Finding an SEO agency – what to look for?

6. February 2020

Easily and quickly to the right SEO agency

When choosing the right SEO agency a lot of factors play a role. The important thing is that you have a bit of foresight, so you can spot the blackest sheep pretty quickly.

 

This article offers you a guide on how to find the best SEO agency for your project.

 

 

Specialists for your area of expertise

The topic often plays a major role. Is the agency specialized in your field of expertise? If you don’t want to write the texts yourself and the texts are very complex, it is advisable to find a provider who is particularly familiar with your subject.

 

Some agencies have specialised in a certain field and are of course much closer to the topic than someone who has to read up on the subject first.

 

 

Size of the agency – size of your company

Basically, large and old agencies have a lot of employees, lots of references and are also very flexible. Here you should think about what I expect from an agency. The size of an agency does not say anything about the quality of the work it delivers, which does not mean that it is bad. With a small agency you are of course one customer of a few and not one of many, so you will be very concerned about them.

 

Another factor is price. An agency that is still relatively small will be under more competitive pressure than an old established agency. It is important with smaller agencies that they have sufficient expertise and that the agency is not only good at writing texts but also technically versed.

 

 

Period of notice and contract duration

How does the agency deal with the period of notice and contract duration? If you have only recently started to deal with this topic, then you should know that a sustainable and healthy SEO success does not happen overnight. The agency should also communicate this openly to you.

 

For immediate results it makes sense to place advertising, for a long-term success in search engine optimization SEO work is necessary. However, until Google rewards new content, it often takes some time, unless it is a niche topic. A good guideline here is half a year. The visibility curve here will rise slowly with correct performance and then become steeper and steeper.

 

Most providers also justify long contract periods of 1-2 years with this. With us you have a three-month contract period with the standard packages, so you remain flexible and the agency has to prove itself regularly.

 

 

Advertising by Spammails

If you receive unsolicited advertising by e-mail, preferably with a dubious offer such as “on place 1 overnight”, you should be sceptical. Mail advertising, on the other hand, is fine and often provides valuable information about the company.

 

Here too, you can weigh up how interested parties are treated. Get a first free consultation and preferably a non-binding preliminary analysis that gives you a first overview of where you stand and what actions can/should be taken.

 

How does the agency proceed in general, are you pushed to conclude a contract or are you given time to take a close look at everything and think about it?

 

 

The pure content

If it is about not checking your pages technically, but just filling them with content or text, then there are also various content providers. Here you have the possibility to get as many texts as possible with a budget you can define yourself. Nevertheless, depending on the agreed rate, these texts are often not as high quality as the texts of an SEO agency.

 

 

The budget

Calculate in advance exactly what budget you have available and weigh up how much power you need. It can happen that one or the other supplier wants to sell you more than you actually need. For example, a small company with few pages/products, little competition and possibly regionally active will certainly not need a premium contract with several thousand Euros.

 

On the other hand, there are also providers who know that many companies do not have enough budget for a strategically meaningful campaign and lure with small, almost “senseless” packages, which turn out to be drops in the ocean afterwards.

 

If your budget is very small and you have free capacity before working hours or employees, think about getting trained. This way you are not dependent on an agency and can take the project into your own hands in the long run.

 

 

Inhouse or agency

If you are wondering whether it would be better to hire a SE Optimization employee or a professional, then read the following article Inhouse or SEO Agency.

 

By training an employee, you can save a lot of money in the long run, because on the one hand he or she can fully immerse himself or herself in your topic and on the other hand he or she works only for you, i.e. has no idle time. An SEO agency will normally always have to add idle capacity, agency space, profit and taxes to the actual price.

 

 

Success based agency

There are also providers who offer their services on a success-dependent basis, these come and go from time to time. Which is not to say that there are also white sheep here.

 

It is important to consider the following:

 

  • in which period of time should the success take place
  • failing success
  • this offer is in fact a ranking in the organic (free) results of Google or an advertisement placed in Adwords, which is paid per click.
  • Which search engine is it?
  • the agency works with prohibited means – Black Hat SEO, which do not comply with Google’s guidelines. Due to the massive abuse of backlinks, an agency can try to achieve enormous results for your visibility in the short term. However, the Google algorithm is particularly clever and will quickly notice that there has been fraud. The penalties for such behavior are severe, ranging from loss of visibility to permanent exclusion from search results.

