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SEO Agency: What It Is and How To Choose One

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Published: June 22, 2021

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SEO practices can help you share your excellent content with a broader audience. If you’re trying to implement SEO on your own, but want to see better results, you might be considering whether it’s time to work with an SEO agency. Learn what an SEO agency is, when you might want one, and how you can find the right one for you.

What Is an SEO Agency?

Image via Unsplash by Alizée Baude

An SEO agency is a company that specializes in search engine optimization (SEO). After creating excellent content, you want your customers to be able to find your website quickly and easily. SEO is the process of improving your website and content to make it more visible on search engine results. By ranking higher on the search results, your content may reach a larger audience, improving your marketability. An SEO agency could help you audit your current SEO practices, create a customized content plan, and use SEO tactics to reach your business’s goals.

How Do You Know You Need an SEO Agency?

SEO agencies can provide a variety of services for your company, and it may be time to find an SEO agency if one or more of the following is true:

1. You Need Expert SEO Help

Currently, you may have internal team members handling the SEO process, but as your company, audience, and budget grow, you may decide it’s time for more specialized help. An SEO agency includes a team of trained professionals who can help you reach your business’s objectives. From keyword research to local SEO analysis, a content or SEO agency could help your team reach a growing and dynamic audience.

2. You Want to Generate More Leads From Search Results

Effective SEO practices can help your content rank higher, which can generate more website traffic, which can bring in more sales. If you’re analyzing your website’s traffic or leads and want them to increase in the next period, it might be time to reach out to an SEO agency.

3. You Want Your Content to Rank Higher

When you’re spending time and effort generating great content, you want to make sure it gets noticed. A great SEO company could help your content rank higher, reaching more people.

Benefits of Using an SEO Agency

Here are some of the potential benefits of using an SEO agency:

  • Updated and specialized services: SEO best practices change over time, and a great team of SEO specialists will stay updated on these changes.
  • Higher website traffic: According to various studies, organic search engine results generate 51% of all website traffic. This means over half of all website visitors discover content through unpaid search results. SEO practices can help your content rank higher on a search page, reaching a larger audience.
  • More leads and sales: By increasing the number of customers that visit your site, an SEO agency can help generate more leads and revenue for your company. In a recent survey by Databox, 70% of respondents feel SEO generates more sales than pay-per-click ads.
  • More time for your business efforts: Building high-quality SEO-friendly content and practices takes time and effort. When you use an agency, you can spend more time focusing on your business projects while a team of experts handles your SEO process.

How to Choose the Right SEO Agency

When choosing an SEO agency, it’s important to find the right one. A great SEO agency can help you improve your website, generate more traffic, and reach your customized marketing goals. When evaluating companies, consider following these steps:

  1. Research SEO agencies in your location or industry: First, you can gather a list of SEO agencies either in your industry, market, or geographic location.
  2. Review your SEO budget: Next, review your SEO budget to ensure you find an agency that works with your objectives and parameters.
  3. Evaluate an agency’s key characteristics: Using your list, you can begin researching SEO companies in a few key categories. In the next section, we’ll look at the main characteristics you might consider when choosing an SEO agency.
  4. Plan a consultation: After researching the company, you can reach out to schedule a consultation, either online or in-person, to find out more about their SEO services.

What Characteristics Will Help You Choose the Right SEO Agency?

When evaluating an SEO agency, consider the following characteristics:

  • Industry and specialization: When researching an SEO agency, look at the website to determine if they specialize in a certain industry or area of focus. Depending on your goals and preferences, you may decide to work with an agency that specializes in your field, or you may choose an agency that works with a specific SEO service.
  • Client reviews: Reviews can show you how satisfied previous clients were with an SEO agency. You may search the company’s name or use a website, such as Clutch and UpCity, to find reviews for SEO agencies.
  • Portfolio: A portfolio of sample work may help you decide whether an SEO agency is right for your company. You may see if the agency has sample work or case studies on its website. They may also provide these during a consultation, and if not, you may ask to see an example before you sign a contract.
  • Ethics and standard practices: Companies can use different techniques when it comes to SEO practice. Ethical SEO practices, also called white-hat, help your website rank higher while following the best standard procedures.
  • Pricing plans: Either using the website or during a consultation, gather information about the agency’s pricing options. Ask questions during a consultation to find out more about fees and services.

