Entrusting your SEO to a third party gives you the freedom to focus on management, as well as improved rankings, profits, and user interaction. But how do you choose the best SEO agency for your business?
Five big do’s
1. Make sure your aims are crystal clear
To hire the best people for the job, you need to be 100% sure what the job really is. So take stock of your online assets and see what needs to be improved.
Do you just need some optimization on your blog? Or does your entire main website need a total overhaul? If you are having trouble identifying your problem areas, get two or three digital analyses done and see what overlaps.
2. Make yourself trackable
Yes, even though it might sound sinister. If you want an SEO strategy to be maximally effective, it has to be tailored to your business and your specific needs. For this, tracking trends is a must.
Make sure you can trust your chosen agency with data from your contact forms, phone calls, on-site searches, click-through rates, visit rates, conversion rates, etc. you have to decide your moves based on solid facts, not fashion and instinct.
3. Add testimonials and case studies to the reviews
Online reviews are growing less and less trustworthy recently since a lot of people abuse them to either boost their own business or bash their competition. Check out this article for some more insight into false online feedback.
Keep in mind, the testimonials on a company’s site will be universally favorable, so look them up on Yelp, Glassdoor, and Better Business Bureau. Also get case studies directly from the agency, to see how they handle different situations.
4. Have a consultation
This will give you an idea of what the people are like and how they work. It is also the prime chance to see if “you click” with these folks since you will need to work together closely in the future.
5. Be sharp on your budget
Plan it before you call anyone, and make sure to stick to the plan. Inquire into different pricing options and packages, and choose whatever option will reach your goals without burning through your wallet.
Five big don’ts
1. Do not fall for fancy presentations
Is the agent offering a shiny, flashy, high-tech-like sales pitch? They will not do the same for your clients. This is “customer bait”, so avoid falling for it. Ask for references with contact information instead. You can find some tips for properly checking references at this link: https://www.go2hr.ca/recruitment/conducting-effective-reference-checks
2. Avoid everybody who has a “secret success key”
It does not exist. Success strategies are widely known. The conditions for success are constantly changing. All the information is out there. Someone who claims to have a “special strategy/ skill/ tool” most likely has no idea what they are talking about. Always demand proof of the agency’s experience.
3. Do not pick an agency that is cheap
It is perfectly okay to compare prices and pick the most economic option, but signing up with a cheap team just because their price label is low is a recipe for disaster. Keep in mind – you really do get what you pay for.
4. Going local for no other reason than “they are local”
Seriously, do not do this. SEO can be done anywhere. Your optimizer does not be on the same block as you, so do not feel limited in that sense. Only be wary of foreign companies. Steer clear unless you are targeting that particular country, the technical and legal sides can get really murky really fast.
5. Do not skip your homework
Seriously, do some proper checks on the people you are interested in working with. this is the part where you look for specific bits of information in all those reviews, case studies, and testimonials.
Have they previously achieved results that are similar to what you want for your business? Are their past and current clients similar to you and your business identity? How do you feel about their language and style of communication?
The risks with black hatters
According to many legitimate experts, like the SEO Agency New York Alpha Clicks, most people think that black hat SEO is a bad thing, but a lot of them are not that good at recognizing it. What you need to understand is that black hats and white hats are just different approaches. The question is, what are you willing to risk for profit and how eager are you to make a quick buck?
Black hat strategies are high-risk moves that will boost your earnings a lot over a short period of time. They are high-risk because they aim to trick the system and this incurs heavy penalties from Google. These penalties are hard to recover from, and this could cause your business to sink. Here are some telltale traits of black hatters:
Promising you ivory towers – saying they can definitely guarantee you visible and awesome results or improvements in some specific span of time. This is a red flag because it is either a blatant lie or a sign of being uninformed. Algorithms are changing every week. There is no way to guarantee anything, especially not at a specific time.
Then, using software to generate massive amounts of pages of low-quality content, or buying a lot of links from unknown, irrelevant, trash-level sites. This also relates to user content that is scraped or thin. What this basically means is that anything unoriginal, which adds no value, will earn you a black mark. This also includes false press items and such that are used for link spamming.
Finally, run like the wind from anyone who wants to retain copyrights over the metadata. if you ever decide to end the contract and go to another agency, they could rob you of your website and make your business life hell. Always protect your copyright!