Written by: Richard Fong
Published on June 21, 2021
Published on June 21, 2021
The online world has become more and more ripe with opportunity, and companies have turned to digital platforms—crowding this arena even more. In Orange County alone, there are around 114,625 small businesses. In recent years, the topic of SEO has risen in prominence, as deploying SEO strategies in your business has become a proven way of bringing in traffic and customers.
Outsourcing to an SEO company in Orange County has an array of benefits. You will be able to focus on other aspects of your business, putting your trust in an agency that tackles every facet of this niche. A full-service agency will usually do everything—from content creation and keyword research to link building, website optimization, and on- and off-page SEO, among others.
Now, there are many companies out there that present you with grand promises, but only a few of them can actually deliver. You must discern carefully when choosing an SEO agency, as finding the best one for your business will definitely be worthwhile.
As you begin narrowing down options, a good place to start is with previous clients’ reviews. While SEO companies usually post positive reviews from their clients, this is a more biased indicator of their work. A better approach would be to check out other third-party websites that compile these reviews so that you can look at the whole picture objectively.
Embarking on this approach will help you identify only the most reputable SEO agencies. It should be part of your business’s due diligence and can direct you towards only the companies that have years of experience in the industry. This may be very telling of their knowledge of the industry’s ins and outs. Consider both the quantity and quality of these testimonials.
Businesses without active social media channels run the risk of falling behind. Your chosen SEO firm should have significant expertise in social media, as this directs more traffic to your main website. It can enhance brand recognition and recall and give potential customers an idea of who you are. You can also connect with them on a more personal level.
Your SEO agency should help you determine which social media channels can help bring in more traffic to your business and should show you the ropes of creating a successful campaign. This is vital as social media pages actually rank on search engines. Work with a company that dedicates as much focus to these platforms as they do to your main page.
When you shop around for an SEO agency in Orange County, pay attention to how well they grasp who your target audience is. They need to recognize your target demographic so that they are fully aware of what their needs are. This should also be coupled with their understanding of what products or services you have to offer. As a result, they can refine their approach and strategies.
An SEO company can define a buyer persona to create more targeted strategies to attract your demographic. Customization is everything when hiring an agency—after all, you do not want them to merely use the same template approaches time and time again. An agency is there for the purpose of executing methods you may not have otherwise been able to do alone.
Aside from reading reviews of previous clients, it is also wise to look at the clients themselves. Analyzing the SEO company’s roster of clients gives you a feel of how diverse their portfolio is. After going through reviews, you can do a few cursory searches to check these clients’ SEO rankings and the previous campaigns the agency may have done for them in the past.
In addition to this, you will be able to see if they have worked with businesses that belong to your same industry. This can inform you of what strategies work for your industry, but at the same time, let you know if they have the potential to do something different for you as well.
We’ve reiterated the importance of looking into the SEO company’s clients, but a more specific metric for this is their client retention rate. This is the exact information you need to learn how long their previous clients have used their services. While this may be presented in percentage form, it may be easier to understand in terms of the length of time of their collaboration.
For example, a good retention rate lies between 94–98%, otherwise understood as a year and a half to over two years. Although this does not need to be your main point of concern, it gives you a good indicator of how long and successful their previous partnerships have been. You do not want to have to abandon the agency midway because you are unhappy with their services.
An SEO company should see you through every campaign or project. Early on, it is imperative to establish how they will provide you with a report. You should mutually decide how often you will be discussing updates in order to see how effective their services have been for your business. Approach companies that promise immediate results with a level of caution.
It takes time for Google to index sites and assess your sitemap, and rankings may increase and decrease over many months. A good agency will know how to measure these changes, whether through A/B testing, Domain Authority, and the like. Be patient in the beginning—the right agency will know what to do as long as they remain transparent throughout the process.
SEO should be at the forefront of your chosen agency, especially because of how complex it can be. On-page and off-page SEO are both integral to your website’s success in terms of rankings. Technical SEO is also a must to ensure that you improve your organic rankings. This covers website architecture, crawling, indexing, and rendering.
On-page SEO tackles your own content: headings, title tags, URLs, mobile optimization, page load speed. Off-page SEO is concerned with your domain authority and backlinks. Your ideal SEO agency should balance all of these aspects of SEO to increase your chances of ranking, and turn you into an authority and go-to resource for a particular topic, product, or service.
A full-service SEO agency is fantastic, especially if you eventually want to expand in other areas. Besides the main SEO services and social media, there is also content marketing, email marketing, pay-per-click (PPC) management, and even web design to consider. You can save money by working with an agency that has a wide array of services.
This can also be very strategic in seeing how these different elements work together towards your overall success rate. You will also find that this will simplify things in the long run in the areas of management and monitoring.
Not all SEO companies are upfront about their pricing models. Sometimes, this makes it difficult to get a ballpark figure of how much you are going to be spending on SEO services. Shop around and get quotes from a minimum of three different agencies so that you can compare costs. Inquire about the initial and ongoing costs, but make sure you ask about the fine print and hidden costs too.
The usual pricing models SEO agencies use are project-based schemes, hourly consults, fixed-price contracts, or a monthly retainer. However, this is not exhaustive. Do not hesitate to reach out to a specific agency—they may be able to give you a free assessment and quote from the get-go.
Company ethics may not be your main consideration, but it is an undervalued and pertinent factor. Explore the agency’s team and their backgrounds and how well they uphold the company’s ethics. It is important that they are able to represent your chosen SEO agency well, especially if they will be handling your particular account.
Knowing all there is to learn about a company can help you determine which SEO agency is the best fit for your business. You might feel more at ease with a company that has a more casual and laid-back structure, or alternatively, prefer a no-nonsense agency that just gets the work done.
Using this as a rubric when looking for an SEO company can help you stay objective throughout the process. Once you arrive at your decision, be patient. The most effective strategies will yield great results in time. The best Orange County SEO companies will make sure that your rankings and sales increase like they never have before.
What factors did you find the most important when deciding on an SEO company to work with? Let us know in the comments section below!