How to Choose A Legit SEO Agency for Your Business

Table of Contents

This article offers a comprehensive guide for businesses seeking to choose the most effective SEO agency for their needs. You will gain an understanding of the crucial aspects to consider while making a decision, including the importance of aligning business objectives, evaluating agencies based on core criteria, and building a successful partnership for long-term digital growth.

Key Takeaways:

  • Understanding your business objectives is the first step in choosing an SEO agency. Set clear, specific, and measurable goals to guide your SEO efforts.
  • Evaluate potential SEO agencies on factors such as values alignment, offering holistic solutions, experience and expertise, transparency in communication, customization, and adaptability, proven results, and competitive pricing.
  • Building a successful SEO partnership involves more than just business considerations; it demands a shared commitment to your goals and a collaborative relationship.
  • Evaluating potential SEO agencies involves comprehensive research, in-depth interviews, and careful analysis of proposals.
  • Making the final decision requires considering each agency's pros and cons, aligning your choice with business objectives, and establishing a strong, open, and collaborative relationship from the onset.

Are you tired of hiring the wrong agency and wasting precious resources? We understand your frustration. It's crucial to make the right choice when it comes to selecting an SEO agency that can propel your business forward. 

In the ever-expanding digital landscape, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) serve as the compass guiding businesses through the dense undergrowth of competition. When executed effectively, they have the power to lead you straight to the heart of your target audience.

With the content marketing space growing denser and wilder by the day, partnering with a seasoned SEO agency has become a necessity rather than a luxury. This article aims to be your guide in choosing the best SEO partner, one that understands your business goals, aligns with your values, and promises a holistic solution for achieving digital prominence and revenue growth.

Understanding Your Business Objectives 

Embarking on the journey of selecting the right SEO agency requires a solid understanding of your business objectives. It's not uncommon for businesses to recognize the need for SEO assistance while struggling to define their precise goals. If you find yourself in this position, don't worry - We see it a lot and help our clients set reasonable objectives for their marketing and revenue aspirations. 

Begin by taking stock of your current digital footprint and content coverage. Who are your target audiences, and where can they be found in the vast online world? It's essential to have a clear picture of your overarching business objectives. For instance, envision yourself as the Tesla of the sustainable fashion market.

With these high-level aspirations in mind, it's time to craft specific and measurable SEO objectives. Perhaps your aim is to create a trailblazing brand awareness campaign, attracting 10,000 monthly visits to your website. Or maybe you want to achieve a 10% increase in organic conversions within a year. By setting clear objectives, you establish a roadmap for your SEO journey and have tangible metrics to evaluate your progress.

Key Criteria for Selecting an SEO Agency

Selecting the right SEO agency is a pivotal choice that can have a profound impact on the direction your business takes. It's crucial to carefully weigh various factors to ensure you set off on a path of growth, innovation, and success.

Values Alignment: A Cornerstone of Partnership

An SEO agency's alignment with your company's values is not merely a desirable aspect; it is a fundamental criterion. This synergy translates into key operational aspects:

  • Seamless Communication: The agency should ensure fluid, regular, and meaningful communication to keep you apprised of your SEO strategy's progress and address any queries promptly.
  • Shared Expectations: There must be a clear understanding of what each party expects from the relationship, ensuring a unified approach towards common goals.
  • Mutual Respect for Time and Boundaries: Each party should respect deadlines, response times, and the delineation of roles and responsibilities.
  • Synergistic Approaches to Work: A successful SEO partnership involves a collaborative mindset where the agency complements your in-house efforts and works towards shared objectives.

Choosing a 'Solution' Over Standalone Capabilities

Rather than focusing on individual capabilities, it's essential to opt for an agency that offers a complete solution, from strategy formulation to execution and performance tracking.

Experience and Expertise

An agency's track record speaks volumes about its competence. Look for these signs to know you're headed down the right path:

  • Track Record of Success: Does the agency have a history of delivering measurable SEO results? Evidence of sustained successes is a reliable indicator of their expertise.
  • Long-Standing Clients: An agency retaining clients over an extended period is a testimony to its ability to provide consistent value and results. The last thing you want is an agency that is churning and burning all of its clients. 
  • Familiarity with Your Industry: An agency's familiarity with your specific industry allows for an effective, targeted SEO strategy. 
  • Technical and Strategic Knowledge: The agency should exhibit a deep understanding of SEO best practices and the strategic thinking required to apply them effectively. While there is no such thing as an SEO “expert”, there are talented SMEs that are ready to answer your thorny questions and provide actionable recommendations. 

