If you’re paying top dollar for search engine optimization, you have a right to know what to expect. You know the agency will work to help your website rank higher in the search results, but you want them to use white hat tactics. White hat SEO uses best practices encouraged by search engines, such as creating great content and having a site load quickly. Black hat SEO involves cheating, such as buying backlinks. SEO agencies that use black hat tactics may help you initially rank higher, however, your site will eventually get a penalty and tank in the rankings.
Why Should I Hire an SEO Company?
If consumers are not finding your website on the first page of Google’s search results when they look for your product or service, you are losing business. The first two organic (not ad) listings in Google get 55 percent of the clicks, leaving little traffic for the rest of the sites. More traffic results in more leads and more sales.
Do SEO Agencies Research Competitors?
If you have competitors who consistently outrank you, you need to know why. SEO agencies have software which can analyze the keywords your competitors use and the quality of their backlinks. Competitor research can show where a website needs work and it can also uncover missed opportunities.
What White Hat SEO Strategies Does a Reputable SEO Agency Use?
SEO agencies and marketing companies use a variety of tactics to increase their client’s online visibility. First, they will ensure your website is user-friendly. This includes having the site load quickly and render perfectly on all devices, regardless of the screen size. Sites which offer a poor user experience don’t rank well. Google also favors HTTPS secure sites over those without an SSL certificate.
Most SEO tactics are either on-site or off-site. On-site tactics include:
- Creating keyword-optimized. in-depth content
- Optimizing title tags and URLs
- Making sure all images have alt tags
- Internal linking to relevant pages
- Creating a site map and make sure the site is crawlable by search engine bots
Off-site SEO, which includes actions the agency takes off your website, includes:
- Link building activities, such as guest blogging
- Self-created links from forum answers
- Influencer activity
- Social media content
- Creating citations, which are mentions of your business’ name, address and phone number on sites like Yelp or the Yellow Pages. Citations are helpful for local businesses who want foot traffic.
SEO agencies don’t perform these actions once and consider the work done: SEO is an ongoing effort. SEO agencies analyze your ranking and traffic to ensure what they are doing is bringing you more traffic.
How Can I Find a Reputable SEO Agency?
You should ask:
- Do you have experience in my industry? Legal SEO is very different from e-commerce SEO.
- Will you do an audit before quoting a price? Some sites need far more work than others.
- How long is my contract? SEO takes about six months to show results. A six-month initial contract is common.
- Look for an agency with a physical address rather than someone who works from a home office as a part-time job.
- What exactly will be done each month? An agency may promise at least one blog post a month or so many link building outreach emails sent.
- Will I get a detailed monthly report?
Also, avoid any SEO firm which offers guaranteed results. No company can guarantee what Google will do.
When you find a reputable SEO agency to work with, you can expect your business you to grow. SEO is a long-term investment which pays dividends long after your SEO campaign ends.