Skip to main content

Let’s face it; There is no shortage of SEO agencies out there. While that can be a good thing, it makes choosing the right one tricky. This is especially true because every agency offers something unique. You need to identify the one that’s best for your business and to do that you need to know what to look out for.

In this article, we are going to be outlining some aspects you should consider before you look to engage in a contract with an SEO Agency.

Why This, Why Now? Establish Your SEO Requirements

The first question you need to ask yourself is: “Why This (SEO)? Why Now?”. SEO is an investment that often doesn’t yield “quick” results. It’s important to set your expectations with regards to what is possible when it comes to SEO, but don’t worry, the SEO Agency you want to work with should be able to give you guidance on their process and provide some future projections.

Why This? Whether you’re a business with an internal marketing team, or no marketing activity whatsoever, it’s likely your customers are looking for your product or service using a search engine. SEO should be considered a marketing technique, just as social media or video production. It’s not a solution to fix all of your problems. Any reputable or trustworthy SEO Agency should also be able to explain this to you.

Layout Your SEO Goals and Objectives

Goal setting is an important aspect of SEO. It helps you keep your strategies clear and focused.

Here are a few common SEO goals to consider:

  • Increase search engine traffic to your website: You want to get as many people clicking on your link and landing on your web page. The goal here would be to monetize the traffic.
  • Generate more leads: For more leads, you’d need someone who can optimize your web pages for conversions.
  • Improve e-commerce sales: This includes optimizing product pages with target keywords. E-commerce businesses also use blogging to attract, retain, and convert prospects.
  • Build a brand: Brand building helps you reduce friction in the buying process.

Eventually, your SEO objectives will depend on your overall business goals.

Identify which SEO Techniques are Used by the Agency

Now that you know your SEO goals, it’s time to hunt for the right SEO agency to work with.

One of the first things you need to check in an SEO agency is the techniques they use. Investing in the wrong SEO strategies can lead to a Google penalty! You don’t want that!

Let’s see what types of SEO techniques agencies use and which one should you prefer.

Black hat seo banner. Magnifier, and other search engine optimization tools and tactics. Vector flat illustration. Source:

White Hat SEO

White Hat SEO is a set of SEO techniques that don’t violate search engines’ terms and conditions.

These include:

When an agency uses white hat SEO tactics, they keep in mind SEO best practices and steer away from the risky ones.

Before you work with an SEO agency, it’s imperative that you make sure they only use white hat SEO to rank websites.

Black Hat SEO

Simply put: Using search engine optimization tactics that violate Google’s (or any other search engine’s) terms of service is black hat SEO.

Common black hat SEO tactics include:

  • Hidden text or links
  • Keyword stuffing
  • Cloaking
  • Link manipulation
  • Article spinning
  • Doorway pages

Because the goal of black hat SEO tactics is to deceive Google, an agency that practices them can easily get your site banned. RedCore Digital won’t recommend using black hat SEO tactics.

Grey Hat SEO

As the name suggests, grey hat SEO is somewhere between white hat and black hat SEO.

Although grey hat SEO can get you long-term results when they are implemented by a skilled professional, they’re still a risk.

Grey hat SEO includes:

  • Link buying
  • Duplicate content
  • Social media automation
  • Cloaking
  • Purchasing old domains

As search engine algorithms become more sophisticated by the day, working on grey hat SEO strategies is like playing with fire. You can never be sure of their effectiveness.

So, it’s a good idea to ask a prospective SEO agency whether they use them to rank their clients’ websites.

Do Background Research on the Agency

It’s easy to find relevant information about an SEO agency these days.

Just go to their official website and look for online reviews, customer testimonials, and relevant portfolio.

Read Their Case Studies

Case studies are practical examples of how an SEO agency has been performing in the past.

Most SEO agencies would have a separate section on this on their websites; if not, you can always ask them.

Here are the questions you should be asking yourself while reading their case studies:

  • Have they been helping other businesses achieve their SEO goals?
  • What were the results?
  • How did they achieve them?

Communicate with the SEO Company

Once you’ve established a connection with an SEO Agency, don’t hesitate to ask anything that comes to your mind. It’s your marketing budget that’s at stake here. You need to make sure it’s invested in the right place.

Here are some questions you could ask an SEO Agency you’re thinking of hiring:

  • How many clients have you worked with in a similar industry to ours?
  • What is your pricing model?
  • How long will it take to see results?
  • How often will we receive performance updates from you?
  • How do you know your strategy will work for us

Consider Your Budget

The average cost of SEO in the UK is between £1200 – £9000 per month. So, you’d find agencies with a variety of service charges.

But, whatever the cost, a good SEO agency will be able to justify it. Before engaging in a contract with them, you should feel confident that they can reach your ROI goals.

Over to You!

This was all about how to choose the right SEO agency. Although SEO can be time-consuming, it’s your business’s one-way ticket to Google’s first page. And, once you are up there, leads and sales start pouring in your lap on autopilot.

But, you do have to implement the right strategies if you want long-term results. SEO has a lot of moving parts, and can also get tricky sometimes. A single wrong move can put you in the bad books of Google, which could lead to a penalty. The bottom line? You need to work with the right SEO agency!

Luckily, we offer everything you need to boost your organic rankings the white-hat way! Want to achieve your SEO goals cost-effectively?

Get In Touch With Us

Dan Wiggins

Dan Wiggins is the director of RedCore Digital. Working with key accounts on a daily basis to ensure the long term success of our clients.