It goes without saying that enlisting genuine expertise is a foolproof method for improvement in any given field. In terms of digital marketing, SEO agencies are able to provide a wealth of information, guidance, and expertise in what can sometimes be quite a complex field to navigate – helping you to get things moving in the right direction, and keep them on that trajectory for years to come.
So, with your business’s digital marketing efforts in mind, you may well have found yourself pondering the question: ‘How do I find the best SEO agency?’
‘The best’ is a relative term. What’s best for you beyond any shadow of doubt might only be mediocre for someone else. Difference in circumstance dictates difference in preference, choice, and action.
As such, a more focused and beneficial question to ask yourself might be: which SEO agency is best for me and my business?
To answer this question, you’re going to need to ask yourself a few more questions.
Chances are, you already have an in-depth idea of what it is that you’re likely to need from your SEO agency. However, to understand which SEO agency will be the best for you, it’s important that you have a precise understanding of what it is that you are looking for.
Taking some time to clarify your thinking will undoubtedly assist you in your endeavour to find the best SEO agency – meaning, the agency that is the perfect fit for your business. This clarification can be achieved by considering your answers to the questions below.
(Consider involving multiple stakeholders from your business so that you come away with a holistic representation of where you are now, and where you want to get to.)
Think about the following:
Answers to these questions will help to define:
Any SEO agency that fails to appreciate the uniqueness of each of their customers will be doomed to fail their clients and, ultimately, themselves – given enough time.
The best SEO agency for you will be the one that merges a holistic understanding of your business’s circumstances and ambitions with their knowledge, expertise, and techniques in order to get you to where you want to be.
At ExtraMile, we understand the irrefutable fact that without our customers, we are nothing. We would simply have no reason to exist if we did not have clients to serve.
That’s why our customers are truly at the heart of everything we do.
We do things slightly differently at ExtraMile. Compared to some marketing agencies who might give off all the right signals and say all the right things without actually getting to know their clients, our SEO projects are designed from the ground up to always place you, our customer, at the center of our universe.
From the very beginning, we seek to understand you fully, so that we can identify how best to integrate our extensive experience and expertise with your business’s unique objectives and circumstances.
This understanding informs how we work alongside you to design your SEO project, and how our relationship delivers on your digital marketing ambitions.
To discover how we can help you and your business move forward, get in touch with us today.
Let’s start at the beginning. Conversion is defined as the process of changing something from one thing to another. In the case of your website, your goal is to change/convert visitors into customers by taking a desired action. This action, conversion, or site goal will depend on the purpose of your website, and can be either a micro-conversion (e.g. signing up to a newsletter) or a macro-conversion and the primary goal (e.g. buying a product).
Conversion rate, expressed as a percentage, is the number of these successful conversions compared to the total number of visitors/visits to your website.
Conversion rate is a useful metric in marketing. A simple percentage shows you where you are, how you compare to other businesses in your industry, and what improvements you have made with changes to your websites or sales and marketing strategy.
Conversion rate optimisation, therefore, is the practice of increasing the conversion rate, by incentivising and encouraging more visitors to complete the desired action on your website.
Conversion rate optimisation can only begin after visits have been made to your site.
Depending on the number of conversion possibilities on your website, you can calculate the conversion rate by using either the number of visits or sessions (where multiple types of conversions are possible) or by the number of unique users (where there is only one possible conversion on the site):
Number of conversions Number of visits (or Number of unique users) 100 = % Conversion rate
For example, for an e-commerce site, if you have 3 visits to your site and 2 of those result in the purchase of a product, then:
2 3 100 = 66% Conversion rate
Once you have your conversion rate figure, you can begin optimisation. Initially, it is important to consider what you are optimising (e.g. design, content or functionality), who you are optimising for, and what targets you are hoping to achieve. Analysing both quantitative and qualitative data will give you answers about your users, how they engage with your website and what you can do to improve your conversion rates.
Quantitative data can be gathered from sources such as Google Analytics and conversion rate tracking, and give information on:
Qualitative data can be used to support the facts and figures above, using customer surveys and user experience testing to find out why the behaviours above happen.
Combining all of this data will help you decide where to spend the most time and effort making adjustments to your site – as in the pages with the most website traffic or those that most frequently cause users to abandon their search.
Your website, like all other aspects of your business, has a purpose. Whatever that purpose is, your website takes time, money and effort, and you need to ensure that it is performing well and earning its place in your marketing strategy.
Conversion rate optimisation offers a number of benefits to your business:
At ExtraMile, our SEM Specialists have all the experience, knowledge and tools to carry out effective conversion rate optimisation. We will collect the data and collaborate closely with you to understand your business goals and objectives in order to optimise for the best results for you.
Please get in touch if you would like to find out more, or visit our website to learn more about CRO or some of the other SEM services we offer:
Choosing the right SEO agency for your business can be a daunting task. Get it right and you could benefit from increased traffic, brand awareness and revenue in a relatively short amount of time.
Get it wrong, however, and you can be left feeling misled, conned and not to mention out of pocket. All this can be avoided by asking the right questions before you hire an agency to help with your SEO.
Dependant on the agency, there will be a range of options available to you. Ideally, an agency should have multiple SEO services available and be able to tailor these to the specific needs of your business.
