It is sometimes difficult to find oneself in the jungle of web referencing agencies, as the offer has evolved and diversified in recent years. And when choosing an SEO provider, it is not always easy to find one who will be able to perfectly meet the needs and specificities of your business. So, how do you find a serious and qualified agency? What criteria should be taken into account? Here are some tips to help you see things more clearly.
# 5 key steps to choose the right SEO agency
- Start by budgeting
- Identify the weaknesses of your site
- Identify your needs
- Set specific goals
- Be patient
1. Start by Budgeting
The first thing to do is to define a precise budget. Yes, but there you go. Prices vary significantly from one agency to another and also depending on the project. Indeed, content creation will not be billed at the same price as a full site audit. Ditto for the creation of backlinks or the implementation of an inbound e-marketing strategy which will certainly be more expensive than a simple optimization of HTML tags.
And to make matters worse, the opacity shown by some agencies about their prices and services makes any comparison impossible. Difficult in these conditions to effectively assess a budget. Note, however, that the prices of SEO providers are on average in a range between 200 euros and 2,000 euros for the self-employed (daily rate) and between 2,500 and 5,000 euros for agencies (tailor-made services).
2. Identify the Weaknesses of your site
If you’ve decided to hire an SEO specialist, it’s probably because your site has serious technical flaws. No matter how hard you go about the content, it doesn’t appear anywhere on search engines. In this case, you will have to get your hands dirty and find out for yourself what is wrong. This step is essential, because it allows you to refine with more precision the fields of intervention of your service provider.
Rest assured, however, you are not going to dive into the dark bowels of your site. You will be satisfied with a superficial analysis in order to identify the origin of the problem. This will lead you to perform a technical audit of the site to ensure that it is properly optimized against Google’s SEO rules or that it needs to be partially or completely reworked.
The results of this diagnosis will help you define the tasks to be entrusted to the SEO service provider and will in turn allow them to submit a realistic estimate to you.
3. Identify your Needs
Companies do not have the same expectations in terms of visibility, since their objectives will depend above all on their sector of activity and the keywords on which they wish to position themselves.
Thus, an e-commerce site specializing in the sale of winter clothing and accessories will have completely different needs from those of an accounting firm or a service company which wishes to make itself known mainly in its region.
The e-commerce site will, for example, position itself on requests with strong competition in relation to the products it sells (eg: “winter women’s coats” or “ear flaps”). On the contrary, the accounting firm will seek to target a local audience (eg: “Rouen accountant firm”). All of this demonstrates the importance of studying keywords.
4. Set Specific Goals
Once your needs are defined, you will then set long-term goals.
- What results were you expecting?
- Are you looking to position yourself on the same keywords as your competitors (need for notoriety)?
- Or would you rather bet on the long tail?
- For what deadline?
- Would you like to appear in the first position in the search results (SERPs) for a particular keyword?
Having a clear idea of your goals will ensure more realistic results.
5. Be patient
If an agency promises you to be on the first page of the SERPs in no time, run away! Unless you use techniques prohibited by Google, and under penalty of being blacklisted from the engine, no professional worthy of the name will make you dangle such promises. On the contrary, a reliable and serious provider will ask you to wait several months before seeing the efforts bear fruit.
SEO is a long-term job. Depending on the target audience, your ranking will experience regular progression. It would take at least 3 months to get results.
If you want a fast and effortless result, it is better to orient yourself towards paid referencing (SEA method or Adwords ads). This way, you can be sure that you are quickly at the top of the results, without having to risk bending Google’s rules and being penalized.
Some agencies have no qualms about pretending to be what they are not. Fortunately, there are different ways to sort the wheat from the chaff:
- Check your reputation online. Thanks to the magic of the Internet, it is now possible to know with a few clicks whether or not a company enjoys a good image with the public. To do this, you just need to peel the positive or negative opinions left by former customers on social networks, forums, blogs … These are often veritable mines of information that will allow you to form your own opinion on the service provider.
- Contact directly by phone. To be sure that you are dealing with connoisseurs, what could be better than speaking face to face with them. During your discussions, pay attention to several points: the way your interlocutor approaches you, his mastery of the subject, the impression he gives you, his ability to explain his solutions to you in simple words, etc. Beware, however, of fine talkers who are sure to guarantee success.
- Examine its positioning in Google. An SEO agency must be able to apply for its site the principles it advocates for others. It is a matter of common sense. It should then appear on the first page of queries like “SEO agency”. Otherwise, it is better to go to another provider. Please note, this does not apply to Adwords ads, which are more like paid advertising.
- Learn about its services. A reliable agency will not only offer content creation (Google’s appetite for content is no longer to be demonstrated) and monitoring the evolution of the site’s ranking over time.
- Guaranteed results: some highly qualified agencies have a fair amount of confidence in their skills and reimburse their clients if their objectives are not met. In addition, they do not hesitate to explain how to calculate the Return on investment of all the actions carried out.
- Finally, be vigilant if an agency tells you that it has been around for more than twenty or twenty-five years and cites references with which it has worked for several years: pure invention given that Google only saw the light of day. ‘in 1998, and companies didn’t start paying attention to its engine until years later.
We hope that these tips will be useful to you and that they will really help you find the ideal provider for your future SEO campaign. In any case, if you have any questions or need additional information, our SEO agency is happy to provide you with further clarification.
In your opinion, what are the most important points of SEO strategies for your business? Write it in the comments. We look forward to your feedback and constructive dialogue with you 🙂