Updated 27 May 2020
How to find the perfect SEO agency for your website
SEO service providers will almost always claim that they are the perfect solution to your online marketing problems. Here's a list of things that set apart the best SEO agencies and why you should look carefully before signing up with a new marketing partner.
A search engine optimisation agency should understand the business side of SEO
You'll hear providers talk about SERPs, rankings, traffic, links, and other technical SEO tactics. These are important but it's more important to understand the higher-level requirements of the business before working on short-term tactics.
A business partner should start with a good understanding of your industry, your competitors and your needs. They need to know that what you need is a steady stream of loyal, paying customers who want to buy from you over and over again, and then refer your business to their friends.
You need loyal followers who will visit your site every day, engage in your content, and share it with their network. That's the focus of our Whitehat SEO approach.
You need to ensure that your SEO agency understands your business's products and services, your industry and the competitive landscape. After all, your provider will serve as your online marketing machine. They must have your marketing objectives (business-level KPIs) as the blueprint in their mind to ensure that every effort is working toward your business goals.
A digital marketing company should be capable of laying out the business plan for your online success. But to do that, they must intimately understand your business and your business plan and goals.
Create quality content that speaks to your target audience
An agency needs to focus on creating content that is valuable to your target market – not keyword-stuffed and unreadable articles! One type of content to produce is educational content, which is targeted at your existing and potential customers - your ideal buyer persona. Don't sign up with a company to produce a fixed number of content articles per month without a specific plan as to why each piece is being produced and what is the overall target.
It's important to create quality blog posts that your prospects want to share with their friends and colleagues.
Consider asking your agency how they intend to produce industry-leading articles, thought leadership pieces and advice. Press releases, company updates, and company news are less relevant than content that directly helps your prospects with their problems and goals, and that will get them more interested in learning more about your products and services.
You need your prospects to think positively about you. Quality custom content (authority content) has a positive effect on audience attitude, according to 90% of CMOs asked by the Custom Content Council.
Building Google+ authorship
It's important to utilise Google+ to improve your overall SEO footprint. Google+ authorship stamps your content with Google+ markup, identifying you or an appointed person as the author or publisher of the content published on your website and blog.
When you stamp Google authorship on a piece of content, you are given credit for it through Google's eyes. And the accumulation of authorship credits can help you to rank higher in search engines.
Reference: What is authorship?
Ensuring proper website and URL structuring
It's a key part of any SEO strategy to optimise your pages, ensuring your site has the proper structure. A proper site and URL structure make users navigate and flow easily across your website. A faulty URL structure on the other hand, confuses users and makes it difficult for search engine crawlers to index your pages and content.
Your agency needs to carry out URL mapping to determine which pages should be optimised for what keyword, what topic, and how this relates to the latest best practice SEO site structure advice. This involves the creation of a pillar page structure based on keyword topics.
Understanding on-site SEO
This includes your meta tags and meta descriptions, allowing your site to better communicate with search engines. Page titles, descriptions, and even alt texts for images all need to be configured correctly.
Tweaking your coding will enable search engines to index your pages faster and rank them higher for your chosen keywords and topics.
Utilising social media and social publication for SEO
When you publish new content on your blog or anywhere online who knows about it? Everyone must know about it!
Social accounts need to be set up for you in the top social media and social sharing sites, the top blogs, as well as the top press release sites. When you publish content let the world know through your company's social media accounts.
How to build and attract natural links
You should be creating high-quality, authoritative content. This will attract natural inbound links to your site. Authority sites are more likely to link back to your site, and therefore pass link juice to your pages.
Your agency should be able to carry out natural link-building techniques that do not over-optimise anchor texts or use any kind of black hat scheme that violates search engine guidelines.
The more quality links you build to your website, the higher your website will rank, the more visitors you will get and of course, this will turn into more sales.
You should demand an in-depth consultation before any work is done or contracts are signed
A professional search engine optimisation company or marketing firm should be committed to helping you become much more successful and for your business to grow.
You will see this when you see them in action right at the very beginning. The best firms do not offer fixed SEO packages. They need to understand your business in detail, figure out your goals and then provide solutions to fill the gaps in your plan to help you hit your targets.
This will require an in-depth consultation before asking you to sign up for any of their services.
They should thoroughly understand what your business is, who your target customers are, and how they can meet their needs. This way they will be aligned with your goals. After the consultation, they should propose ways on how they can help you based on their research, and the resulting proposal should be specific to your needs.
A great SEO agency should help you grow your business. They should have the know-how and experience in the SEO industry and should want to understand your business and your worries. An agency needs to gain your trust by displaying business intelligence and showing you performance through professional execution.
You are passionate about your business and an agency should be passionate about their clients' marketing. The SEO company should be responsible for your success and help your company to grow.
If you want to see how Whitehat matches up to these ideal standards then go ahead and contact us here to learn more about how we can help you grow your customers and your business today.