How do you choose the right SEO agency for your brand? There are hundreds of companies out there claiming to offer top-notch services. How do you know who to trust?
The Internet has become a significant source of information for consumers. If you want to reach them, it will help if you get found online. Regular online visibility is critical. Search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo rank websites according to their relevance to user searches. When someone types something into a search box, they expect to see relevant results.
SEO agencies play a crucial role in helping businesses succeed online. They provide expertise in optimising websites for search engines. This means that they can increase traffic to your site and boost sales.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is an aspect of digital marketing you can’t afford to do wrong.
You are on the wrong track if you rely on paid advertisements alone. Consumers are wary of paid ads.
According to Moz, only ~2.8% of people click on paid advertisements in all US searches, and only ~2.8% click on paid advertisements.
Moreover, if you embark on a paid advertisement campaign and your website is slow and not optimised, you will throw money down the drain because many people will leave a website if it takes too long to load.
Nowadays, more than 60% of internet users turn to search engines to find information; getting your site to appear in search results is even more critical.
The importance attached to SEO is one of the reasons why you need to find the best SEO agency you can afford to partner with. They will help you do your SEO well from the start.
For example, 48% of local searches result in phone calls or people visiting that location in 24 hours.
When growing your business online, you’re not only competing against your direct competitors; you are also competing against all other website owners. You are all competing for the coveted top position on the first page in search engine results.
Stats from Moz, the top 3 or 4 results are getting more than 70% of those clicks, 65% or 70%, and Page 1 gets 95% plus of the clicks.
According to this article, a recent study shows that the first three organic search rankings result in nearly 40 per cent of all click-throughs. While up to 30 per cent of all results on Page 1 and 2 don’t get clicked at all.
The same article in Search Engine Journal also mentions that Google owns about 75 per cent of the overall search market. The remaining 25 per cent of the market held by other engines is valuable to brands, too. It is the reason why the majority of SEO practitioners focus on Google.
Understand the Difference Between Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and SEO
The difference between search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) is that SEO focuses on getting traffic from organic searches. In contrast, SEM focuses on getting traffic from organic and paid searches. Both SEO and PPC are ways to market your business in search engines.
SEO is using non-paid tactics to drive traffic to your website organically. It’s a slower process (usually three to six months) but can pay long-term dividends. SEM, including PPC, is using paid search platforms to drive targeted traffic to your website. It requires a budget but can produce results very quickly.
Know When to Hire an SEO Agency vs Doing It Yourself
Why hire an SEO agency? Many business owners (and CEOs) believe hiring SEO companies in Nigeria is expensive, so they hire an in-house team or do the SEO themselves! Can’t you do it by yourself? Yes, you can! With research, patience, and practice, anyone can learn how to do SEO for their business. However, SEO practices and search algorithms are ever-changing. Are you prepared to commit the time and resources necessary to do SEO for your own business? Remember, time is money! So wouldn’t you instead focus your precious time on other areas of your business?
Nowadays, SEO is a must for businesses to stay on top. So, believe it or not, working with an experienced SEO agency is the most cost-effective option. It’s much cheaper than building your in-house SEO team and running your campaign. An SEO agency can often handle the same amount of work as an in-house SEO employee, if not more, at a fraction of the cost.
An SEO agency handles these tasks for you and gets them done efficiently with their expertise in SEO. Regardless of your company size, hiring them would help you to focus on running your business. Hiring a local SEO agency is an important decision that can have significant long-term consequences for your business.
An SEO expert or agency can help ensure that your website is one of the first resources to appear in the search results when consumers do a web search.
Hiring an SEO agency is a great way to improve your online presence, increase brand awareness, and increase traffic volume.
They may also be able to assist with other related SEO processes and services like link building, content creation and Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) to improve customer service and ultimately impact the conversion rate of your website. A reputable agency will also help you avoid black hat SEO practices that will penalise your site by search engines and thus negatively impact your search rankings.
Find Out Which Keywords Are Most Important to Your Business
Keyword research helps you find which keywords and search terms are best to target and provides valuable insight into the queries that your target audience is interested in.
Find out what interests your current audience, then go further. Look at your brand and the products or services you sell to identify some of the keywords your competitors use. Make a list of “seed keywords” you believe your customers would be searching for based on your products, industry, and unique selling proposition.
