Thinking about ranking and being on the first page of search results is a goal for hiring an SEO marketing agency. But let’s see the big picture. Ultimately you are looking for more conversion in sales and leads. Conversion rate is the primary key performance metric for all companies. For example, they need more product orders, filled forms on a quote request page, or a longer customer email list.
However, it may be interesting for you if we mention the SEO process is not responsible for sales or leads. Better to say there are other sides for sale. You need to see the sale process from a bird’s view. You should check the procedures before and after SEO implementation. For instance, ensure that your warehouse has enough items to answer demands before getting a list of emails or orders.
After conversion, you must have an effective delivery system for products and services. We realized some companies want to boost their rank, but before that, they need a better process to answer requests. It includes your website design, inbound logistics, operations, outbound logistics, etc. . You should be aware that a considerable part of the bounce rate is poor content and design. Also, the minimum click structure to help visitors find their needs is critical. So, in terms of conversion, more processes play a role besides search engine optimization.
To ensure what you want from an SEO agency, check the niche market, competitors, current rank, and content you have. Knowing your goal before hiring an SEO marketing agency is vital because you want to save time and money. For instance, a company should be aware of the standard potential of SEO Click Through Rate (CTR). That means the minimum and maximum traffic they may expect from this approach. It is also important to know SEO process needs time to show the impact. A business owner can not and should not expect one night result.
The other point here is how a firm knows the market and trends. There is a big difference in the number of visitors for a local retailer and a surgeon seller company. The reason is the demand already exists in the market for products or services is different. So, it is better to implement market research before hiring an agency to draw the path.
Furthermore, you should know what ROI will make you happy for spending money and time to hire an SEO company. Do research or ask those SEO agencies to analyze your competitor’s gain from online marketing. Besides SEO audit for your current situation, a business needs to know the numbers the rivals achieved. Your expectation can illustrate a clear picture for you and your SEO agency and make a good relationship.
An SEO marketing agency (based on its ability and services) may offer you different solutions. It can be optimizing content, providing external links, technical SEO, boosting your local SEO, eCommerce SEO and even voice SEO. So you must choose wisely and pick one or a combination of services. In addition, your expected outcome can be:
These bullet points and many more objectives determine your SEO strategies and help to be on the same page.
After ensuring all functions work correctly and determining your business and SEO goals, it is time to search for SEO marketing agencies. First, you need to make a list of agencies, which means something other than calling them and asking for the price. You can do that by searching for an online list by searching for the best agencies. Also, you can create your list by searching for a specific SEO solution or having SEO experience in your niche market. It depends on your needs and what solution is essential for your business. The other factor is the location. Are you looking for a local SEO agency, or is the price critical? Use a related keyword to search and find better options. Try to make a list of almost ten agencies for further investigation.
We mentioned you need to know about a specific SEO solution for business, and the list of SEO agencies must provide the services you want. Unfortunately, for some business owners, SEO services could be unclear, or they need more time to determine which is more critical. So, how to select the best SEO marketing agency?
You can investigate the services they mentioned on their website. Generally, each SEO agency that offers the below services can cover your needs:
SEO marketing agencies may offer some or all of the list we mentioned. You need to check if they provided them on the website or proposal. In that case, they can provide the solution for your business needs.
The main question for businesses that want to start optimizing their website is what would be the first step to ask from an agency? Of course, the answer always begins with technical SEO. Because in the world of SEO, in the end, you need to deal with search engines, and every effort would be worthless if the search engines technically can not find your website or pages. Make sure your website is crawlable, mobile-friendly, and load speed is less than 3 seconds. There are many other factors for technical SEO, but those three KPIs are very important for search engines.
We asserted above the price can be an item in choosing an SEO agency. Indeed, the budget for every activity in businesses (especially for small businesses) is limited, and they are trying to optimize their expenses. However, in SEO, we must warn you that it may cause a considerable problem. The company should find an SEO marketing agency that can create long-lasting traffic to your website. Here is the risk. If you reduce the cost by signing a contract with a low-cost SEO company, it may cause a real danger for your website, especially if you already have considerable traffic. Search engines can penalize your website very quickly by reducing your rank. It may happen if your contractor uses a duplicated piece of content, toxic backlinks, etc., which can increase the risk of losing visitors and at the end of the road, you are the only party who is hurt.
Furthermore, it takes time to recover your company’s reputation in case of switching to another SEO company. You need to consider your budget but remember the SEO process is a long-term solution, and you must invest for the future. Finding an SEO marketing agency with a reasonable service fee is better than just looking for the cheapest one.
After creating the list of agencies, you need to visit their website. Let’s start with the homepage. The homepage is the most important page for most businesses, and SEO marketing firms know that. So they try to make it perfect for maximizing lead generation and presenting themself. You should find the homepage user-friendly and well-designed and navigate through the homepage and other pages easily. You also may find some information about their work, team and contact options. Remove the agency from the list if they have an old homepage, out-of-date information, and not an eye-catchy design.
The next page you need to check is the About page. This page is the second sales pitch for agencies to grab your attention. You may find happy employee, a pleasant work environment, and videos about the company that shows people like the company and they are pleased to serve clients. Also, you can find the agency’s values that indicate how a company process the work. Furthermore, they will reflect their awards, badges, certificates, etc., on the About page and can increase clients’ trust in an SEO agency. If they can not promote their abilities and you find the About page not informative, it would be a good idea to leave the agency.
The third page you need to check is Blog. Agencies write articles and post them on their website to increase ranking. Not just for agencies but for all websites, it works if they publish blogs timely. If you see the latest posts that talk about SEO topics and they are still publishing blogs, it may say the agency is trying to stay up-to-date and increase its search ranking. But if you find they have no blog or a few articles from several months ago, they will not be serious about their job.
After listing SEO marketing agencies and checking websites, it is time to evaluate their strength. You can use many online tools that help you to compare them with facts and figures. Some websites like Moz or SEMrush have free versions that are enough for your work. However, you need an email to sign up and gain access to many features without paying a cent or submitting a credit card. If you want to avoid signing up for these online applications, you can search for them on Google.
For the first step, you can search the agency’s brand name, and they should be in the first rank on the search result. If an agency is not in the first result, you can delete it from the list.
The second step is to select a primary keyword (like “SEO marketing agency in [city name]”) and search for that to find the result. The SEO marketing agency should be in the search result and have a high rank for that keyword. In that case, they can find more clients and have enough experience. But be aware in the search result, check their domain, not other websites like directories listing businesses in a specific city. Then, you can filter the agencies that are not ranking for a main keyword.
You are almost done with the SEO agencies’ websites, and it is time to contact them. There are many ways to do that. However, each agency may introduce its desired contact process, but all of them have a contact page. Some prefer to call them directly, some provide a contact form, or you can schedule a meeting.
Each method has pros and cons. For a phone call, you can talk to a person in the company directly and usually, the person on the other side of the phone is an expert who may assign to your project. In that case, you can ask more related questions rather than email them.
For booking an appointment, you may have a virtual session means you can see the person online. However, it will make a better conversation because of a face-to-face meeting. Also, you can find out how the company works and in what environment they are located.
Regarding the contact form approach (email contact), time is a leading player. You can determine the time you want to write for them and the questions you want to ask. Also, you can manage your time to check their answer or send another email for further questions. Furthermore, in future, you will have a record of your conversation to compare or decide about several options.