In order to keep up with the latest updates to search engine algorithms, it’s essential that your company hire a search engine optimization (SEO) agency that can provide your business with optimal results. An effective SEO strategy can improve organic traffic to your website, help generate more leads and sales, and helps to improve your search rankings.
SEO is a constantly evolving practice. So how can you ensure that your company is hiring the right agency? You don’t have to be an SEO expert to hire someone to create and execute an SEO strategy. However, you do need to make sure you’re asking the right questions to guarantee you are partnering with the right agency.
What is their philosophy of approaching SEO to deliver results?
There are three major components for creating and successfully executing an effective SEO strategy. The most successful SEO companies consider all three components when developing a comprehensive SEO strategy.
- Technical SEO considers code, site structure, site speed, and other metrics that could impact your search traffic. During a technical SEO review, an SEO professional will check to ensure search engines can access, crawl, understand, and rank your site.
- User experience (UX) is the optimization of the content throughout your website (both front end and back end). During an on-page SEO review, an SEO expert will analyze user-facing aspects of your site, including navigation, keyword optimization, and content.
- Off-page SEO improves SEO presence by earning links, strengthening the brand online, and improving the popularity of the site and content. To execute off-page SEO campaigns, an SEO agency will recognize opportunities to increase your domain and page authority using incoming links to your site from other high-quality sources.
Did the agency take the time to understand your business objectives?
Once you find agencies that implement all three core SEO components into their strategy development, it’s important to make sure they will customize these components to your strategy. This starts with understanding your organization and its business objectives. For example, who is your target demographic? Are you looking to increase sales or create more brand awareness? What are your goals for the future and how will an effective SEO campaign help to achieve those goals? Your SEO campaign should be designed to meet the unique needs and goals of your company.
Did the prospective agency develop a proposal catered to your needs or was it a copy/paste job from a template?
You can tell a lot from a proposal. If the initial partnership proposal is created from a general copy/paste template, it’s safe to assume their approach to SEO strategy will be the same. SEO is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Your SEO partner should have a general understanding of how your organization requires a unique approach that caters to your business model, industry, and goals. Subsequently, your SEO campaign should cater to your needs and goals.
Are they promising and guaranteeing to rank on the 1st page?
No SEO company or expert can guarantee page-one rankings, let alone the first position. Companies making these types of guarantees are probably using black-hat (spam) techniques. While these techniques may generate traffic for a short time, they will ultimately land you a penalty, including significantly reduced traffic and rankings or even completely dropping off from search results.
Anyone can claim to be the best agency in Dubai, but can they back their talk with results? Be sure to ask to see their results. Do they have a case study you can review? Agencies that have long-term positive results with clients will have ways to show their work. An SEO agency that won’t share its results should not be trusted.
How do they track a successful SEO campaign?
While there are specific metrics to tracking a successful SEO campaign (eg. rankings, organic traffic, search impressions, leads, etc.) the best SEO agencies understand that measurements for success should stem from your specific goals and business objectives. Meaning, metrics for success should vary from client to client and can be catered to your specific needs.
Common key performance indicators (KPIs) for an SEO campaign may include:
- Organic traffic
- Increase in Search Impressions
- Increase in Leads generated form Search Traffic
- Increase in Sales generated from Search Traffic
- Increase in Subscriptions generated from Search Traffic
An SEO agency’s success metrics should be directly based on your business goals, so look for companies that turn this question around and seek the answer from you. The best SEO professionals customize their plans around your business model. For example, if you’re looking for increased traffic, they may prioritize keyword optimization or content creation. On the other hand, if you’re aiming for increased local traffic, they may recommend optimizing your local business profiles.
Do they provide clear pricing guidelines?
Before entering into a partnership with an SEO agency, you need to fully understand the pricing structure. Your SEO agency should fully understand your budget and provide a payment structure to eliminate any surprises.
Who are the agency’s clients? Who have they worked with?
While confidentiality is important, it’s also important to know who your agency works with. The best SEO agencies will happily provide you with a list of clients they work with. This will help you understand if they can meet the needs of your organization. It will also show you whether or not they have built a reputation for success within the world of SEO.
When looking at client references and reviews, consider how long they have worked with their clients. Ideally, you want to work with an agency that has built a strong reputation for success.
How will you communicate and how often?
Communication is vital to any productive relationship. The best SEO agencies will clearly articulate how they will communicate with you. This will include what platforms they will use to communicate (i.e., email or other secure messaging platforms), and how frequently they will communicate (i.e., weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc.). Ultimately, you want to work with an SEO agency that will keep you in the loop as they complete the various tasks outlined in your contract.
What techniques they’re using to avoid black hat practices?
Black hat SEO is defined as using a disapproved practice to increase a page’s ranking in a search engine result page. Black hat practices are against the search engine’s terms of service and can result in the site being banned from the search engine and affiliate sites. In other words, they are a big no-no!
SEO professionals don’t need to resort to tricks to gain false results. Instead, they create campaigns based on the latest requirements for optimal results by implementing practices proven to benefit your organization. In taking a ground-up approach, at WebQuest we take the time to fully understand your business objectives. We cater our approach to what you want to achieve. Most importantly, we work hard to achieve proper outreach for link-building. We never use PBNs, no link-farms, black-hat or spammy tactics.
What happens when you part ways?
While most clients end their partnership with the SEO agency on good terms, it’s important to understand the policies in place should your organization choose to head in another direction. Generally speaking, your SEO agency should provide you with the following information before ending your relationship:
- Email accounts that have been setup for the agency to communicate on behalf of your company.
- Access details to your website’s backend system.
- Login for the website hosting if it was provided to them
- Login details for Google Analytics
- Login details for Google Search Console
- Login details for Google Tag Manager
- Login details for any other platform that they have access to or have setup on behalf of your company.
When it comes time to create your website or implement an SEO strategy, it’s best to work with an expert SEO team from the start. At WebQuest, our SEO business consultants work to ensure your site structure is enhanced from the start. Working from the ground up, we take time to understand your business, implementing best practices and agile solutions to create a tight-knit and well-integrated site structure to suit the unique needs of your enterprise website.
If you’re interested in maximizing the process of converting your website visitors from search engines into leads, contact a member of our team to schedule your consultation today.