To discover the best and most relevant keywords for your business model, you’ll need to conduct keyword research using any of the many keyword research tools available.
Ask Questions About Their Experience & Results
Are you wondering if your prospective SEO agency or consultant knows what they’re doing? Online rankings and reviews of SEO agencies do not always provide a complete picture, and it’s easy for bad SEOs to make the improvements look better than they are. So ask the prospective SEO agencies questions about their experience and results.
How much experience does the digital marketing agency have? How many years have they been working in Digital Marketing? What kind of marketing strategy will they adapt to your niche/industry? What backlink strategy do they use? How long will it take to see results? How specifically will they improve your website rankings? How has their strategy worked for their existing or past clients? Are they proficient in using Google Analytics (GA), Google Search Console (GSC) and other SEO tools to measure organic traffic and user experience? You should encourage your potential SEO company to elaborate on these critical SEO interview questions as a potential customer. Be sure to note their answers to these questions.
Check References & Reviews
Check their website for companies they have worked for, or ask the agency directly for references and online reviews. Avoid the companies that offer SEO services without references, reviews, and data backing up. Testimonials from current clients, reviews, and data will speak for themselves. Ensure the SEO company has hands-on experience in projects similar to your requirements and authentic client reviews.
Criteria Used in Selecting the Right SEO Agency
So how can you choose a top SEO agency that’s right for your brand? As a business owner, it’s understandable if you don’t know much about SEO or the selection process involved in choosing an SEO agency.
However, you don’t need to worry. Your SEO agency must explain to you what the SEO process is all about. You can use the three criteria mentioned below as a guide for a start.
Partnering with an agency that understands your brand's vision and mission is essential. Click To Tweet
Compatibility is one of the most important things to expect from an SEO agency. The SEO agency needs to get to know your business.
They need to discuss with you to understand your business and define your SEO campaign’s goals and define the goals of your SEO campaign.
You need to agree on what KPIs (links, rankings, traffic, referrals, social shares, and so on) you’d be using to measure the success or otherwise of your campaign.
Discuss the cost and if it’s affordable for you, considering that an SEO campaign is not a one-off affair. It usually requires a long-term commitment from both parties to yield tangible results.
Find out what strategies they would use to help you meet your goals and if they would achieve them within a reasonable timeframe. Many organisations don’t feel they can define a focused digital strategy.
Is the SEO agency ready to answer all your questions? Are they transparent about their strategies and processes, or are they dodgy?
Transparency is sensitive because SEO and most digital marketing have intellectual property.
So the agency may not want to divulge all its processes and strategies to you without getting a firm commitment from you.
Agency’s not willing to divulge all their processes to you is understandable. After all, as a client, you must learn to respect the agency’s intellectual property rights. Nobody likes a client who tries to “play smart” or “pick your brain” for free.
Ask lots of questions to know if the SEO firm offers the level of transparency that makes you feel comfortable.
Once you’ve selected your preferred SEO agencies and signed on as a client, you should expect that their level of transparency will increase.
You must realise that the constant change in search engine algorithms makes most digital marketers learn on the job.
There must be open lines of communication. The agency must proactively communicate how your campaign is performing and if any issues need attention.
It would help if you held the SEO agency accountable for meeting established goals and KPIs.
Before hiring an SEO agency, they must tell you who will be held accountable for what and why.
They should also let you know the feedback they would need from you on your SEO campaign.
Most professional SEO agencies are proactive in this regard and will always reach out to you with daily, weekly, or monthly accounts and reports depending on your agreement.
They will keep you abreast of what, why and how of each step in your campaign. If the drive is not going according to plan, the agency will reach out to you with suggestions on what to do to get back on track.
In conclusion, finding the perfect SEO agency isn’t always easy, but it’s essential to find an agency that understands your business goals and has experience with similar clients.
These three are the most important criteria for selecting an SEO agency to handle your SEO campaigns.
As mentioned, partnering with an agency that understands your brand’s vision and mission is essential for a successful SEO campaign.
Your brand is unique, and the SEO agency you hire has to treat your brand and find custom SEO solutions for your brand.
Gone are the days of cookie-cutter one size fits all SEO campaigns. Google’s algorithm has developed more than it was five or ten years ago. Therefore your SEO strategies and tactics have to move with the times.
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