How to choose an SEO agency?
Vou want to improve your online visibility? Are you launching a new website? You need a personalized support for your natural referencing? Then comes the question of choosing the best partner to make your SEO take off. But how to choose an SEO agency? In the jungle of agencies, it is not always easy to find your way. Here are some tips to help you choose the best one for your needs.
When considering an SEO agency, there are several criteria to consider to ensure that they meet your specific needs and situation. Here is a list (not exhaustive) of the most common types of SEO agencies.
Digital agency, 360 or specialized agency?
Is it better to choose a 360 agency, a digital agency or an agency specialized in SEO? This is probably one of the first questions you will ask yourself. Obviously, it all depends on your needs. A 360° agency will be able to handle all your on- and off-line supports, which can be an advantage when you want to limit the number of interlocutors and ensure the fluid variation of a concept on a large number of channels.
But natural referencing requires particular techniques producing its effects on the long term, we are not in the register of a communication campaign “one shot”. Even if you can temporarily boost your visibility on a news item (“hot” content), the main objective of an SEO work is to position a website on its main themes. A specialized agency will propose a background work involving an advanced expertise, while a digital agency will be more versatile and will take care of your SEO strategy as well as your paid campaigns on Google or Facebook for example. However, some digital agencies are particularly well known for their performance in one or the other expertise. Take the time to learn about their reputation!
Agencies specialized in local vs. international SEO
Another important criterion to consider is whether your business is local, national or international. Research is not done in the same way in French-speaking Belgium or in Quebec. It is therefore necessary to take this into account in the SEO strategy, and in the choice of your agency.
Presence in different markets
Does your website address different markets? Is it important for you to position it on each of them? If Google is popular in most Western countries, it is not the same in China and Russia, where Baidu and Yandex respectively are the leading search engines.
It is therefore important to choose an SEO agency that knows these local specificities and is able to perform a semantic analysis in the targeted language(s).
There are also specific issues related to the optimization of a multilingual site, such as hosting, domain names, hreflang tags… Make sure that your SEO partner masters these issues and do not hesitate to ask for references.
On the other hand, you may need to position your site in a very targeted geographical area, at the level of a region or even a city. In this case, your SEO agency must be able to advise you on the best way to stand out on these local queries by using different techniques: targeted content, netlinking, optimization of your Google My Business account,… Again, ask your SEO provider for concrete cases to verify its expertise in this area.
Freelance SEO: more interesting than an SEO agency?
In the last few years, working as a freelance SEO consultant has become particularly popular. Some platforms specialize in connecting freelancers and companies.
The rates offered vary greatly depending on the seniority and/or the areas of expertise of the consultant, but they are generally more competitive than those charged by an SEO agency.
Opting for an SEO freelancer can therefore be very interesting…as long as you pay attention to his specialties, his experience and his reputation. If you have little or no knowledge of SEO, you will probably have difficulty discerning a true expert from an opportunistic consultant. In this case, it may be best to opt for safety by choosing a reputable SEO agency.
The hybrid approach: software and support for more autonomy
For many companies, the real challenge of SEO lies in execution. Unlike other digital expertise, SEO is not easily delegated because it involves different types of interventions (IT, marketing, public relations) and touches the very content of your site, your image. It is therefore important to understand the stakes and to integrate good practices into your internal processes.
You now have all the cards in hand to choose the best SEO agency that will meet your needs!
At Semactic, we have developed a unique approach combining strategy and SEO software. Our solution allows you to keep control of your online visibility without depending on ongoing consulting services. Discover our SEO solution, based on project management.