Companies that look for professional SEO services usually send emails to several agencies at the same time. In this way, they can compare the offers, costs, possibilities, and market trends. Every offer includes the costs, scope of work, and also often an SEO strategy. Because of the enormous number of agencies and SEO techniques, comparing offers is very difficult. And it’s hard to choose the one that will best meet our needs.
The agency’s SEO services should be clear and understandable, even if you’re not a “technical person”. To help you decide, I’ll show you the basic elements any professional SEO agency should offer.
Before making an individual proposal, a professional agency starts with examining the current technical state of your website. The examination includes:
Thanks to this, the agency can assess how much work will your website require. They can see what errors should be corrected in the first place. They will also be able to prepare the website for further SEO activities. Every SEO proposal should include conclusions from a basic technical audit. Only then does the client have the full picture of the situation. And is aware of the further steps that need to be made, for example, engagement of the IT department to repair or rebuild certain website elements. After a cooperation is established, the agency usually prepares a full technical SEO audit.
The agency’s services also should include a basic competition analysis, which will show how the client’s website is positioned in the organic results, and with which websites will it have to compete.
Firstly, the agency compares the client’s and competition’s web services with regard to visibility in organic results. This allows to determine how many key phrases competing websites have and in what periods of time they’re used. The next step is to select groups of key phrases that are essential for the client’s business and that have high-traffic potential in Google. Then, the agency checks the position of the client’s website with regard to the chosen keywords. And then compares it to the competition.
Thanks to this, we’re able to determine the starting point of further SEO activities and assess the website’s untapped potential with regard to key phrases. This allows the agency to choose the right direction for the website’s SEO strategy. At least that’s how it should look like when you collaborate with a professional agency.
Apart from this, it’s also worth to take a closer look at the competitive advantages of other websites and the places where they position themselves. This helps to estimate the time and the type of activities that should be carried out to improve the position of the client’s website.
An SEO proposal should address the needs of the client and result from the basic SEO audit and competition analysis. The SEO activities should be targeted at correcting the detected errors and achieving the established goals. SEO proposals can be significantly different because agencies can have various ideas. However, most of them will be based on:
Agencies often compete with each other to produce the most creative ideas in order to attract potential clients. Be careful when the agency offers 10 influencer collaborations or complex e-books within the scope of its content marketing activities. Performing them is often very difficult and time-consuming. Not only because of high costs but also the enormous volume of work, both of the client and the agency.
If the SEO services include analytics and 24/7 technical support, ask how does it actually look like. Agencies often try to attract clients with words that don’t really correspond to reality. For example, you can wait for entire 3 days before an agency responds to your request for technical support.
Transparency is the key element of any offered services, as it reflects the agency’s approach towards SEO activities. A professional SEO proposal should consist of tailor-made activities together with precise examples. This guarantees that the SEO activities will be effective and high-quality, and that they will meet our needs.
The activities can include gained links or example articles, which the agency had successfully published. If such information is not included in the proposal, you can ask for it.
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Sometimes, it’s not there because of the type of contract the agency had signed. However, more often, it’s because the agency doesn’t have high-quality examples which it doesn’t want to share with potential clients. Also, be careful when you receive proposals that stick to one template. If you have said in the brief that you don’t need content marketing activities because you have them in-house, but you can find them in the sent proposal, this means that it hasn’t been personalized.
The quality of offered services is one of the biggest challenges when agencies create their proposals. It’s also an element that’s most difficult to verify by the client. What should you pay attention to?
The SEO proposal should include a description of specific planned activities. If the agency offers link building, then it’s obliged to show the client how it selects link sources, and at what parameters does it look at when choosing them (e.g. DR – Domain Rating, DA – Domain Authority, PA – Page Authority, organic traffic). Because one link isn’t the same as another one, one proposal may include 20 gained links and another 10. However, their effectiveness and quality can differ significantly, usually in the favour of the agency that gives a smaller number of links.
The same is with content marketing activities. A detailed proposal should describe how the articles:
And if you come across real professionals, they’ll probably also show you example subjects and key phrases for every article.
This is frequently the most important part of an offer, which has the biggest influence on the decision of clients who aren’t well-educated on the subject of SEO.
It’s obvious that lower quality activities also entail lower costs. That’s why it’s so important to pay attention to the above mentioned elements. Otherwise, you may end up cooperating with an agency that won’t be able to meet your business needs.
Offers that divide the total cost into specific areas gain more trust. Separating external costs, for example, for translations or paid publications, will better show what we have to pay for. In this way, we can also see the actual agency salary, which can be a decisive point in comparing different offers.
A professional SEO proposal clearly state the offered services, methods used to obtain the established goals, and costs, dividing them into the agency’s salary and external costs.It won’t be reluctant to show its achievements, explain how the company works, or share its know-how. If you decide on a cooperation with a specific agency, remember that you’ll have to be in contact with it for some time, and that the development of your website is at stake. If you want the business cooperation to bring results, the communication should be effective.