So, you’ve built a fantastic website; it looks beautiful, the customer journey is brilliantly intuitive and it paints the perfect picture of your business.
Now, you just need some eyes on it. Lots of eyes.
That’s where search engine optimisation (SEO) comes in. It’s the process of encouraging search engines like Google to rank a website as highly as possible for specific keywords.
Ideally, SEO should start at the beginning of the web design process, but it can be just as effective once the website has gone live and, regardless, should always be viewed as an on-going project.
You just need to find the right SEO agency.
Here’s how to do just that:
1. Work out what you need
Search engine optimisation covers several areas, and you may require one of the following:
- Reputation management
- Link building
- SEO audit
- Content marketing
- Link removal
- Google penalty recovery
In fact, you’ll probably need a combination of the above, but before approaching Northampton SEO agencies, it’s vital you define the goal they’ll need to work towards.
What problems are you experiencing with your website currently? If you’re unsure, ask for an audit by a few SEO agencies; the most insightful and helpful will be the ones on which you should focus your search.
2. Don’t be tempted by ‘secret sauce’
There’s no silver bullet, ‘secret sauce’ or magic involved when it comes to SEO.
If an agency says they can’t tell you their secrets when you ask how they’ll improve the search rankings for your website, walk away.
This is a field that is well understood and entirely open. The best SEO agency will be honest about their approach and explain (without leaning on too much technical jargon) how they’ll go about their work.
3. Ask to meet the people behind the SEO
The digital age has unfortunately resulted in lots of faceless companies who only do business over the phone or via remote conferencing.
If you can instead meet the team behind the service in which you’re investing, you’ll get a far better feel for what they’re all about. If you can, travel to their office and say “hi” to the management team and SEO experts. You’ll know immediately whether or not it’s a company you’ll want to work with.
4. Ask how success is defined
As noted above, there are many different strands to SEO and, consequently, a vast number of potential outcomes.
Success can therefore be defined in a number of ways, but the best SEO agencies will be open about the ways in which they’ll prove their worth once the project is underway.
Ask how often you’ll receive reports and request some examples. They should be insightful, engaging and entirely jargon-free (or at least offer plain-English explanations of any technical detail).
5. Request testimonials
There’s nothing quite like seeing the work of an SEO company ‘in the flesh’, so make sure you ask the shortlisted agencies to send you some customer testimonials.
A live demo of successful rankings in tough niches never goes a miss either, although you should always take into account that ranking isn’t the only gauge for success.
It won’t be easy finding the right SEO company, but if you follow the guidance above, your shortlist will feature the best available.
And, one last tip: be wary of long contracts that appear to tie you in for several years’ worth of work. Remember - it might not work out, and if you need to pull out early, you don’t want to be hit with a hefty exit bill.