Understanding What is an SEO Agency: Your Guide to Online Visibility

on 30 Jun, 2024

Have you ever wondered “what is an SEO agency”?

An SEO agency is a service-based company that partners with businesses like yours to increase their visibility in search engine results, driving more organic traffic to their websites.

They know SEO’s technical and creative elements—from strategic keyword research to fine-tuning your website’s structure—to attract your target audience and boost your online presence. The benefit of hiring an SEO company is that you get to work with experts in the field who can deploy the strategy and deployment without the need to recruit or hire marketing employees.

Key Takeaways

  • An SEO agency offers full service to optimise a website’s search engine ranking and user experience and generate targeted traffic that can increase revenue.
  • Good SEO requires technical optimisation, on-page content improvement, and off-page advancements tailored to the business and updated regularly based on the constant changes in search engine algorithms.
  • The success of hiring an SEO agency is measurable in increased organic traffic, higher conversion rates, and sustained growth, which depend on the agency’s use of white-hat strategies and analytical tools.

What Does an SEO Agency Do?

Illustration of an SEO agency team working on strategies

SEO agencies offer a variety of search engine optimization services, and some specialize in specific aspects of SEO.

For example, an SEO company might focus solely on on-page SEO services, while others, known as full-service SEO agencies, provide a comprehensive range of services.

What is Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization is the process of optimising your website to get you to the top of search engines like Google. It’s NOT AN EVENT.

By offering search engine optimization services, SEO agencies ensure that your online content is optimized so that search engines find it compelling and worthy of a top spot on the search engine results pages (SERPs).If we dive deeper, you will see that SEO in itself comprimises various sub-services, each demanding a specific skillset on their own:

  • Local SEO ensures your business stands out in its community
  • Mobile SEO caters to the on-the-go user with seamless mobile browsing experiences
  • Technical SEO fortifies the foundations of your site, ensuring it runs like a well-oiled machine
  • Content SEO captivates your audience with magnetic storytelling

Together, all of these pieces of SEO work together to not just get you more visitors but ultimately generate more qualified leads and increase your sales.

Core Services Offered by SEO Agencies

A good SEO agency starts by mapping the search queries and using the power of words to align your content with your audience’s needs.

On-page optimisation then ensures that your titles, headings and meta descriptions include those keywords so search engines can actually find them.

Beyond the written word, an SEO agency also helps you have a faster website as they look into your site’s technical aspects, ensuring the site architecture is on point to improve the overall navigation and user experience.

Link building, an essential aspect of off-page SEO, ensures you increase your overall popularity and authority online, which sends signals to Google about how authoritative your site is overall.

Nowadays, it’s key for SEO agencies to adapt to the new digital landscape, focusing on user intent and experience, leading to higher conversion rates overall.

The Anatomy of an Effective SEO Strategy

Illustration of an effective SEO strategy

An SEO strategy is the roadmap to success in the digital world, a carefully crafted plan that goes beyond just guesses and assumptions to improve organic search rankings and traffic.

This strategy is a combination of various pieces, each working together:

  • Technical optimization ensures your site is easily navigable for search engines
  • On-page content enhancement enriches the user’s experience
  • Off-page advancements amplify your web presence through link-building

The beauty of this plan is its customisation—it is tailored to each client’s individual needs, industry, and target audience.

Start with clear, measurable goals to have a roadmap ahead of you.

Organising your website content by topic simplifies the content creation process and makes the site more relevant to search engines.

But SEO is not a one-off. It requires an ongoing commitment and an investment of time and resources that involves continuous research, optimization, and maintenance.

Research and Analysis Phase

Before taking any action, an SEO agency conducts market, industry, and competitor research. This is the ‘money-making phase’, as I like to call it, as it will determine your online success or ultimate failure.

You get this wrong, target keywords that you will never have a single chance to rank and you just wasted valuable resources, time and more importantly money!

At our agency, we have a unique way of conducting keyword research to ensure we focus on the low-hanging fruits that will bring the biggest ROI for our efforts. We use more than seven key data points to make a decision, as opposed to most agencies that only focus on the vanity metric of search volume.

