Wondering whether to invest in SEO? This is today's landscape: Google receives more than 63,000 queries every single second. That’s almost 3.8 million per minute.
If you’re not ranking highly on Google and other search engines, you’re missing out. Your competitors have access to a market that you’re not even trying to tap.
To get ranked, you need search engine optimisation (SEO).
And for that, you need an SEO agency that can deliver on its promises and achieve the organic results that you’re looking for.
And that’s where the problem lies.
There are so many companies out there claiming to offer the best SEO services that it can feel almost impossible to find the right SEO agency.
We’re going to show you how to do it.
We’ll look at the questions you need to ask later.
But first, let’s look at what SEO is, why you need it, and the problems that come from picking the wrong agency.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for search engine optimisation. SEM stands for search engine marketing.
On the face of it, SEO is a pretty simple concept. You make changes to your website to make it more attractive to search engines for specific keywords.
Those search engines reward you with higher rankings.
Result: more people finding you means more revenue!
The closer you are to the top of the rankings, the more people see your website. It’s in the execution that SEO becomes more complex.
You need a website that’s relevant to your niche and has a lot of authority.
That’s what search engines like to see. Your site offers the answers to users’ questions and you’re a trusted resource for information.
To boil it all down, SEO is a blanket term that encompasses a range of strategies used to achieve high rankings for your website in search engines.
And that’s important because 90% of your customers use the internet to find products and services.
Do You Need an SEO Agency or SEM Company?
Here’s another interesting stat for you. 60% of all clicks made from search engines go to the top three results on the page.
If you’re not in that top three, 60% of the people that search for your service will completely miss out on you.
And there’s no guarantee that the other 40% will find you either.
In fact, 75% of searches never make it past the first page. You need SEO to make your website visible to the huge number of people who use the web to research products.
But do you need an agency? What's the return on investing in SEO services? There are pros and cons to everything.
The great thing about agencies is that they should offer access to instant expertise. This means they can get to work straight away to start producing results.
You don’t get that from doing it in-house. You have to learn everything from scratch, which times time and money.
The drawback is that an agency isn’t familiar with your business. They don’t know the ins and outs of your industry.
But here’s what separates the search engine marketing agencies apart.
Great agencies take the time to learn everything that they can about you. Then, they use this information to create great strategies.
This can produce some amazing results, when done well. Take Universal Home Theatre for example.
Within a year, we’d doubled the amount of leads that the company received. After another year, we’d doubled them again – a 400% increase.
And a big part of the success was our SEO strategy.
Which brings us back to our original question.
Why do you need an SEO agency? A good agency takes all of the work out of your hands.
They’ll apply their expertise to your business situation and create a strategy that works.
With the right agency, your SEO will generate more revenue and provide better returns.
So, What’s the Problem?
The problem is that many people don’t understand what to look for in an SEO agency.
You’ve probably felt like this yourself. Every agency that you speak to tells you that they can get results quickly and cheaply.
Just trust in them and you’ll have nothing to worry about. That is until you find that they’ve built thousands of terrible backlinks to your website.
Or, they’ve loaded it with so much bad content that you don’t even want to look at your website, never mind your customers.
Simply put, finding the right people for the job is a challenge. And if you make the wrong choice, your website could suffer.
You could end up paying thousands without seeing any tangible differences. Or the agency could do stuff behind the scenes that could hurt your website later on.
BMW found this out when they tried using doorway pages to funnel people to their main German website.
Once they got caught, their traffic dropped until they got rid of the pages. Google takes a strong stance against such tactics. If it goes too far, you could end up a manual penalty.
Image from Neilpatel.com
This could be for any number of things, including a bad link profile or poor content. That penalty lasts for at least 30 days.
For all of that time, your site isn’t ranked in Google.
And when it does get back into the index, it has nowhere near the ranking that it used to have.
On top of that, you have to fix the issue that led to the penalty in the first place.
All of that time and money gets wasted because you used a cheap SEO service. That probably leaves you with a bunch of questions.
How do I find the right SEO agency? How do I know that the agency I choose will do what it says it will? Who’s just telling me what I want to hear so that they can make money off my business?
And there’s more.
How do you know that you’re working with a white hat agency, rather than a black hat one? Which areas of SEO does the agency specialise in? Are they best with the on-site stuff? Or, are they more adept with dealing with the technical side.
The answers that an SEO agency gives to your questions can help you to figure out who’s the real deal.
These five questions will help you to weed bad agencies away from the best SEO marketing companies.
5 Questions to Find the Best SEO Search Agency for Your Fast-growing Business
1. How Will You Improve My Rankings?
It’s the most obvious question to ask, but the answer reveals a lot about the SEO agency that you’re dealing with.
