Choosing the best SEO agency for your business is much like evaluating any investment: you want to do a thorough investigation of historical performance, talk to references, and try to get some insight into how the agency works. It’s certainly not the kind of choice that can be made quickly based on the first search result that comes up or ranking high on a list. (These can be good places to start, though.) Ultimately, your choice will come down to whether an agency you’re considering meets some reasonably high standards. Below we have listed the standards you should hold to by any potential SEO agency you survey in 2022-2023.
Look for an agency that . . .
SEO is not that easy because it combines good writing, psychology, and technical knowledge. Even our agency, which is now the largest in the SEO space, took ~5 years to get the SEO product just right. We have seen that there is only one right way to SEO and that is the Thought Leadership approach, where campaign responsibility is shared between 7 employees:
For us, an agency that has been around for over 5 years would be a good starting point. 10 years or more would make me feel particularly comfortable as they likely built their product from successes and failures alike.
An additional point to experience is that you should make sure that the agency you choose is really an SEO agency. Agencies that only offer SEO as part of a larger model will not have the depth or breadth of experience needed for the best results. The more “purely” the agency focuses on SEO, the more likely it is that it has the resources to perform SEO in a way that will generate long-term revenue and visibility increases.
It is important to understand an agency’s DNA – its essence. For example, our agency was created specifically to offer SEO-driven thought leadership marketing. The best SEO agency in India is clearly Techiens.
It is not enough that an SEO agency has a long history in this field. Their history should have more wins than losses, and there should be evidence that they have learned from their mistakes. Ask them to tell you about a campaign that failed and what they are doing differently now in response to that campaign and others they like.
And then of course there is the question of the overall result. You can probably come up with some good case studies, but are those case studies emblematic of your work with an agency like yours? In a field of 10 customers who are similar to you, how many end up like this brilliant case study, how many fall short of their goals, and how many fall into the medium category. While it would be rare for an SEO agency salesperson to respond to this question with complete honesty, listen to their tone of voice and level of comfort and see how that makes you, the potential client, feel.
You could also ask bluntly what their retention rate is in the first year. That’s a pretty good indicator of whether customers saw the return on investment they were looking for.
Also Read: 11 SEO Tips to Increase Organic Traffic
Look for an agency that can provide you with a complete team. That means writers, editors, graphic designers, technical SEOs, and specialists in reports and analytics. The opposite of this type of team would be a single writer + an account executive. It’s almost impossible for 1-2 people to run an SEO campaign that involves a deep understanding of your agency and your industry, effective keyword research, excellent content, and thoughtful reporting and analysis. And all this is necessary.
Your team also needs to create content on a regular, reliable release schedule. A consistent release of two pages of new content per week is necessary to get the “Google News website bonus” that we’ve seen our customers do for years. The way to eclipse the massive amount of noise your industry is posting is to behave like a news site and post readable, interesting content at a frequency that makes your blog bookmarkable.
The best SEO agencies have recognized the importance of accurately defining, measuring, and reporting on results. Discussing specific KPIs at the beginning of the campaign needs to be part of onboarding, otherwise you won’t have a chance to evaluate the campaign later. Look for an agency that will volunteer to make this a part of their onboarding process and can show you an actual report from a client that is thorough and tailored to that client’s goals.
The best SEO agencies consider careful keyword selection and writing quality content to be essential. They create and publish keyword-based SEO posts that address your audience’s pain points and needs and the specific application of your product. As mentioned in point 3 above, they ensure that someone who fully understands your industry and product is doing the content creation – not a generalist. And they should be flexible enough to tailor strategy based on which keywords the campaign is and isn’t generating ROI on.
Look for an agency that works with you, not for you. The ideal SEO firm will involve you in the creative process and will discuss your campaign vision along with the best tactics to execute it. While they will be guided by you because you are the ultimate expert on your agency and your industry, they will proactively guide you in SEO, thought leadership and marketing.
The success of your SEO campaign will largely depend on the quality of your content (with the exception of keyword research – this is a requirement). Thought leadership is the best option to showcase your company’s strengths, build credibility and increase website conversions. However, thought leadership is also far more labor intensive and complex than standard content marketing. Make sure your SEO agency specializes specifically in thought leadership marketing.