So, you’ve been considering hiring an SEO agency.
You’ve built your website, your business is growing and you know that ranking higher in Google or Bing will help you bring more clients through the door. You’ve made the decision to seek an SEO agency.
Perhaps you’ve tested doing SEO a bit yourself, without consistent results. Or perhaps you simply don’t have the time to devote to learning the ins and outs of SEO—because let’s face it, it’s a lot of work!
Whatever your reason for seeking out an SEO agency, it’s important to arm yourself with some basic knowledge about how agencies work. Just what do those SEO experts do all day long? Read more to see a breakdown of what an SEO expert will do for your website.
This is the first, and vital, step in the SEO process. It will often be carried out at the same time as Research and Analysis. An audit of a website to check for several points:
- Current ranking of your website with many different search combinations
- Quality of your links and where they’re coming from
- Load speed of web pages
- URL structure
- Quality of title tags
- Quality of meta description tags
- Content quality
- Overall usability of your website
Research and Analysis
With the audit in hand, the research can now begin. This research will help the SEO expert better optimise your website in the next step. This research will cover:
- Keywords in your industry
- Trends in your your industry
- Brand monitoring
- Competitor research
- Google Analytics (or similar program), to evaluate your web traffic
Initial On-Page Optimisation
Using the audit, research and analysis, an SEO expert can now create a plan of action for your website. This is where the most intensive work will begin, which is why SEO agencies often charge more in the first few months, when the workload is heavier. Several optimisations can occur in this stage:
- Website redesign, to improve page load times and user experience
- Website structure overhaul, to make sure that search engines can crawl your website more easily and push you up in rankings
- Text changes, not only for comprehension but also to avoid penalties, for example in the case of “keyword stuffing.”
- Tag optimisation to improve web crawling and avoid penalties
- Code optimisation to improve web crawling and get rid of code that may slow down your page load speed
When on-page optimisation is winding down, the longer process of off-page optimisation takes center stage. This means seeking links from other websites, which will give your website an “upvote” in the eyes of a search engine. There are several ways that a company can receive more inbound links:
- Social media platforms
- Search engine submissions
- Online PR, working with journalists to cover your brand
- Forum discussions
- Directory submissions
- Interactions with influencers in the industry
One of the most important parts of your experience with an SEO agency will be their communication with you about their findings. A good SEO agency will offer monthly reports. They will also set tailored goals and educate you about their actions along the way.
Each company is different, and each SEO agency will have their own method to working. Some industries may have tactics that don’t transfer to another industry.
Before you spend a significant amount of money each month, make sure that you feel at ease with your SEO agency! Like any relationship, trust is key.