Always remember that SEO isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution.
Every website needs a unique strategy that takes its current state, its competition, and sector that it operates in into account. A catch-all strategy like “we’ll build links and add content” isn’t going to cut it.
You need a firm that will take an in-depth look at your website before they decide on a specific strategy.
That means you’re looking for answers along the lines of “First, we’ll conduct a website analysis/competitor analysis” or “we’ll examine your website to find the best keywords to target and build a strategy around that.”
Of course, every SEO agency has its preferred strategies too, and you should definitely ask for more details about those.
Just be wary of any who spend more time talking about the strategy than how that strategy relates to your website.
2. How Will We Communicate?
This is a big one.
As with any business endeavour, a lack of communication leads to everything falling down. In the fast-paced world of SEO, communication is even more important.
Think of it like this.
Google makes about 600 changes to the algorithm that powers its search engine every year.
That’s almost two changes per day.
Your SEO strategy must evolve constantly to stay ahead of those changes. But if you have an SEO agency that barely talks to you, it’s impossible to know if that’s happening for your website.
So, how should you communicate?
The bare minimum should be a monthly report that demonstrates the work done by the agency and the results that work has achieved.
Beyond that, you should look for an agency that will happily hold regular meetings with you and provides quick replies to emails and phone calls.
SEO is not a set-and-forget strategy.
It’s something that needs constant tweaking, which means good communication is a necessity.
You can’t trust an agency that doesn’t talk to you. You’ll have no idea about the strategies that they’re using or the changes that have taken place in the search environment.
Try to nail down a communications schedule during your initial discussion. Avoid any agencies that don’t want to commit to regular communication.
3. How Quickly Will I See Results?
There’s one answer that you don’t want to hear with this question. If the agency says you’ll get instant first-page results, run for the hills. SEO is a time-consuming and delicate processing.
It requires an in-depth strategy and constant tweaking. Results can take several months to come by.
But the right strategy both gets those results and ensures that they last for a long time.
The return on SEO investments is generally massive, though not immediate. SEO is a marathon, not a dash. — Bruce Clay
“Instant” results generally come from bad backlinks and poor content.
The agency intends to flood your website with both of these things to get a quick boost.
And it’ll often work… for a little while. Then the search engines’ algorithms catch on.
Remember those penalties we spoke about earlier?
Buying into the promise of “instant” results is how you get one of those penalties. And when you try to confront your agency, they just wash their hands of you and move on.
They’ve made a quick buck and left you struggling.
It all comes down to the old adage – if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
4. Who Have You Worked With Before?
Nobody can provide better insight into an agency’s abilities than the people who’ve worked with that agency in the past.
Prestigious clients are always desirable.
But there’s nothing wrong with an agency that’s worked with smaller businesses and achieved results.
In fact, that type of agency could offer just the type of personalised service that you’re looking for.
The agencies that have issues are those that don’t want to tell you about their previous clients.
- They have no portfolio of work on their website and they try to dodge the questions.
- They’ll claim confidentiality and do everything they can to avoid showing you any results. That’s a huge warning sign.
By and large, businesses that receive a good service will be happy with an agency highlighting their results.
An agency that won’t provide any information is an agency that’s probably failed its previous clients.
Question #5 – Why Should We Hire You?
This is where you give the agency a chance to make its case. It’s also where you can trick a bad agency into telling you exactly why you shouldn’t hire them.
Look out for answers that sound anything like this:
- “We can build more backlinks for your website than anybody else.”
- “We guarantee page 1 results for every keyword.”
- “We cost less than every other digital marketing agency.”
These are all warning signs.
They don’t have any data to back them up and they’re the go-to responses for bad SEO agencies.
Instead, you want an answer that focuses on the results the agency has achieved for other clients.
The answer should tell you how they intend to work with your business and what they’ll do to learn about your industry.
The agency should also tell you how their efforts will link into your existing marketing campaigns.
You want a marketing partner and the answer you get must reflect that.
You know you need SEO and you’ve heard about what it can do.
Investing in your growth will mean finding the right people for the job — in your case, hiring an SEO agency could be the way.
It’s crucial that you choose the right agency. Going for the cheap options and the false promises may give you quick results, if you’re lucky.
But they’re not sustainable results. In the end, a bad agency costs you money.
The answers you receive to these five questions reveal everything that you need to know about an agency.
Use them to avoid getting caught up with the SEO sharks.
Interested in what OMG could potentially offer?
Let us help you make 10x your traffic, lead, and sales through the power of masterful SEO!
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