How-tosSEO

Choosing an SEO Agency in Brisbane: the 7 Must-Ask Questions

By March 26, 2018 No Comments
Pat Racco
Pat Racco
Founder and Director of Advantage Media
SEO agency Brisbane

If you are currently in the process of selecting an SEO agency in Brisbane, this article could be beneficial for you.

The reason why I only mention Brisbane, Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast, in regards to SEO agencies, is not just merely for ranking my website locally.

Well, I can’t deny it is at some point.

However, the truth is that I like to write about stuff I have personal experience with.

It wouldn’t make sense to talk about SEO agencies where I don’t have any knowledge.

Furthermore, you might not be aware of the fact that, when searching for a keyword like “SEO agency”, Google prioritise results that are physically near to your searching location. Not to mention when searching for phrases like

  • “SEO agency Brisbane” or

  • “SEO agency near me”

which is kind of obvious.

For the above reason, doing my research, Google inevitably shows me local SEO agencies. And this article is my two cents after analysing hundreds of SEO agencies in Brisbane, Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast, not just online, but in some cases, in person too. For simplicity, I’ll take  Brisbane, as it is the city where I am right now.

However, you can take this post as a guide, whatever your location is, as I’m confident it applies everywhere.

This article consists of two major topics:

1. The two biggest mistakes to avoid when picking an SEO agency in Brisbane.

2. The seven most asked questions when looking to hire SEO Brisbane experts.

The two biggest mistakes to avoid when picking an SEO agency in Brisbane

Mistake #1

The first most common mistake business owners make when picking an SEO agency in Brisbane is that most of them focus on traffic more than keywords.

Don’t get me wrong, getting some traffic is great but if this traffic just doesn’t convert into actual dollars, it doesn’t really matter and being a business owner, your primary goal is to increase your revenue. Isn’t it?

So first and foremost, the first step towards this goal is to pick the right keywords.

Choosing the right keyword

Keyword research is by far the essential part of any SEO campaign and what a respected SEO agency in Brisbane should focus most of the time when starting your SEO campaign.

You pick the wrong keyword, and the whole SEO strategy will fail.

Moreover, this is a significant issue not only with many low-quality SEO Brisbane agencies but especially those low-cost ones, contacting you from overseas.

Because most of them just don’t even bother with picking the right keywords.

They usually just ask which terms you want to rank for.

In most cases, you just don’t know how to pick the right ones. That’s why you pay the agency, indeed.

Keyword monthly searches

Picking the wrong keywords can turn into a catastrophe.

One problem with picking the wrong keywords could be that the SEO company choose a phrase with a minimal monthly search.

And search volume of a phrase obviously determines the amount of traffic your website could get once you rank for it.

In the best case, you can assume that you will be able to drive 40-50% off the monthly search volume off of a phrase as traffic to your website.

If you pick a phrase, for example, with a monthly search volume of 50 searches, you might be able to drive 25 visitors to your website in the best case, and this is less than one visitor per day.

In my opinion, these phrases are not even worth the effort to rank your site for.

Let me give you a practical example.

Say I want to rank for some sort of phrase related to SEO, but I don’t know which one I should pick.

I might want to be found on Google for ‘SEO Brisbane’.

Let’s see if that’s a good one.

SEO Brisbane monthly searches

Just by inverting words the difference is jaw-dropping.

  • SEO Brisbane‘ has 6,600 searches per month while ‘Brisbane SEO‘ only 590.
  • While the competition level seems to be quite similar, standing at around 0.4/1, the trend seems to stay more consistent for ‘Brisbane SEO’ throughout the year. I’d say ‘SEO Brisbane’ instead, peaks around March-April.

These are simple yet powerful heads up you must keep in mind when selecting keywords for your SEO campaign. So, keep an eye on what your SEO agency decides on this matter.

Buying keywords vs Searching keywords

Depending on your business, of course, another problem with picking the wrong keyword could be that your SEO agency chooses “buying” keywords rather than “research” keywords or vice versa.

Buying keywords are those phrases that show buying intent while searching keywords are more likely used for finding out about possibilities.
Buying and searching keywords are an excellent way to target people in different stages of the buying journey.

