How to Pick an SEO Provider
Finding the right SEO provider can be a challenge. If you don’t know much about online marketing the chances are you won’t know a good SEO provider from a bad one, or what to expect from their services.
If you’re planning to hire an SEO provider to benefit your business marketing, here are some fundamentals to consider.
There are No Shortcuts
When it comes to SEO, there are no tricks or secret tactics that will make your site quickly rank at number one on search engine results pages.
Long-term favourable results rely on the implementation of recommended best practices to make your website search friendly and easy for visitors to use.
If you have a quality website which provides a good experience to site visitors and is technically sound you will see the benefits of higher ranking in search results and more visitors delivered to your site.
This takes time to achieve and involves first analysing and making improvements to your website before you will see any potential benefit. It can take between six and 12 months before changes start to have a positive impact.
However, once you have optimised your website and gained some traction in search, these organic (unpaid) results will continue to drive benefits for your site.
Rankings are Not Guaranteed
Reputable SEO providers don’t promise search engine rankings because it’s impossible to determine the potential of a site to rank within a set period. Even Google advises to steer clear of providers that make such claims.
Instead of focussing on keyword rankings your digital marketing goals should be to build targeted traffic to your site, increase brand awareness and see a return on investment.
Prices Vary, Professional Time Costs Money
SEO takes time and professional time costs money. The average cost for reputable SEO in Australia (agency) is between $150 – $200 per hour (before GST).
A professional SEO provider with significant experience and history of proven results will charge you a competitive rate for their time. When hiring, the bottom line is you are paying for time spent to manage your SEO campaigns.
Keep in mind:
- If you want relatively fast results will you need to pay for more time
- If you want to target competitive keywords and markets you will need a bigger budget
- If you want to beat your competitors, you will likely need to invest more than they are
- The long-term success of your campaigns will depend on the quality of your SEO
The bottom line is you need to be realistic about your budget. You will need to spend enough money relative to your revenue to reach your goals and be competitive in your industry.
A key principle to understand with SEO is that there are no guarantees you will get results and the likelihood of your success is dependent on the strategy and level of SEO experience you employ.
When researching potential providers check their team pages and see what kind of experience their employees have. These employees will likely be working on your account so it’s important that you are confident in their ability to achieve results for your business.
If you are looking for an SEO provider who also offers Google Ads services, look for the Google Premier Partner badge. To become a Google Premier Partner an agency must demonstrate advanced Ads knowledge, meet spend requirements, deliver agency and client revenue growth and preserve a satisfied client base. The badge is extra piece of mind that you have Google trained and qualified specialists working to grow your business.
Be Prepared to Make Changes to Your Website
SEO is dynamic and frequent changes to your website and tweaks to your campaigns will be needed to achieve and maintain strong results.
When your SEO provider begins optimising your website they may conduct a technical audit as well as assess the user experience of your site.
The results of this evaluation could mean you need to make major design, structural and technical changes to your site. It is important to implement as many of the recommended changes as possible to ensure your SEO strategy is built on a solid foundation.
Once initial changes are made to your website, be prepared for your SEO provider to request smaller, regular changes over time. SEO is not a set and forget tactic, it requires regular tweaking and adjustments to strategy to achieve success.
Google’s Advice on Picking a Good SEO
Google advises that if you’re thinking of hiring a professional SEO, the best time to do so is when considering a site redesign or launching a new website. However, a good SEO can also help improve existing sites.
Here’s Google’s advice on whether you need an SEO provider, how to choose a good one and what services you should expect.