February 24, 2023

How To Select The Right SEO Agency For Yourself

When getting into marketing your website, there are many obstacles to overcome. But with this article you’ll be way more informed.

When setting out to market your business there are many ways on which you can attract clients. Be as it just flyers, radio, or newspaper ads - which are ancient ways that still work. But specifically in this case there are many obstacles when tackling an online presence that is not only very technical, but also involves the old marketing principles of grabbing attention, color theory, and psychology triggers.

Yes, marketing has changed more in the past decade than it has in the past century combined, yet it has remained the same. The medium on which you find clients is now way faster, more target-able and cheaper than ever with the introduction of Google, Facebook and other IT giants. Combined with a little thing called a smartphone, you can reach people in a such unprecedented way like never before.

With general ads, you can target the exact type of customer you need for your product or service, but given that CPA gets pretty expensive or just turn over isn't as good as search engine optimization, which is always a good tactic to start after creating the website.

Search engine optimization (or SEO for shorter) is a branch of online marketing that is very cost-effective compared to other types of advertising. The difference between, say, regular Facebook ads is that you have to grab the attention. Where with a carefully positioned and properly optimized website you can get a client that searches the keyword related to your service much more easier, and cheaper that doing naked ads.

You get targeted audience that’s always there, monthly that you can count on. Selling lemons you will have people looking to buy lemons straight to your site.

First thing when someone searches for something – it’s on Google or other search engines, not on Facebook or Instagram.

So how does it work?

The website could be imagined as a mobile house. When you create a website, it is in the middle of nowhere. By carefully using pointers and rules that Google and other search engines laid out, you will have way more success of getting your mobile house to a neighborhood that’s already looking that.

At that stage you will get to your competitors. Safe to safe, the biggest and hardest jump is from place 10 on the first page to place 9.

You can reach all this by yourself; however, if you have tough competitors at this stage, so you would need proper research and knowledge about your sites and your competitors in order to move higher.

To cut everything short by this time, you would need an SEO agency.

A proper agency will lay a plan for you that they will follow in terms of budget and changes for your websites.

In 2023 SEO became the quick buck job that every guy wants in. Especially ones coming from Asia. They have flooded the groups. So how do you pick good SEO from bad ones?

Well, you can't really know if a car is a good car if you don't know anything about cars. But even if you do, how can you spot the same brand car, same everything – which has more km's on the engine and less scrape and bump?

Common sense is the correct answer!

When first getting to know SEO you would flock to groups on Facebook or on Youtube. Talking to knowledgeable SEOs can get expensive fast; even then, it’s not guaranteed. There are so many people outsourcing the work, which isn’t bad per say. Although, sometimes outsourcing of outsourcing of outsourcing can happen. The bigger the chain, the cost gets up, and the time for delivery gets longer. Not ideal either.

So here are a few common sense pointers on what to look out for when you’re looking to get your SEO done by someone:

1. Someone that doesn't speak English good

When doing the optimization, it's very important nowadays that articles and research is done properly, and to edit something that someone else will read, it's imperative that English is on point. Ask questions that are difficult, and expect elaborate answers. If a person is bad with English, it's most likely that the material he's using and tools... he doesn't understand them fully.

A brand that's all about hype and doesn't have a laid out plan. No guarantees if things go bad.

Optimizing the site on the search engine isn't an easy task, nor is it cheap, especially on terms that have heavy traffic involved and strong competitors. You are not only testing with the first on a page how your site will move, but where as well. There are many people looking to swindle and make quick money and run. So you need to have a fallback plan. Websites nowadays are more like a floating real estate. It can bring a lot of value, but it can sink quickly.

Example conversation with a freelancer who doesn't speak English good.

2. Super cheap, or super expensive

In any case, with super expensive or super cheap you can hit the jackpot. Be careful of both, cause in many cases, the value is equal with both.

There are many people that go with the "Rolex" of SEO and do not understand a thing about it - paying 20-30k where you can spend 10x less and get the same results (not saying that more expensive is bad). But it's not uncommon that in this world people charge like crazy.

The same case goes for super cheap. Your site can never recover in some ways if things go sideways with the newer updates. Countless times in the past, there was always a quicker and cheaper way to do things but always with the same results. Works for a while, Google update happens and sites tank. Never get recovered.

If the strategy is about these things. Run.

Image showing the difference between super expensive and super cheap SEO service.

3. Agency who’s all about metrics

In real life you can measure things. But search engines are made based on algorithms and user experience which are constantly changing. There are metrics in the SEO world, but those are indicators only. They don't hold the real value of something. In many cases, they are the exact opposite of what they represent.

Using the metrics are tools, but any knowledgeable SEO can tell you that those same metrics can be manipulated. Sometimes easy, sometimes harder, but manipulated the same way.

You would wanna stay away from someone that swears by DR/traffic/or worse something archaic like MOZ and Majestic. Any of those don't represent the true value, as the value is behind the good on-page SEO, backlinking, and current position.

4. Agencies without any social proof or with fake reviews

Acquiring clients without a good portfolio or proof of previous experience is difficult. Many agencies offer free services to get some awareness and attention, which is actually a good thing! But how can you trust an agency that has no social proof? How to be aware they are experienced, or how do you know they won't send your website to the graveyard?

On the other hand, some agencies and freelancers have built fortunes based on fake reviews. People blindly buy from agencies that have flooded their listings with fake reviews 5 star reviews. Though fake reviews do not mean that they are a poor service, but still, if they're so good, why are those not real?

Basically, don't trust anyone blindly; make sure to see their previous works, get information on the internet like Trust Pilot or Fiverr, or in the best case, find their previous client, talk with him and find out how things go first hand.

An agency that most likely has fake reviews.

5. Agency which is all about “Yes!”

We all know the stupid feeling when we ask someone if they can do something and they just say "yes" without any elaboration. A basic "yes" often means "I'll do whatever it takes just to get your money". Well, these guys are another type that should be avoided as much as possible.

Moreover, in 80% of cases, such agencies (or freelancers from Asia) are not experts in this or in any other marketing field. They just want to get any kind of work to improve their financial situation and run away as soon as possible. Of course, you might feel sorry for them, or they might offer you a few bucks cheaper service, but at the end of the day, you could find yourself in the position of having to deal with a disastrous job they've done.

Screenshot of a chat conversation with an SEO agency that only responds with 'yes' without any elaboration.

6. Choose agency in you size

A saying goes "The small ones go with the small ones - the big ones go with the big ones". This means if you are considering SEO packages for small businesses or so, you should find an agency that mostly deals with small and local campaigns. Still, you should avoid agencies that specialize in big companies because they usually charge much more just because of their high position (although quality won't be compromised, you should find a smaller agency for yourself if you're on a budget)

On the other hand, if you are planning a large marketing campaign, it would be best if you don't rely on small agencies or freelancers. They usually lack on the labor and struggle to handle the workflow. Moreover, there's a chance they won't finish the project on time or may overspend the budget due to their lack of experience with bigger players.

The recommendation is to choose agencies in the middle because they will always have good experience working with both small and large projects while being pretty affordable. Not to mention they’ll finish everything on time and deliver excellent results as the SEO agency (N) Optimization.

In conclusion

Taking precautions is imperative in this line of work. More communication of the concerns and wishes with the person doing business is a MUST. Because the cost of making a new site is not to be taken lightly, especially considering it takes a while for it to become visible in the search engines. I hope this helped. If you have any more to add, you can do so in the comments to further alert or perhaps give pointers to the readers.

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