When you know what to look for in an SEO company, it can make all the difference for your business’s online success. With so many companies out there claiming to be experts in search engine optimization (SEO), it can be overwhelming and challenging to find the right one for your needs.
But fear not – we’ve compiled a list of 7 essential traits that you should look for in an SEO company to help guide your decision-making process. And if by the end of this article, you decide you’re not ready for a full-blown service, we’ll recommend a few programs that can vamp up any SEO campaign for a fraction of the price.
So, let’s dive into everything you need to know about SEO companies so you can make savvy and informed choices for your marketing needs.
Understanding the Role of an SEO Company
In the digital marketing landscape, an SEO company plays a pivotal role in devising and executing SEO strategies that align with business goals.
SEO agencies help businesses achieve their online objectives by making the most of ever-changing search engine algorithms.
In essence, they keep up with the trends and apply them to their clients’ websites for maximum visibility.
What Does an SEO Company Offer?
An SEO company, or SEO service provider, offers a range of services designed to optimize your website so it can be easily found on search engines. Here’s a more detailed look at what they offer:
SEO Audit: Most SEO agencies will begin with a comprehensive audit of your website to identify areas of improvement. They’ll examine your website structure, content, and current keyword rankings to understand where your SEO needs lie.
Keyword Research: SEO companies use advanced tools and techniques to identify the best keywords for your business. They understand that the right keywords can attract the right audience and increase organic traffic.
Link Building: Good SEO companies understand the importance of high-quality backlinks. They’ll work to get other reputable websites to link back to yours, which can greatly improve your SEO.
Content Development: Content is king in the world of SEO. The best SEO companies have teams of writers who can create SEO-friendly content that not only ranks well but also engages your audience.
Local SEO: If you’re a business owner with a physical location, local SEO is crucial. An SEO agency can help optimize your online presence for your local area, helping you attract more local customers.
Ongoing SEO: SEO isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it kind of thing. It’s an ongoing process that requires regular monitoring and tweaking. A good SEO agency will provide ongoing SEO services, continually working to improve your rankings and adapt to changes in search engine algorithms.
Reporting: Transparency is key in any partnership. The right SEO agency will provide regular reports to show you exactly how your SEO campaign is performing, where your website visitors are coming from, and what areas need more attention.
You can choose an SEO company that works with all of these marketing services or seek out SEO experts that focus on one area. For example, if your business is a brick-and-mortar store, you might want to look for an agency that specializes in local SEO.
How a Good SEO Company Benefits Businesses
A reputable SEO agency not only enhances your online visibility and drives targeted traffic but also saves precious time for entrepreneurs.
By entrusting SEO experts with keyword research, content development, and link building, business owners can focus on core business tasks.
This not only leads to improved results through professional expertise but also accelerates growth by allowing entrepreneurs to dedicate their time to strategic decision-making and business operations.
While it’s not always apparent in the short term, you can save money with the right SEO company as well. This is because the agency can execute SEO strategies better and faster than many small teams or solopreneurs.
And if your marketing efforts make it out into the world quickly, that means that your products and services are being promoted and purchased more quickly.
What to Look for in an SEO Company: 7 Important Traits
Now that we’ve reviewed what you can expect and how you can benefit from an SEO agency, it’s time to learn what to look for in an SEO company:
1. A Proven Track Record
Selecting an SEO partner with a solid history is key. This demonstrates their prowess in driving transformative outcomes.
To get started, take a look at reviews from popular platforms like Google. You can also dig a little deeper with the following:
Scrutinize the evolution of client rankings
Analyze data showing boosted web traffic
Hunt for glowing client appraisals
Read available case studies to see how they helped other businesses.
Not only will you learn what the SEO agency excels at and comes up short at, but you may also discover unique advantages that make them stand out from competitors for your specific needs.
2. Transparency and Clear Communication Around Deliverables
Transparency in SEO is vital for fostering trust. It ensures you’re informed about actions affecting your website’s performance.
Key indicators include:
Regularly shared analytics and updates on SEO services
Communicated strategies presented in a clear, easy-to-understand way
Open discussion about challenges and potential hurdles.
This data is crucial for tracking progress and ensuring that you’re not wasting money on a service that’s underdelivering.
3. Knowledge of the Latest SEO Trends
SEO changes at the drop of a hat. From changes in the Google algorithm to AI technologies that affect keywords, SEO rules are always evolving. So, you should choose to work with an SEO provider that takes time to stay up to date with current trends.
There are plenty of ways to see if an SEO agency is up to speed with the latest developments. Look for the following indicators of a forward-thinking SEO company:
The company invests in writing a blog where they review updates in the SEO industry.
Media coverage shows that SEO providers regularly attend conferences/webinars and share key learnings and insights.
The company sends newsletters that share valuable information related to paid search, analytics, or other digital marketing strategies.
The agency organizes its SEO workflow with up-to-date software tools.
The company is a Google Premier Partner and keeps up with the required standards of search engines.
Many of these indicators can be found through the company’s promotional content, so subscribe to their newsletter, follow them on social media, and look for their responses and insights on review sites.
Most SEO agencies, especially those that embrace SaaS technology as a part of their workflow, also update current and potential clients with their future roadmap. This could include the development of a new tool, fixing bugs, or marketing funnels.
4. Customized SEO Strategies
It’s important to follow the foundational practices of SEO so that search engines can effectively crawl your site and rank it accordingly.
But keep in mind that all businesses have unique needs and goals. This means that a cookie-cutter approach won’t work for everyone. The best SEO company will offer more than the basics that can be found by using SEO tools.
