Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the process of helping websites to appear in advanced positions on the major search engines. Often described as a dark art, SEO companies often don’t do the service justice by with-holding details of what they actually do to help businesses to get to the top of Google, this can lead to scepticism from the client and a general feeling of mistrust.

Anybody can find out what is involved in search engine marketing and so surely it’s the strategy where the SEO company adds value, not in the actual work itself, therefor publishing details of the work carried out shouldn’t be a problem for reputable agencies. Though this seems obvious to us, many agencies keep their SEO cards close to their chest – here’s a few pointers to help you choose the right SEO Agency to work with.

  1. Does the SEO Agencies own website rank well? Even though good client SEO work is all about their results and a proven track-record, any agency worth their salt will have a strong SEO position for terms like ‘SEO in [local area]’ to demonstrate a certain ability when compared to their peers.
  2. Does the Agency publish the work that has been produced? You should be able to obtain a list of links, postings and comments that have been created during the month to drive your optimisation forwards; if you are paying them then they should be able to show you what they have done.
  3. Will you receive comprehensive reporting? It’s not just about getting links back into your website, it’s about the effect that these links have on your sites performance, both in terms of positions but also in terms of visitor numbers. Ask the Agency to provide you with a sample report and see if it shows the work produced and the effect that this had on SEO positions and also visitor levels.
  4. Are you tied into a contract? It’s expected that an agency will want a few months to show what they can do, but if they are really as good as they say they are then they won’t need to tie you into a long contract – be sceptical if they do – if they deliver you won’t be looking elsewhere.
  5. Does the agency know about current trends? Google are continuously updating their algorithms and a good agency will always be on top of major changes as they occur. Do your research and ask questions so you can be more certain that the agency will be doing everything it can to ensure upward progression.
  6. Does the agency make guarantees? No-one can guarantee SEO results and anyone that does should not be trusted. Good SEO positions are dependent upon many factors including competitive actions, Google algorithm changes and attitudes to past work – predicting results is not possible and be wary of any business that says what position they’ll get you to.
  7. Has the agency offered to research your market? Good SEO agencies will not provide a fixed price for SEO work until they have researched your market and proper research takes time and can often cost money. It is impossible for an agency to know how much work to do until they understand more about your business, market, competition and website structure.
  8. Has your existing website been reviewed? Good SEO includes both offsite and onsite work, both are required to ensure good progression and good SEO should always start with a review of the website and modifications to the meta data and content to ensure the website performs well to any offsite SEO that is done.

SEO is not dark art if you work with an agency that provides a transparent partnering service, where you work together to deliver results and create a long-term, win win situation.

Ascensor provides Web Design Leeds and in London


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