Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a tough job, especially in India. The work of an SEO agency is not just restricted to backlinks and on-page optimization of your site. It’s a combination of several factors that have to be kept in mind while delivering organic traffic to a website by increasing its visibility in search engines.
SEO is a multi-faceted, long-term strategy that helps businesses in generating more website visitors through search engine rankings. The best SEO service providers are equipped to deal with all aspects of SEO, including keyword research, enhancing site content for a better user experience, and getting quality backlinks from other websites.
There are several elements to being a successful SEO company. Here, we share a guide on how to find the best SEO agency for your business:
What is an SEO Agency?
SEO agencies offer a range of services to organically improve the ranking on your website on the search engine results page. The idea behind conducting SEO is to increase traffic to your website without paid advertisement. An SEO agency offers a range of services including link building, on-page optimization, and off-page optimization.
Here is a list of services that you can expect from an SEO firm:
- Keyword Research and Analysis
- Meta Description and Title Tag Creation
- URL Structure Optimization
- Page Content Optimization (keyword placement, heading tags, alt tags)
- High-Quality Backlinks Building
- Social Media Promotion and Analysis
- Blog Posting Strategy and Management
- Site Mapping and Navigation Optimization
- HTML Markup Optimization
- Robots.txt File Setup
- XML Sitemap Setup for better indexing
How to Choose an SEO Agency?
Choosing an SEO agency can be a daunting task. While you may find dozens of firms offering SEO services, you will have to choose carefully to get the best value for your money. Here are some pointers that can help you make an informed choice:
Prioritize Value for Money
When it comes to SEO, what you pay is what you get. While you should define the budget that your company can work with, keep in mind that being stingy will not help.
Instead of directly comparing the price of different services, you should look at the value you are getting for a certain amount. For example, if you compare a service that costs INR 5000 and provides 20 new links and another service that costs INR 1000 and provides 100 new links, the second might appear better for your rankings.
However, like everything else related to SEO, the analysis isn’t that simple. Adding more links will have a positive effect on your rankings but it might not be necessary. Instead of simply increasing the number of links, you want to increase the number of quality links.
SEO is all about achieving the finest balance between several factors, so don’t just compare prices blindly. Don’t make the mistake of hiring an extremely cheap SEO firm that might take advantage of vulnerable situations and damage your site’s reputation instead of helping it.
Look for Relevant Expertise
It is important to always look for an SEO firm that has at least a few years of experience. An experienced team will be able to understand your business model and implement SEO strategies accordingly.
You should also look at the type of services they provide because not all companies offer the same services. For example, you might want to use both on-page optimization and off-page optimization. They should be able to understand your business and use a wide range of tools and techniques that will help in achieving the desired results.
Rather than simply looking at the number of years of experience, you should look for relevant expertise that can satisfy the needs of your business. For example, an experienced team with extensive exposure to e-commerce can be an ideal choice for an e-commerce website.
On the other hand, if you are a local business, expertise in e-commerce websites will be of little help. Instead, you will need a firm that has worked on similar geographical websites before and has aced local SEO.
Look for Market Knowledge
You should choose an SEO agency that not only understands your business but also knows the market well. Market knowledge is crucial because it can help you save a significant amount of money by avoiding potential problems before they arrive.
For example, the law of search engine optimization in the USA is very different from that of India. As an Indian company, choosing to work with a USA-based SEO agency might cause several issues. In general, the SEO agency will likely have little knowledge of how to attract and market to Indian customers.
You should look for an agency that can offer you extensive knowledge about your target market and its customers. For example, if you are looking to improve organic rankings in a regional language such as Tamil, it would be advisable to hire an SEO company that speaks Tamil well.
Check Client Testimonials
When it comes to hiring any service provider, you should always look for testimonials and track records because they indicate how well a team can deliver. Checking client testimonials is one of the most convenient ways of knowing whether an SEO agency actually delivers as promised or not. You should always hire an SEO company that has thorough knowledge about the industry and offers value-added services for better results.
Check their success rate before signing an agreement with your chosen firm. Make sure you go through their previous projects to see objective results rather than simply going by their claims. The best way would be to ask them for a list of sites that have seen a significant increase in their search engine rankings since working with the company.
