including a mixture of maybe regional and national, or large and small SEO firms and call them to arrange a telephone or face to face interview.

Step 3 – Watch this excellent video

Have a watch of ‘How to Hire an SEO Agency’ from Maile Ohye, who was a top Google representative. If you don’t have time to watch it below, (11 minutes) we have outlined all the main points in the next section of this article.

Step 4 – Ask for references

Testimonials and case studies are useful however, these may not always give a complete picture. Ask for a few references of their current or past clients and drop them a line or call. If other clients are willing to take a few minutes to recommend the agency’s services, then that is a great thumbs up.

Step 5 – Be prepared to give it time

SEO is a mid to long term marketing strategy. It is unlikely you will see positive results immediately – we recommend 6 to 9 months is the absolute minimum time you should wait before assessing the outcomes and next moves with your chosen agency. If you jump ship too early you may end up losing all the SEO advantages you have just invested in. But do expect to be kept fully informed on progress on a regular basis.

Google’s ‘How to Hire an SEO Agency’ Official Advice

If you have not got the time to watch the video, then do have a read of our synopsis of the advice from Maile Ohye, in the official Google video on finding the best SEO company for you. You can read the helpful tips and advice all about selecting the right SEO agency for your business.

  • There are no magical tricks in SEO that will provide you with short term gains, so that your site suddenly ranks number 1.
  • The added value that SEO will provide to your business is only as high as the quality of your website, service, or product.
  • Look for appropriate rankings – in the spot when an unbiased potential customer would expect your site to be seen.
  • A successful SEO agency will look to improve the entire searcher experience, not just the ranking positions but the click through rates and conversion rates. They make sure your website is serving all visitors a good experience.
  • SEOs need 4 months to a year to implement improvements and then see benefits.
  • Request that any recommendations are corroborated with an official statement from the google help centre website or webmaster central forum.
  • Speak with your potential SEO agency. They should seem genuinely interested in your business, who your competitors are, who your potential customers are, what other channels you are using, how your business makes money and what your website goals are. They need this information to be able to assess how search can actually help you. The best agencies will take a holistic approach, it’s not just about getting your site the highest short term rankings or the most traffic.
  • Get a technical SEO audit done by your potential SEO firm. They should give you a detailed and prioritised list of what could be improved on your site, what investment it will take to make these changes and the estimated impact. Decide if you want them to make the recommended changes based on going through this audit with them.
  • Ask for and check their references. The SEO firm you choose to work with should feel like someone you trust and can learn from.
  • Be prepared to take the time and investment to implement the changes. If you are not ready to commit to making the recommended SEO improvements then you won’t see the positive impact either…

Can we help you with SEO?

If you would like any more advice, or to discuss a technical SEO audit or what we feel our SEO agency can offer you, then please give us a call and talk to our SEO experts. We are a specialist SEO agency for Bristol and would like to understand your business and help you to achieve your goals. We have SEO clients who are happy to provide references for us and give you the low down on their results and what it is like to work with us, so if you would like to chat to one, we can put you in touch.



About Varn

Varn is an expert & specialist SEO search marketing agency. Technical SEO * AI & Data Analytics * Offsite SEO * Paid Search

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