Are you ready to put your business in the spotlight? Then it is time to take SEO seriously. However, SEO is a highly dynamic and constantly evolving practice. The tricks that drive stellar results today may become virtually ineffective tomorrow! For this reason, businesses invest in outsourcing this task to reputable SEO companies.
While you may come across an affordable SEO services company, the recurring costs for hiring experts can pile on to a hefty sum. Thus, one needs to be mindful of selecting an SEO company that can reap results in the long run.
If hiring an SEO company sounds like a daunting task, here are some metrics that will help you make an informed decision:
Experience and Expertise
Quite often, we think of SEO only in terms of keywords and keyword stuffing.
Interestingly, there are several facets to SEO. Some businesses require a technical approach, while others may focus on off-page SEO elements. Similarly, others may prioritize user experience to boost their ranking. Hence, depending on the requirements, the deliverables and the results may vary accordingly.
However, you need to find an agency that meets these goals while adopting a holistic strategy to address all requirements. Better yet, they will find a balance amongst all the three SEO fronts. Only a highly experienced and competent SEO company will reflect this quality. Their roadmap for driving results would reflect their experience and expertise in this matter.
Case Studies and Portfolio
In continuation of the above point, you may also seek out case studies for their past clients or projects. It would be best to check out their portfolio in the industry closest to the one you operate.
Naturally, the company would share the details of some of its most ambitious projects. Look up these clients to check the legitimacy of their business. Also, check how long these businesses have been in association with the agency. Discount the ones that have been their clients for less than a year as they are yet to draw any benefits. Customer retention rates could also be a great indicator of how satisfied and dissatisfied businesses are with the service provider.
Moreover, as illustrated by the agency, the results should be measurable, tangible, and long-term. You may also check out their reviews and what these clients had to say about their experience while using their services.
Approach Towards Keyword Research
As always, keyword research sets the stage for the success of your SEO activities. Hence, you need to have a firm understanding of how the agency will carry out keyword research.
If the company only talks about inputting a set of keywords in a research tool and populating a list of relevant keywords and then stuffing it in the content for a set density – it’s a red flag. This practice is ineffective and outdated and indicates the company’s inability to keep up with the times.
Modern-day keyword research heavily focuses on an entirely new aspect of search – user intent. To ace keyword research and rank on the SERP, one now needs to tap into the psyche of your everyday regular internet user. Thus, the company should discuss more about the thought and intent behind a search rather than focusing solely on the terms they search.
A man is only as good as his tools. This popular quote also goes for businesses, more so for SEO agencies.
A worthy SEO company would be making use of an assortment of applications to envision, implement, and execute SEO strategies. These tools help streamline operations, make quick and data-driven decisions, and build transparency while saving a ton of money and resources. Plus, certain tools help in specific tasks, which may be per your business’ requirements.
Thus, you must ask the SEO agency to share information on the tools that they use. You must also display curiosity in understanding the why and how behind the logic of using these tools. In doing so, you will also be in a position to identify compatibility issues, if any, that may crop up in the future. Typically, get a sense of the reporting, link building, research, and technical SEO tools that the company would use.
Channels for Communication
Naturally, you would want to stay abreast of all the action taking place to bring your website into the spotlight. For this very reason, it is crucial to understand the modes and channels of communication used by the company to keep its clients in the loop.
Given the dynamic nature of SEO, you would want someone who is readily accessible and available. At the same time, you would also need someone to walk you through the step-by-step process of all the changes made to your website. Hence, look out for someone who uses synchronous and asynchronous communication modes so that you can be apprised of every little step along the way!
Reporting and Metrics
Success means different things for different companies.
Since you may have discussed your business goals and the KPIs of your interest, it would be a smart move to check out a sample report. Ask the agency to share any report that they may have created for their clients. In this manner, you gain keen insight into the various metrics and reporting methods used for measuring and tracking progress. It also helps you understand how they can customize these reports to meet your needs.
While going through the report, check if the SEO experts share any analytical, data-driven, or actionable suggestions or justifications on improving the campaign.
Additionally, is this reporting feature available in the admin dashboard? Or does the agency mail it to you periodically? Ideally, the former is the best-case scenario, as you can pull up data as and when it is required. In the case of the latter, you may also want to discuss the frequency at which these reports are shared by the SEO company.
SEO is a long-term investment. Hence, you should bet on the right horse!
The above metrics can help you assess the SEO company and gain an understanding of the policies and practices governing it. Thus, you will be in a position to filter in the agency that promises long-term success.