SEO agencies should focus on creating a customized strategy that fits your specific business goals and target audience. You can tell that the agency is seasoned in customization if they offer the following intake process:
Initial consultation to understand your business objectives
Development of an SEO budget that takes into account any goals or restraints
In-depth analysis of industry-specific keywords
Customized SEO plans with measurable KPIs.
While some level of customization is essential when working with SEO agencies, keep in mind that catering services can get very expensive very fast.
Enterprise-level SEO, for example, requires a lot of intricate planning, so if you’re working with a smaller SEO budget, start with the basic customizations and grow from there as you analyze results.
5. Comprehensive Analytics and Reporting
To get more traffic to your platform, you need to be able to measure it. While Google offers easy and free ways to track your SEO traffic, it can be overwhelming to know how to read the data.
This is where an SEO company comes into play. They can translate metrics into actionable items that drive real results. They do this by:
Selecting the best metrics to follow based on the needs of their clients
Using the data to identify patterns and habits
Effectively communicating what the data means to spur meaningful change
Providing legible and clear reports that break down performance, SEO costs, and how to optimize efforts further
Setting realistic expectations.
The truth is that an SEO company can’t guarantee results. So, their SEO strategy must be deeply rooted in data. Otherwise, you’re just throwing time and money away on guesswork.
6. Ethical SEO Techniques
If you’re wondering what to look for in an SEO company that will keep your SEO strategy compliant with search engine guidelines, you’re not alone.
Unfortunately, if an SEO agency touts 100% results guaranteed, it’s a red flag that they’re not using ethical SEO techniques.
They may be using black hat SEO practices such as:
Link building with low-quality links
Hidden text and links
Spamming comments and forums.
These unethical black hat SEO practices can result in a Google penalty or even getting your entire website deindexed from search engine results entirely, so seek a reputable agency.
Look for SEO services that outwardly mention that they offer white hat services or those that follow ethical and best SEO practices. These methods take time.
However, they are the most effective long-term tactic for increasing and maintaining high search engine rankings.
7. Impeccable Customer Service
Search engine optimization is about more than SEO goals. It’s also a relationship, and having a good rapport with your SEO provider is crucial. Look for an SEO agency that puts its clients first and has plenty of accessible ways to troubleshoot, learn, or chat about service updates.
Some signs of good customer service include:
Multiple channels to get in touch, including chat, email, and phone
Transparency with fees and pricing
A team that’s dedicated to your account and knows your website
Examples of how they’ve gone above and beyond for previous clients.
Ultimately, you need to feel like your SEO agency is a partner in your business growth. They should be eager to collaborate with you so that you both benefit from the service.
Investing in an SEO company can skyrocket your SEO strategy, but it’s not the only way to enlist help for your business. Several SEO tools can provide you with in-depth analysis, optimization recommendations, and more.
Here are 5 powerful tools that offer plenty of the benefits of an SEO agency at a fraction of the cost.
SEMRush is a potent alternative to hiring an SEO agency. As a comprehensive tool, it provides granular SEO data that can help you execute your SEO work effectively for your own business. It supports long-term strategy by offering features like:
Start by setting up your SEMRush account and connecting your website. Use the site audit feature to identify any SEO gaps or issues. Then, leverage the keyword magic tool to understand what words or phrases your target audience is using.
This provides you with a foundation for running successful SEO campaigns in a similar way that an SEO agency would work.
LinkWhisper is a valuable alternative to choosing an SEO agency for managing internal links. It simplifies the process of adding and tracking internal links, which can boost your site’s performance on search engines and bring quick traffic to your pages.
It works like a digital SEO agency that focuses on on-page optimization.
Ahrefs is a tool that contends with most SEO companies because of its comprehensive suite of SEO tools and deep database of information. In fact, an SEO agency will likely invest in a tool like Ahrefs to conduct research for clients.
Because of the complexity of this program, it can be intimidating to people who haven’t used SEO optimization tools before. But it makes one of the best replacements for a traditional SEO agency because of its features such as content explorer, keyword explorer, site audit, and more.
The company offers an excellent training and support system that can help you make the most of its features. They also communicate well with users about program updates and are currently adding more AI functionality to current features.
SEO is a lot about research and strategy. And without well-written and helpful content to support your website, these optimization techniques can’t do their job.
One way to enlist help is by using a program like Jasper. This AI tool helps you generate content ideas, provides article outlines, and can even write the content itself.
Jasper can also help with SEO strategy. It’s based on prompts, so you can type something like “Act as if you’re on the executive team of a good SEO company and give me their best SEO advice.”
Jasper can provide you with a list of actionable tasks to improve your website’s performance.
Remember, at this time, Jasper still needs to be fact-checked and edited, but it makes a great substitute for hiring an SEO agency for dozens of content and SEO-related tasks.
Learn more about this powerful tool in our Jasper AI review.
If you’re on a limited budget, you can choose a free SEO tool, such as Google Analytics. To set up this program, you’ll need to paste a bit of code into your website’s backend.
From there, you can track data such as visitor demographics, page views per session, and more. It can help you make informed decisions about keywords or content that performs well, with features like user flow and event tracking.
Here are some of the best Google Analytics blogs for learning how to take this data and analyze it as an SEO company would.
Final Thoughts: What to Look for in an SEO Company: 7 Traits That Matter
As you can see, knowing what to look for in an SEO company can eliminate a lot of frustration. And there are plenty of services that meet or exceed these standards, so stay vigilant in the search.