Every business owner knows that SEO is vital for business survival, especially during the COVID-19 Pandemic. However, hiring SEO experts that consistently provide the highest ROI can be a difficult task.
When search engines like Google suggest steps to follow while hiring an SEO agency, it is worth listening to. In this article we summarize these important factors to help our clients find a reputable SEO agency that will expand their online presence and provide continual growth and sustainable competitive advantage.
1. SEO ROI Takes Patience
One thing you have to be aware of is that SEO efforts cannot be reflected within days or weeks, instead, high rankings take months and sometimes years. Many agencies use methods that are against Google Guidelines, sometimes on purpose and sometimes not-knowingly. This is not recommended and will likely lead your website being penalized and dropping from Google’s search results.
An ideal SEO service provider will take the time to understand your business goals and apply ethical SEO strategies accordingly while constantly learning and evolving with new technologies.
Google states that it takes a minimum of 4 months to a maximum of 1 year to reap the SEO benefits in real-time.
2. Schedule an Interview With the SEO Agency
SEO is a multifaceted marketing technology, therefore it is crucial to schedule a 2-way interview with the SEO consultant. Google suggests that if the SEO agency does not seem interested in learning about your business from a holistic standpoint, look elsewhere. In the scheduled interview, you will partially understand if the agent will take care of your online business.
A good SEO agency will be focussed on understanding your business goals, marketing requirements, target audience, services, etc. Without a proper level of understanding, it is not possible to run a successful SEO strategy. Google advises that the SEO agent should raise questions like:
- What makes your business, content, and service unique and therefore valuable to customers?
- What does your common customer look like and how do they currently find your website?
- How does your business make money and how can search help?
- What other marketing channels are you using?
- Who are your competitors? What do they do well online and potentially offline?
At the time of the interview, you should provide insights on business goals, your market, customers, other marketing, and digital initiatives to the SEO consultant.
3. Check How They Deal With Google’s Algorithm Changes
To take a more natural approach and improve user experience, Google continues to tweak its algorithm. Over the years, Google has introduced updates like Panda (for identifying plagiarized and keyword-stuffed content), Penguin (to identify spammy links), Hummingbird (to identify low-quality content), BERT (to understand natural language), and more.
The way an SEO agency answers questions related to algorithm updates will help you identify if they are adaptable and agile. You must steer clear from agencies who still stick with old approaches like keyword stuffing and ad centered content. Make sure to ask the SEO agency if they follow the latest SEO techniques and how they deal with algorithm updates.
4. Check for References From Their Current Clients
If you are in a confused state to gauge the performance of the SEO agency, then you can check their current clients’ reviews. Moreover, professional SEO service providers will maintain a robust relationship with the other teams in the company such as designers, developers, UX developers, etc.
Check with at least three clients. This analysis will be helpful for you to know whether the agency is capable of providing you the essential SEO services. Discuss with the clients about key areas like:
- Where were their rankings for major keywords before and after the SEO had been implemented?
- Was the agency easy to work with?
- Did the agency offer helpful, actionable SEO advice during specific times?
According to Google, a reputed SEO agent should be someone you can work with, learn from, experiment with, and who genuinely cares about you and your business.
5. Request a Technical and Search Audit
If you are satisfied with the results from the agency’s interview and from references of the current clients, you can proceed to the next step. Google suggests that you should request the agency to perform search & technical audits for free and come up with a list of technical and search-related issues in your site, as well as ideas to resolve the issues. This will help you identify how they prepare monthly SEO reports and differentiate a good SEO consultant from a bad one.
To analyze this data, you have to provide restricted access to your Google Search Console & Google Analytics accounts.
Typically, during the analysis, SEO agencies will verify your website’s internal linking, crawlability, URL parameters, server connectivity, and response codes to name a few. Based on the advice of Google, an agency should provide you with high-level tactics and proven methods, budget estimates, expected impact the changes will make and plans on how to implement their suggested changes.
A search audit is a review between relevant search keywords used on your website content and keywords applied by the users for search. Experienced SEO’s will check whether important keywords are utilized effectively in your content and identify areas that can be improved from a keyword standpoint.
6. Choose a Reputable SEO Agency
Today, most of the people wish to flourish in their business via digital marketing. This leads to a massive crowd of SEO agencies, which makes the selection process of choosing a reliable provider challenging. To make your selection process easier, Google has curated this step-by-step guide to assist you in choosing a reputable SEO agency. If you are looking to find the best SEO company for your business that will greatly boost your online visibility, then this guide is for you.
Here’s a video from the Google YouTube channel on how to hire an SEO agency for your business.
These are the effective steps that Google recommends when hiring an SEO agency for increasing your website’s online visibility among your targeted audience.
We hope that this article would have helped you find the best SEO agency for your business. If you are already working with an agent, then you can utilize these steps to confirm that you are working with a well- experienced agent.
You can keep this article as a reference and find the top SEO service providers like Wisevu who provide smart & ethical strategies to enhance your site’s visibility. If you need further assistance in hiring a reputable and experienced SEO service provider, please reach out to us and we will provide you with a free consultation and a detailed SEO proposal specifically prepared for your industry.
Let us know in the comments section below which part do you struggle with the most while hiring an SEO agency, so that we may extend our support to you.