Choosing the right SEO Agency can be the difference between a marketing budget well spent over the next 12 months or the opposite.
With online competition being more fierce than ever before after the surge in online users since the pandemic, you must get it right and spend your budget wisely
When you get it right, you will typically see within 3-6 months a surge in online traffic, higher rankings, and if they also help to tweak your website to move users to the sales funnel; increased revenue.
Since the pandemic, local SEO has become an even bigger player in the marketing world.
People never realised what was on their doorstep until they had to turn to them for help, and now the sense of ‘Keeping it local’ has spread throughout many countries.
However, this is one of 200 Google ranking factors that today’s online presence needs to be aware of..
A solid SEO strategy put together by a local SEO company that understands the local market and how to gain their attention is a good start.
Everyone wants to be at the top of Google searches. Still, dynamics have changed due to Google’s major updates in 2021 and the pandemic, so there are different variants of SEO that can be used cheaply to assist the standard SEO approach.
Here is what to consider when looking for a suitable SEO agency:
- Study an SEO agency’s portfolios
- Be careful of timeframe guarantees
- Look at previous reviews on the SEO agency
- Ask for an example of their work reports (weekly/monthly)
- Fast, cheap and easy – AVOID
Study an SEO agency’s portfolios
An excellent place to start is by checking out their rankings and looking at their website. Do they show up in the top three positions of Google for several search terms within your area?
I don’t know about you, but I always think if they can’t optimise themselves, why can they do that for me in a completely different industry?
They should have case studies and testimonials for you to analyse on their website or by demand.
Be careful of timeframe guarantees
Guarantees are always a cause for concern in ANY form of investment scenario, and organic SEO is a medium to long-term investment. No SEO company can guarantee how many visitors you will get to your site within a specific timeframe and how many will convert to paying clients. If we all had this crystal ball, I would not need to write this article.
With continual updates to Google’s algorithm, your primary concern is how up-to-speed they are with analysing current changes with Google and search trends in and around your industry.
Look at previous reviews on the SEO agency
Google now ranks reviews and engagement as part of their analysis of where you as a company should rank on the SERPs. As an example of other business sectors, TripAdvisor has become almost as mandatory as your Lonely Planet Guide book 25 plus years ago for travelling.
A collective can’t be wrong. If you see 20 reviews and one terrible review while the rest are mixed between four and five stars, you know anyone can have a bad day while writing a review, right? So these can be a good gauge of overall service and results.
Testimonials can be a little more difficult to gauge as they tend to be generic. Also, remember that multiple bad reviews are as easy to find as positive ones online if you search.
And before you make the final decision, take a look at their social media profiles, and make sure they are up-to-date and have plenty of followers.
Ask for an example of their work reports (weekly/monthly)
In my experience, a ‘work report’ can tell you a lot about whether you are working with the right SEO company or not. I’d be very concerned if you get a one to two sheet report at the end of the month.
Even with an SEO agency’s basic package that can involve over 20 different areas that the package has to deal with to deliver the kind of SEO results you are looking for, now that’s difficult to quantify on two pages after one month’s work right?
With the intense competition that we have experienced online since the pandemic, regular reports and being in communication with your extended team is of paramount importance.
On-site and off-site SEO has to be continually worked on, and the best way to do this in collaboration is to have a campaign manager, a go-to person who is in charge of your campaign and knows your needs and requirements.
The best SEO companies give regular detailed reports and break down every single cent to the dollar of where your digital marketing budget is being spent. And even better, if you don’t understand it, they’ll break it down in layman’s terms.
Fast, cheap and easy – AVOID
Well thought out and executed organic SEO takes time, effort and budget but is the best form of marketing for business today.
With constant changes to Google’s algorithm, going with paid ads is not an intelligent move, and one-off fees for short term gains are precisely what they say they are.
Set yourself up with a medium to a long-term business agreement with a local SEO company that knows the area and understands your requirement as the company and the customer.
This way, you will avoid the potential pitfalls that 2022 and 2023 have in store for business owners who think they can handle SEO when in reality, it’s a whole business division in itself.
Cheap fixes in online marketing are to be avoided at all costs.
With local SEO being the buzzword in the industry since the pandemic, scour your local market to find suitable SEO companies. They should thoroughly analyse your business situation, budget and goals to determine the best way to start a campaign. And as an extra tip, the interview period should last an hour. Anyone that rushes you in, asks a few questions and magically prints off a proposal is not to be trusted. Good luck for the rest of the year.