Top Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing a Search Engine Optimization Company

When choosing an SEO company, try to avoid these common mistakes to help you find the best agency for you:

  • Listening to guarantees: Many factors can affect your search engine ranking, and although there are practices you can use to help increase the chances you rank higher, there are no guarantees in search engine ranking. If a company or service promises you your website will rank first overnight after signing with them, it may be best to keep searching for a more honest agency.
  • Not looking remotely: Local SEO practices may help your company appear on searches in your area, but this doesn’t mean you have to work with a company in your location. With today’s technology, you can work with an array of agencies across the country who can help you rank high in your location or beyond.
  • Selecting based solely on cost: Cost is definitely an important factor and you should consider your SEO budget when researching companies, but try not to let cost be your sole deciding factor. If you’re deciding between two agencies and one is more expensive but still in your budget, consider the other characteristics, such as the company’s portfolio, ethics, and reviews to help you make your decision.
  • Choosing the first SEO company you find: Finding the best SEO agency for your business takes time. Schedule time to research multiple options thoroughly to ensure you find the right agency for your goals.

Know Your SEO Goals and Desired Outcomes

There are many great SEO agencies out there, but some are better than others for your company. When researching SEO agencies, it’s important to know your own goals and desired outcomes. Consider what you want for your business. For example, maybe you want to reach a specific target audience or increase the traffic to your company’s blog.

Each of these goals requires a different set of SEO practices. You might want to work with a company that focuses on generating great content, or you might want to focus on increasing your search engine results. Planning your personal goals and objectives can help you find the right agency for you.

Characteristics That Make a Great SEO Agency

We discussed some of the characteristics you should look for when choosing an SEO company, but there are a few additional characteristics that make an SEO agency stand out as great:

  • They measure your data: Great SEO agencies use data to drive their business results. Try to find an SEO agency that measures and records your relevant information and shares it with you regularly.
  • They set clear expectations: Although they can’t make guarantees, a great SEO company can tell you clearly what services they’ll provide and what you can expect from them. This may include an initial SEO audit, routine website maintenance, and regular performance reports to show you how your content’s performing.
  • They have a great company culture: When choosing your SEO agency, consider learning more about the company culture, including their organizational structure, mission, and values. A company that values professionalism, honesty, and data-driven results may help you reach your SEO goals fairly and effectively.

How to Work With an SEO Agency

Integrating an SEO agency’s process into your company takes time. Learning more about this process could help you plan for a smooth transition. A great SEO agency will discuss its individual process with you, either during the consultation stage or before signing the contract, but reading the common steps may help you get ready:

1. Prepare Your Team

During this time, you can help prepare your internal team members by discussing your SEO goals and plans. Let your team know why you’re choosing an SEO agency and what your desired outcomes are. Consider which team members will work directly with the SEO agency, and let them know their expectations and duties. During this time, it may be helpful to create a communication schedule and plan. Assign someone to be the primary contact between your company and the SEO agency to help maintain effective communication.

2. Participate in a Discovery Session

SEO agencies may refer to this stage as the discovery process or discovery session. During this time, the SEO agency will meet with you to discuss your individual goals and objectives. They’ll use this information to create a targeted plan for your objectives.

3. Review Research and Advice

After your discovery session, the SEO agency may conduct further research. This can vary depending on the agency but may include an audit where they analyze your current SEO practices and make suggestions. They may share a detailed report after and recommend a plan for your company.

4. Receive Contract

Using your discovery session and research, the SEO agency will share a contract with you. You may discuss this with your team and negotiate the final terms before signing.

5. Complete Onboarding Process

After signing a contract, your company will begin the onboarding process, which can look different depending on the agency. The SEO agency may ask for access to your website and content. They may also share a timeline and project deliverables for your SEO content.

How to Find the Right SEO Agency for You

We’ve discussed how you can find great SEO agencies, but it’s important to find the best SEO agency for you. The best SEO agency for you depends upon your company’s goals and desired outcomes. To find the right company for you, consider following these steps:

  1. Review your budget and goals: When making your final selection, review your most recent budget and goals to help you find the best agency for you.
  2. Refine your list of characteristics: Using your budget and goals, you may narrow your search to focus on the companies that work for your current objectives.
  3. Compare the final results: After narrowing your search, you may know right away which agency is right for you. If you’re left with a few agencies, consider which characteristics matter most to you. For example, consider whether you’d rather work with a newer company with great case studies or a more experienced company with excellent reviews. By focusing on your priorities, you can help find the best company for you.

Working with the right SEO agency could help you reach your business goals. By taking time to research and find great SEO companies, you can find the best agency for you. A great agency can help get your content to your target audience. If you want help creating great SEO-friendly content, reach out to CopyPress today to talk about your personal objectives.

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