SEO is one of the main pillars of digital marketing and a service that every business should invest in. Effective SEO lets you improve your digital presence, connect with more customers and ultimately grow your business. A complex and ever-evolving discipline, most businesses turn to a digital or specialist SEO agency to carry out the work for them, but choosing the right agency is a major challenge that can hinder rather than help you if you make the wrong choice.
In this article, we’ll explore what SEO entails and how to choose an SEO agency to ensure that your business is getting the help it needs to succeed.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation and is the practice of implementing strategies on the back-end and front-end of your website, as well as off-site to grow a relationship between your website and Google. The more Google likes your website, the more likely it is to rank organically on page one of Google search results, and the more visitors your site will get.
Who Needs SEO?
If you own a business and have a website, you need SEO. It used to be that companies could get by with just having a website or placing an ad in their local paper or radio stations, but that is no longer enough. Marketing strategies such as SEO and Google Ads have massively increased the number of businesses promoting themselves online and have made it nearly impossible for businesses to survive without them.
Why Use SEO?
People often feel they don’t need to bother with SEO if they’re already investing in Google Ads. Unfortunately, online marketing is like real estate and Google Ads is like renting a house: if you stop paying, you’ll lose your house, and no matter how much you pay and how long you rent, you’ll never own that house.
But SEO is like buying a house. Although you have to invest money early on to improve your SEO ranking, you eventually own that spot. Importantly, SEO becomes easier over time, and the longer you invest, the better you’re likely to perform. Equally, the sooner you start, the faster you’ll be competing for the top ranking and those who start SEO today will always have an advantage over those who start tomorrow.
SEO Is A Necessity Nowadays
You might think that you can get by without SEO, but as SEO services become more popular and widely used, so too does their necessity, especially in more saturated industries. The reality is that SEO helps businesses stand out from the competition and make more money. If your competitors are using SEO and you aren’t, you simply won’t survive.
Why Use an SEO Agency?
Alright, so you’ve accepted that you need SEO, but can’t you do it yourself? You certainly could but that doesn’t mean you should – besides, there are many advantages to working with an SEO agency.
The heavy lifting gets done for you. SEO specialists have the knowledge and experience to save you both time and money and the headache of trying to do the work yourself.
Many hands make light work. Working with an agency means you’ll often have several SEO experts reviewing your campaign at once, resulting in a collaboration of knowledge and expertise that gives you a better chance at success.
Staying on top of trends. Agency SEOs are trained to stay on top of Google and other online trends to keep you ahead of the curve. And if something does go wrong, you’ve got a team of experts working around the clock to resolve any issues.
Brand and industry experience. Agencies deal with many businesses across various industries, so you can be confident that the SEOs working on your campaign have experience in your field and know how to deliver results.
Access to content creation. A huge part of SEO is the incorporation of onsite content, whether that be in the form of on-page text, blogs, or product descriptions. Joining an agency means you’ll have access to content creators who can take care of this without having to look elsewhere for additional help.
Access to resources. Agencies have access to top resources to help create and run your campaigns, research your industry and provide comprehensive and analytical data to show your results.
How Much Do SEO Agencies Charge?
In Australia, SEO agencies generally charge anywhere from $1,400 to $10,000+ per month, depending on the individual requirements of the business, their goals and the scope of their industry.
There are exceptions, of course, with some agencies offering SEO at as little as $899 a month – however, these are, more often than not, agencies with many clients. At the end of the day, SEO is like getting a tattoo: you get what you pay for.
What Should You Ask a
Potential SEO Agency?
If you’re considering an SEO agency, there are several questions you should ask them before you commit to a contract.
Do you cater your campaigns to the individual? Many agencies will offer their services as either a standard package or on a retainer. Package campaigns will generally have a list of specific services that you will receive for a monthly payment, and the more you pay, the more you get.
However, what works best with SEO is a customised approach. Look for an agency that puts together a package FOR YOU and YOUR business based on an analysis of your website and the goals you want to achieve. Not only will this give you more room to move compared to a package service, but it also means your campaign has a much better chance of succeeding.
How many other clients do you have? At the end of the day, the more clients an agency has, the less time the employees have to work on your campaign. You should feel secure in knowing you are a priority for an agency and that they are applying the time your campaign needs and that you are paying for!
Who owns the content? Do you have full ownership of any content created for your campaign if you decide to leave the agency? This is crucial, as it would be a shame to lose time, effort and work put into your campaign, which will end up costing you in the long term.
How do you structure your fees? Some agencies charge a standard monthly fee instead of an hourly rate for the work done, meaning you need to fork out the same amount, regardless of how much work gets done. This can create problems if your SEO goes on holiday or you’re unable to have your usual meetings with them that month.
How much experience does my SEO have? Look for an SEO who has at least three years of experience. SEO is a massive field that is constantly changing due to Google algorithm updates and technological improvements, so the experience is crucial when choosing who to go with. Search your SEO on LinkedIn for a better understanding of their experience and capabilities.
What are the limitations of my campaign? Some agencies charge based on a keyword allocation of a set number of terms you can target. Look for an agency that allows unlimited keyword targeting. This ensures you can target as many terms as possible without having to minimise your chances of success by limiting your target terms.
Do you offer fixed-term contracts, or can I cancel at any time? Choose an agency that allows you to terminate your payments on the spot. Being locked into something you end up unhappy with is the last thing anyone wants to get involved with.
How long until I start seeing results? If an agency tells you you’ll start seeing ROI before (at a minimum) the 6-month mark of your campaign, they’re being dishonest. It’s a common practice for sales teams to lead people into thinking they can start seeing results around the three-month mark, and this isn’t true.
Companies often use this tactic due to their commission KPIs being at three months. Sure, you might start seeing keyword movement, but the likelihood of seeing a return on your investment prior to this point is highly unlikely.
How often will I receive reporting and one-on-one meetings with the company? Transparency is key, especially regarding SEO, given that it’s such a complex industry where results are often not seen for up to six months. Ensure you can have a meeting with your SEO or account manager at least once a month and that there will be open and honest communication throughout your campaign.
Ensure you will receive reporting on your keyword rankings, organic analytical stats and conversions, Google My Business stats and information regarding work implemented over the past month and work to commence moving forward. This information is important for keeping on top of your campaign’s progress and helping to educate you along the way.
Stop Falling Behind The Competition - Speak To One Of Our SEO Specialists Today
The reality of modern marketing is that you need to play the game to succeed, and SEO is one of the most crucial pieces of the puzzle. Without effective SEO behind you, your business will remain uncompetitive in an increasingly digital age.
If you’ve been struggling to generate leads online, we can help. With dedicated, experienced SEO experts and in-house copywriters, our team can develop and implement a strategy customised to your business, industry, and goals.
Get in touch with one of our team to arrange a no-obligation consultation and find out how we can help grow your business.