Top Tips for Choosing an SEO Agency
In 2021, harnessing the power of SEO is a necessity for all businesses, regardless of their size or industry. The Covid-19 pandemic demonstrated the power of the digital; companies that had a pre-established online presence found it far easier to navigate the challenges of lockdowns and border closures than those that didn't.
SEO is quite a technical area of marketing, which is why many companies opt to outsource their SEO activities to external agencies. While this is a great strategy, there tends to be an enormous difference in the quality of work and results obtained between various SEO companies. So, how can you tell the good from the bad?
If you are searching for a team specializing in SEO in Melbourne, read on to discover what factors you should consider (and which agencies you should definitely steer clear of!)
What does an SEO agency do?
Before picking an SEO agency, it's important that you understand their exact function.
SEO stands for 'search engine optimisation', which is the process of making improvements to your site to increase search engine visibility. When you search a term -- known as a keyword -- using a search engine, the engine will crawl through every page on the internet, taking into account a variety of factors to present the website they think best matches what you are looking for.
These factors can include:
- How secure a website is
- The page load speed
- Whether or not a site is mobile friendly
- 'Crawlability' -- that is, whether or not the engine's bots can access a page.
- Analytics on user engagement
- The presence of quality, keyword optimised content
- Backlink profile.
It is the role of an SEO agency to put together a strategy that elevates your website to the top of the search engine results page, or SERP.
SEO is different to 'pay per click' advertising, or PPC, in that you cannot pay to have a site elevated to the top of organic search results. It takes insider knowledge, a strategic mindset, and hard work to get a website ranking for any one particular keyword. A good SEO agency understands this and knows that your end goal is to have more traffic to your site that results in increased profits.
How to choose an SEO agency
First up -- why do I need an SEO agency?
While it's true that there are some areas of SEO you can implement yourself, it really is a job best left to the professionals. By hiring a reputable SEO company in Australia, your company can focus on what they do best while benefiting from the experience and knowledge of SEO experts.
However, not all SEO agencies are created equal, and there are literally thousands of them out there. When deciding between agencies, consider the following key points:
1. Make sure they know what they're talking about
One of the great things about SEO is the amount of resources there are out there. The SEO community is enormous and very willing to share their knowledge with newcomers.
The downside of this is that many agencies claim to be SEO experts when they only really have beginner knowledge. SEO is more of a science than an art and it takes extreme skill and patience to execute proven strategies.
That's the other thing about SEO -- it takes time. Don't be fooled by any agency who promises quick results. In reality, it can take months to improve keyword ranking, particularly if you are operating by the SEO rules.
An agency that advertises lightning fast turnaround may be following 'black-hat' techniques. If Google, or any other search engines, catches on to the fact that you are trying to bend the rules, they can blacklist your website and send it plummeting to the bottom of the search rankings.
Be discerning about who you trust your website with and only work with agencies who have proven results and know what they're talking about.
2. Understand your own goals
SEO is really just another form of marketing, and the end goal of any marketing strategy is to increase customer engagement (and profits). For most people, this will be their SEO goal.
However, amidst terms like 'keyword ranking' 'traffic' 'lead generation' and 'page speed', this goal can quickly get lost. Before meeting with an SEO agency, make sure you have sat down internally and discussed your future direction. If your goals line up with the expertise and strategies of your SEO agency, you are more likely to have a successful campaign and get a return on your marketing investment.
3. Ask for recommendations
When it comes time to pick an SEO agency, many people turn to Google. After all, a team that specialises in search engine ranking should occupy a top spot on the Google results page, right?
Well, not necessarily. A better strategy might be to ask for recommendations within your industry or from other similarly sized companies. There are many factors that go into a good SEO agency, and not all of them can be demonstrated through a quick Google search.
4. Communication is key
Finally, prioritise communication. Ideally, your SEO agency should report to you on a monthly basis. This report can include what kinds of on-page, technical, and off-page activities they have undertaken and what the results have been -- increased keyword ranking, improved page speed, and more.
Whether these reports are accompanied by in-person (or virtual) meetings is up to you. However, when you're trusting your website and search engine rankings with an external agency, more communication is always better than less.
Finding an SEO company in Australia is no easy task. Take your time, meet with agencies in-person, and ask all the questions you need so that you can be confident in your choice. Then sit back and let the SEO experts do the work for you!