Transparency and Communication

An effective SEO partnership thrives on openness, and at Uproer, we embody this by fostering a culture of transparency, where we share insights, strategies, and performance metrics with our clients regularly. 

Don't hire an agency strictly for their capabilities, make sure values are in alignment between the two teams. Be on the lookout for these characteristics when selecting agency partners: 

  • Openness About Methods and Strategies: Your ideal agency should clearly articulate its SEO strategies, explaining the rationale behind its choices and how this will tie back to the bottom line. Say it with me: “How will this impact revenue?”  
  • Regular Reporting and Updates: Consistent updates keep you in the loop and allow for course corrections if needed. 
  • Responsiveness to Feedback and Concerns: A good agency will value your input and address concerns promptly and professionally. Regular touch-point meetings will help bridge your teams together like a well-oiled machine. If that's not the case, you are being short-changed. 
  • An Extension of Your In-House Team: The agency should see itself as an integral part of your organization, aligned with your broader marketing objectives. Collective buy-in on a shared outcome is vital to success in digital marketing and business in general. 

Customization and Adaptability

SEO strategies should be as unique as your business. Avoid a checklist-style “strategy” at all costs. 

An effective SEO strategy should be outcome-driven, and at Uproer, we embody this approach by focusing on aligning our efforts with your desired business outcomes. We prioritize understanding your goals and aspirations, ensuring that our strategies are compelling and directly tied to driving growth in areas that matter most to your business. 

By organizing our recommendations into clear initiatives that ladder up to these outcomes, we create a roadmap that provides a clear vision of how we will achieve success together. 

Our performance forecasts provide reasonable predictions of the return you can expect, allowing you to make informed investment decisions and confidently pursue our outcome-driven SEO strategy.

When selecting an SEO agency, look for the following qualities that will contribute to the success of your SEO strategy and partnership:

  • Tailored Strategies: An effective agency avoids one-size-fits-all solutions and crafts strategies aligned with your unique goals and market realities.
  • Flexibility to Adjust: As your business evolves, your SEO strategy should adapt accordingly. Look for agencies that embrace change and offer proactive strategies.
  • Integration with Other Marketing Channels: SEO doesn't exist in isolation. A comprehensive SEO strategy should work in tandem with your other marketing efforts like social media. 

Proven Results and Case Studies

An agency's past successes can indicate future performance.

  • Evidence of Past Successes: Case studies and success stories provide concrete evidence of an agency's capabilities.
  • Client Testimonials and References: Positive feedback from previous clients can shed light on the agency's strengths and customer service.
  • Data-Driven Insights: Look for agencies that utilize data to drive strategies and measure success.

Pricing and Value

Ensure you're getting value for your investment by partnering with an agency that offers a transparent pricing model. At Uproer, we provide a clear and upfront pricing structure, allowing you to understand the costs associated with our services from the beginning. Let's explore some key factors to consider:

  • Transparent Pricing Structures: The agency should provide a clear, understandable pricing model, explaining what each service entails.
  • Competitive Rates and Value for Money: Assess how the agency's rates compare with others in the industry, and if they offer solid value for the price.
  • Scalability: The agency should offer the flexibility to accommodate your business's growth and adapt the SEO strategy accordingly.

How to Evaluate Potential SEO Agency Partners

Choosing the right SEO agency is akin to picking the right partner for a challenging journey. You want to ensure your choice understands your needs, values your perspectives, and is equipped to handle the tasks ahead. 

To do this, consider three key steps: thorough research, insightful interviews, and careful evaluation of proposals and quotations.

Step 1: Conduct Comprehensive Research

Before setting your sights on a potential SEO partner, conduct an exhaustive investigation. The digital realm is an open book if you know where to look:

  • Read Online Reviews and Testimonials: Public opinion is a significant determinant of an agency's credibility. Investigate various platforms where clients express their experiences and satisfaction levels. Look for patterns in the reviews. Are they generally positive or negative? Do they mention any recurring issues?
  • Seek Referrals and Recommendations: Don't underestimate the power of networking. Reach out to business peers and industry contacts for recommendations. Referrals often provide a more personal and realistic view of the agency's strengths and weaknesses.

Step 2: Engage in In-depth Interviews with Prospective Agencies

Once you've shortlisted a few agencies, it's time for some face-to-face (or screen-to-screen) interaction.