Yes, it’s sexy, and it looks cool to have a high search volume, but I’d rather focus on the keywords that are actually going to get my clients’ phones ringing and flood them with leads.

On-page and Off-page implementation

On-page SEO is about editing and expanding content to resonate with users and search engines, making your website relevant and a quality beacon. User experience is key, with mobile friendly features a must have in today’s mobile dominated world.

Off-page SEO is about building relationships through link acquisition, getting your website across the digital landscape with links that vouch for your website’s credibility. Some key deliverables from an SEO agency should be:

  • Directory submissions for local visibility
  • On-page tweaks for relevance and authority
  • Regular reporting to show progress and adjust course as needed.

This is an ongoing battle; it’s not a get-rich-quick scheme.

That’s why so many so-called gurus are out there making ridiculous promises and guarantees to get the jobs but not thinking about the long-term success of their clients.

Adapting to Search Engine Algorithms

Search engine algorithms continuously change and adapt, requiring an SEO agency to stay vigilant for these changes and ensure we are on top of the latest trends to deliver the best results for our clients.

As an SEO firm we use SEO tools with natural language processing technology to chart the course for content creation.

White hat SEO is the moral compass, guiding agencies to do the right and effective things for long-term success. Agencies also use testing tools to measure the impact of their SEO efforts on rankings, making decisions based on data, not guesswork.

Staying ahead of the algorithmic changes keeps your website visible and protects it from the penalties that befall those who stray from the path.

Navigating SEO Tools and Analytics

Illustration of SEO tools and analytics

As an SEO company we should all have our key stack to perform at our best.

At eWebsites, we have some favourites, which I will lay below:

  • Semrush: I use this daily in my agency primarily for keyword research, backlink analysis, prospecting and running my SEO projects overall
  • Surfer: It’s our on-page SEO tool by default and the one that has generated amazing success. We use it as part of our SEO content creation and recently also leveraged their content outline generation tool, which is amazing
  • ChatGPT: Key for data science, outlines and coding. We also use it to generate title tags, meta, and link bait ideas
  • Screaming Frog: It’s the ultimate website audit tool, as it allows you to crawl your website and identify any technical and content opportunities on your site
  • Detailed Browser Extension: This is something I also use daily as it enables you to do a basic SEO analysis and see any issues at a glance
  • Google Suite: We use Google Suite products to provide SEO services to our agency. This ranges from Google Sheets to GA4, GSC, etc
  • Hemingway Editor: This is key to editing our content and ensuring it’s easier to read.
  • Grammarly: Once we edit our content, we run it through this tool to improve the overall quality of the writing and avoid any grammar or spelling mistakes.
  • Siteliner: This is a great tool to know which pages are suffering from duplicate content on your site
  • Agency Analytics: This is my #1 tool for reporting. Their UX/UI is amazing for reporting and it’s super customisable allowing us to create 24/7 dashboards for our clients which they absolutely love

Leveraging SEO Tools

SEO tools are essential for navigating the digital marketing landscape with insight and precision.

I covered my favourites above, however, below are some of the absolute essential ones you should have:

  • Google Analytics: offers a glimpse into the heart of a website’s SEO performance
  • Google Search Console: provides valuable data and insights about a website’s visibility on Google
  • Semrush: helps with keyword research and competitor analysis
  • Ahrefs: provides backlink analysis and helps identify potential obstacles and opportunities

These tools are essential for tracking search engine rankings daily. They provide in-depth reports on backlinks and integrate with Google Search Console for reporting.

Determining a website’s SEO in detail allows agencies to find basic issues and duplicate content, optimizing every part of a website for its journey in the SERPs.

Interpreting Data for SEO Success

Interpreting data effectively is a skill that sets a good SEO agency apart from a great one. It involves identifying which pages receive the most clicks and impressions in SERPs.

This data-driven approach enables SEO specialists to optimize a website’s performance, enhancing user engagement and higher conversion rates.

Giving clients access to detailed performance data is key for them to see the results of the SEO agency’s work. The two pillars of a successful journey are transparency and accountability, with detailed reporting and communication.

