With so many marketing agencies out there, it can be hard to know how to choose a reliable SEO agency that is right for your business.
Search Engine Optimisation, better known as SEO, is one of the most important aspects of digital marketing. It is the process of optimising a website to rank high in search engines such as Google.
Depending on internal resources and capabilities, a business may perform SEO in-house or engage a professional SEO agency.
If you outsource your SEO efforts, a good SEO firm should be considered an extension of your team. You want to ensure that the SEO company has the skills, experience and knowledge to rank your website on page 1 of Google for your target keywords.
The professional SEO must also communicate well with your team and understand your overarching marketing objectives so that SEO will support these goals.
In this post, we will explore different ways on how to choose an SEO company that is committed to ethical practices while performing SEO for your business.
How to Choose an SEO Company that Has the Right SKills For Your Business
Just like any service provider, not all SEO agencies are equal. Different SEO agencies will have different levels of capabilities, knowledge, and experience. The key is to find SEO agencies with the right mix of skills, expertise and experience that suits your requirements.
Some skills that an SEO company should possess include:
Technical Implementation Skills
First and foremost, an SEO service provider mostly have the technical implementation skills needed to optimise and rank a website.
One important component of SEO is technical SEO. This is where technical coding and building a website can affect SEO performance. An agency needs good technical skills to ensure that the website is technically optimized according to Google’s webmaster guidelines.
SEO professionals must also be continually upskilling themselves to keep up with SEO best practices and search engine algorithm updates.
SEO agencies need to know how to use analytics software to assess the effectiveness of SEO strategics and implementation tactics. They must understand how to use web analytic tools and understand the different data points such as
- Ranking performance of target keywords ranking over time
- Ranking performance based on traffic and/ or conversion rates
- Ranking performance against competitors
- Untapped keywords to target
- Keyword competitiveness
- Traffic generated from specific keywords
- Issues preventing pages and keywords from ranking
- Optimisations and actions need to be taken to improve ranking
Most agencies use Google Analytics for analytics and reporting purposes, as it is usually the most widely used tool. Other agencies may use additional reporting tools like Semrush, Ahrefs and Moz Pro to supplement Google Analytics reporting.
Besides being able to track the data, an SEO firm must be able to interpret and analyse the data to understand what and why things are working or not working. Subsequently, they must be able to craft solutions to optimise SEO efforts and improve results.
You, the client, do not need reports. You need results.
An essential aspect of SEO is content writing and copyrighting. To effectively execute an SEO campaign and to maintain ongoing SEO efforts, content must be created for the website.
As discussed previously, long-form writing has many SEO benefits. Agencies must be able to write content that resonates with users but can rank well with search engine algorithms. This takes skill, experience, and a strong command of language.
Good content writing also requires the ability to conduct research, distill the information and subsequently piece together an article on the subject.
For business websites, it is not enough to attract traffic to your site through good content. You need to convert the traffic into leads or customers. This is where copywriting comes in. Copywriting is the art of writing in a persuasive style to motivate a call-to-action like clicking a “buy now” button, filling up an inquiry form or signing up for a newsletter.
SEO agencies should have good copywriting skills to help businesses generate revenue from content.
Choose an SEO Company with Good Communication Skills
SEO is a very complex subject, and the SEO process can be complicated, with multiple steps and moving parts.
An agency must be able to effectively communicate the SEO strategy and implementation plan so that you, the client, can understand the process. Your SEO professional must be able to explain how SEO will help your business, how performance will be monitored and how long it will take for results to show.
Good communication also includes aligning deliverables with clients’ expectations and keeping them up to date with progress.
What To Look Out for When Choosing an SEO Company in Singapore
If you are looking to engage an SEO company in Singapore, here are some things to consider when evaluating and short-listing potential service providers.
SEO METHODOLOGY AND PROCESSES
One of the most important things to ask the potential SEO agency is their methodology and process. Some SEO agencies focus on certain aspects of SEO while others have a 360-approach ranking a website on Google.
Be sure the agency can articulate their approach to SEO for your business in a way that you understand. If an agency cannot clearly explain their processes without technical jargon or complexity, they may not be a good fit for you.
While SEO is complex, the basic methodology is not, and the strategy must make sense for your business.
While there are fundamental implementations that must be done, there is a certain degree of customisation that is required for every business. This is based on the nature of the business, the online competition, target customer behaviour and existing search engine visibility, amongst other variables.
Ask the agency what the plan for your business is. Do not accept a cookie-cutter template.
Many SEO agencies also emphasis off-page SEO and the importance of getting backlinks. However, it is important that they do not use blackhat strategies and methods like buying backlinks or using a private blog network (PBN). Agencies that use blackhat SEO methods can get you temporary short-term results that may seem positive at the beginning. However, in the long-run it can harm your business tremendously when Google penalises your website for violating their Webmaster Guidelines.
