This can be harmful. Ending up with “just some” SEO agency can be super harmful. In our walk of life, there are many areas where we can adjust. But when it comes to picking out a team of SEO experts for your business? Adjusting is a big no-no.
But you already know that, right? If you’re reading this blog, you’ve clearly been putting some thought into this. Good. Allow us to help you out.
First, this is what we’ll be doing. You’ve probably got several “hire us” slogans in your head, coming from the SEO agencies you’ve looked up. If you’ve got a list, let’s shorten it, shall we? We’ve seen our share of shady teams, and here are the 3 big factors you don’t want in your SEO/Digital marketing agency–
- The rank #1 promise
- Seriously. If an SEO agency has promised you the top-most position on Google, you’re free to bid them farewell with a polite “no, thank you”.
We say so not because this is impossible. But because it’s easily possible, and isn’t really indicative. These agencies might stuff irrelevant keywords, and get the content ranked high. But that’s it. There will be no business. Just rankings. Because these keywords might not even be relevant to your business.
Getting yourself ranked high on Google the proper way, takes time and effort. If your team doesn’t think so, they might be bad news.
2. “We’ll handle your data and logins”
- No! When an agency urges you to hand over your logins and report to them, it’s not really because they want to help. While this may not necessarily be a “trick”, this can be rather dangerous.
Because let’s say you decide to end terms with them. Using your data, these agencies might hold you hostage. Well, “hostage” is a big word, but you get what we mean. They might withhold your data to keep the contract going. And things might get a bit too messy.
3.No recent success
- Did the agency improve the rankings for a business 15 years ago? Good for them! But don’t allow them to use this as their selling point. Because the environment of SEO changes as we’re writing this.
So, while checking up on them, make sure their projects are recent, and relevant today. If their case studies only contain tales from the past, we’d suggest you take a step back.
With that out of the way, let’s move on to more positive things.
You know what not to look for, then what should you look for? Your list of SEO agencies might still be long. Let’s shorten it once and for all in a matter of minutes
Table of Contents
Setting your goals: The important first step
Why are you going behind SEO? What exactly are the services you need? Do you need an entire website? Or are you just looking for SEO tools? These are some of the questions you have to ask yourself.
Knowing what you need will obviously help you narrow down your search. It’ll help you look for the agencies that provide just the services you need.
And also, there are costs to be cut! What’s the point of getting a full-fledged SEO package when you might not even need it? There are many SEO companies in Vadodara set to meet your refined needs.
“We’ll handle your data and logins”
Guess what’s one of Google’s biggest ranking factors today.
Yes, it’s the load speed of your website. Leave Google, imagine your users for a second. There are tons of annoying things on the internet, yet nothing would annoy them more than a super slow website. WordPress shows a way around this problem.
It hands over a wide set of plugins designed to speed up your website. Take the ShortPixel image optimizer for instance. It compresses every single document and image on your website, and this significantly reduces the load times of your website. WPOtimize is yet another thing of beauty. It clears your database and caches your web content towards further speeding up your website.
WordPress knows no annoyed customer.
A diverse team of experts
This goes without saying, right? You want your SEO team to be good. Really good. That also means that the agency should house experts in varied fields. A team with a single Mr. Know-it-all isn’t recommended.
Why so? Because SEO is a va-aast field. There are several kinds of strategies that fall under it. This is what an ideal SEO team would look like-
- Technical lead
- Content managers
- SEO analyst
- Data scientist
- Product team member
Of course, this isn’t the Bible of team-formation, but allow this to somewhat be your aim. Having an actual team of experts by your side, will mean only good things for your SEO goals.
What do their clients think?
Remember how you order a dress on Myntra? Or a mobile on Amazon? You rarely add it to the cart before taking a look at the reviews (hopefully). An SEO team for your business is much more important than that.
The agency might tell you their tales of success. About how they caused the rankings of a website to skyrocket. About how they saved a client from going downhill. All that might be true, but we must do our research.
“Is it good or bad?” isn’t the only question we need answered. Almost every agency is “good”. The important question is–Are their services really the ones you need? Are they reliable?
So, don’t just glance through the ratings. Take your time, and actually give it a read. Here are some details you could hunt for-
- The nature of their work environment
- Their method of operation
- Their after-service support
- Has any company SEO pointed at something?
An agency that communicates efficiently
The last thing you want is a super secretive team. A team that’s got a “top secret” trick up its sleeve.
