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January 25, 2011

5 Things Businesses Should Know About SEO Agencies

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As a business, you may or may not fully understand the benefits of pairing with an SEO agency. Whether or not you already have in-house online marketing efforts in place, agencies and consultants can help you boost your strategy for a number of reasons. Let’s take a look at five reasons pairing with an Internet marketer can boost your return on investment.

1. You gain access to emerging SEO strategies.

The SEO industry is constantly evolving. In-house Internet marketers and businesses may have limited time and resources to keep up with the changes effectively.

However, SEO agencies tend to be very proactive when it comes to search engine news and industry changes. They always stay on top of trends and are usually the first to learn about them.

That said, they can keep you up-to-date with changes that may affect your strategy, while providing you with effective SEO tactics and solutions to combat search engine changes.

tools

2. You have cutting-edge tools working for your campaign.

SEO agencies have access to and understand how to navigate a wide range of online marketing tools.

From Web analytics and conversion tools to research, monitoring and reporting tools, your business can benefit from an SEO agency’s utility kit.

Agencies know how to select and use the tools needed for your specific project, reducing in-house costs and offering you time savings.

3. You obtain comprehensive SEO knowledge.

SEO agencies are usually very experienced in different verticals and industries due to the nature of their job.

Agencies solve a multitude of SEO problems for various types of businesses daily. Therefore, agencies obtain in-depth knowledge on what works and doesn’t work for an array of sites.

As an in-house marketer or business owner, you probably know your site very well and understand what’s happening in your niche market. However, SEO agencies work to provide an added perspective.

By understanding the changes and trends across business sectors and types of sites, agencies can offer fresh SEO techniques to your campaign.

4. You can learn how to implement SEO best practices.

Some SEO companies allocate resources for research and development. This is so they can experiment with different SEO methodologies and techniques and observe test results to provide tried and true methods that give return on investment to the client.

By hiring the right agency, you can take advantage of those proven techniques. This also ensures you are always practicing sound SEO tactics that won’t harm your site in the long run.

5. You can use the experts as a sounding board, to offer new ideas or for continuing education.

SEO agencies are there to answer your questions, review your current strategy and give feedback.

Agencies act as a checks-and-balances resource for in-house marketers and business owners to make sure their strategy is sound.

Books

Sometimes, it’s more cost-effective and a lot faster to hire a consultant, rather than spend resources looking for answers online or in books.

Chances are, your complex question has been presented to an SEO agency before by another business, so they may already have answer for you.

And it’s always great to have another set of eyes reviewing your strategy and/or auditing your site.

When budget is not tight, hire an SEO agency to provide a website assessment for your business; take the recommendations to create a blueprint to implement in-house.

SEO agencies can transfer a lot of knowledge to in-house marketers and business owners, and can serve as long-term continuing education for companies — even if they have a very experienced team in house.

About the Author

Nasim Jafarzadeh is SEO manager at Bruce Clay, Inc. She has 10 years of SEO experience both as an in-house SEO analyst and agency analyst. As SEO manager, Nasim is responsible for overseeing the SEO production for BCI and leading the SEO team of analysts.

Editor’s Note: We covered a similar topic in November: Renting vs. Buying Your SEO Solution

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34 responses to “5 Things Businesses Should Know About SEO Agencies”

  1. Edward @ SEO Philippines writes:

    Thanks for these insights. Provides a great way of branding SEO services.

  2. Vlad writes:

    Great article! I’m happy you brought this subject up because I often hear “so-called” SEO experts that would rather do it themselves because it’s easy and it’s not worth paying an agency to do it right. Unfortunately, These individuals often forget that becoming good at optimizing sites will take an average person about a year, and to become really good at it, it may take 2-3 years. It also requires you to stay up to date with all of the industry changes on a daily basis because Google can make a change in their algorithm at any moment and that change may cause your site to drop in no time.

    At the end of the day, it generally becomes a lot cheaper for a company to simply hire an agency to do their SEO.

  3. MicroSourcing writes:

    #4 makes it a particularly good deal for businesses who avail of SEO services. Once they know SEO’s best practices, they could do most of the maintenance work in-house.

  4. WSI Business Marketing writes:

    I speak with so many businesses or business owners, who think they can “do SEO”. One quick look at their website or their online presence quickly tells me they in fact don’t, but it always leaves me slightly bemused as to what they’re actually referring to. No meta tags, no H1 header tags, no apparent site content strategy, no sitemap, no blog, no back-links, no social media profiles, and generally a very poor search engine presence.

    One day one of them will enlighten me (I hope!)

  5. Deep Ripples Bill writes:

    This is particularly helpful material to add to our sales pitch. Thanks for that!

    I’d be interested in seeing the “other side” of this perspective. What do SEO agencies need to recognize about the advantages of in-house SEO’s?

  6. Tihomir Petrov writes:

    absolutely true is everything. But you have to be very interesting first :) in case to learn the SEO

  7. Ikom Ilkov writes:

    Very good post! The article describes perfectly what you have to watch for when you give your web site for SEO to SEO company.

  8. asep komara writes:

    I like the idea that hiring SEO agency could transfer a lot of knowledge to my in-house marketing team. Definitely agree with it.

  9. Susan Esparza writes:

    Thanks, Bill!

    We’ve covered the pros and cons of in-house vs agency before here: Renting vs. Buying Your SEO Solution but we’ll certainly take a look at the lesson of in-house for agencies sometime in the near future.