Let’s take ‘SEO Brisbane’ again. As it is, it could mean anything, like:

  • I’m looking to attend a course about SEO in Brisbane
  • I’m searching for my competitors in Brisbane who offer SEO services
  • I need SEO service for my business
  • I want to find out prices
  • I’m ready to pay an SEO agency

Buying keywords are phrases that people type into the search engines with already made the buying decision. ‘SEO Brisbane’ it’s a searching keyword indeed.

Examples of buying keywords could be:

  • SEO agency Brisbane reviews
  • Affordable SEO agency Brisbane
  • SEO Brisbane for small-mid b2b

Usually research keywords have a much higher search volume than buying keywords, but on the other hand, buying keywords will convert much easier into actual buyers and dollars on your website than research keywords do.

So just keep in mind that there are research keywords and that there are buying keywords.

Competition level

Another problem with picking the wrong keywords can be that your SEO agency chooses a phrase which is far too competitive.

Theoretically, you can rank for any term you want on the search engines. It’s just a matter of your budget and the time you want to invest.

For example, if you want to rank for a term like “car insurance”, you can certainly do that but just consider that there are a lot of huge players in this market that are already spending a tremendous monthly budget, just to rank for a term like this.

Ask yourself if you really need to rank for terms like this.
After doing a little bit of professional keyword research, you might find some phrases that are less competitive.
They could be highly related to your products and services and which will allow you to increase your revenue much faster than spending a considerable budget, rather than waiting for a long time until you rank for a very competitive term.

With that being said, you are now well aware of how vital keyword research is for any SEO campaign.

So don’t be afraid to ask the SEO agency what keywords they would recommend to ranking your website in Google.

Most importantly, ask them why they would suggest these keywords they have picked.

If the answer sounds good to you, then whitelist the SEO agency.

Mistake #2

The second most common mistake business owners make when picking a company is making the monthly cost of SEO as their top criteria for selecting the agency.

I’m quite sure that if you do some research on the internet, you will be able to find agencies both in Brisbane and all around Australia, who offer their services for as little as $99 a month or even less but honestly, what would you expect at this price?

I leave the answer up to you.

seo Brisbane $99 per month

If you’re serious about ranking your website in Google with SEO, you need to be aware of two essential facts:

Fact 1.

If you want to do SEO you need to do it in the long run

SEO doesn’t work like PPC traffic, where you get traffic as long as you pay. With PPC, if you don’t pay you don’t get traffic.

SEO takes time until you get to the top of the search engines and, once you got there, you need to continue doing SEO.
Otherwise, you would drop in the rankings because, most likely, your competitors are doing it too or they will soon. If they want to stay in the game, it’s inevitable.

So you need to be aware of the fact that, if you do SEO, you need to commit in the long run.

Fact 2.

The second important factor you need to know is that the money that you are going to pay the SEO agency is not only about keywords.

One thing they must do to rank your website is to build backlinks on other sites pointing to your site.

The sites they are building these links on, need to be somehow relevant to your niche and they also need to carry some authority in the eyes of Google.

Sometimes these links have to be purchased, depending on your niche.

The seven must-ask questions when looking to hire a SEO agency in Brisbane

SEO Brisbane

Once you’ve shortlisted your SEO agencies, the following power questions will allow you to quickly identify whether you’re working with a real SEO expert or not.

Question 1. What services do you offer?

It’s a straightforward enough question, and most SEO agencies will be more than happy to tell you about all the great things they can do for your business. What they say here can be very revealing.

Internet marketing is quite complicated and encompasses many different disciplines including SEO, social media, pay-per-click, web design and more.

Of all of these, SEO is the most technical and fastest moving.

When it comes to SEO, my recommendation is to choose an SEO agency that specialises first and foremost in SEO but can also assist you with online reputation management, web design, digital marketing consulting and PPC campaigns.

Question 2. How did you get into SEO?

This question is important because many people make the mistake of taking that anyone who knows something about computers and the Internet is qualified to do SEO. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

SEO is a highly specialised skills set and the SEO industry changes daily.
If you want a dedicated SEO expert, your IT guy or the designer that works for the company that printed your business cards and flyers are probably not experts in SEO.

