Hiring an Agency
14 min read
Updated: October 19, 2020

Other Than Marriage This Will Be The Biggest Decision of Your Life: Choosing The Right SEO Agency

Other Than Marriage This Will Be The Biggest Decision of Your Life: Choosing The Right SEO Agency

Search engine optimization, typically referred to as SEO, has become an integral marketing strategy for arguably any business today. SEO is the practice of directing more traffic to your website through the use of a search platform such as Google.

It may not seem like a significant decision, but choosing which agency to handle your business’ SEO needs can make all of the difference in your company’s success. Choosing the wrong SEO firm may sink your ranking on the search engine results page and impact your revenue.

On the other hand, the right SEO agency can help bring your business to new heights and increase your exposure to grow your lifelong customers. With thousands of SEO agencies in existence today, it’s important to choose one that fully understands your needs.

digital marketing agency

Does Everyone Need to Hire an SEO Agency?

Regardless of the type of business that you run, ignoring your online presence is a fast lane to failure. Developing a sound SEO strategy can help reach your target consumers and show up in relevant places on the internet to catch their attention.

SEO isn’t going to deliver results for your business overnight. It takes time and patience to develop positive SEO results that accompany other marketing efforts such as PPC campaigns, email blasts, social media posts, and brand advocates.

While you are focusing on the intricacies of running your business, the right SEO agency can take on the task of execufing the right strategies to help boost your rankings.

Why Can’t I Run SEO on My Own?

You may feel tempted to try to fully understand SEO and run this part of your business on your own. In reality, doing so will be time-consuming and require ongoing maintenance in order to yield significant results.

Consider the following reasons as to why running your own SEO marketing efforts may cause more harm than good.

It Takes Time to Learn

You know what they say – time is money. Although a cliché, this saying is especially relevant when it comes to running your company’s SEO on your own. Because SEO consists of so many moving parts and tactics, trying to fully understand exactly when and how to execute successful ideas can take away important time from you and your employees.

For example, some common parts of SEO include content creation, keyword tracking, website development, on-page optimizations, off-page optimizations, social media posts, backlinks, and so many more. Having a firm grasp on all of these moving parts can be overwhelming and time consuming for your company.

SEO agencies, on the other hand, are already extremely knowledgeable about SEO and what it takes to see improvements in search results. All of the resources are at their fingertips and after getting to know your business and your goals, they can begin to work toward agreed-upon KPIs.

seo services

Your Work May Not Be Quality

Sure, you can make a conscious effort to improve your company’s SEO on your own. However, the quality of the work admittedly won’t be as high as if you hired an outside team to do it.

Slow, even negative SEO results won’t only impact your business in the short-term, but in the long-term, it can put you years behind your competitors and significantly delay positive results.

SEO agencies are composed of team members whose sole job it is to stay updated on best practices, analyzing important pieces of data to further drive smart SEO tactics. Hiring a full SEO team to take on this task requires trust, but it can pay off tenfold in the big picture.

You’ll Have to Hire the Right Employees

If you want to build a strong in-house SEO team, you’ll need to consider the sheer cost of doing so. Hiring only one SEO employee puts a lot of pressure on him or her to produce the results that you want and will spread them too thin.

Hiring an SEO team is a better approach, however, it quickly gets expensive. Three to five extra salaries on your payroll is more expensive than simply outsourcing the responsibilities to a skilled team.

Things to Understand Before Finding the Right SEO Agency

Before you go out and seek an SEO agency to help your business, you first need to understand the important aspects of your business. This will help determine what you should look for in an SEO agency and can help you better understand how SEO can fit into your marketing efforts.

Understand Your Business’ Goals

All businesses have goals such as “generate more revenue” or “grow our social media profiles,” but SEO focuses on more measurable tactics referred to as key performance indicators, or KPIs.

There are many trackable SEO KPIs that you can integrate into your overall marketing strategy such as boosting organic traffic, improving your page speed, increasing your number of featured snippets, and so many more.

