Estimated reading time: 4-5 minutes
For any business with an online presence, an emphasis on SEO (search engine optimization) is necessary to gain more visibility, leads, and ultimately revenue. But because SEO can be confusing and complicated, many companies choose to hire outside help, usually through an agency.
The problem is that not all agencies are the same. Some will take advantage of their clients’ lack of SEO knowledge and provide substandard service. Others, like SEO Werkz, have the credentials to back up their expertise and ensure their work creates a measurable impact for clients.
So what is the difference between a good and a bad SEO agency? According to Chris Siebeneck, VP of Strategic Partners at SEO Werkz, a key thing to watch out for is their approach to certain fundamentals, such as content quality, external linking, and technical SEO.
It is often said that content is king. This goes for both your on-site content (product pages, FAQs, About Us pages, etc.) and your off-site content, which is often a blog driven content marketing strategy. In both areas, high-quality content comes from thorough research and impactful writing.
A good SEO agency will make sure you’re targeting high-intent keywords that are as relevant to your audience as they are to your business, and create a keyword strategy accordingly. They will advise you to focus on keywords that you can actually rank for, based on your domain and competition levels.
They will also help you ensure that your copy is as optimized as possible by providing the information your audience actually wants when searching for your targeted keywords. The copy should be thorough and intentional without being fluffy.
On the other hand, a lesser SEO partner may not take such a personalized approach to helping you with your content quality. They can provide you with a list of general keywords that wouldn’t really impact your business. They may also suggest minor edits to the copy that won’t better meet your audience’s search intent.
Another measure that will help your website rank higher is to increase the quality and quantity of offsite links, or backlinks. These are links entering your site from other sites. These links are crucial because they “are a significant signal to search engines that others are vouching for your content,” according to Moz.
A competent agency will perform an audit to see who already links to your site and who should link to your site. Good backlinks come from sites that have high authority (meaning they are reliable and high ranking) and are relevant to your content. For example, if you’ve written an article about the best French restaurants in town, a link from an HVAC company’s site won’t do you much good.
But more importantly, a good SEO partner will research, write, and publish articles that link to your site from high domain authority websites that will allow a flow of trust through the link to your site. Conversely, a less refined agency might tell you who should link you, but not how to get them to do so.
Technical SEO is probably the aspect of SEO where a good agency can help you the most. SEO guru Brian Dean of Backlinko has identified over 200 factors that Google uses in its algorithm to determine website rankings. Many of these factors relate to content quality and backlinks, but others are more technical in nature (hence “technical SEO”).
Optimizing things like site structure, loading speed, and mobile friendliness requires real subject matter expertise. This is even more true for more intimidating factors like XML sitemaps and robots.txt files.
A quality SEO agency will look at each of these factors and determine where improvements can be made. They will be able to clearly explain each of these to you, regardless of your SEO knowledge, and help you implement them. On the other hand, a lower agency might not have the expertise to understand all of these factors or the willingness to address all of them.
Are you ready to explode Google rankings? Get in touch with SEO Werkz today, an award-winning SEO agency that values transparency over anything else – and wins clients’ business without using contracts.