Semalt Advice On How To Find The Right SEO Agency
SEO is a very powerful lever in the world of online marketing. In the long run, a well-optimized site will bring qualified traffic to your website at a much lower cost than paid Google Ads. But the path to the first page of search results is difficult in most industries with ever-increasing competition. In addition, Google's algorithm is getting better at evaluating the quality of a website. You won't get anywhere with quick SEO tricks.
On the contrary, anyone who still tries to circumvent the search engine guidelines today risks a lot. This makes it all the more important to have a good and above all serious agency by your side that works strategically, based on the latest findings and the best SEO tools.
To help you find and especially select a good SEO agency, we have created this article.
Here are our tips for you:
Bring a willingness to change
Do you want to increase your organic traffic, but can't make changes to the structure or content of your website? At best, SEO should consist of invisible changes to the source code and backlinks. Otherwise, your SEO agency won't be able to do much for you.
Don't send mass requests to dozens of agencies.
The inbox of online marketing agencies often looks the same. Please do a pre-screening and see if the agency meets your basic criteria. Most agencies go to great lengths to provide an initial consultation and offer.
Clarify internal structures and availability
Successful SEO requires your cooperation. Clarify in advance which employee will wear their hat when communicating with the agency. Also, clarify the following questions:
- What do resources look like these days?
- Who has the required access?
- What approval processes do you need to complete?
- Who is adding new content to the website?
- Do you have in-house resources to contribute to good SEO copy or should this be entirely outsourced to an agency?
Acquire basic SEO knowledge
No worries. Now you don't have to invest dozens of hours of your limited time but choosing an SEO agency is a bit like buying a car. A little knowledge of the subject protects you from a costly bad investment. A few hours of research on the basics of SEO, a beginner's webinar or even a small workshop can often untangle questionable providers.
Also, to help you check how your website is performing, SEO tools such as the SEO Personal Dashboard are a must.
Keep in mind that SEO is not a sprint
Don't expect quick results. If you're interested in a short-term increase in traffic (for example, if you want to push an event), you're better off using paid Google Ads.
SEO is a long-term process that never ends. SEO is a very powerful lever that can bring you considerable quality traffic in the long run. So, given the time it will take, it is important to work with agencies that provide quality work such as Semalt.
Business Partner Recommendations
If any of your business partners had experience with an SEO agency before, it's worth taking a closer look at the agency. Be sure to ask why your business partner recommends the agency. A family relationship or old friendships should not be the deciding factor here. Instead, ask about concrete successes and personal support.
Many well-known agencies such as Semalt have customer testimonials.
The personalities that put this agency in the spotlight
If you've dealt with online marketing and attended one event or another, you're sure to meet industry personalities again and again. Whether it's through conferences, interviews or articles in trade magazines.
Many familiar faces are agency owners. This does not necessarily mean that the employees are equally qualified in their field of responsibility. Thus considered, the owner holds on to his good reputation and has a reputation to lose in case of unsatisfied clients.
Findability in search engines
The best figurehead is of course always your own website. Can the agency be found for search terms such as "SEO-Agentur + Stadt"? Have you come across the agency when searching for SEO topics? If you know the basics of SEO, check the loading speed of the website, look at the structure of the blog posts or (if you have access to it) take a look at SEO tools like the SEO Personal Dashboard...
Of course, this should not be the deciding factor. Choosing the agency with the highest visibility or position 1 in Google would be too easy. But take a look anyway to see if you, as a layperson, can discover any gross errors on the website.
Be careful with cold calling
Beware of cold calling! If the agency favours cold calling for customer acquisition, it often guarantees insufficient support once the order is placed. Often, a pure sales employee is assigned to the acquisition, who is in no way coordinated with the responsible customer advisor.
The result: orders are generated for which no time resources are available or the necessary know-how is missing.
And let's be honest: especially in the field of SEO, you should actually know better. A good SEO agency knows your buyer persona very well and does not depend on mass requests. Instead, a good agency reaches out to its clients through referrals and inbound marketing.
Criteria of a good SEO agency: what you should pay attention to?
In the following, we have put together some criteria to help you choose the right agency.
How long will it take for the request to be taken into account?
You should give the agency 1 to 2 days for an initial response to your request. However, if you have to wait more than a week for a response, it could indicate that 1- the time resources are not available or 2- the organization within the agency is chaotic. Both are not conducive to further cooperation.
What is the structure and design of the website?
I have already touched on the subject of being able to be found in the previous chapter. On the website of the agency you are looking for, pay attention to what your intuition has told you. The agency will eventually help you design your own website. So, here are the points that need to be addressed with great attention :
- How does the text read?
- How practical and intuitive is the structure of the website?
- Are you interested in the website?
- How fast does the page load?
- Does the agency comply with the GDPR on its own website (including cookie notices, legal notice, data protection statement)?
Does the agency have an active blog?
An active blog shows you on the one hand that the agency implements what it preaches to its clients. On the other hand, it shows its know-how in the field of SEO with content.
By the way, to benefit from the many SEO tips we share every day, please visit our BLOG.
Check out the Google reviews for "Agency + Experience"
Check out the agency's Google and Facebook reviews. Have other clients had bad experiences? If the reviews are obviously negative, please also check to see if the agency has responded and if the reviews are justified.
It's also worth Googling "experience + SEO agency name". A dissatisfied customer may have shared his experience in a forum.
Don't be fooled by the question certificates
Under no circumstances should you be fooled by the certificates on the site. There is no such thing as Google Partner status in SEO! We have often seen that agencies advertise with their Google partnership for the field of Google Ads so that the impression is created that this certification applies to the field of search engine optimization.
It can certainly be interesting to see if at least one employee has Google Analytics certification.
The BVDW certificate is an indication of a good agency. Agencies that use this label must provide proof of quality (more information). However, non-existence should not be used as an exclusion criterion, as the seal is associated with a relatively high expenditure of time and money.
Pay attention to the agency's staff
Look at the staff. The person you contact in the quoting process will rarely be your client advisor. Ask who would handle your project. If the employees are listed on the website, that's a good first step.
Don't hesitate to check out their work history or previous posts on the internet. Is the employee active on the company's blog? If so, see if they are more likely to write about the latest team event or cover specialized topics.
How big is the agency?
Don't let the size impress you. The number of employees and the services offered says nothing about the quality of the cooperation. On the contrary: With a very large portfolio, the question of how well the SEO field can be covered professionally is justified. If SEO is not highlighted as a core competence but appears somewhere lower in the service portfolio, it is best to ask again exactly.
As always, it also depends on what you want. If you are looking for an agency that, for example, should only accompany you in technical SEO; then a small specialized agency may be perfect.
If you want to be provided with other services such as inbound marketing, PR, design, technology, content marketing, SEA, or social media, on the one hand, it is impossible to cover that with an agency with a handful of employees. A specialist is required for each of the mentioned areas of activity. In this case, you should instead direct your request to a larger agency such as Semalt.
With this guide, you now know everything you need to consider if you are looking for a good SEO agency. However, to save you time, we offer you Semalt Services: a suite of quality SEO services for all your SEO needs.