Defining your specific goals from the jump can help provide structure to your approach and expect realistic results over time.

key performance indicators

Calculate Your Budget

It is estimated that in 2020, U.S. businesses are spending as much as $80 billion on SEO services. Seeing as 75 percent of internet users won’t take the time to scroll to the second page of Google, investing in SEO is a smart business move.

SEO budgets range depending on the scope and deliverables. Examples of an SEO budget may range anywhere from $500 per month all the way up to $10,000+ per month. Finding an SEO agency that will maximize your return on investment through smart deliverables will make your dollar go further.

calculate seo budget

Common Myths Surrounding SEO Agencies

Fast Results

If an SEO agency is promising you fast, guaranteed results, strongly consider choosing another company. Search engine optimization takes time to see results, and they are never guaranteed. Depending on your efforts, it may take months to begin to see real movement in your rankings.

In fact, it typically takes 4-6 results to begin building momentum and reaping the rewards of your investment. Be patient and choose an agency that sees the big picture, not the short-term results.

An Excess Number of Certifications

Some certifications such as a Google Premier Partner or certifications through Moz can help provide credibility that you are making a sound choice. If a potential SEO agency is flaunting obscure accolades and certifications when trying to prove their worth, it is often smoke and mirrors.

Instead of certifications, ask your potential SEO agency to provide you with case studies of similar businesses to exemplify how they can provide similar results for your business.

Guaranteed Results

SEO is not like a math problem, even if you do all of the right things to improve your rankings, nothing is guaranteed. There’s no secret sauce or special insider relationship with Google to help secure a first-page ranking for your site.

Google’s algorithm is constantly evolving and pushing forward in new ways; instead of guaranteeing results, your SEO firm should guarantee their commitment to staying on top of SEO best practices.

This is a much more sustainable approach to lasting SEO success.

The Main Points to Consider When Choosing an SEO Agency

Is There a Clear Strategy?

You should have a clear understanding of exactly what your money is getting you from the beginning of your relationship with your SEO firm. There should always be transparency surrounding deliverables, timelines, and overall expectations.

Ask for a clear strategy outline to provide you with a short-term and long-term plan. If you have any questions about why or when something was done, ask for an explanation. Ultimately, trust is a huge factor that should drive your decision about which agency is best.

Will They Respect Your Budget?

Not every business has thousands to shell out on SEO strategies every month, and that is okay. The main point to consider when choosing an SEO agency is to understand where every dollar is going.

Even small budgets can help improve your rankings, so choose a company that will be mindful of how to maximize your return on investment.

Is There Transparency?

Your SEO agency should communicate early and often about how their efforts are making an impact on your business. Expect to hear from a quality SEO firm often throughout the month to keep you updated on any progress.

If there is hesitancy in your results or the company’s approach, this is a red flag that you shouldn’t ignore.

Other Popular Reasons to Choose an SEO Company

Experience

Believe it or not, the practice of SEO has been around for decades. Find a company that has been in business for a good amount of time and has worked with other similar companies.

You can also consider companies that have the industry-specific experience that proves they know how to generate more business in the same field. This knowledge is invaluable in developing a sound strategy for your company as well.

Case Studies

Case studies act as evidence as to why you should choose a particular SEO company. They’re an excellent way for SEO companies to show off their incredible results and make you want to do business with them.

Testimonials

seo agency testimonials

Just as you look at testimonials for your next doctor or dentist, you should look at testimonials for your next SEO agency. See what other people have to say about their experience with working with them.

Conclusion

Finding the right SEO agency to check all of your boxes can be tedious and time-consuming. If you’ve been searching for the right company with little success, you’re not alone. So many of our clients have been there, too. Let’s face it, just like finding your perfect match, some people kiss a lot of frogs before finding, err, their prince.

Comrade’s team gets it. We’re business owners, strategists, SEO geeks and more. And best of all, we will provide you with an honest assessment of your website and provide sound recommendations to begin improving your results. For a no-obligation consultation, get in touch with our SEO gurus today. This may be the (second) biggest decision of your life.

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About the Author
Sasha Berson
Sasha serves as Managing Partner and VP of Client Solutions for Comrade Digital Marketing, a Chicago-based marketing agency dedicated to solving client’s most pressing digital challenges.
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