Hiring an unsuitable SEO agency can quickly multiply the price of better keyword ranking in Google. With so many service providers vying for your business, it seems daunting to sift through them all to find the one true gem.
However, if you are determined to optimize your website for increased traffic and, ultimately, sales, it is a task well worth the effort. Before selecting the SEO agency to help build your online business, be sure you are aware of – and avoid – the following costly mistakes.
1. Opting for the Quick Fix
No matter how good an SEO agency might be, it simply cannot produce the results you are looking for in the first month or so of optimization. One reason is that web crawlers cannot work that quickly. Another is that attracting the quality traffic you seek – visitors that convert to customers – takes a concerted effort over time.
If your website provides value to visitors in terms of content, they will be more likely to tell others. While social media buzz does not count with Google positioning, according to Youth Noise, it does work in tandem with SEO to send more visitors your way. However, like SEO, social media results do not occur overnight. Therefore, signing with an SEO agency that promises an immediate surge in traffic is bound to be a waste of money.
In contrast, an agency that knows its business will be laying the groundwork for significant improvement during that first 30 days that will come to fruition over time, according to Inc. The payoff is not instantaneous, but it will be genuine in terms of gaining loyal customers.
Economizing is a smart strategy when you get real value for less cash. Choosing an SEO agency based on the low cost, however, is a great way to overpay in the long-term. When you sign a contract with an SEO agency, you agree to give the staff enough time to produce the promised results. If they do not follow through, you have not only wasted money but also time that could otherwise have worked to your firm’s advantage.
Meanwhile, your competitors are maintaining their top rankings because they invested their money in a reliable, if somewhat more expensive, service. In the attempt to economize, you have fallen further behind than ever, and will likely be spending significantly to catch up.
3. Settling for the Package Deal
Some SEO firms offer neatly arranged packages with all the generic services tied up in an attractive bow. Even if you doubt that some of them apply to your business, it all looks easy and streamlined.
However, successful SEO programs are completely customized to the business user, according to Jonathan Long of The Huffington Post. Your program should be geared to your industry, your marketing goals and your keywords. Anything less is a simply a financial drain.
4. Failing to Consider the Company’s Credentials
Failing to thoroughly vet any SEO agency you are thinking of hiring is a classic mistake of busy businesspeople. A referral from a colleague is certainly a good place to start, but you have several other sources for confirming a company’s track record.
You can do some advance research that is sure to save you time and money later. For example, look for independent online reviews of SEO agencies and the ones you are considering in particular. Ask companies for references and follow them up. Tell the SEO agent you wish to see a portfolio of past work. Reserve your decision until you are satisfied that the agency has a solid and proven reputation for success.
5. Choosing a Firm With No Experience in Your Industry
You would not hire an auto mechanic to coordinate a wedding, nor should you hire an SEO agency with no experience working in your industry. Even though the basics of SEO span all industries, the fine points of linkage, keywords and analytics are best left to experts who understand your specific field. Otherwise, you may find yourself paying for the time it takes for them to get up to speed or the mistakes they make due to inexperience.
6. Bypassing the Basics: Backlinks
Because backlinks are essential to solid SEO, they should be an important topic of your discussion with an SEO agency. If you simply entrust the agency is up to date on all the essentials, you may regret it later when your program is not performing as planned. Instead, ask the agency representatives how they source and select backlinks.
Backlinks from other reputable websites help solidify your position as an industry leader, and it follows that your Google ranking will rise. It matters, however, that the sources of links provide quality content that is relevant to your keywords. Thus, if your SEO agency provides your site with a quantity of non-relevant or poor quality connections, it may do more harm than good in terms of your position on search engine pages.
7. Not Asking About Analytics
Your ability to assess the effectiveness of your SEO upgrade over the coming months and years is critical to fine-tuning your outreach, so ask prospective SEO agencies how, when and what they provide in terms of progress reports. A professional agency should deliver the statistics that go beyond Google rankings and website traffic figures. Such information should track how your site attracts new viewers, how many return for more information, who fills out forms and most importantly, how many convert to customers.
An online business presence is only as successful as the amount and quality of contacts it attracts. It does make sense to put money into SEO, just like you invest in other marketing to increase sales and help your company grow.
If you select an SEO agency based on specific criteria rather than the spur of the moment, your investment is far more likely to meet your expectations and business goals.