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.
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.
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.
Varn is an expert & specialist SEO search marketing agency. Consultancy * Search * Analytics * Audits