Start by clearly defining your objectives from SEO and expectations from the agency. Do you need local SEO to drive in-store traffic or e-commerce SEO to boost online sales? Do you want to rank higher locally or organically on Google? Are you looking for expertise in technical SEO or content creation? Outlining your goals and needs will help filter agencies that are the right fit.
Not all SEO agencies take the same approach. Some focus on black hat tactics and short-term gains while others prioritize white hat strategies for sustainable results. Research what SEO techniques the agency uses. Do they rely too heavily on shady techniques like keyword stuffing, hidden text, and spam backlinking? Choose an agency that keeps up with updates and leverages the latest ethical tactics.
Review their SEO results
The best indicator of an agency’s capabilities is the SEO results they have delivered for existing clients. Shortlist a few potential agencies and thoroughly review their client case studies. Analyze the before and after organic traffic, rankings, and conversions achieved. Check online reviews to understand client experiences. An agency that has helped multiple businesses rank better and drive growth is more likely to deliver for you too.
Technical SEO is crucial for every website to perform well. Review the agency’s technical capabilities around things like site speed optimization, fixing indexation issues, implementing proper redirects, improving site architecture, integrating schemas, etc. If your website has existing issues, ask them how they will diagnose and resolve them. Having strong technical expertise ensures your site provides a smooth user experience.
Assess their content marketing approach
A successful SEO campaign relies heavily on content. Evaluate how the SEO agency creates and optimizes content to drive organic search from keyword research to targeting focus keywords to promoting content. Also, assess if they will produce engaging, original content or simply churn out keyword-stuffed blogs for rankings. A balanced approach to content marketing is ideal. The right seo agency in toronto will provide data-driven insights, robust analytics, and transparent reporting to showcase campaign progress. Review the metrics and KPIs they track e.g. rankings, organic traffic, leads, and conversions. Understand the reporting frequency and evaluation process to optimize efforts. Detailed reporting is essential to justify the ROI.
Evaluate their link building strategies
While link building is not as crucial for rankings today, high-quality backlinks from authority domains still matter. Understand the link-building approach used by the agency do they focus on building niche edits links, resource pages, sponsored guest posts, etc? Evaluate link velocity and quality over quantity. One-time audits and recommendations have minimal impact. Look for an agency that provides ongoing managed SEO as part of the deal to maintain and expand your organic presence. Managed services often have dedicated account managers to oversee website health, create and promote content, track new trends, and capitalize on opportunities. This consistent focus is key for sustaining rankings.
SEO costs vary greatly based on location, agency size, experience, and more. Get quotes from a few shortlisted agencies and compare pricing models – monthly retainers, project-based pricing, and fees for specific deliverables. Ensure there are no hidden costs. Balance cost and value to choose a solution that meets your budget. Avoid agencies promising unrealistic results at very cheap rates.