You should also check out the number of clients they currently serve to make sure there are enough resources for your website as well. In general, if a firm is frequently getting new clients, it will be difficult for them to handle all projects simultaneously. You should choose an SEO agency that has time and resources to focus on your project instead of splitting its attention between several websites.
Further, after you have shortlisted a few firms, you need to verify whether they are trustworthy or not. One of the best ways would be to ask them for a list of references that can vouch for their work ethics and expertise.
Enquire About Their Strategies
While most SEO agencies will tell you only about the overall process, you should look for a company that provides detailed information about its strategies. You need to be aware of their future plans and how they are going to implement them on your website.
For example, it is likely that every SEO agency will tell you that they will help increase your website’s traffic. However, that is a highly generalized statement and gives very little information about their process. Instead, you want to get an agency that has a clear game plan and can tell you about their SEO audit process, the traffic they expect, and the number of links they intend to create.
Finally, you need to get a detailed report of your site’s current status. Make sure the agency doesn’t just present their proposals and ideas but provides concrete proof that can give you an idea about where you stand currently and how much improvement they expect.
You will get the best results by hiring a company that provides comprehensive reports, which show all aspects of your website including keyword rankings, content optimization, and so on.
Best Practices for Selecting an SEO Firm
Here are some of the points that you should keep in mind while making the final choice:
Be wary of firms that guarantee results
Improving the search engine ranking of a website is a highly complex task. It is, therefore, important to work with an SEO firm that understands the complexity of the task and thereby offers realistic results.
Firms that guarantee either first-page rankings or offer cost-per-click (CPC) services are likely to be less experienced or make false claims. They might end up hurting your site rather than helping it by taking advantage of loopholes.
Be careful of firms that promise quick results
There are several factors that affect the ranking of a website. It is, therefore, nearly impossible to provide quick results.
As far as possible, avoid SEO firms that promise quick results such as improved ranking in a week. Instead, look for an agency that focuses on following ethical practices and delivers long-term results through in-depth analysis, planning, and on-page optimization.
Find SEO firms with SMART goals
SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and anchored within a Time Frame. When selecting an SEO agency, it is important to look for campaigns that have SMART goals. This will help you measure the progress and success of each campaign so you can take quick decisions based on data rather than feelings.
Assess your needs
Before selecting an SEO agency, you should have a clear understanding of your own needs. For example, if you want to create new content as well as promote a new product, you need to find an agency that can provide a range of services, including digital marketing and content creation.
On the other hand, you might only need on-page optimization. In such a case, finding an agency that specializes in that will likely generate better results for your company.
Ask questions about the process of achieving results
Your primary aim will be to improve the organic ranking of your website. To achieve this goal, you should look for an agency that follows a proven process that can help you understand what’s being done with your site at every step.
Keep yourself informed about the process through which website rankings are being improved. Ask questions to clarify all your doubts, and do not hesitate to go back for changes if you are not satisfied with their explanation.
Find a firm that values transparency
Look for a company that knows how to communicate well, keeps you updated regularly, and provides regular reports after every stage of work. It should have an open line of communication so that it can address any concerns or issues that you might have.
Avoid firms that use Black Hat SEO
Black Hat SEO refers to an attempt to improve page ranking by using techniques that violate Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. This includes posting automated content, keyword stuffing, sneaky redirects, or link buying. Many SEO firms engage in Black Hat SEO as it improves page ranking in the short run. However, as these violate Google’s policies, it can attract penalties such as de-indexing of your website.
Ramp up your SEO strategy with Practics
At Practics.in, we pride ourselves on being great at what we do, i.e. SEO and Content Mktg. We understand search engines and content well enough to help businesses get the most out of their online presence. We can help you rank high on relevant searches by your potential customers.
Try us. If you are not satisfied with our services, we give a 100% refund for our first month of work together. No questions asked.
Our focus is on helping businesses improve their search ranking to increase visibility, grow traffic, and maximise revenue. Schedule a FREE consulting with us today to learn how SEO can help in growing your business.
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For your ease, we have created a checklist that you can use for conducting assess an SEO agency for your website. You can find the Google sheet here. You can also download the Excel version: