When looking for Search Engine Optimization services for your business, you will realize that you have plenty of options.
By “options,” we mean there are plenty of service providers that you can choose from. Add to that the fact that there are various SEO tactics that you can implement.
However, it is your job as an entrepreneur to expand your venture. This includes acquiring new clients and finding ways to increase your revenue.
Hence, we would understand if you do not have the time to do keyword research, write a blog, and optimize your website.
This is where a reputable SEO agency can help.
That said, we have listed eight factors that you should look for when choosing the right SEO services for your business.
1. Knowledge And Expertise
Of course, it would make that you would want to only work with the best SEO agency. This explains why you should check a company’s knowledge and expertise.
What you can do is read their blog and watch their YouTube videos if they have any. Do they produce content that allows you to learn a thing or two about SEO? Or did you become more discombobulated in the end?
Another thing you should look at is the people behind an SEO company. Who are they, and what do they post about on social media?
This will showcase their SEO expertise and give you an insight into whether you share the same values.
You should also check whether they speak at events. Better yet, attend their speaking engagements if they have one in your area.
2. Years In The Business
Here’s the thing: Just because an SEO agency has been in the business for a decade does not necessarily mean they are the best.
Instead of looking at the number of years, we suggest checking who their past clients. If you saw a brand that is similar to yours, take it as a sign.
This shows that they already know what SEO packages for small business would work well for you.
3. Existing And Previous Clients
In relation to the point mentioned above, you can also ask for the agency’s list of existing and previous clients. This can be a portfolio or a case study.
What can you do about it? You can contact these business and website owners yourself. Ask whether they did work with your preferred SEO agency and how their experience was.
This way, you would know whether the SEO agency is telling the truth or just being gaudy with their campaign results.
4. Existing SEO Strategies
As mentioned earlier, there are various SEO tactics that you can implement. However, doing everything will be beneficial for your business. Moreover, an SEO campaign will depend on the goal you would want to accomplish.
For instance, if you want to increase your website’s search engine ranking, you will need to do the following:
- Keyword research
- On-page optimization
- Link building
These are just some of the basics.
On the other hand, you have to implement a different SEO campaign if your goal is to increase conversion and sales. But you will likely see an overlap in tactics.
5. SEO Best Practices
Speaking of SEO strategies, you should know what tactics an SEO agency is likely to implement to help you achieve your marketing goal.
Doing so can inform you if they are an expert in their field. It also helps you gauge whether they are doing white or black hat SEO tactics.
Crazy Egg defines white hat SEO as anything correct and ethical. Meanwhile, black hat SEO is considered manipulative.
White hat SEO follows the search engine guideline and focuses on providing value to a target audience. However, generating results can take a while.
Meanwhile, black hat SEO is designed for gaming the system to get quick wins. The problem with following such practice is that it can hurt your website’s search engine ranking later on.
How would you know when an SEO agency is offering your white hat or black hat tactics? Watch out for these tactics:
White Hat SEO Practices:
- Standard-compliant HTML
- Producing high-quality content
- Keyword optimized image ALT texts
- Relevant links and references
Black Hat SEO Practices:
- Duplicate content
- Keyword stuffing
- Cloaking (redirecting a visitor to another website)
- Linking from irrelevant websites
6. Practical Results
Other than SEO best practices, you should look into whether an SEO agency can provide you with practical results.
“Practical results” could mean different things.
One SEO agency can promise you a 10% increase in organic website traffic within three months. At the same time, another promised you a 25% increase.
How would you know which is practical? Look at what tactics they are can do to achieve those results.
It is possible to achieve a 25% increase in organic traffic, consider you will be efficient in implementing your SEO tactics. You should also consider your website’s health, as it can make or break your campaign.
7. Reports And Updates
How would you know if an SEO agency is doing its job? By sending regular reports.
Depending on your contract, you can receive reports as often as once a week to once per month. What is included in the report will also vary depending on your marketing goals and tactics used.
If you want to increase your organic website traffic, you will likely see a web analytics report. This should also include a month-on-month traffic comparison.
But if you are after the increase in leads and conversion, you should receive a lead generation and conversion report. For instance, the number of sign-ups you received for the past month and its associated value.
As to the report document format, it can vary from PDF format to Google Analytics dashboard. And it is something that you and your service provider can agree upon.
8. Pricing And Budget
You may find the best SEO agency you would want to work with. But it will be for naught if you cannot afford their services.
This is where asking for a free quote could come in handy. That’s because it gives an idea of how much you will need to shell out to optimize your business website.
However, you should not walk away either just because you do not have sufficient funds.
What we can suggest is, to be honest with the SEO company. Let them know your current budget and ask what you can get out of it. You would be surprised at what a $1,000 monthly marketing budget can do to help you get started with your campaign.
Remember: Search engines constantly update their algorithm to ensure that they provide the most relevant results to their users.
As such, it is an SEO’s job to keep himself abreast of these changes. That way, they can provide you the kind of services that your business needs. From there, you can make your business grow through digital marketing means.
Meanwhile, keep in mind that SEO is a continuous process. Working with a reputable service provider is the initial step. But you should also enrich yourself on how SEO works.
Take the time to learn how your SEO tactics work. Doing so ensures that you are not left in the dark about what your agency is doing to boost your business’s online presence.