10 Tips on Selecting SEO Agencies for Small Businesses
So you’re looking to boost your website’s SEO, are you? Well, why not?
Search engine optimization is one of the most effective ways to boost your brand’s presence. It involves a set of practices to increase your website’s presence on search engines.
This can help build traffic and acquire clients. Sounds simple enough, doesn’t it?
Unfortunately, SEO work is arduous and challenging. You should consider hiring an SEO agency to handle these tasks for you.
Here’s how you go about selecting SEO agencies for your brand:
1. Look At Their Credentials
The first step is to always look at their credentials. You should find a portfolio where you can see how they’ve helped existing clients. Some SEO agencies will also share case studies of how they’ve handled marketing with SEO for their clients.
You should also read online customer reviews and testimonials about the SEO agency.
A great SEO agency, such as SEOJet, will also share their proposals, strategies, and their processes for marketing with SEO.
Make sure you prepare a shortlist of SEO agencies that you like. You can contact existing clients to learn more about the agency. You can also ask your fellow entrepreneurs which SEO agencies they prefer to use.
2. Watch Out for Hype
You want to make sure that the SEO agency doesn’t try to oversell its services to you. In other words, you want to make sure that they don’t overhype what they can do for you.
It’s best to avoid an SEO agency that promises $1 million of Revenue each month if you run a small business! If they promise to get you 10 million unique visitors each month, they should be avoided!
An SEO agency shouldn’t have to excessively promote its services to acquire you as a client. Their past achievements should speak for themselves.
You want them to give you realistic expectations of what they can do for you. Let them know about your website’s current analytics. They can then plan goals of how to grow your website.
For example, if you get 1K visitors per month, they might set a goal to raise this to 1500 visitors per month. This is a realistic goal rather than an idealistic leap from 1K to 1 Million!
It’s also important that you set realistic goals for your brand. Many budding entrepreneurs are in a rush to grow their brands.
But one must realize that growing a brand is a lengthy journey. It requires patience and incremental steps before you can achieve larger goals.
As such, make sure you set goals before consulting with an SEO agency. They’ll ask you about your goals and then you’ll both work together to fine-tune these goals.
3. Ranking and Revenue
Many SEO agencies focus solely on improving your website’s ranking in search engine results pages.
This is important but it’s not the only thing that you should demand from an SEO agency. You also want to make sure that they help you improve your brand’s revenue.
You want to ask the SEO agency how they’ll help improve your brand’s revenue. For example, how will they bring more visitors to your products or services page?
They should also tell you about their strategies for increasing revenue directly through the website. For example, will they add backlinks to your blog posts? Will they implement advertising revenue to your website?
Make sure you ask them how they’ll work to improve your website’s ranking and grow your revenue.
4. Look At Their Pricing
Before you go about comparing agency fees, you want to know how much you should pay for an SEO agency.
It’s imperative that you never try to pay as little as possible when hiring an SEO agency. If you do this, you’ll end up with mediocre service. It’s one of the reasons why you should avoid freelancer platforms for SEO services.
Your SEO agency should offer different packages based on the size of your business. There should be packages for small, medium, and large-sized businesses.
If the agency doesn’t raise their price for larger businesses, it’s likely that they don’t offer premium services. It’s also likely that they offer mediocre services.
If they don’t offer to price for small businesses, it’s likely that they might try to rip you off. They might want to squeeze as much money out of you without offering value in return.
Or, it could be that they don’t cater to smaller businesses. Make sure that you choose an SEO agency that works with small businesses, solo entrepreneurs, freelancers, etc.
You also want to know if they offer free trials and how to opt out of their services. They should have flexible options to terminate your contract if you aren’t pleased with their services.
5. Assess the Team
An SEO agency will have a team that works on your brand’s SEO needs. In larger SEO agencies, the agency will assign a specific team to work on your brand. This is in contrast to smaller agencies where team members work on every client’s brand.
Your brand will have an account manager who serves as your port-of-call whenever you have questions about the marketing process. They’ll let you know about their progress and provide you with reports and results.
You want to assess how well you work with a team before you commit to an SEO agency. You should start with a consultation call to ask them about their process.
During this consultation call, you want to assess the friendliness and helpfulness of the account manager. If you feel that you’ll get along with them, you should consider this SEO agency for your brand.
Imagine if you spoke to a customer support agent of any company whose products or services you wish to use. If the customer support agent is rude and unwilling to help, you’re likely to avoid this company altogether.
You should apply the same rigorous standards when you need to assess the team of an SEO agency. Don’t hesitate to conduct several calls or meetings with the team before you commit to a contract.
