Finding the right search engine optimisation consultants

Finding good search engine optimisation consultants can be incredibly difficult. This is because they all tend to promise the same things: a position on page one, within the top five results, for every relevant keyword. If they weren’t doing this, you get the distinct feeling they’d be peddling love potions and all-natural cure-alls.

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Search for an SEO Agency in the UK alone and you’ll be given 2.5 million results. You almost definitely don’t have the time to go through all of them. Given the nature of the topic, it’s tempting to just pick the very first one – it’s a poor cobbler who wears nasty shoes, and a poor search engine optimisation consultant that can’t rank for their favoured search terms.

But it’s a bit knottier than that. SEO isn’t solely about simply optimising the HTML and keyword content on your site. The Panda and Penguin updates both talk about the importance of original, relevant, and regularly-updated content for websites that want high-ranking positions, so having a good supply of great material will, in 2015 and 2016, be more important than ever. Choosing an agency that can provide this – and a steady stream of high quality links – should be at the forefront of your mind, along with these key areas. 

On-brand content

Essentially: does the agency have the know-how and authority to write for the business you operate in and maintain your brand reputation? Using keywords as though they were jigsaw pieces isn’t going to do it. It’s about strategically deploying original content and news to demonstrate that your business can be trusted.

Listening skills 

A good agency is an up-to-date agency: one that knows the ‘trending stories’, the hot topics, the hippest lingo – all the relevant, need-to-know industry information that could potentially increase engagement with your visitors and prospective customers.

Social media

Social media is not just for telling the world about your hangover or how many times you blink and breathe in a day. It’s a channel to share relevant and informative news and updates, making it an important part of your linkbuilding campaign!

Proactive keyword research

SEO isn’t a one-and-done process. Optimising your site for current high-volume, lead gen search terms (the difference between keywords ‘B2B PR’ and ‘B2B PR agency’ – the former is a term searched for when a user is interested in finding out more about the subject, the second is a term a user looking for an agency searches for – I know which one we’d rather rank for!) is part of the job description: everyone does it.

Finding an agency that makes use of all relevant data – trend reports, social analysis, etc. – to attract a different kind of prospect or find a new, potentially breakout search term? That’s an entirely different proposition.

The ones that will give you lasting success are the ones that will stay ahead of the competition. SEO is an ongoing process – the agency that can deliver real results will be the one that uses all the analytical tools in its arsenal to deliver a continually-optimised keyword research strategy.

Integrated comms

As fresh, interesting, user-focused content grows further in importance for SEO, it’s essential that the content produced remains consistent with the overall brand message and image presented in your other digital marketing campaigns. Hiring search engine optimisation consultants that are familiar with your industry and can provide an integrated digital marketing and communications service that considers SEO, PPC, social media and PR should be at the top of your business' list.

Keywords are important, but unless they’re surrounded by good, relevant content, they’re essentially pointless. Google knows what users are looking for, and it knows when sneaky webmasters are just hitting C+P over and over again. It’s not yet able to see you when you’re sleeping, and it doesn’t know when you’re awake, but it’s only a matter of time. All your content should be keyword-optimised, on-brand, and on-message: go for a service that can balance all of these priorities in an integrated SEO, PPC, social media, and PR strategy.

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