Today’s companies have a range of options when it comes to choosing how they want to approach the addition of SEO, or search engine optimization, to their website. One of the main decisions that these companies must make is choosing to work with an in-house team who understands the company’s current needs or to work with an external agency who specializes in SEO.
There are advantages and disadvantages to both scenarios, and for that reason, many companies eventually decide to use a combination of the two. Doing so would include an in-house team advised by hired SEO experts. In most cases, this technique helps to provide optimal support and continuous guidance.
What is an SEO Proposal?
An SEO proposal is a template written up by an individual or team of experts who offer SEO services for website owners. When searching for the right SEO advisors to assist with a company’s website optimization, SEO agencies will send a pitch to the company, which is a sample of their work, which also includes a proposal. The SEO plan should include the type of work they are offering, the scope of work, their price, and terms and conditions.
However, website owners looking for the very best SEO proposals out there should look for other key factors in the offers they receive. This additional information will provide more details on the extensive amount of work the SEO agency can do to ensure that their client’s website makes it to the top of the search results page.
What Should a Company Look for When Choosing an SEO Proposal?
When a business owner or marketing team finds the right SEO proposal that includes most or all the following details, they’ve managed to save themselves plenty of time looking for the right agency for the job. Here are seven factors that companies interested in improving their search engine optimization results should look for when choosing the best SEO proposal.
1. Detailed Description of the Initial Audit and Review Process
Just because an SEO agency is new, doesn’t mean that they don’t have the skills and experience to get the job done right. This part of their proposal gives the agency the chance to show how they review the existing performance of your website and look for issues they will need to correct. You may check out the components included in a typical SEO proposal out here. It also should explain how they establish a baseline to measure SEO efforts in the future. Showing off their speed and accuracy while completing a task and explaining how they carry out their techniques is something they should mention in detail.
2. A Fully Customized Template
A custom template designed for an SEO proposal shows that the advisor has taken the time to create something that is unique to their brand. A template that is bland and contains filler text only indicates that the agency didn’t put much thought into their proposal. If the company is too lazy to create a custom template that shows off their talents in detail, how can they take on the task of optimizing a complex business website? Marketing teams who come across this type of weak proposal should quickly move on to the next candidate.
3. Experience with Keyword Identification and Prioritization
The use of keywords is the most crucial factor in SEO. Company owners looking for a reliable SEO agency to help with their website should pay attention to this part of the proposal. Keyword identification techniques allow the SEO advisor to use existing keyword target lists. The process helps to find priority keywords for the website correctly.
A marketing team may ask the SEO agency to review a product category so as to learn more about their experience in this area. The SEO advisors may add the results to their proposal. If the marketing team like what they see, they could quickly and easily find the right agency for the job.
4. Stay Updated on What’s Happening with SEO and the Agencies You Review
The rules for SEO usage change all the time. While this may be a common knowledge for those who work with search engine optimization daily, company managers and employees may not be aware of those changes. By staying up to date on SEO and search engine changes, you can easily see which agencies are on top of their game and which are a little behind with the times. Likewise, you should also learn more about the agencies you are most interested in and compare what you know to the corporate bio, mission statement, or current logo the agency included in their SEO proposal.
5. Can the Agency Provide Additional Services?
A company manager or their marketing team may think that the only problem with their website is their lack of proper SEO optimization. However, there could be many other underlying issues causing them to lose visitors and see a decrease in profits.
Finding an SEO agency that offers more than search engine optimization services can help save a business both time and money since they can receive all the help they need from one source. When analyzing SEO proposals, look for those that also offer standard services such as improving site depth, increasing the load speed of your website, and optimizing your website for mobile use.
6. What Can They Do for You?
In a good SEO proposal, there should be a section that tells what the individual or agency can do to improve your website. It may start off with including what the company requested from the SEO agency and the price for those services. This section should also add other services that are relevant to the needs of the business and their site, such as improving their online reputation or setting up backlinks on other websites. A proposal that explains multiple services that the company owner didn’t know about, and is interested in, should go in the stack for the final decision.
7. Their Success with Using Social Media
It’s hard to avoid getting on the social media bandwagon if you are trying to expose your website to the masses. If your in-house team has little experience with marketing a company using online social resources, an SEO agency can complete the task. If the proposal has a section dedicated to social media, pay attention to how successful they are at gaining likes and redirecting followers to the main website. If the agency could improve the company’s profits by using social media strategies, they could be the right agency for the job.
What Questions Should I Ask an Agency After Receiving Their SEO Proposal?
SEO can be a complex and confusing service that changes every day. Some marketing teams may know the basics about applying SEO to a company website, but how effective are their techniques? If your website needs serious renovations, it is time to look for a potential SEO provider. Once you find a few candidates for the job, there are a few questions that can help you narrow down your list and cut your time spent looking for the right agency in half.
- Do you have any references or case studies available I can view?
- What are your current SEO strategies and how are they different from what you used two years ago?
- Do you have any experience working in my industry?
- How long have you worked with SEO?
- How much time should the process take?
- Do you follow search engine guidelines or do you avoid some of their recommendations to find better results?
It doesn’t hurt to do some research and learn a little about SEO yourself so that you will know what you’re talking about during the interview process.
Remember that before you start interviewing SEO advisors or agencies, you should set some goals for what you want to get out of their services. If you want to learn more about your target audience, you may want to hire an advisor who specializes in social media marketing.
If your primary concern is getting your company’s website to the top of the search results page, you need someone who is up to date with the latest rules in SEO, and someone who knows how to avoid getting penalized by Google. Creating goals for your website will help ensure that both you and the agency you hired are always on the same page.
This guest article is a work of Sameer Panjwani, Founder & CEO of Mondovo, an online marketing toolset that helps you track your rankings, monitor your site stats and research your competitors’. A man of many talents, Sameer occasionally writes about social media marketing, content marketing and SEO. In his free time, he loves reading about the latest trends in SEO as well as spending time with his two little daughters.
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