  10. Boise SEO writes:

    WSI, Agree with everything you said. Even most web designers (at least in my area) are not, and do not practice good SEO techniques. They know how to design a site to look good (most cases OK) but it ranks so poorly and the back end code is a mess (not very SEO friendly). Why business owners hire a web designer without asking “How will it rank in the search engines” is beyond me. I think most business owners just want to get a website, just to say they have one. They don’t really think about whether it will produce leads, business, or customers for them.

  11. Archer writes:

    Enjoyed the article. I fined that many would ruin their sites if they implemented what they know about outdated SEO techniques.

  12. Nasim Jafarzadeh writes:

    Thanks Vlad, Correct, some fail to see that becoming an SEO expert requires time, energy, experience and dedication. So by the time those individuals learn SEO and are ready to implement it, their competition has already hired an SEO expert, and is far ahead of them.

  13. Nasim Jafarzadeh writes:

    Yes, isn’t that great?! An agency SEO expert can transfer his or her knowledge and share the results of recent research with in-house SEOs, saving them time and money by providing them with an SEO roadmap. At BCI, we provide our clients with a prioritized list of recommendations, which can be implemented in-house.

  14. Nasim Jafarzadeh writes:

    Thanks for the comment. Yeah, I am sure many SEO experts have come across one of those “optimized” sites at least once. The problem is that those business owners don’t have a clear understanding of what SEO is and what it actually takes to optimize a site.

  15. Nasim Jafarzadeh writes:

    Thanks for reading and joining the conversation.

  16. Nasim Jafarzadeh writes:

    Thanks for the comment. While there are many Web designers out there that are knowledgeable in SEO and practice it, we all have seen sites that were designed with absolutely no SEO in place. I think we, as SEO experts, need to educate business owners about the importance of having a well-structured and search engine-friendly site. Just having a pretty website is not good enough these days. Yes, Web presence is important, but if they want to do business online, then they need to look into Internet marketing, SEO and CRO.

  17. Nasim Jafarzadeh writes:

    Thank you,

  18. Nasim Jafarzadeh writes:

    Great. Thanks for the comment.

  19. Nasim Jafarzadeh writes:

    Thanks Archer, I am glad you liked it. We all know how dangerous outdated SEO techniques could be. Not only can it lead to ranking drops, it may also get the site penalized. So a lot more efforts and resources will have to follow outdated SEO strategies (if implemented) to rectify the situation.

  20. New Epic Media writes:

    I enjoyed this article, as I hadn’t really thought about it like that before for some reason. We are an SEO agency, and for some reason I always asummed that if someone had an in house SEO that they were off limits as far as a potential client. This completley changes that. Time to retrain the sales team! When you think about all the new verticals that touch SEO like Reputation Management, and Video Marketing that they probably can’t handle in house, it opens the doors of oppurtunity. Thanks for writing such a great article.

  21. Tom Aikins writes:

    This is useful information, especially considering the fact that there are so many unethical and incompetent SEO companies out there now.

  22. WSI Business Marketing writes:

    Boise SEO – I agree back! I honestly thought the days of businesses “just building a website” had long gone, but they really aren’t. It’s beyond me!

  23. Caliber writes:

    Nice straight forward article.

    It about the holistic web now and offering a complete service which incorporates the best services per client.

  24. Christopher Ross writes:

    Susan, great article as always. Who’s the guest author?

  25. Susan Esparza writes:

    Our “guest” this time around is Nasim Jafarzadeh, our Manager of SEO. We’re grateful she found the time to help us out on the blog. Isn’t she great?

  26. Houston Web Designer writes:

    Thanks for the great article. It shows that there are so many more opportunities that we are missing out on when it comes to sales, and clients that we may be able to help and have never even thought about in the past.

  27. Nasim Jafarzadeh writes:

    I am glad you liked the article. Right, this opens up a new horizon for SEO agencies with regard to their marketing strategy. Nowadays most mid-to-large size corporations have integrated SEO into their marketing team. So there are some opportunities there even if they have their own in-house SEO:)

  28. Nasim Jafarzadeh writes:

    Thanks for the comment. As I mentioned above, this opens up a new horizon for SEO agencies with regard to their marketing strategy.

  29. Nasim Jafarzadeh writes:

    Thank you so much, Susan. It was my pleasure :)

  30. Nasim Jafarzadeh writes:

    Hi Christopher,

    I’m glad you found the article helpful … and thank you for including it in your “SEO roundup of great SEO articles…”.

  31. SEO Los Angeles writes:

    SEO gets a bad reputation, but it’s one of those things that will continue to grow as long as internet is used as a means of business. It’s also a hard business to master yourself, so hiring a good company is a definite advantage. Although it may take time- it’s worth it, wouldn’t you say?

  32. Giochi writes:

    Businesses should choose Seo Agencies carefully….there are a lot of agencies that really are just scam.

  33. Seo Queen writes:

    Hi Nasim,

    The points that you have mentioned in your article should be a great knowledge for all those people who are looking to hire an seo agency and will get them their desired results

  34. SEO Hampshire writes:

    I agree in principle, but there are SEO Agencies and SEO Agencies. Most will practice ethical White Hat SEO and provide good results, however I have also seen quite a few agencies farming out their work to the lowest bidder on sites like Freelancer.com.
    You have to ask about their ethics as the client has entrusted their brand to the Agency and the Agency has subcontracted to the lowest bidder!
    That said, I have great relationships with a number of Agencies, and so that give a little faith that doing things the right way gets results.



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