As the best SEO agency in Singapore, Grow Digital offers a holistic SEO approach with proven methodologies that is Google-approved. These include:
- Having a global perspective while ensuring local customers with search intent find what they want.
- A focused approach on organic traffic driven by search engine optimisation that converts into meaningful leads or paying customers.
- Creating high-quality content that builds authority and ranks on search engines.
SCOPE OF THE SEO SERVICES
Related to the SEO methodology and processes discussed above, is the scope of the SEO services that an agency provides based on their approach to optimising your website for search engines.
There are many aspects to SEO services, and they can cover any or all of the following:
Research & Analysis
- Online Brand Audit
- SEO Audit
- Data Analysis
- Keyword Research
- Search Intent Research
- Competitor Research
- SEO Strategy
- Website Wireframing
- WeSite Architecture b Design & Development
- Technical SEO
- Core Web Vitals Optimisation
- SEO Content Optimization
- Content Writing
- Direct Response Copywriting
- Site Submission
- Social Sharing
Some agencies may also offer web design and development services as part of a complete package. There are also some specialised SEO such as local SEO, international SEO and eCommerce SEO that might be relevant to your business.
Ask the agency to propose the services they will be providing for your SEO project, campaign, or project. Get clarification on the timeline and deliverables of the services.
The fees for SEO agencies can vary greatly depending on the agency, based on the scope of services, expertise, experience and where they are located. The fees are usually structured as:
- Per hour
- Monthly retainer
- One-time fee
- A combination of the above
Depending on the scope of work and the agencies’ capacity, most agencies prefer to charge a monthly retainer fee for some or all their services.
Some may start with a pilot campaign or project that lasts 3 – 6 months as SEO work is typically front-heavy. There is a lot of initial work in doing an SEO audit, research, strategy development, technical optimisation, and content writing.
The agency’s SEO methodology and approach will be reflected in their fees and fees structure.
As a guide, you can expect to pay anywhere from SG$1,500 (US$1,100) – SG$5,000 (US$3,700) a month for an experienced SEO company, depending on the scope of work.
As with most professional service providers, you get what you pay for. As a rule, avoid any agency that is offering SEO work for anything less than SG$500 (US$370) a month.
The SEO agency should have a clear contract (or proposal first) that clearly outlines what services the agency will provide. The contract should also detail costs, payment schedule, deliverables, and success metrics.
CASE STUDIES AND PORTFOLIO
A good SEO company should show you real results from their work. They should have some case studies available or at least be able to highlight some of their SEO projects upon request.
Request that the agency walk you through a case study or two with the analytic data to substantiate the work performed.
What you want to see is the strategy and the implementation steps to execute the strategy. Based on their process, look at the relevant corresponding data such as website ranking performance, individual page ranking performance, keyword performance and optimisations to improve dwell time or reduce bounce rate.
Compare different agencies’ case studies and see what sets them apart.
SEO is a knowledge game won through experience and continued learning. Good SEO agencies demonstrate and share their knowledge through content. This could be through their company blog, white papers, infographics, videos, podcasts, and social posts on networking platforms such as LinkedIn.
Top-tier professional service providers will try to establish themselves as thought leaders or find ways to establish authority and credibility in their field. SEO agencies are no different and you can determine their level of expertise based on the knowledge they share.
Assess the quality and depth of the knowledge shared. Some things to look out for include:
- Does the content offer high value that covers SEO in breadth and depth?
- Is the content comprehensive and useful?
- Is the content shared recent and fresh?
BEWARE OF SEO GUARANTEES
Beware of specific SEO guarantees. No SEO professional or agency in the world can make definitive guarantees on specific keyword ranking positions in search engine ranking pages (SERP) or specific results.
For example, the agency cannot make claims like “we can get you the #1 spot in Google for a specific keyword” or “we have special working relations with Google.”
There are just too many external variables and Google’s exact search and ranking algorithm is not known and ever-evolving. Even Google has explicitly warned against working with agencies that offer such guarantees.
An experienced agency can give estimates of improvement or give projection of expected results after a certain period. These projections can get more accurate over time as data can be collected and SEO efforts can be analysed.
If an SEO agency does make bold claims and specific guarantees, it is almost certain they will be using black hat SEO tactics to game the system in the short-term before Google catches on.
As a rule of thumb, if an agency’s claims are too good to be true, it is too good to be true.
FIND YOUR BEST SEO COMPANY IN SINGAPORE
If you’re looking for an SEO company in Singapore that can give you the optimal results, then contact here. Premium SEO Agency has a track record of success and focuses on your industry specifically to ensure that you see the best return on investment. While working with several business industries, we are familiar with the unique challenges and opportunities that come along with promoting any business online.
Take some time to find out about SEO agency in Singapore and let us know if we can be of any assistance to you.