I cannot express how many people I have spoken to over the years who have had a great product or service, they’ve built their site, yet there staring at their site wondering when the traffic will come.
It is common for businesses to plough a small fortune on getting their site built or redesigned, yet without any forward thinking on how to gain visitors and how to convert these visitors into happy customers.
This is where an SEO agency can really help you to build out a full strategy, stretching over a year, to experience exponential growth month-by-month. A good agency will have knowledge of CRO (conversion rate optimisation), they will have link building campaigns they can highlight as an example of their work, as well evidence of clients traffic improvements while handling their account.
Below are some of the key reasons for using an agency:
Once the site is designed, there are a number of areas which need to be checked on-site, to ensure it is optimal for search engines. A thorough and modern keyword analysis will need to be completed, so each page can be optimised to show the most pertinent term on the page, in the title and where relevant. Other considerations will be taken such as the internal link structure and use of anchor text, canonical tags and facet management, duplication issues, structured data mark-up, broken links and unnecessary redirects, an XML & HTML sitemap and ensuring the call-to action is present and is the best possible option.
If you feel comfortable handling all these tasks yourself, then you might be better off going alone, but for most people this list would send you cross-eyed.
Whether the focus is on local SEO, to gain citations and links, or a big PR campaign for a national brand, the agency will be able to talk you through your goals and the strategy that will help you to achieve your objectives.
From the creation of an infographic by a designer, to the outreach by a PR professional, an agency has skills in multiple areas, allowing them to utilise the most qualified individual for the task at hand. You could take a 1-month course on Photoshop and spend several weeks designing an acceptable looking infographic, however with a small investment it could be handled by someone who knows exactly what they’re doing. This will save time, plus as the quality will be more refined, it will be easier to pitch out.
You then also have to think about who is going to gather the data. Whether it’s statistics within the industry or a story which the papers would love, someone has to think up the concept and then write up the content. Utilising a content writer & link builder, who create these pieces on a regular basis and knows what will be picked up will also be critical.
I’ve already mentioned the creation of a keyword analysis; however, the next step will be a content strategy. Considering both your sales pages and supporting content articles (such as the blog), you will need a full plan in place, even if you are going to write the content yourself. This could be as simple as a Google Docs template with all the sections filled out for you, so you know exactly what you have to write about each week.
An agency will also have to audit the existing content, to look for gaps or areas to be improved, as well as where the traffic is coming from or could be coming from.
I could highlight all the benefits of using an agency, but an equal amount has to be said about the dangers of doing it yourself. There is a huge amount of incorrect information online, as well as incredibly outdated suggestions on how to improve your rankings.
SEO is an ever evolving monster, which requires constant consideration and research to stay on top of the subject. What we considered to be a top link building method just 3-4 years ago would now be considered shady or black hat.
The last thing your business needs is to gain a penalty from Google and then to have to spend a fortune on an agency to recover your sites traffic. Of course, I would also argue this could occur when employing an agency, therefore it is important to discuss with the agency what types of sites they will be targeting through link building methods. The focus should purely be on quality over quantity. The days of asking for 10 pagerank 3+ websites by the end of the month are long gone.