Question 3. How do you determine your pricing?

You may have received one of those emails or phone calls offering SEO services in neat little packages, priced at $99, $299, $499 a month etc.

The truth is you cannot offer a package pricing because every business has different needs, different competition levels and different goals.

Let’s take a term like “Brisbane personal injury attorney”.

At $499 a month, I can only say ‘good luck’; it’s just too competitive.
Likewise, a national company with 100 + locations would cost much more to rank than a small local company.

An SEO agency should determine your pricing based on your goals and the difficulty of achieving those goals.
Your website should undergo a thorough SEO audit and right after they should perform in-depth market research to determine who your competitors are and their strengths in their ranking.

Only then they can provide you with a quote.

Question 4. What can you rank me for?

Many SEO agencies in Brisbane, Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast will claim they can get you on the first page of Google.

However, you need to make sure they won’t come back with some terms such as ‘best plumber on Mars’.

These terms have zero competition, that is why they can rank you well.
The correct answer to the question is ‘whatever you want to rank for‘. If the answer is anything other than that, the “SEO experts” are not confident in their SEO skills and neither should you be.

Frankly, the only limiting factor to what a right SEO agency can rank you for is budget.
If your budget is adequate, then there’s no reason you cannot claim top ranking for even a globally competitive search term.

Question 5. Do you outsource any of my work?

This is a big one because you want to know for sure that the company you hire is doing the work first hand, not subcontracting it out to an overseas firm.

Moreover, poorly done SEO can damage your website rankings.
The only way to ensure this doesn’t happen is the keep all aspects of an SEO campaign in-house.

Question 6. How long will it take to see top ranking?

This is one I get all the time, but the answer that you receive will reveal whether you’re working with an honest company or not.

I’ll admit this question is a tough one to answer, as every client in every market is different.

Higher competition terms naturally take more work to see results, so again this goes back to your budget.

If your budget is adequate, an SEO agency should be able to get you first page rankings within 6 to 8 months for many of the most competitive searches.

If the SEO company you are looking to hire cannot come up with a timeline, then sound the alarm.

They may be looking just to take your money for a few months and never deliver results. It is quite common unfortunately in Brisbane.

That brings us to the final question…

Question 7. What happens when we reach number one, and I’m satisfied with my website’s position in this search results?

Most SEO agencies in Brisbane charge their clients the same amount, even after they have achieved top ranking.

They will claim that this is necessary to maintain those rankings and you should just consider them as an operating expense, like your rent.

But the truth is unless you’re in a very high competition market like real estate or the legal industry, this is often not necessary.

Think about it, most of the uphill battle is getting the site to rank above your competitors, once that is achieved, it’s easier to maintain those rankings then it was to get there.

So you shouldn’t be paying the same amount for maintenance.

A good analogy is getting in shape. It’s hard at first and takes a lot of work, but once you finally reach your goal, it’s much easier to maintain.

There are SEO agencies in Brisbane that offer several options once they have reached your determined goal.

And frankly, Advantage Media is one of those. We can go in a “maintenance mode” and just maintain the rankings at a reduced monthly amount or, if you’re ready to take it to the next level, we can start increasing your presence in the search result by raking additional properties that you control.

This would include sites like YouTube videos, local listings, Yelp etc.

This is how you own the first page of Google and dominate your competition.

Summary

What we’ve learned today:

1. The two biggest mistakes to avoid when picking an SEO agency in Brisbane.

  • Mistake #1: focusing on traffic more than keywords.
  • Mistake #2: making the monthly cost of SEO as your top criteria for selecting the SEO agency.

2. The seven questions you should ask before hiring an SEO company

  1. What services do you offer?
  2. How did you get into SEO?
  3. How do you determine your pricing?
  4. What can you rank me for?
  5. Do you outsource any of my work?
  6. How long will it take to see top ranking?
  7. What happens when we reach number one, and I’m satisfied with my website’s position in this search results?

I hope it’s useful and helps you make the right decision when choosing a SEO agency in Brisbane, Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast for your company.

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