Search Engine Optimization (SEO) refers to a sometimes-complex collection of techniques that result in making your website more noticeable to your target audience.
Enterprise SEO company Terakeet found that when compared with digital advertising, good SEO reduced the cost of customer acquisition by 87.41% on average.
A well-optimized website will act as a magnet for potential customers’ attention, and it’s well worth sourcing the talent to create it.
But what does it take for someone to promise you sky-high rankings and surging traffic? Not a lot. Anyone can label themselves as an SEO expert. That is why it is crucial to do your research on who you entrust with this key business aspect. In this blog, we’ll look at 5 key areas your B2B SEO Agency needs to deliver on, to be worth your time:
1. They have Technical Knowledge
Technical SEO refers to on-page SEO. It’s everything you can do to your website itself to make it more friendly to search engines. Things such as how quickly pages load, the meta descriptions of your blogs, and how relevant your content is to your keyword are all examples of Technical SEO.
Your B2B SEO agency should be able to convey to you their knowledge of technical SEO. Anyone can call themselves an SEO expert – there’s very little regulation on their subject – so you need to be able to see a demonstrable knowledge of technical SEO strategy.
Examples of things that your B2B SEO agency should be thinking about include:
H1 tags – This refers to the headers at the tops of your web pages, which are important for site crawlability.
Meta Descriptions –Meta descriptions provide a summary of the content of a web page, both to search engines and people. They should not be too long and they need to include the keyword early in the description. If you’re using WordPress on your site, the Yoast plugin will walk you through a lot of this.
Load speed – 53% of mobile website visitors will leave a site if it’s not loading quickly. Enough said. What’s more, Google has announced that it views the web as “mobile-first” which means that poorly performing mobile sites won’t rank on desktop either! Like Google, you need to have a mobile-first approach and make sure your site loads and runs perfectly on mobile.
Crawability/Indexability – Both of these are critical to your website’s ranking.
HTTPS SSL Certification – Besides now being an official ranking signal, your website needs HTTPS SSL certification to keep your customer’s data safe and protect you from copycat attackers. Your B2B SEO agency should understand why this is important.
2. They are Certified in Relevant Areas
A professional SEO agency should be informed by leading experts. Look for certifications from well-regarded industry giants like SEMrush and HubSpot.
Look for Google Analytics certificates – both the general one and ideally the individual follow-on. These are free, highly informative short courses on Google Analytics, and there’s no real excuse for a B2B SEO agency not to have made use of them.
Google also offers a free Google Ads certification – completion of which should be regarded as a good sign.
They will have experience working with B2B companies, and understand the difference in strategy needed to represent B2B vs B2C companies. They will have either worked specifically in marketing for your industry or represented a diverse range of clients, demonstrating flexibility and fluency across markets.
Take note – if sharing their analytics and reporting with you are portrayed as add-ons, or extra, this is a red flag. While you are hiring a B2B SEO agency to take away the burden of optimization, as a business owner you must understand what is working, and where your best ROI is coming from. Friendly, clear communication and reachability are important.
3. They have Testimonials from Past Clients
Your chosen B2B SEO Agency should have glowing testimonials from previous clients – scan these carefully for specific evidence of the agency’s impact. You’ll also want to look for reviews on sites such as Yelp and Google, which will give you a more rounded picture of what the company was like to work with.
4. They Work With Integrity
If they haven’t done for themselves what they are promising to do for your company, take caution. This could look like them using cold calls and PPC to generate all of their own leads or having poor optimization of their website.
Be very skeptical as well of promises of results that seem too good to be true – low-priced bundles, wild turnaround times, etc. Agencies that promise these results are most likely either a) lying or b) using Black Hat SEO.
Black Hat SEO refers to unethical strategies such as link farming, keyword stuffing, and content cloaking- that intentionally go against search engine guidelines. This achieves results in a short time but is ultimately destined to collapse and invariably reflects poorly on companies that use it. Steer clear.
White Hat SEO practices, on the other hand, refer to following the guidelines and implementing quality content, and streamlining your website for optimum rankings.
Ensure the B2B SEO agency you choose is actioning White Hat practices.
5. They Utilize Great Writing
As we touched on earlier – online, people expect things to move fast.
Searching for something on Google, it’s unlikely they will make it past the first page of results. Even more tellingly, people will award more than 2/3rds of all clicks on SERPs to the top five results. They trust Google to present them with the best content and are far more likely to click an organic listing than a sponsored one. According to Digiviser, 80% of people performing Google Search ignore paid ads.
This is why optimized content can be so rewarding for your business in the long term. If your blog is well optimized and ranks highly, it can linger at the top of a SERP for months or even years after being published. Therefore, organic rankings = free marketing.
So on this note, look for a B2B SEO agency with additional services – chances are you’ll want to combine PPC and content marketing methods down the line, and doing everything with the same B2B SEO agency will allow for better speed and continuity.
A great B2B SEO agency will understand that SEO is a holistic process. They will demonstrate a great knowledge of the field and the flexibility and skills to collaborate effectively. At Nituno, we offer a range of content marketing, SEO, and PPC services, to drive your growth and improve your lead generation. To get the most out of your marketing spend, get in touch with us today.