Many entrepreneurs, whether they own an e-shop or an online business that activates in the services industry, consider that SEO is nothing but a set of “tricks” that help them achieve higher rankings in the results pages of search engines. Few of them know that SEO changed radically in the last years, becoming a complex online marketing practice that involves more than making changes in the source code of a site or subscribing to online business directors.
Although today SEO focuses on high-quality content and a positive user experience, many agencies and freelancers still use techniques that aren`t efficient anymore. Google is constantly updating its ranking algorithms, so in order to rank as high as possible in SERP, you need to collaborate with an experienced SEO agency that has an impeccable reputation.
If you are thinking about hiring an SEO agency, here are five things that you should take into account in order to make the best decision:
1) Stay away from agencies that offer “free SEO audits”
One thing is certain: the high-quality services provided by a professional SEO agency are not cheap! Those who try to entice you with a free audit will only do a quick scan of your site with the help of a free software that you can find it yourself on the Internet. But, the data revealed by the software must be analyzed according to the client’s business industry and the level of competition. Therefore, the most important part of an SEO audit involves interpreting that raw data and creating a strategy that offers a clear direction and the optimal approach in order to meet the needs and business objectives of the client.
Before starting the audit per se, a professional SEO agency will have a preliminary conversation with the client in order to better understand the nature of his business and the level of competition of its industry. During this meeting, a keyword analysis will also be made in order to identify the most relevant search queries.
2) Avoid the agencies that practice standard prices for “keyword packages”
A professional SEO agency like iAgency treats each client separately and analyzes the online market segment, industry, competition, relevance, etc. According to each of these parameters, a SEO strategy is created in order to obtain top rankings in Google, for the keywords that present business interest.
The price for SEO services is established for each individual project, depending on the projects’ necessities, both in terms of growth objectives and the volume of work required to meet them. However, in order to be hired, most professional SEO agencies require a minimum budget on highly competitive markets.
3) Look for an SEO agency that offers 100% transparency
A top SEO agency will communicate with its clients transparently and efficiently, keeping them updated with the project’s performances and the SEO techniques used, usually by sending a monthly activity report. Considering that SEO is a complex process that involves continuous efforts, you are entitled as a client to be treated with transparency and to have access to any information you need in order to asses if your investment in SEO services is profitable.
4) Choose an SEO agency that has real experience with businesses from various industries
A trustworthy SEO agency will openly speak about the performances on other projects from its portfolio. A high level of understanding of business and marketing concepts is essential in order to develop a successful SEO strategy.
5) Don’t trust an SEO agency that makes unrealistic promises
As long as the SEO techniques are meant to influence a third-party (Google), which can always change “the rules of the game” through algorithm updates, and considering that most of the ranking factors are unknown, a professional SEO agency will never promise you a specific deadline for obtaining top Google ranks for your site or a growth percentage of traffic or sales in a certain period of time.