In this article, we talk about the things you should expect from an SEO agency in 2022. The blog also highlights the difference between independent agencies, consultants, and in-house SEO teams.
When it comes to SEO, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all formula that can work for all businesses. Of course, you should have certain expectations while working with an SEO agency. Your business goals, the agency’s work ethics must align to achieve expected results. In this blog, we shall attempt to understand what to expect from an SEO agency.
But before you want to understand your expectations from an SEO agency, you should know the difference between an SEO agency, an SEO consultant, and an in-house SEO team. Once you know how one differs from the other, you can make an informed choice.
- SEO Agency – It is a dedicated company with specialists in SEO and marketing in general who work with clients to improve their SEO prospects. Apart from SEO experts, these agencies also include designers and developers in their teams. Every member of the team works with a pre-decided monthly spend and timeline. The client base of an SEO agency is purely on a retainer basis. For this, most agencies look for businesses that can afford the expenses of SEO for the long term.
- SEO Consultants – Unlike SEO agencies that have a full team of experts working full time for them, SEO consultants do not essentially carry out any SEO service themselves. Their job is to advise and offer solutions to businesses on how they can improve their search engine prospects. Companies with an in-house SEO team often hire consultants to help them improve their strategies.
- In-house SEO Experts – As the name suggests, some large businesses, especially those in the e-commerce business, prefer to have their SEO team to continuously improve their rankings. However, such teams can hire the services of independent experts to improve their strategies and tasks.
What to Expect from an SEO Agency in 2022?
Now that you understand how a full-service agency can help you improve your search engine prospects, lets now talk about the expectations you can have from an SEO agency in 2022.
# 1 They Must Understand Your Business Goals From The Beginning
Any collaboration cannot be successful unless the agency understands your business. This should happen before any work is done. The agency that decides to work on your SEO must understand your audience, competitors, target, and goals. Unless they have a deep knowledge of what you seek to achieve, they will be unable to curate an effective strategy.
Once they are able to understand your goals, they can create a strategy that will give you the desired returns on investment. They can also work within the budget and timeframe only when they know your business goals.
# 2 Should Undertake Thorough Research and SEO Audits
There is a lot of work that an SEO agency must undertake before they even begin the real work. Once they understand your business goals, their next step should be to run an SEO audit and thorough check. This must include –
- SEO site audits so that they can analyze and identify areas that must be improved.
- Perform technical SEO checks that will bring forward several performance issues related to indexing, content, page speed, navigation, images, etc.
- Creating a priority list based on the scope of improvement as identified by them. Here their focus should be to optimize your site keeping in mind the data they previously gathered. They shouldn’t just optimize to improve rankings but also to improve user experience.
- Running extensive keyword research to categorically understand keyword relevance and importance is necessary. This is important as it limits guesswork but rather gives the agency a roadmap to follow. While running keyword research, they must also analyze how realistically each of the keywords can be followed to maximize your ROI. An adept agency will stress developing an effective keyword strategy. Additionally, they must also run a competitor analysis to understand your competition better.
# 3 Continuous Monitoring and Reporting
You should look for an SEO agency that believes in continuous evaluations and reports. This is a benchmark of a quality agency since they understand the importance of continuous assessment of your site’s performance and traffic management. When they continuously monitor, they become capable of providing recommendations for the future. Ideally, they should work with monthly progress reports so that all your highlighted goals are monitored. This helps to scrutinize the strategies that are working and those that aren’t. Such a detailed report also helps you understand your website better and the tasks that have been carried out to improve it. With the help of such a report, you can know how to best introduce new products and services and improve their visibility.
# 4 Running Regular Site Health Checks
Once you realize that SEO is an ongoing process, you will understand why it is important to assess the performance of the site continuously. This can be done when your Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and other SEO tools are regularly monitored. This is the job of your SEO agency. They must also undertake regular site crawls to identify broken links, poor backlinks, and duplicate content.
# 5 Transparency in Operations
As we had mentioned earlier there isn’t a standard formula for SEO success. Sometimes something works but another time the same strategy backfires. This is all part of SEO. While you recognize this, you must also value transparency. The SEO agency must be completely transparent about how they carry out their SEO strategy. Even if something hasn’t worked, you should be informed about it.
# 6 Results
You would of course want to see a boost in sales and traffic once you hire an SEO agency. But, at the same time, you should also understand that you cannot see immediate results. It takes time for SEO to improve your revenue or even traffic. This is simply because search engines like Google take time to reward your efforts. Thus, you should be careful of agencies that promise you quick results. This doesn’t and cannot happen.
What SEO Services Should You Be Looking For?
Search engine optimization is a cumulative term of many services. Some of the services that you should look out for are –
- Keyword Strategy – The best agencies use tools such as SemRush to identify target keywords that help your business have the maximum impact.
- Technical SEO – Agencies make use of specialist tools that help crawl and audit your website. By doing this, they can identify issues plaguing your site and then move on to fix them.
- Website Audits – Apart from technically analyzing the SEO of your site, a competent agency should also analyze the SERP landscape, keyword strategy, competitors as well as site performance.
- ROI Forecasting – It is important to forecast the returns on investment on SEO so that you can put a value on the services offered by the agency.
- Content Optimization – Quality content boosts search engine optimization. It improves your rankings thus attracting more customers. It is always advisable to look for an SEO agency that offers content management and manages internal links to relevant pages and optimizes for target keywords.
- Link Building – It is a tedious, tricky but necessary exercise. A competent agency will include links from credible sources which meet their E-A-T (expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness).
- Local SEO – This helps your business get noticed in your area and is an important component of SEO today.
- Website Migrations – Sometimes it may be necessary to migrate domains, redesign your platform though they might be risky steps. Even though you risk losing traffic, sometimes from the SEO perspective, it is necessary. It is a tricky job that can be achieved only by the best.
What Will Be the SEO Expenditure?
It is almost impossible to zero down on an amount for SEO. The cost factor will vary from client to client, agency to agency. The cost also depends upon the experience your SEO agency has. But what you need to remember is that SEO isn’t a quick-fix solution. It can take you months to notice significant changes in lead generation, revenue, or traffic. While budgeting for SEO, it is important to remember the time factor. The best thing you can do is meet a few agencies, ask them to quote their rates, understand the services they offer, and then finally decide on any agency.
Should You Sign Contracts with SEO Agencies?
Though SEO contracts are not mandatory, there is no harm in writing one. The idea behind any contract is to underline the agreed-upon deliverables such as website audits, content creation, local SEO, etc. You should work out the amount of SEO work that should be completed each month and for this or retainer is helpful. Usually, a common contract with an agency is for six to twelve months but this isn’t mandatory. Ultimately it depends upon your business goals.
Why Should You Hire A Boutique SEO Agency?
Since you cannot deny the importance of SEO, it’s important to hire an agency that understands your business goals, believes in deliverables, schedule timelines, keeps communication channels open, collect data, understand competition, and believes in working from scratch. Cyrusson Inc. is a boutique digital marketing agency that has helped scores of small and medium-sized businesses get visibility, traffic, leads, and has improved revenue through SEO and other digital marketing services. Our professionalism and result-driven approach are what make us different from the rest. Book a free consultation with Cyrusson so we can help your business improve search engine visibility and ranking.