When it comes to the highly competitive world of online marketing, few strategies are as powerful as SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). What separates the latter from other ways of promoting a business online like pay-per-click and social media is that it has the potential to support your brand for years to come provided that it is implemented consistently.
That said, the array of tasks associated with running an efficient SEO strategy such as website auditing, onsite/offsite optimisation, keyword research, link building and content marketing (just to mention a few) do not come easy.
The process can be described as arduous, lengthy and capricious. Hence it is often not practical for businesses to undertake the monumental task of implementing an SEO strategy on their own. For this reason, many turn to SEO agencies for help.
Why an SEO agency?
The web marketing services offered by an SEO companies located in Sydney can prove invaluable to businesses looking to expand their digital marketing strategy without necessarily having to take on more staff. Nevertheless, businesses must exercise care before hiring such services.
While it is true that a good SEO agency can help you land more traffic and increase profits, an inexperienced one can lead to the exact opposite. You will find many stories of businesses that practically demolished the reputation of their website following bad advice from unscrupulous individuals.
Another matter that needs your attention is whether or not the goals of your business organisation is clear to you. This is important if an SEO agency is to put your business on the map and work towards specific objectives using proven strategies.
Do you need more traffic or would you like to focus on branding? Perhaps you want to generate more leads and make more sales? Whatever it is, you will want to map them out for discussion with your SEO expert.
Choosing the right SEO expert
So how would you know if you are dealing with genuine SEO experts in Sydney ? For one thing, you need to be asking the right questions.
Consider the following questions you ought to ask your SEO agency before signing up for anything:
What guarantees do you offer?
If the agency gives you an answer that goes somewhere along the line of “we guarantee first page rankings within 30 days”, drop them immediately and take your business elsewhere. There’s a strong possibility that you are dealing with swindlers that are only after your hard-earned money.
Any reputable SEO agency knows that it is taboo to make such guarantees concerning results. First of all, search engine rankings do not mean anything unless you are getting results (sales/conversions). More importantly, search engines can be unpredictable in making changes to their algorithms. Google, in particular, is notorious for introducing changes to how they rank websites in search results. Hence guarantees are practically impossible to make with any degree of certainty.
Instead of guarantees, businesses would do well to learn about the set of standards and metrics that they have in place to track results and determine success.
How do you measure success?
Just because you see an increase in site traffic does not mean that your SEO is successful. Hence business leaders need to clarify what metrics their SEO experts can give them as proof that they are producing the intended results.
More importantly, businesses themselves ought to be knowledgeable about what metrics directly contribute to their bottom line. For instance, an increase in average time users spend on your site is not nearly as impressive as it sounds if most of them are not buying anything.
Additionally, retailers should themselves know metrics that constitute real success. For instance, an increase in time-on-site doesn’t matter if visitors aren’t converting to leads or sales.
Reputable SEO experts measure the success of their campaigns with a variety of metrics which includes (but not limited to) the following:
- Keyword rankings
- bounce rates
If you do not hear any of these metrics mentioned during your first interaction with the agency and instead given vague promises about how they can make your business successful, you’d best take your business elsewhere.
Can I see your case studies?
Any agency that has demonstrated its’ ability to do SEO ought to have no qualms presenting you with several case studies that highlight the value of the services they offer. Much like buying anything else, business leaders ought to look for reviews, testimonials and case studies — anything that can vouch that the services in front of you are precisely what you are looking for.
You can think of case studies as proof that confirms the viability of the strategies and expertise that your SEO agency has to offer. Moreover, you can request for contact information of clients that your expert has catered to in the past.
If the SEO agency seems unwilling to provide you with any of the things mentioned above, then this should be considered a red flag. It is like that the agency cannot produce the results that you need.
What areas of SEO do you specialise in?
Contrary to popular belief, SEO is not a “one size fits all” solution and agencies specialise on different verticals or industries. Depending on your niche, your practical approach to SEO can be different from others that belong to a different industry.
For instance, let us say one business sells organic healthcare products while another is a cloud hosting company. Both enterprises are technically selling something online. However, the marketing approach for both companies can be entirely different. E-commerce stores generally value conversions while SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) companies are more interested in list building.
Given the differences cited above, businesses may need to employ different strategies for traffic generation, keyword research, choice of online marketing channels and so on. For this reason, it would be helpful to choose an SEO expert that already has experience in your industry or at least a niche that is similar to yours.
What reports are provided?
Communication is essential in any business relationship. A good SEO agency ought to proactively send you reports on the progress of your campaign. This is typically done one a month along with short weekly updates.
In these reports, SEO agencies provide their clients with the details on what was done for their business and what they are getting out of it. As a result, business owners are never left out of the dark and know what to expect out the services provided.
SEO is not a quick answer towards growing one’s business online and requires a considerable investment in time and money to yield a profitable outcome. Hence it is essential for businesses to be more discerning about the nature and capabilities of the SEO experts whom they choose to partner with.