Choosing an SEO provider with so many options and companies fighting for your attention can easily become a daunting task. As the industry is generally unregulated there are many digital cowboys that operate using Black Hat SEO techniques, and with different companies offering contrasting packages, it can often become hard to compare them and the services they offer.
In terms of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), Black Hat SEO techniques refer to the tactics that have a primary focus on search engines rather than the human audience, and this does not usually abide by the guidelines given by search engines.
An SEO company that operates using these techniques are only seeking a quick fix solution for a website and practising these tactics runs the risk of a website or company being banned from search engines altogether.
Although it is not simple to understand and comprehend the practises and processes that take place behind the scenes of a digital marketing company, there are ways in which a business can measure and compare SEO companies to other firms and suppliers.
One of the most important and most fundamental factors to understand is that SEO is only the starting point of a company’s overall digital marketing strategy and is most effective when combined with other strategies. With Organic Search Engine Optimisation, there is no one-size-fits-all solution that can be applied to every business, rather it must be bespoke to the specific industry and the consumers’ needs.
It is also important to understand that simply because a website has been optimised to appear higher in the search results of search engines, it does not mean that it will necessarily attract the right kind of visitors that will turn into conversions.
As a general rule, the higher the cost of the SEO services of a provider, the more a business should expect from their services.
We have gathered our best tips to help businesses to quickly and simply measure the ability and skills of an SEO company provider.
Assess the sales process:
The sales process in a digital marketing agency often serves as an indication of what a business can come to expect in the long term with the SEO provider.
It is as this point that SEO provides are working their best to sell their services so should a business find that their communication process is already poor, or they generally seem disorganised, it is often an indication that this will only worsen over them.
Likewise, businesses should take this first step of the decision process as an opportunity to test their knowledge of the SEO industry and the processes that are involved in gaining results. Many SEO providers can simply provide generic information and prices, however, the better SEO companies will present focused and specific industry information to a business.
Although it isn’t practical for a business to expect a technical brief of every aspect of SEO strategies and tactics, a distinguished SEO provider should be able to present information on the current state of a business’s website and have the knowledge and expertise to answer basic questions on the spot.
Do they have clients in your industry? Ask for examples of some of the links they have built:
Even though a business shouldn’t seek to work with a company that is also providing their SEO services for one of their major competitors for obvious reasons, a business should still employ the services of an SEO company that has experience working with similar or related industries.
This is a major advantage for businesses as it is a representation of the knowledge that the SEO provider already has on the market, the target audience and the relevant keywords that help to optimise SEO.
Businesses can also do their own research and see how other businesses are ranking within search engines to gain an understanding of how well the campaign had worked.
Upon discovering the related companies that a potential SEO supplier has worked with, a business should seek an official summary of the campaign details. Businesses should ask for examples of the backlinks that were created during the campaign process to examine the quality, and quantity of work that they had provided.
There are tools available to businesses should they wish to delve deeper into their own research to gain a greater understanding of the variety of backlinks that an SEO provider has built. Tools such as Open Site Explorer are a free tool that supplies a variety of data from its own index of the world wide web.
It provides statistics such as overall link count, the number of domains that are linked to a specific URL, along with a range of other data such as anchor text distribution.
This tool is extremely helpful and even the best marketers from around the world use this tool to conduct research on backlinks, discover new link-building opportunities and to uncover damaging rank-impacting links.
This type of research can be conducted for any potential SEO providers who claim to be working with, or have worked with these related businesses in the past.
However, it can become difficult to be positive which company has built a specific link. It is not uncommon for SEO providers to claim that another previous supplier has built questionable links on a business’s site.
This is all about gaging the SEO provider and gathering a few examples to compare and contrast their processes and practises.
Question what specific link building tactic will be used for your particular campaign.
Any credible and trustworthy SEO provider should be able to communicate the specific strategies and tactics that will become the foundation of a business backlinking campaign.
Businesses should seek to gain information on how the SEO provider will endeavour to accumulate links back to their website and help to build their online network and presence.
Again, it is in the best interest of the businesses to ask for multiple examples of the types of links that the SEO provider has built for their other clients. It is recommended that businesses conduct further research into backlinks to gain a better idea of the quality of their services.
Identify how the SEO provider charges their clients:
As with all sound business investments, it is in the best interest of the business to know exactly where and how their money will be spent. Businesses should discover if the SEO provider will work on an hourly rate, or if they charge their clients with a set price per link that is built.
As each company can vary so vastly with their prices and the services they offer, gaining this information will assist businesses to compare them with their own calculations.
It is also important to remember that a cheaper price for the same service doesn’t always mean a better deal. For example, if one SEO provider charges $300 an hour and another is only charging half of that price, a business must determine if the added investment into the services are worthwhile in terms of results.
A business should also ask the former SEO service provider why they believe that their time is more valuable than the latter.
What are the expectations in the first 3 months?
Every SEO provider has differing requirements for SEO with each website and business, however, a well-organised SEO company should have a regulated outline of what clients can come to expect with the first month that is adapted to each project.
Although this information will not include the specific details of a business’s individual campaign, they should offer an outline at the very least.
As a bare minimum, the SEO providers reporting structure and communication format should be a process that they can openly discuss and let businesses know what to expect.
What reports do they offer?
SEO is a significant investment of the allocated marketing budget that businesses make into a campaign, so it is important that they know exactly what their money is being spent on.
Profitable and positive results are a great sign that a business is receiving value for their investment in SEO, however, this process is long and can even take months of investments before a business can see a return and there is often a lot of work that is conducted behind the scenes.