Don’t get us wrong, they might actually be good–but are they keeping you updated on every step taken? That’s the question.
The problem is, there are far too many metrics and measurements when it comes to SEO. The amount of traffic, leads, conversion, visits, bounce rates, or anything of the kind. It’s rather difficult to keep a tab on them by yourself. We mean, why bother hiring an SEO agency to begin with, right? But these are metrics you have to know, and it’s your agency’s responsibility to let you know. Demand transparency!
But you must also do your part here.
Meet up with them. Don’t just stick to texts or calls like we do with people we don’t like. Set up actual physical meetings. Because SEO will take time. So, the team you hire would be one that’ll stick around for quite some time, and you should be okay with that. Building a genuine relationship with your agency might thus actually get you somewhere.
Please–never look for cheap SEO
It’s common knowledge that SEO would cost you quite an amount.
But it’s also common knowledge that not hiring an SEO team would cost you even more.
The thing is, proper SEO is worth every penny. And there aren’t many things we can say this for. And there aren’t many ways to get around these expenses. (There are some ways–we’ll get to that in a minute.) So, we wouldn’t suggest you hunt for “Cheap” SEO services. Even if you do manage to find such a team, the services they offer would be, you know, quite “cheap” too–so to speak.
Need a bit more justification? Here’s why SEO costs as much as it does-
- SEO takes a long time, and time is really expensive.
- There are several sub-fields within SEO, and each of them requires an expert.
- And since there are these many sub-fields, some agencies outsource certain tasks to the experts. Costs = +1
- The proper SEO tools are expensive.
Now to the ways to minimize these costs.
One thing we always suggest businesses do, especially if yours is a small business, is laying the foundation for your SEO. Cover what you can, and hire experts for the rest. Here are some things to go DIY on-
- Be ready with an analysis of your competitors
- Begin building focus on your target audience
- Blogs and guest posts are money in the bank
- Put long-tail keywords to use
It’s a sweet deal. These will help you cut back on the expenses a bit, while improving your SEO results in the process.
Ethics over results
Quick results, quick rankings, quick leads and quick conversions–these are all rather tempting. But the rules of this game are never to be broken.
Several companies today make use of unethical SEO tools to load their pages with irrelevant keywords or purchase backlinks. These methods may provide you with quick results for sure. But what would be even quicker, is your business getting banned.
The fact that nothing is worth this, is a no-brainer. Now if you were living in a couple of decades ago, you could’ve gotten away with it. But today, tricking search engines has become incredibly difficult.
And that’s nonsense, right? Imagine going unethical for quick results, and finding out it takes more effort than conventional methods. It’s just an overall bad idea.
Jokes aside, make sure your SEO agency works within the boundaries of the search engine. Sit down and talk to them. Study their morals, strategies, and methods. Honest efforts for longer times are better than dishonest ones for a shorter time.
Again, for a heads up, here are some signs of these shady teams-
- They buy tons of links from random websites
- They end up creating “too many” websites. (It’s often done with certain programs)
- Lots and lots of irrelevant keywords
- Fake links and alerts
Be safe, people!
A series of questions
An important bonus. If you’re still unable to point your finger at an SEO agency, here are some of the questions you can raise. It’ll help you find teams that fit right into your needs. (The “you” in these questions refers to your agency).
- What are the SEO strategies you’d deploy for my business?
- What metric do you measure your success with?
- How do you conduct your keyword research?
- How would you optimize my website for mobiles? Or how do you handle mobile UI in general?
- What does your report look like? Would you fill us in regarding everything?
- How do you stay updated with the latest SEO and search engine trends?
- Is there a philosophy that drives you?
- What can we do from our side to make things more efficient?
These questions will help you define your needs. This in turn might lead you to SEO teams that are “just right” for you.
A word on KickStart Solutions
We’ve talked about the big game, and you deserve to know who’s speaking.
We’re a digital marketing company based out of Vadodara, and our job is simple-To get you up and running on the digital map.
The “How to find an SEO agency” question is one that we get a lot. So, we figured we’d put together a blog to talk about it. We’ve seen our share of businesses who just prefer to purchase SEO tools over hiring an agency. Or those who ignore SEO altogether. And our advice to both these kinds has always been- “Please no”. The benefits to be availed from it are a bit too significant.
Still confused? Contact us! We’ll talk, and analyze your business inside out. Things might get a lot easier for you.
And worry not. This is literally what we’re here for.