When it comes to SEO, one size certainly does not fit all. The services you receive will depend on factors such as the current performance of your website on search engine results pages (SERPs), the content on your website and your current marketing activities – just to mention a few.
A well-rounded SEO strategy should consist of a mix of the following:
On-page SEO relates to the content on the pages and within the HTML source code of your website. Generally, activity will include editing current pages on your website to target your priority keywords, making sure the pages have effective calls-to-action (to encourage conversions) and internal linking between the pages on your website, amongst other things.
A good SEO agency should perform thorough keyword research to pinpoint the terms that most relate to your offering, and that your target audience will be searching for. They should consult you for your expert opinion to ensure that their research is as accurate as possible, as these keywords will usually form the basis of your on-page SEO strategy.
Off-page SEO refers to your business’ presence across the web and other external factors. Mentions of your website will basically give search engines an idea of what others think of you – think of it almost as a word-of-mouth review, but digital. This helps search engines determine your authority and can help improve your ability to rank.
Your off-page SEO strategy should mainly be focussed around building valuable links back to your website from authoritative sites. However, brand mentions (without a backlink) also count towards your off-page optimisation.
Perhaps ask your potential agency what kinds of outreach they have done for clients in the past to achieve this.
Before carrying out any significant work, your SEO company should conduct a technical audit of your website. This will identify any problems with your website that are affecting its ability to perform efficiently and rank well in the eyes of search engines.
By carrying out any necessary fixes outlined in the audit, you can benefit from some quick-wins fairly early in your campaign. These could include fixing broken links (404s), ensuring all important pages have unique and optimised metadata, and ensuring all pages are secured by HTTPS.
The basis of your ranking strategy will be formed around target keywords relating to your business offering. It can be tempting to go into an SEO campaign with a list of keywords as long as your arm. If your business offering is vast with lots of products and product lines, this may be suitable for you. However, it usually won’t be necessary.
An SEO expert will be able to conduct thorough keyword research to tell you which keywords are really worth targeting – often, it will be less than you think. They’ll most likely come up with a few that you’d never thought of, too. It is important that they are willing to work collaboratively with you to determine the relevance of any keywords they suggest, to ensure they truly relate to your offering.
From there it’s all about the process. This should be to form a plan of action and should usually include a backlink strategy (covered in the off-page SEO section above). Your agency should also have other Google ranking factors in their sights to ensure that a well-balanced campaign is executed.
It’s unlikely that you’ll need to know all the ins-and-outs of the tools used by your potential SEO agency. However, they should be able to provide an overview of what they use and explain why they feel that is the best tool for the job. Some of these tools can be quite costly, and a less-reputable SEO agency may not want to fork out for the best. Be sure that you ask:
As we mentioned earlier, when it comes to SEO – one size does not fit all. Different industries may have different levels of competition, different search trends, different economic circumstances and of course a difference in audience.
The same goes for your business. Your business goals and objectives should be discussed from the get-go to ensure that any activity serves to meet these.
Ask your potential agency where they feel they are likely to adapt their processes to fit with your business. Are there any problem areas in your industry that they can identify? Have they worked with a similar business in the past with whom they achieved positive results?
Usually when working with an agency, they will require access to your Content Management System (CMS) in order to make changes to your website. Before you do this, you need to be confident that any changes made will go through the appointed contact in your business for approval.
Ask about their approval process. Make sure they know who they need to get approval from, and how to go about it. They also need to be clear on what parts of your CMS they are authorised to change, and how to make the changes.
It is important that you can track any changes that are made so that they can be monitored. If something goes wrong, you need to know why. Alternatively, if your traffic and visibility is improving, it’s useful to be able to pinpoint the changes that have been making an impact.
It’s always encouraging to see an agency investing in their agents. SEO is an ever-changing environment, meaning that a training course completed 5 years ago is unlikely to still be up-to-date. Constant learning is a necessity, and therefore training/research time should be the norm for an SEO specialist.
Ask what training and accreditation they have, when they were obtained, and how often they tend to read about changes in the industry (Google algorithm updates are a good place to start – make sure they can name and explain a few of these).
The whole point of hiring an agency to carry out search engine optimisation work for you is so you can see RESULTS. Without some form of report, how can you measure the success of your campaign?
Ask the agency to send through an example of a report and to explain all the elements on there. It’s going to be no use receiving a document each month that is just numbers and technical jargon.
As we’ve discussed in a previous post – SEO should be a long-term, continuous process. Time should be taken to lay solid foundations and create a well-considered plan.
Ask your potential agency for some case studies that outline what results were seen and when. Remember though, every business is different and you’ll likely be starting from a different point than they did.
Overall, you should understand that some wins are quick and some will take time.
This is one thing that commonly gets overlooked when businesses hire an SEO agency. While, of course, it will be the agency who is responsible for the success of the project, there will occasionally be things they need from you, too.
Before the project begins, ask the agency how often work will be sent through for approval, what level of communication is usually required, etc. This will give you an idea of how much time a month you’ll need to set aside to ensure that the campaign is ticking over as it should. Without your input, work could end up being delayed, which is likely to lead to delays in your results.
Great communication will facilitate great results, so make sure you’re all on the same page from the start.
So, you should now be equipped with everything you need to ensure you’re hiring the best SEO agency for your business. To speak to us about how ExtraMile could handle your campaign, get in touch today and we’ll be happy to answer any of your questions.