10 Amazing Secrets to find an SEO Agency and how to know you’ve Chosen the right partner
As an SEO agency with more than 15 years of experience, we’ve seen some not so good agencies. However, we know there are some good SEO’s still out there!
Our hope is that you’ve had the pleasure of working with one of them, because we know how much of a difference maker a good SEO partner can be for any local business.
Here are a few of the signs that you should look for in an SEO partner:
1. They have deliverables.
A quality SEO firm is going to show you what they’re doing. They may not be able to show you first-page results, but they do give you evidence of things that they’ve done.
For example, they may show you the following:
- Actual sites that have real dofollow backlinks to your site
- An audit of your site, homepage, content, or link profile, which includes action points
- New content for your pages, or changes to your existing content
- A weekly or monthly report, displaying work they’ve done and how your site ranks
SEO agencies can’t wave the magic wand to improve rankings, but they can do things. If they show you exactly what they’re doing, that’s a good sign.
2. They have recommendations for improvement.
No SEO can help you unless you’re helping them help you. (Did you catch that?)
If they recommend that you do certain things, this tells you that the agency wants to work with you in a partner relationship. If you comply with their requests, you will most likely see the kind of results that you’re hoping for.
Here are a few of the things that quality SEO agencies may recommend:
- Start social channels — Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, LinkedIn, etc.
- Integrate social channels with home page
- Launch a content marketing plan
- Start a blog
- Add content to your homepage
- Integrate internal linking into your existing content
- Optimize all site content
- Add alt tags to images
- Change your robots.txt to allow crawling on other portions of the site
- Create a sitemap.xml
- Improve site speed
- Add WP plugins like Super Cache or Yoast to enhance SEO
- Perform a link profile audit
- Disavow spammy links
When the agency makes such recommendations, they’re not necessarily trying to upsell you or scam you. Sure, the “extra services” — audits, content, etc. — might cost. But this isn’t throwaway money on your part. These SEO services are intended to help you.
I know of SEO agencies who might actually fire you, the client, if you don’t comply. That sounds harsh, but it’s a sure sign that the agency is wearing a white hat and doing the right thing.
3. Your ranking improves.
Ah, rank! Everyone loves to talk about rank, and everyone loves to see rank improvements. If your SEO agency is giving you better rank, then you’re probably in good hands.
Here are signs of legitimate and trustworthy rank improvement:
- Your site is ranking for your target keywords
- Your site is ranking on the first page of Google
- Your site is ranking for a variety of long-tail keywords
- Your ranking stays consistent. Shifting a few positions up and down on a weekly basis is normal. Dropping several positions day after day for several days at a time is not good.
4. Your traffic goes down, but your revenue goes up.
In some cases, you may work with an SEO agency, and subsequently see your traffic drop.
Is this cause for concern? Yes, but only if your revenue goes down. It’s possible that your traffic drops, but your revenue increases.
Understand this: Your goal is targeted traffic, not just lots of traffic. If you receive less traffic, but it’s good traffic, then you’ll improve your revenue.
How so? “Good traffic” consists of traffic that comes from 1) the right long-tail keywords, and 2) the right audience. This kind of traffic is more likely to convert on your site. The result? You get more conversions and revenue from fewer visitors.
(Thank you, awesome SEO agency.)
Things You Must Do to Achieve Success With an SEO Agency
As you try to figure out whether you’re working with a scam agency or a legit agency, there are a few things you should do. Here is my list of six rules for working with an SEO agency.
5. Be patient.
Have you been working with an agency for three months, but haven’t seen any “results?” Relax. SEO takes time.
6. Do basic research.
I recommend that you learn the basics about SEO, and stay on top of major industry changes (a good SEO will assist you in this).
7. Work with them.
SEO is a team effort, and you’ll need to view your agency as a partner in the process. If they’re a good agency, and they ask you to do something, please comply.
If you’ve asked them to do SEO work, you’re going to have to share the burden, too. SEO is a multifaceted field. They’re going to do some of it. You need to do stuff, too.
8. Don’t expect a guarantee (or a refund).
SEOs can’t guarantee their work. Sorry. They can’t do “100% satisfaction” or “full money back guarantees” that some companies are able to do.
Why not? Because SEO is always in flux. SEOs are working with powers — specifically the Power of Google — that are outside of their control. It would be like Apple saying, “Yeah, we can guarantee Microsoft’s work.”
Things change. The tried-and-true practice that worked great on Tuesday might not work well on Thursday.
9. Know what to expect.
Have a clear understanding of what you expect your SEO to do. Don’t fire them because they’re not doing something that they weren’t supposed to do.
- Creating content?
- Creating linkbacks?
- Auditing content?
- Optimizing for local SEO?
- Monitor your link profile?
- Creating new social channels?
- Optimizing conversion elements?
They may do only one thing. They may do nothing in the list above.
Have a clear knowledge from the get-go of what the agency is doing for you.
10. Monitor them.
You have to do this with any outsourced process: Keep tabs.
Find out how they’re doing. Find out what they’re doing. Ask for reports. Check in with your account manager. Look at the reports they send.
Don’t Underestimate the Importance of SEO.
Your online business will succeed or fail based on SEO. It’s too important to hand over to just anyone.
If you’re truly concerned about your business’s success, you’ll give SEO the attention and investment it deserves.
How have you been helped or hurt by an SEO agency?
We’re offering a Free SEO Planning Session that will let you know how you can improve your local presence and generate more traffic.
Click here to book your Free SEO Planning Session Now! http://bit.ly/2Kd0OA6
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