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While it seems everyone’s talking about SEO, and successful businesses are making it an integral element to their digital marketing strategy. For the average person, once you’ve made the decision to invest in SEO, the next hurdle is often identifying an appropriately experienced agency to work with.  We examined the benefits of using a Perth based SEO agency in a previous blog. Because there’s no industry standard, it’s hard to compare like with like. So, let’s take a look at what you would expect to hear in a proposal from an expert SEO Agency 

Universal or customised services

If an agency is offering generic SEO services at very low rates, ask yourself why? Are they just providing a list of common keywords without much thought as to how these keywords will benefit your business? In these circumstances, you should be asking:

  • Do they understand my business, my services and points of difference?
  • Is this agency working to promote my most profitable services?
  • Are these words specific enough to help rank my site or is the competition to high?
  • Is my website lacking the necessary optimisation and content to get the right result?

Given that no other form of digital marketing can deliver as many sustained leads as a successfully implemented SEO campaign, it’s worth partnering with an experienced agency, who makes the effort to consider and understand your business goals and offers something more than a cookie cutter approach.

Ask yourself:

  • Does this agency understand the local and national landscape?
  • Do they have proven experience in achieving real results for Perth businesses?
  • Will they deliver a good return on my investment?

Build for future success

A professional SEO Agency will start with a review and thorough analysis of your website, to ensure there are no technical obstacles to your future online success.  This will include the content on your website, the structure of the pages, the quality of the coding, any previous poor quality SEO work that may impact your chance of results and more.

As more than 70% of a website’s traffic lands on a page that is very specific to their search phrase, like one of your “Services” page it is essential that the entire website is optimised, not just your homepage.

Unlocking keywords

An essential component of every SEO solution, keywords are fundamental to the success of your SEO campaign. Identifying keywords to drive traffic to your website is more than selecting a few obvious words and sprinkling them into the content.

We use a variety of methods to identify high-value keywords, simply because they significantly improve ranking and engagement on your site.  Again, the price is an indicator because it reflects our expert knowledge and how much time and effort we spend on detailed research.

Ask your SEO Agency if they have:

  • an in-depth understanding of the local market;
  • access to the latest, most sophisticated research tools;
  • an in-depth understanding and capacity to interpret Google Analytics; and
  • a good understanding of competitor’s keywords;

Link building and citations

A specialist SEO Agency will include expert link building as part of a package.  It’s another component we use to making your page attractive to the Google algorithm and boost your search engine rankings.

Google picks up backlinks and web references from quality websites and uses them to validate your website. Performance improves if your page is linked or referenced positively. Check how your prospective agency plans to:

  • analyse the current link profile for your company and that of your competitors;
  • ensure your website is listed on relevant, quality directories;
  • support you to syndicate your articles and write guest blog posts.

Compelling copy

A good SEO Agency offers expert copywriting as part of the service. Writing optimised copy for the web is a specialised skill, because keywords must integrate seamlessly and strategically throughout the copy.  Because local people have a greater understanding of the local market, ask if the agency uses local or is cutting costs by using cheaper offshore copywriters.  It’s a mechanism to ensure your content is relevant and written in a way that resonates with your target audience.  Discover how content is managed to make sure it’s compelling, informative and appealing to your prospective clients and structured to engage and inform search engine crawlers about your products or services.

Considerations

  • If the agency is promising you the world, it’s time to get a second opinion… an ethical SEO Agency that’s transparent about their methodologies, takes the time to talk you through the logistics, sets realistic targets and goals, is the agency most likely to get results. Any salesperson can over promise, only a few specialists can deliver great SEO outcomes.
  • Beware of unsupported guarantee’s – no one can guarantee you a #1 ranking on Google. If you’re told the agency has a “special relationship” with Google, or says they can “priority submit” to Google, walk away, because there’s no such thing.  The fact is, the only way to submit a site to Google directly is through the Add URL page or by submitting a Sitemap, something you can do yourself at no cost.
  • Rome wasn’t built in a day… the most cost-effective SEO strategy is one that’s integrated into your overall marketing plan and is designed to deliver measurable long-term results. Working with knowledgeable people who can draw all the elements together cohesively, pays dividends.
  • There’s no substitute for experience, choose to partner with a company with a track record in the industry, that employs qualified people who are acknowledged experts in their field. Check out their website and blog.
  • Choose a professional local agency that has formed good long-term business partnerships with clients who are prepared to endorse them.  If they have SEO case studies, take time to read them, they’re your best insight into what can be achieved.
  • An agencies approach to customer service speaks volumes about who they are. Agencies with a culture of excellence will provide timely reports and analysis, keep you informed and make themselves available to respond to questions.  Choose one that makes client engagement a priority.
  • Avoid people that offer heavily discounted services. Everyone loves a bargain, but providing quality services takes time and expertise. Never confuse a low price with value for money.

Take home message

The wrong SEO agency can make or break your online marketing campaign. If you want to make sure your website isn’t banished to the back pages of Google, do your due diligence then organise a meeting with Dux Digital to talk tactics.