There’s a great article by Bob Hoffman, a veteran ad man, and blogger, that highlights what it is that separates the best ad people from everybody else. It’s very good. I recommend that you check it out here.
What it says, quite simply, is that the best people, the ones at the top of their game, are the ones that seem to NOTICE things better than everybody else.
It’s a very interesting observation and one that I happen to agree with. The best people, by and large, are the ones that see what other people don’t.
This is no more true than for people in SEO. In fact, I‘d argue that this trait is even more important to have as an SEO than it is in any other area of online marketing. The SEO space is full of so many moving parts that change constantly that an enhanced ability to notice things that others may miss is not only an advantage; it’s a downright necessity.
So how does this help you to spot the best SEO agency to work with?
The answer is that THEY (the best ones) will have this quality – I’ll call it ‘good taste.’ And it can be spotted.
Here are a few of the key traits that top digital marketing agencies with ‘good taste’ show:
1. Their Homepage is Very Well Laid Out
Example: Backlinko – SEO training and link building strategies
What they do:
There is a very simple presentation on the site, with very little that distracts you from what they want you to do, which is entering your email address. That is not to say that they lack information. It’s just that their presentation gives you ‘just enough’ to say ‘got it’ and decide if you want to proceed with them or not.
What they noticed:
The Backlinko blog has realized that people don’t like to waste their time and have short attention spans. They know that their prospective readers may have multiple tabs open and even be looking at multiple SEO blogs at the same time. So they make sure that they keep it short and sweet but still eye-catching and interesting so that they don’t waste your time. And more importantly, they get you to a decision much quicker. Because they know that, if they do that, you’re more likely to make one.
In short, they have noticed certain things about human behavior and optimized for them.
This is a LEADING indicator of SEO familiarity with good taste.
2. They Have High-quality Backlinks
Example: Zupo – A B2B SEO agency
What they do:
If you take a look at some of the backlinks that ZUPO Company has accumulated, you will see that they are of a pretty good standard.
Many of them are from high authority (Ahrefs DA) sites and have a lot of diversity, i.e., not from the same domain.
This is another key indicator of good taste as it shows that their link building packages are organic and not spammy.
It shows that they take real pride in what they do and make a real effort to build their reputation without resorting to short-term tricks.
What they noticed:
These people have realized that there is no such thing as something for nothing. That in order to have something that is of high quality, you have to put in the work.
This is probably the clearest sign that you should be looking for. People with good taste rarely resort to short-term tricks to get ahead; it’s a trait that’s just not in their DNA. To them, most of the time, it just doesn’t feel right.
3. Content is Always a Part of Their Marketing Arsenal
With applying the Penguin update, Google cracked down on websites practicing manipulating search algorithms with low-quality links. Links are still among the top 3 ranking factors, but instead of “building” them, pro SEO agencies earn them by creating great content and promoting it on social media.
There are two ways SEO agencies can help you get traffic using stellar pieces of content:
- People will find your content on search engines, so the more topics; you have content on more keywords you’re going to rank for, and
- If your content is great, it will get shared and passed around, bringing more people to your website.
4. They Mathematically Convince You to Continually Invest in Modern Marketing
Small business owners tend to think that if doing A, B and C worked for them in the past, they’ll continue to work for them. But things change: Google is not the same now as it was 10 years ago, and the technology changed the way people search and shop. You either adapt or slowly die.
- Experienced SEO consultant reports you with extensive keyword research to tell you if people are using Google to find you.
- They fetch demographics, top-performing content, and various mediums of how your competitors get new leads organically (and share how you can get business, too).
- Again timing is a crucial factor. As more savvy marketers and new companies enter the marketplace, it becomes more and more competitive ranking in search engines for high search volume keywords. This means that timing is key; the sooner you start establishing a strong online presence, the easier (and more affordable) it will be.
5. They Respond Quickly to Emails
What they do:
No example here, but I can say with confidence about all of the people I have worked with personally – Almost all of the ones that responded to my emails within a short time frame were much better, in general, at what they did than those that didn’t.
What they noticed:
These kinds of people have realized that the world has gotten faster. People’s expectations now are that they will get something sooner rather than later. And that the most effective people in the 21st century will also be the fastest.
There are many more examples of good taste that great firms and individuals exhibit. The list is literally endless. But once you understand what ‘good taste’ means for an industry, then you will be able to better select the best individuals and firms to work with.
Good taste, in my opinion, cannot be taught, but it can be understood. So if you perceive that you may not have it, then look for recommendations from people who you believe do.
At the end of the day, the success or failure of your business hinges on the quality of the work you do. That includes marketing. So bear in mind that, whoever you deal with, will embody traits that will transfer over into your business. That could be very good or very bad, depending on the choices you make.
The importance of a good SEO agency cannot be stressed enough.
In conclusion, I would say that it all comes down to this:
If you want something good, then find out what good taste means in your industry and then look for the people who have it.