 

 

 

Questions to the agency

To get a good idea of the SEO agency in advance, you can ask some technical questions, which the respective service provider should be happy to answer. Do not worry, your counterpart might be annoyed and ask your questions whenever you do not understand a term.

 

Questions you can ask the agency before signing a contract:

 

  • Vertragslaufzeit
  • Stundensatz
  • Leistungsumfang
  • konkreter Plan um Ihre Ziele zu erreichen
  • entsprechen die Arbeiten den Richtlinien der Suchmaschine?
  • durch welche Maßnahmen wird versucht eine Verbesserung der Sichtbarkeit herbeizuführen? (Texte, Content, Backlinks, Funktionen)
  • wie lange dauert es bis messbare Erfolge entstehen?
  • Erstattet Ihnen der Anbieter regelmäßig Bericht über die Entwicklung Ihrer Webseite? Gibt es Möglichkeiten diese nachzuvollziehen?
  • Haben Sie einen einheitlichen Ansprechpartner?
  • Wenn die Agentur einen SEO-Text schreibt, wie hoch ist die Keyworddichte in dem Text (ein Wert der aussagt, wie oft der zu optimierende Suchbegriff enthalten sein soll. Der optimale Wert beträgt zwischen 0,5-2,5%)

 

 

References

There are many large agencies that advertise for themselves with well known references. This is certainly good to see that the provider also represents well-known brands. Nevertheless, you should be aware that especially small and medium SEOs, some of whom also have well-known references, will not reveal them for fear that competitors might fish them away. Therefore, it is recommended to put the factor references into the background.

 

When reviewing references, you should also pay attention to what exactly has been implemented for this brand, when the customer was worked for and how the visibility has developed for the well-known name during this period. For this you may need a SEO tool.

 

 

Service

What do you want from your SEO expert? Would you like an agency that takes all the work off your shoulders and offers full service or would you like to do it yourself? Is it important to you that your new partner is located at a representative address with stylish premises or is the work in the foreground for you?

 

 

Transparency

No matter which SEO agency you choose, it should be important that you are informed about success and failure equally in regular reports. How is your visibility developing and what are the reasons for this development?

 

How are the working hours composed? Can you see what work was done and when? Do you pay the same amount for all services? Is the hourly rate for a technical SEO analyst the same as for an editor doing research?

 

 

Forums and opinions

In general one should be careful with opinions in forums. Of course it is reasonable to look at the criticism of a provider in advance, but you always have to keep in mind that similar to product reviews and employer ratings, often people who are dissatisfied and want to teach the respective company a lesson give a rating. Nevertheless it does not harm to deal with these opinions.

 

Here you should approach the matter quite objectively and ask yourself what is the intention of the person giving the review. Does he or she write an objective criticism that is substantiated by facts and highlights negative as well as positive aspects or is the opinion full of anger, unobjective and written without real details. If you are unsettled with an offerer by opinions in forums, then you address the agency simply on it. They should have no problems with negative criticism and be able to explain objectively what the opinion is about and what their view of things is.

 

 

SEO portals and provider lists

There are also other sites that give a good overview of SEO agencies. For example, there are SEO seal that certify agencies. However, to be fair, it should be said that these seals sometimes cost money and especially smaller agencies, which do not offer lower quality services, often cannot afford such extra awards.

 

But also the market leading SEO tools offer an overview of the agencies that use their tool. Surely you don’t have an indication of the quality of such a provider here yet, but nevertheless you get a good overview and a variety of suggestions. Especially recommended are Sistrix certified SEO agencies.

 

 

Summary

Whether you choose a large or small agency, both have their advantages and disadvantages. Do not rush your choice and check all information carefully.
If you would like a free consultation or a non-binding short analysis of your website, then we are here for you! We are looking forward to your inquiry.

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