Where having your in-house SEO team solely dedicated to your company’s marketing goals has its perks, it can be expensive and time taking at the same time. That is why a lot of businesses choose to go for an expert SEO agency. Although it will be expensive but not as expensive as getting an in-house team together.
Now that you have decided that you are going to hire an SEO company, it only leaves you with one question “how do I choose the best company for my business?”. Don’t worry about it. here is a step-by-step guide to finding an ideal SEO partner.
1. Step 1 – Seed List
· What is a seed list?
It is a collection of potential agencies that can be partners for your business. It is the first step to finding the perfect SEO agency for your company
· How a seed list is made?
It is an initial brainstorming step to finding the perfect match of an SEO company for your business. Mostly it is done in two ways; the company either finds a pre-made list of potential partner agencies or creates their list based on their research.
· Option 1 – Finding online lists of SEO agencies
It is one of the fastest and the most convenient ways of finding some of the best options of SEO agencies out there. Just type “best SEO agencies” on Google and you are just one click away from getting infinite options to consider from and that too, based on different factors.
· Option 2 – Create your list
Although it is a bit time taking but the results are surely better than any list of options you get from the internet. Because when you create your own list, it is based specifically on the interests and needs of your business and will be better than any list you will get from a third party
Before starting the search, you should be clear on what you want or what your prime requirements from the SEO company are. For example, do you want an SEO company that is nearby or one that is more affordable and suited to your budget? Then you start your search. Choose the qualities that you need in your SEO partner and form their keywords and then shortlist the potential candidates and there you have your seed list.
As it is an initial brainstorming step, you don’t have to get a quote from the agencies you are adding to the list. Now that you are done with the first step, you will move on to the next step
2. Step 2 – Visit each agency’s website
You can tell by the setup and appearance of the main page of the SEO company if that company is suitable for your needs and worth your time or not.
You can normally evaluate the company by checking these 4 main pages
It is really important as it is the first impression the agency chooses to show to its potential clients. It should be the best-looking page on the site. Agency’s name, contact options, and navigation elements should be visible at the first glance. It should also display a kind of imagery to give you an idea about who works there. As egotistical as it may sound, it is a good sign that an agency is excited to show off its employees and facilities. If the homepage of the agency looks old, unmanaged, or sloppy, you can cut it off your list right away because if a company cannot keep its website up to speed, it is a bit hard to trust them with your company’s fate.
· About page
As simple as it may sound, it is also one of the best ways to see how the agency chooses to display itself. It will act as an indicator of the agency’s overall success and work environment. Employee satisfaction is a major factor when it comes to the efficiency and dedication of the agency. Happy and satisfied employees will work harder and with more concentration and dedication which ultimately means benefit to your business.
The about page should display the information about the clear agency values. Be it data-driven results, in-depth analysis, collaboration, or regular reporting, these values will reflect in every aspect of their work
On their about page, the agency should also mention any kind of award they have won or any other achievement they are proud of. This kind of display reflects success, determination, and experience on the part of the agency.
The more the agency mentions about itself on its about page, the better. Because it shows that the company does not have anything to hide. It is probably best to scratch off the agency’s name from the list if it does not have an About page or contain less information about themselves on the about page.
· Testimonial page
These are actually the goldmines of information. They tell you about the experiences of the past customers and their reviews on the agency’s services. When an agency has been able to get enough testimonials to fill out an entire page, it shows the worth, quality, and dedication of the agency.
A company having more than 100 testimonials from their time working in the market will be considered the best SEO agency in Dubai. An SEO company without any testimonials from their clients should not be trusted and should be cut right off from the list.
Lastly, you are going to check their content on the website. Blogs are crucial for the success of a website. You should only go for a company with a large number of up-to-date quality content on their website. If an agency can not keep up with the latest information on their website, how do you expect them to be active with your business?
3. Step 3 – Testing the Agency’s SEO strength
You can evaluate an agency’s online power by using several online tools or you can even do it through Google. There are a few tests that need to be performed when it comes to checking the SEO strength of the agency.
· Test-1: Brand name search
Start by evaluating the company’s brand name search. It should rank first for their name. if not, you should move on to the next agencies
· Test-2: Major Keyword Search
Keyword plays an important role in earning customers for that agency. For example: “SEO company in Dubai”. These companies should rank high for these keywords otherwise they will fail to attract potential customers like you. Major keywords are directly linked to the agency’s ability to earn new customers. Low rankings mean they are failing at getting potential clients and you should consider looking for other agencies.
· Test-3: Minor keyword search
These are not directly related to the agency’s primary audience. That’s why these words can rank high or low for these search terms and they will not matter that much. A company might choose to target minor keywords to increase their site traffic or they do it to promote their name online in the starting to help build the strength needed to pursue major keywords. Minor keyword search also helps earn organic traffic. Although little, but these minor keywords hold great importance and if an SEO agency does not come up for any minor keywords then you should consider scratching them off your list.
4. Step 4 – Make contact with the agencies
Now that your list has only the top candidates in the run, you should contact your prospective agencies directly. There are a few ways to do it:
You can either do it by sending a mail through the contact page directly, to set up a time for a meeting or you can use the contact number mentioned on their contact page or anywhere else on the page. Or you can just set up the timing for an in-person meeting.
· What way of communication is the best?
Choose what suits your condition the most. In the middle of a busy season, you can just send an email if you want a thorough evaluation, you can set up an in-person meeting
By the end of this step, you should only have 1 or 2 agencies left to evaluate or consider. Then you should plan an in-person meeting with all the remaining agencies.
5. Step 5 – meet the shortlisted agencies
One meeting will not be enough to decide if the agency is best suited to your interests or not. Even for in-person meetings, you should set up follow-up meetings in order to discuss the business in detail and to get everything in order.
Ask questions to the representatives and then decide according to their answers if you want to stick around this agency or not. A few important questions to ask include:
How will your agency improve my company’s ranking? What will the agency do? Why they will do it and how it will impact their business. Discuss all the issues and queries you have regarding the agency and its way of working.
Move forward with the company which makes you feel the most confident and clear about their vision and your goals. If you manage to choose the agency best suited for your company’s need, it will help you get better results and with more efficiency