One of the best ways for a business to see the services that they are paying for, even before they experience results is in the form of regular, and transparent. communication and reports.
The absolute minimum that an SEO provider should offer their clients is a monthly report that offers information on what they have done, the allocation of a businesses monetary investments, the process and how the ranking has changed over time.
Will they be providing content?
One of the most significant components of modern SEO strategies is in the form of quality content. This is one of the only certainties of gaining positive results in the industry that is supported by a wide range of studies.
Should a business come across an SEO company that suggests quality content is not a significant portion of a successful SEO campaign, a business should simply move on to another provider: no and’s, if’s or but’s.
In order for a business to achieve positive results from content, a general rule that all good SEO providers should provide is an average of 1500 words of quality content on each landing page. The exact numbers of words will vary with each business and every industry, however, this number will give businesses a ballpark number of what to consider when questioning an SEO provider on their content.
Should an SEO provider suggest that a mere 200 words is sufficient to gain positive results, they may not have the right knowledge of how modern SEO practises work and it is time to begin looking elsewhere.
Conduct your own research and look at organic reviews online:
When a business is searching for information and the services that an SEO company provides, it is within their best interest to conduct their own research rather than simply relying on the testimonials that are on the provider’s site. It isn’t surprising to learn that SEO providers will only point businesses in the direction of only the best reviews that show their company in the best light.
Businesses should try to look for information outside the box. Attempt to get into contact with other businesses who have previously worked with the SEO provider that was not one of the businesses that they had already suggested that the business should contact.
This helps businesses to gain a non-biased and a more objective idea of what working with that SEO provider is actually like.
Refrain from signing contracts until there you are completely confident in the work of the company:
Although SEO strategies are in fact a long-term marketing tactic that is slowly built and maintained over time, SEO providers shouldn’t find it necessary to lock businesses into long-term contracts. This is often a scheme SEO providers use force businesses to pay for their services even if they are not gaining any results.
Should a business not be experiencing any positive movements in their rankings in search engines in keywords that are relevant to their business or are not gaining a reasonable amount of search traffic each month, they should not continue to pay and use an SEO providers services.
This is especially true should a business be investing in SEO for more than 3 months with no results.
In the extremely competitive market, there is definitely no shortage of SEO providers to choose from, it can be difficult for businesses to find the right agency that will provide them with positive results. The choice in provider can be the difference between a successful campaign and one that does not gain any traction.
The eTraffic Difference:
eTraffic is a digital marketing agency with a difference. We understand that not all business is the same and each has their own needs, industry and goals, which is why to adopt a personal and individual approach with each of our marketing and SEO strategies.
We begin by firstly gaining a deep and thorough understanding of the specific businesses industry, their target market and how they can be utilised to generate positive results.
eTraffic is not like other agencies, our team of digital marketing strategists are assigned fewer accounts to ensure that we provide our clients with an intimate experience and to ensure that each team member can remain focused on providing our clients with real results.
This allows our team to gain a greater and more personal understanding of the business and their individual needs.
We believe that communication and transparency are key.
At eTraffic, we provide all of our clients with a complete blueprint of a business’s online marketing strategy to best manage our clients’ expectations. All of our clients are given complete and free access to all marketing programs, software and campaigns.
We encourage an open line of communication and ask our clients to openly ask any questions they may have about the campaign and raise any concerns they have, at any time with their dedicated project manager.
Our team members are always open to listening to these concerns and adjusting the campaign to provide the best possible results.
eTraffic lets the results speak for themselves. We deliver the most positive and effective results time and time again.
We employ a mixed platform marketing strategy to efficiently and effectively achieve increased conversion rates and provide our clients with real, monetary results for their investments.
As a locally grown company, every member of the agency has been carefully selected for their drive and dedication to web marketing whilst ensuring that each and every team member shares the same fundamental passions for our business.
We work relentlessly to drive sales for our clients with our utmost dedication to our clients. The experts at eTraffic have used their skills and passion to bring together a team of digital strategists, web designers, graphic designers, web developers, marketing managers and copywriters who work with one another in an open line of communication to present the best results in greater efficiency.
With the head office being located in the heart of Melbourne, our clients can have peace of mind knowing that every aspect of their digital marketing campaign will be handled with extreme attention to detail with a deep understanding of the Australian market.
With each digital marketing strategy, we take notes from our clients’ target market and combine a wide variety of media platforms to provide work that is the most relevant to a specific industry.
Our digital marketing strategists use a combination of marketing tools such as SEO, paid search tactics, social media and mobile optimisation to ensure that our clients’ customers will come across their business time and time again.
At eTraffic, we have an emphasis on sharing knowledge and understand that knowledge is the key to success. We do not only take the time to understand each of our clients’ businesses, but our team members educate our clients on the latest technologies and practises. Our digital marketing experts always strive to push their business above their competitors. We use our combined insights to leverage unique selling points.
To be able to make our clients business stand out from the crowd of competitors, we know that they must be different and daring, however, we also understand that this does not mean that they have to gamble their marketing dollar.
We are so confident that our clients will be elated with the services and results that eTraffic provides, that we don’t rely on retainers to keep our clients coming back to us.
We are positive that our love for the art and our dedication to the craft of digital marketing will ensure that we deliver our client with the most positive results and latest marketing strategies to grow their brand.
Get in touch with eTraffic and discover the endless possibilities of the digital marketing services we have to offer.
T: 1300 887 151
eMail: [email protected]