  • Prepare a List of Questions: The questions you ask can reveal as much about an agency as their answers. Ask about their previous experience with similar businesses, their project management process, and how they stay updated with SEO trends. 
  • Assess the Agency's Culture and Values: During the interview, gauge the agency's ethos and working style. Does their work culture resonate with yours? Do their values align with your business principles? Remember, they will be an extension of your team, so cultural fit is essential. Here are a few questions to get you started:
    • What are your core values?
    • Beyond objective criteria (industry, size, etc.), what makes a client a good fit for your agency?
    • In what ways does your agency prioritize work-life balance?

Step 3: Analyze Proposals and Quotations

When you request proposals, you're inviting agencies to convince you why they're the right choice.

  • Compare Offers and Packages: Analyze the offerings in detail. Are they providing a comprehensive package or just focusing on specific areas? Consider whether their package suits your business needs.
  • Evaluate Proposed Strategies and Tactics: How detailed and customized is their proposed strategy? Are they thinking out of the box or just sticking to generic tactics? An effective SEO strategy should be tailored to your business, adaptable, and integrative.
  • Evaluating potential SEO partners might seem like a daunting task, but it's instrumental in your quest for digital prominence. By researching thoroughly, interviewing effectively, and analyzing proposals critically, you can secure a partnership that propels your business toward its digital goals.

Crafting the Final Verdict: Making an Informed Decision

Choosing an SEO agency is a decision that carries significant weight, impacting your people, your budgets, and - critically - your SEO performance. Here are some pointers for making an informed final decision:

  • Consider the Pros and Cons: Every agency will have its strengths and areas of improvement. Review your notes from the previous steps and analyze each agency's merits and drawbacks. Remember, the perfect agency doesn't exist, but there's one that's just right for your needs.
  • Align Your Choice with Business Objectives: Don't lose sight of your business goals during this decision-making process. Your chosen agency should not only excel in SEO but also understand and resonate with your business objectives. They should be able to leverage their skills to drive your specific goals, whether it's increasing web traffic, boosting conversion rates, or building brand recognition.
  • Establish a Robust Working Relationship: The relationship with your SEO agency doesn't end with signing the contract; instead, that's where it truly begins. Initiate a strong, open, and collaborative relationship. Lay the foundation for good communication, clear expectations, and a shared commitment to your business success.

Making the final decision involves critical analysis, strategic alignment with your business goals, and setting the tone for a fruitful relationship. By making an informed choice, you set the stage for a collaborative partnership that fuels your business's digital growth.

Building a Successful SEO Partnership

Choosing the right SEO agency is an investment in a partnership for long-term success. It is a decision that calls for understanding your business objectives and selecting an agency that resonates with your values and offers a holistic solution with proven results and transparency. 

Remember, this is more than a business decision; it's the first step in an expedition that promises to take your brand to the pinnacle of the digital landscape.

Choose wisely, fellow explorer! Ready to start this journey? 

Book a discovery call today, and together, we'll navigate your business's path to digital prominence.

Ben Bjerken

Ben Bjerken

Ben has been drawn to all facets of marketing since he was a teenager in high school. After graduating from the University of North Dakota, Ben cut his teeth at a large digital Marketing agency in Minneapolis before pivoting to Uproer. He now works with the Uproer team to help clients bolster their search marketing presence in our increasingly digital business landscape.

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Sr. Manager, SEO & Operations

Dave Sewich

Dave made an accidental foray into digital marketing after graduating from the University of Minnesota Duluth and hasn’t looked back. Having spent the first part of his marketing journey brand-side, he now works with the Uproer team to help clients realize their goals through the lens of search.

When not at work, you’ll find Dave staying active and living a healthy lifestyle, listening to podcasts, and enjoying live music. A Minnesotan born and raised, his favorite sport is hockey and he still finds time to skate once in a while.

Dave’s DiSC style is C. He enjoys getting things done deliberately and systematically without sacrificing speed and efficiency. When it comes to evaluating new ideas and plans, he prefers to take a logical approach, always sprinkling on a bit of healthy skepticism for good measure. At work, Dave’s happiest when he has a chance to dive deep into a single project for hours at a time. He loves contributing to Uproer and being a part of a supportive team but is most productive when working solo.

Founder & CEO

Griffin Roer

Griffin discovered SEO in 2012 during a self-taught web development course and hasn’t looked back. After years of working as an SEO consultant to some of the country’s largest retail and tech brands, Griffin pursued his entrepreneurial calling of starting an agency in May of 2017.

Outside of work, Griffin enjoys going to concerts and spending time with his wife, two kids, and four pets.

Griffin’s DiSC style is D. He’s driven to set and achieve goals quickly, which helps explain why he’s built his career in the fast-paced agency business. Griffin’s most valuable contributions to the workplace include his motivation to make progress, his tendency towards bold action, and his willingness to challenge assumptions.