How to vet your SEO agency

It might be challenging to find the correct SEO agency, consultant, or SEO specialist.

Many SEO companies, like many specialist expertise-based businesses, lack clarity in how they engage with customers about what they’re doing and the outcomes you may anticipate.

As a consequence, many entrepreneurs and marketing executives are suspicious of local seo agency.

Bringing on an SEO agency to help you with organic growth doesn’t have to be as dangerous as handing over the keys to your business. There are a number of techniques to assess and monitor your SEO provider to ensure they’re focused on beneficial tasks, have knowledge in all aspects of SEO (or are transparent about the ones they don’t), and give you with the service you paid for.

Set up Google Search Console and check for any unresolved problems.

It’s essential to have Google Search Console installed. Before your agency gets started, take a quick look at Search Console and note how many, if any, problems or warnings are presently there.

Your SEO agency should ideally minimize the number of mistakes, not increase them. Furthermore, every reputable SEO agency should request access to Google Search Console.

It’s a massive red flag if they don’t.

Use a tool to monitor your SERP rank.

Whether you truly want to be transparent, you could join up for a SERP monitoring service that allows you to choose 10 or so keywords and analyze how they perform over time to determine if the SEO agency is increasing your results.

You could absolutely do this using a spreadsheet and Google Search Console, but utilizing a program eliminates the hassle of manually inputting data into the spreadsheet and, in many circumstances, is more precise in terms of ranking measurement.

Make certain they’re focusing on technical SEO rather than merely creating new blogs and changing tags.

Many companies call themselves SEO agencies, but what they actually do is create content and perform link-building activities. These two tasks are probably best handled in-house by a business that specializes in content creation.

Even a junior internal content producer may rapidly get a deep knowledge of your clients and the sort of material they want to see, far quicker than an SEO agency.

What an SEO agency (or consultancy or freelancer) can really do to add value to a company with a busy marketing department is to solve any technical SEO issues, such as Google image search optimization, and then provide a framework for non-technical marketers to manage SEO as they create new content on a regular basis.

Internal marketers that have their finger on the pulse of their community and have a rudimentary understanding of SEO can create simple tags and research themes to write about better than an agency.

How to vet your SEO agency

Establish clear expectations and deadlines.

Yes, SEO is a bit of a dark box, and even professionals have difficulty predicting the potential for a site’s ranking to increase until work begins. This isn’t to say that there can’t be defined objectives and deliverables along the way to accomplishing them.

While there should be some flexibility in the timelines and prioritization of these (as the resolution to SEO issues can sometimes take a few days of deep digging into a site), it shouldn’t be difficult for an agency to provide an outline or even examples of what you can expect from working with them.

Don’t ask how long it will take me to get to page one.

While your displeasure with a rival ranking above you for a single search keyword may have prompted you to hire an SEO agency, it’s not a smart idea to get fully concentrated on that.

While a keyword may be very well-aligned with your brand, it may be too competitive to rank for on the first page. However, there may be more profitable tactics that entail ranking for a larger range of keywords or ranking on the second page for high traffic keywords, which might result in a greater return on investment if you have an open mind.

Give it some time.

Most analysts agree that Google takes at least a few months to decide on a ranking. However, certain SEO changes will almost certainly provide quicker effects than others (especially if they address a major technical problem).

Your organization should be able to distinguish between enhancements that will provide faster benefits and those that will take longer.

However, it’s vital to remember that SEO isn’t a precise science, and that some wiggle room is typically required.

How to vet your SEO agency

Try to handle the technical aspects on your own.

Cleaning up some of your site’s names and labels, addressing any sitemap errors, and boosting page load speed are all excellent methods to improve your SEO without hiring an SEO agency.

Furthermore, since they’re likely reliant on tools and processes created by and maybe still managed by your development team, it can be more cost-effective to have them handle some of the more serious technical SEO and site performance concerns rather than depending on the SEO agency.

Are they offering strategic advice? What are your thoughts on the user experience?

Many SEO companies will concentrate only on content, link development, or site performance. While optimizing these areas might be beneficial, you should make sure that anyone you choose for SEO assistance can help you with the more strategic, long-term, and product-based aspects of SEO.

Ensuring that product, UX, and technical road mapping choices are made with a grasp of the SEO consequences in mind is vital to be able to construct scalable organic marketing campaigns.

They shouldn’t be anxious about algorithm changes

White hat SEO agency specialists who generate long term organic growth for firms typically aren’t bothered by algorithm changes — in fact, in many situations these algorithm adjustments actually contribute to an increase in search traffic, as opposed to reductions.

In other circumstances, the algorithm modifications do result in declines in search traffic but also help to reveal previously hidden flaws that may have been harming end-user experience once visitors reach your website. But taking a step back, if you’re building your website to have well labeled, well-performing, and well-written content, Google and other search engines will look to reward that by sending more users to your sites, as ultimately they want to provide their users with the best search and discovery experience possible.