You’ve just started a new online business, but you’ve no idea how to go about marketing it. Perhaps you’ve heard of search engine optimisation (SEO) but don’t understand the ins and outs. If you fail to optimise your website for the search engines, much of your online marketing expenditure will go to waste. Fortunately, outsourcing to an SEO agency is often more affordable than employing a full-time team of employees. But how do you figure out who to choose without knowing what you’re looking for?

Without delving into the technicalities of SEO too much, here are some tips on find the right online marketing agency.

Ask lots of questions

Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions, even if you’re not quite sure what the answers should be. A competent SEO agency should be able to answer your questions in detail. If they can’t put your mind at ease or prove their expertise, you might want to look for SEO services elsewhere.

Just some questions you should ask include:

  • How do you perform keyword research?
  • What do you do to target keywords?
  • What range of online marketing services do you offer?
  • What is your success rate?
  • Have you created content for my type of business before?
  • What will I get for my money?

If any of those questions catch an SEO company out, you’ll know it’s not worth its salt.

Check out customer reviews

The best way to find out whether an SEO agency can do what it claims is to find out how effective their services have been for other people. Remember that some people will always find something to complain about. However, if you keep noticing similar complaints time and time again, there could be a real issue.

You might want to book a consultation with an SEO agency to gain an understanding of the services they offer. That way, you can search for reviews that detail specific services and offer recommendations. You might need to spend time carrying out in-depth research, but your finances will thank you in the long run.

See if they’re visible online

The job of an SEO agency is to help you earn first-page positions for your target keywords. Are they doing a good job of earning leading positions for their own? Needless to say, the companies you find on the first page for just about all search queries related to ‘search engine optimisation’ are probably going to be rather pricey. If you don’t yet have the budget to rival that of international giants, you can find a high-value SEO agency that guarantees a return on investment, but they shouldn’t be too hard to find.

When you find an SEO service you like the look of, check out their social media pages to see what they talk about and how they interact with their followers. Any good company should be actively seeking to build trust and connections with prospects. If an SEO agency is inactive, you might think twice about trusting them to manage your online marketing accounts.

SEO

Read their testimonials

A customer review will give you an insight into an agency’s capabilities. But a testimonial or case study might give you real evidence of an SEO agency helping a company grow. You’ll feel more confident working with a company that can demonstrate past projects and successes. If an agency has no testimonials or case studies to show, you’ve no way of knowing whether they can live up to their promises.

Check the fine print

Anybody that’s charging hidden fees and forcing you into long-term contracts might be more concerned with retaining you than actually doing a good job. Make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into before signing anything. The best SEO agencies will likely give your site a quick audit for free before letting you know how they can help you grow. Just don’t sign up to a monthly bill of thousands of dollars for years without even realising.

Don’t believe outlandish guarantees

In the marketing industry, there simply are no guarantees. You should never believe claims that you can get rich overnight. Search engine optimisation is a process, and it usually takes time to see real and sustained results. However, the fact that you might need to wait a few months to get a return on your investment means you need to choose the right SEO agency from the offset, so make sure you go with a company that offers realistic timeframes.

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