How To Be Sure Of Appointing The Right SEO Agency

hiring and seo companySearching for an SEO agency may seem like a mammoth task, but it doesn't have to be. Finding the right company to suit your business and being sure they can deliver can be made much easier by considering the following:

Previous SEO Clients

Before choosing an SEO agency, consider looking at the previous clients that they worked with and potentially whether they have worked in the same sector before. By doing this, your company can directly communicate with the old client if you wish to get an opinion of this firm. Also ask for details on targets set for previous campaigns and whether they were achieved. Looking at the SEO agency’s previous client testimonials, likely to be highlighted on the SEO agency’s website or credentials, will help to show if the business delivers the service they offer.

Set Targets

You and the agency must together set achievable goals positioned against realistic timescale, and also ensure you understand how and when information will be reported. A common KPI is to have higher search engine rankings than the current benchmark, but depending on the activity being undertaken, links built and traffic figures could potentially be suitable. Whilst targets are important, don’t immediately lose faith if one takes longer to meet than was originally thought. This could be due to complexities uncovered during the first few months of work - SEO can be a tough nut to crack - and it is a part of the learning and relationship building process that can come with working with a new firm. Nevertheless, if the agency you have chosen continually under performs on promises made, it might be time to start your pursuit for another company.

Cost

Another thing to keep in mind is the cost of hiring the agency in relation to the return, so try to set a budget and stick to it. As with many services, the higher the price, the higher the quality of the work, and it is extremely easy to fall prey to SEO companies that offer ridiculously low prices. A word of warning - such low cost activities will probably be on the black side of grey and, when it comes to search, one wrong move could result in a hefty penalisation from Google. Being back at square one after a few thousand pounds spent isn’t a good place to be in, as it will cost more to undo the harm done. Always remember to compare the charges of a few companies before hiring any and understand the breakdown, in case there is an opportunity to bolt on more activity or take away what isn’t working further down the line.

Know The Team

It is important to get to know the team that your company will work with. Though it is likely a senior account director or client services manager has been liaising with you about the SEO services on offer, if appointed there will be a team of people working on your campaign. It’s quite normal to ask for the credentials of those who would be working on the account and during the pitch process, ask for others to meet you in person – rapport can be everything in a professional relationship. As well as weekly or monthly reports, it’s also best practice to have face-to-face meetings at least once a quarter. Both parties will be more comfortable with discussing campaign changes difficult issues like poor results if they feel like they know each other.

Overall, it is essential that the SEO company your business eventually works with has clear communication, a proven track record, and the knowledge and ability to improve the company’s rankings. Start with an initial phone call to eliminate some companies on your list and next arrange meetings where the prospective agencies can pitch their services and the strategy that answers your brief. If you consider the above points it shouldn’t be too long before activity can start and your business is on its way to better visibility in the search engine ranking pages.

About the author Alex Hunt is an Account Executive at UK based PR SEO and social media agency Punch Communications, who specialise in joint up thinking across online PR, social and search.