6. Scope of Work
The next step is to inquire about the scope of work that the SEO agency offers.
You want to choose an SEO agency that has a broad scope of work to improve your brand’s SEO. This scope of work can include the following:
- Keyword research
- Writing and editing blog posts
- Writing and editing website copy
- Preparing SEO optimization reports
- Improving website loading speeds
- Website design and re-design
- Creating analytics reports
- Improving website ranking in search engines
- Creating search engine ads
- Soliciting reviews and testimonials
These are a few of the services one should expect from an SEO agency. You want to ask them about their process to grow your brand’s digital presence.
When you have a consultation call with an account manager, ask them to describe the process of each task.
For example, you can ask them which analytics services they use to track your website’s metrics. You can ask them to compare different analytics services. You can ask them why they use a particular analytics service over competitors.
You can ask them about their process for keyword research. How do they assess which are the best keywords for your website’s written content? How often do they edit content to update it with the latest keywords?
Don’t hesitate to “grill” your account manager on how they handle each task within the scope of work. You want to make sure you deal with an SEO agency that’s committed to delivering value.
7. What’s the Communication Protocol?
You want to know how often you can expect to communicate with the SEO agency. You want to also know how often you can expect them to reach out to you about your brand.
For example, can you expect a weekly or monthly meeting to discuss your brand’s SEO?
If you send them an email, what’s the expected wait time to receive a reply?
You want to also know about the different methods to communicate with the SEO agency. Can you call them as well as email them? Is there a live chat option?
Some SEO agencies will set up Slack channels, Trello boards, or other groups to communicate with their clients. You want to make sure you can reach out to an SEO agency at any time.
It’s also important that they inform you of their “off-days” in advance. You should know what the working hours of the agency are. You should know on which days and holidays they are unavailable.
The best SEO agencies will make it easy for their clients to reach out to them at any time.
It’s also imperative that they set up a backup if an account manager is unavailable. So if you’re unable to contact your account manager, you should know how to contact someone else from the team.
8. Can I Know My Results?
You want to choose an SEO agency that will send you regular reports on the results of their work. You want to know if your website is growing through its efforts.
At the very least, you want them to provide you with analytics reports that track your website’s progress. For example, these reports can show that you received 10K visitors in Quarter 1. Then you can later look at Quarter 2 to see if the visitor count increased, decreased, or remained constant.
You can look at your results to prepare future goals for your brand. For example, if your visitor count is growing slowly you can ask the SEO agency how this can grow faster.
You also want to choose an SEO agency that can prepare a strategy based on your results. They should discuss your results and what goals you should set for your business. They should then discuss their strategies on how they’ll reach these goals.
9. Choose a Transparent SEO Agency
It’s crucial that you choose an SEO agency that’s transparent. This means that they let you know about what they’re doing for your brand.
Let’s suppose you’ve set a goal to increase your visitor account by the end of the upcoming quarter. Your SEO agency should give you explicit details on their process to meet this goal.
Are they trying to increase your search engine ranking? Are they trying to edit your website’s written content? Do they feel your website’s loading speed needs improvement?
If they tell you that they’re working on your website without giving specific details, then they aren’t a trustworthy service. You want an SEO agency that lets you know exactly what they’re doing to help your brand.
10. Speak to Your Fellow Entrepreneurs
As a final step, you want to speak to your fellow entrepreneurs about which are the best SEO agencies to work with.
They’ll help you assess what makes a great SEO agency. They’ll let you know about their experiences with an SEO agency — both positive and negative.
You want to make sure that you get as much information as possible from your fellow entrepreneurs. Here are some of the questions you can ask them:
- How transparent was the SEO agency?
- How easy was it to communicate with the team?
- Was the pricing reasonable?
- How often did they provide reports to you?
- What industries can they work with?
- How well do they understand your industry?
- What were the strategies they used to grow your brand?
Use the information you’ve learned about in this guide to ask your fellow entrepreneurs about the SEO agencies they’ve used. You can use their answers to assess the quality of an SEO agency.
Make sure that you look at case studies from your fellow entrepreneurs as well to assess an SEO agency.
That’s How You Go About Selecting SEO Agencies
Now you know how to go about selecting SEO agencies when presented with various SEO agency options.
Make sure you look at their credentials and read online customer reviews and testimonials. Look at how they can help you build your revenue and your brand’s reputation.
You want to understand their processes and look at their case studies. If you can develop a great relationship with them, you should consider hiring them!
You can find more tips for entrepreneurs on our website!