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Want to move up the Google rankings? How to choose an SEO partner

Want to move up the Google rankings? How to choose an SEO partner

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Estimated read time: 4-5 minutes

For any company with an online presence, an emphasis on SEO (search engine optimization) is necessary to gain more visibility, leads and ultimately — revenue. But because SEO can be confusing and complicated, many companies opt to get outside help, usually through an agency.

The problem is: not all agencies are the same. Some will take advantage of their clients' lack of SEO knowledge and deliver an inferior service. Others, like SEO Werkz, has the credentials to back up their expertise, and ensure their work creates a measurable impact for clients.

So what's the difference between a good and a bad SEO agency? According to Chris Siebeneck, VP of strategic partners at SEO Werkz, a key thing to look out for is their approach to certain fundamentals — such as content quality, external linking, and technical SEO.

Content quality

It is often said that content is king. This is true in regards to both your on-site content (product pages, FAQs, About us pages, etc.) and your off-site content, which is often a blog dictated by a content marketing strategy. In both areas, high-quality content comes from extensive research and impactful copywriting.

A good SEO agency will ensure you are targeting high-intent keywords that are as relevant to your audience as they are to your business, and create a keyword strategy accordingly. They will advise you to focus on keywords that you can actually rank for — depending on your area and competition levels.

They'll also help make sure your copy is as optimized as possible in providing the information your audience actually wants when searching for your targeted keywords. Copy should be thorough and intentional without being fluffy.

On the other hand, a lesser SEO partner may not take such a personalized approach in helping you with your content quality. They may provide you with a list of broad keywords that wouldn't really be impactful for your business. They also might suggest minor copy edits that won't better help address your audience's search intent.

Link building

Another measure that will help your website rank higher is increasing the quality and quantity of off-site links, or backlinks. These are links coming into your site from other sites. These links are crucial because they "are a significant signal to search engines that others vouch for your content," according to Moz.

A competent agency will conduct an audit to see who is already linking to your site, and who should be linking to your site. Good backlinks come from sites that have high authority (meaning they are trusted and high-ranking), and are relevant to your content. For instance, if you wrote an article about the best French restaurants in town, a link from an HVAC company's site won't be overly helpful to you.

But more importantly, a good SEO partner will research, write and publish articles that link back to your site from high domain authority websites that will allow trust flow through the link to your site. Conversely, a less polished agency might tell you who should be linking to you, but not how to actually get them to do it.

Want to move up the Google rankings? How to choose an SEO partner
Photo: Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock.com

Technical SEO

Technical SEO is probably the aspect of SEO where a good agency can help you out the most. SEO guru Brian Dean, from Backlinko, identified more than 200 factors that Google uses in their algorithm to determine where websites should rank. A lot of those factors are pertaining to content quality and backlinks, but others are more technical in nature (hence "technical SEO").

The optimization of elements like site structure, loading speed and mobile-friendliness require true subject-matter expertise. This is even truer for more intimidating-sounding factors like XML sitemaps and robots.txt files.

A quality SEO agency will look at each of those factors and determine where improvements can be made. They'll be able to clearly explain each of those to you regardless of your SEO knowledge and provide help implementing them. On the other hand, an inferior agency might not have the expertise to understand all these factors or the willingness to address each and every single one of them.

Are you ready to shoot up the Google rankings? Get in touch with SEO Werkz today, an award-winning SEO agency that prioritizes transparency over anything else — and earns their clients' business without using contracts.

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