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What Every Small Business Should Expect from Their SEO Agency

The decision to bring on anSEO agency can be a daunting one – it’s often a significant investment for yoursmall business, and you won’t know what kind of results you’re going to seeuntil you take the plunge. It’s also difficult to know what you should expectfrom the SEO agency you work with, even if you’ve worked with one before.

In this guide, we’ll talkyou through what an SEO agency does and what you should expect from yours. Bythe end, you’ll be able to walk into talks with a potential SEO agency knowingwhat to expect, or even come to the decision to move on from your currentagency.

What does an SEO agency do?

Simply, an SEO agency shouldincrease your business’ visibility online. If you aren’t getting more trafficto your site after working with them for six months, they’re not doing theirjob properly.

Depending on your goals,your SEO agency may:

  • Drive more traffic to your site organically
  • Help you create more backlinks and relationships online
  • Become more of an authority online
  • Help you make your site more SEO-friendly
  • Create SEO-friendly content for your site
  • Execute a digital PR strategy
  • Help you increase your conversion rate

As well as all of the aboveand more.

What service should I expect from an SEO agency?

Unless your SEO agency isgetting you results, you’re probably not going to put up with sub-par service.If you don’t feel like you’re getting the right level of service from yourcurrent SEO agency, consider what you outlined when you first started workingwith them. If you didn’t discuss level of communication, that may be a signalto move on.

Here’s what you shouldexpect from an SEO agency:


When you reach out to an SEOagency, you should consider what level of communication you’re comfortablewith. Do you want them to take your SEO worries off your hands so you can focuselsewhere? If so, you may simply want a weekly email and a monthly report ormeeting to discuss progress and action points.

Or you may be someone wholikes frequent contact with smaller updates. This is fine too, but it’s a goodidea to outline your communication styles and frequency before you commencework together.

Remember that even if youfind a great agency, if your communication styles are different you’re notgoing to have a fruitful relationship. You’ll either feel like you’re beingleft out in the cold, or overly hassled by them. Make sure your communication stylesmatch and that they feel like people you can build a working rapport with.

Transparency of Work & Action

You should always be ableask and get information on what they’ve been doing. You may want to build intoyour contract a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly report of what they’ve been doingand what they plan to do in the future. Some of the changes and action they maytake include:

  • Updated optimised content, such as blog posts and web pages
  • Additional content if they’re managing your content strategy
  • New backlinks they’ve set up from other authority sites
  • SEO audit to start, and then they may do it again to show the improvements they’ve made (we offer a free SEO audit – click here to find out more)
  • A list of changes to changes they’ve made to your site on the backend


You and your SEO agency mustagree on a frequency of reporting results and actions. This will likely varydepending on how optimised your site is when you hand over the reins, as wellas your communication styles. While it may take a few months to see realpositive change in your search engine rankings, especially if you’re in acompetitive niche, you should still have frequent reports about what resultsthey’re seeing, and what action they’re taking. You should also expect largerreports and even future plans on a quarterly or six-monthly basis. This willshow they have a long-term vision for your success, and aren’t just making itup month-by-month. 

What should an SEO agency need to start working for you?

If an “agency” takes yourmoney but doesn’t ask for anything so they can start making changes, run likethe wind! SEO doesn’t happen by magic; they need access to your website andother information so they can actively start making changes.

Depending on the scope ofthe work you have defined in your contract or work agreement, they may need:

  • Access to your website
  • Access to your analytics tools
  • Ideal customer avatar
  • Branding materials and guides
  • Details of any past work done by you or a past agency

Is an SEO agency worth it? How do I know if they’re getting us results?

Of course, the question “isan SEO agency worth it?” is an open-ended question and it really depends onwhat you’re looking for and your available budget. However, if you’re hiring a legitimateSEO agency then you should be getting results in your analytics tools,hopefully with an increase in leads and sales, and you should also be able toask to see what actions they’re taking. (Just beware the vanity metrics!)

Some of the other resultsyou should see are an increase in quality backlinks, an audit and follow upreports or another audit to see improvements, new content going up on a weeklybasis that’s bringing in traffic, and regular updates or meetings to discussresults and where they plan to go from there. If they’re a good SEO agency,they’ll always have more ideas for how you could continue to build on the solidfoundation they’ve helped you build. 

What red flags should I look out for when working with an SEO agency?

First and foremost, alwayslisten to your intuition. If you aren’t happy with your SEO agency, there’s agood chance there’s a legitimate reason why. Here are some of the red flags tolook out for:

  • They don’t report their results, and don’t have anything to showfor their work.
  • You’re not seeing any positive change on your analytics tools.
  • You’re getting a lot of traffic, but no one’s sticking around –ask them why this is happening. They may be using black hat methods that willhurt you in the future.
  • All your backlinks are from irrelevant “news” or magazine sites.
  • They don’t ask you to change anything about the way you do things.They should be teaching you best practices, not simply fixing your mistakes.
  • They won’t disclose their secrets or tell you in vague terms whatthey’re doing.
  • They have no long-term plan for your success.
  • They don’t mention any type of contract or agreement

An SEO agency can be the difference between your website getting lost online, or becoming a major authority in your niche. But the key is finding one you mesh with. You should have a good rapport with the agency, even in early talks, and be satisfied with early results. If you can, take advantage of their free offers or ‘smaller’ services first to see what it’s like to work with them. That’s why we offer a free SEO audit – so our potential clients can see what we do, how we do it, and the results we know we can get for them once they hire us. If you’d like to take advantage for your small business, get in touch.

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