Reporting is more than just numbers on a page; it’s a story of the SEO campaign’s journey from launch to today in the competitive digital landscape.

The Impact of Hiring an SEO Agency

Working with an SEO agency can be game-changing for your digital marketing. However, the true measure of success isn’t just in the speed of results – it’s in the long-term growth and conversion rates that targeted traffic can bring to a business.

By using the expertise and tools of an SEO agency, businesses can achieve higher search engine rankings, more online visibility, and a better return on investment over time.

Choosing the right agency is not a decision to be taken lightly as the wrong one can harm a business’s online reputation and search engine rankings.

When an SEO company is aligned with a business’s goals and has the right strategies, the return on investment can be significant, often in the second or third year of the campaign.

That’s why you need to consider multiple SEO companies before deciding.

Boosting Organic Search Presence

An SEO agency uses ethical practices and search engine guidelines to boost a website’s organic search presence. It’s not just about ranking; it’s about earning trust and credibility in the eyes of both search engines and potential customers.

Regular SEO reports allow businesses to monitor and refine their online visibility, so their digital beacon keeps shining.

The shift towards mobile-first indexing by search engines has made mobile optimization a non-negotiable aspect of any SEO strategy.

A website that provides an exceptional mobile experience is more likely to capture the attention of the modern-day, on-the-go user, thereby increasing organic traffic and bolstering its search engine position.

Enhancing User Experience and Conversion Rates

The ultimate goal of search engine optimisation is not just to get visitors but to engage and convert them into customers. An SEO agency focuses on the following:

  • Content optimization that resonates with user needs and search intent
  • Crafting experiences that cater to human interests while satisfying search engine criteria
  • Analytics plays a big part here, with detailed reports showing keyword rankings, user behaviour and revenue generated so we can continually improve conversion rates.

By taking a user-first approach, SEO strategies evolve to meet the needs of both users and search engines.

It’s an ongoing process of tweaking and refining content, design, and functionality so visitors not only find what they’re looking for but are also compelled to take the desired action, whether it’s to buy, sign up for a newsletter, or get in touch.

Selecting the Right SEO Partner

Illustration of selecting the right SEO partner

Choosing the right SEO agency requires a watchful eye. The right agency is not just a service provider; it’s a partner that communicates well and provides regular updates and reports that align with your business goals.

To find a reliable agency, look at referrals and reviews on Google and Yelp, those will give you an idea of an agency’s reliability and past work.

Professional certifications like Google Partner and the ability to explain strategies transparently are signs of an agency’s commitment to best practices and ethical SEO.

It’s also smart to get multiple quotes from different agencies so you know the market rate for SEO services and can make an informed decision that balances cost with results.

Evaluating Expertise and Track Record

Evaluating an SEO agency’s expertise and track record is key to knowing if they can help you online. It gives you insight into their experience, the successes and failures they’ve had and the strategies that work.

Here are some things to consider when evaluating an SEO agency:

  • Case studies: These give you a glimpse into the agency’s ability to navigate the choppy waters of digital marketing and come out on top.
  • Awards: Awards and recognition can mean the agency is expert and credible in their field.
  • Client reviews: Feedback from past clients will give you an idea of the agency’s performance and results.
  • Portfolio: This is a treasure trove of past work, showing you the tangible results the agency has delivered for their clients and the breadth of their experience.

By considering these things you can make an informed decision when choosing an SEO agency for your business.

When choosing an SEO agency look beyond the surface level awards and get into the meat of their work. Talk to their past clients if you can, as firsthand accounts will give you valuable insight into their approach, communication and results.

A proven track record is the best indicator of an agency’s ability to guide your business to success in the ever changing world of online search.

Understanding Their Approach to SEO

Understanding an SEO agency’s approach to SEO is key to making a decision. It’s about ensuring that the tactics used are not just effective but ethical and long-term.

Some agencies promise quick results through dodgy tactics, but these are often short-term and can lead to low-quality or no results at all.

You need to partner with an agency that practices white-hat SEO and follows ethical standards. This will protect your website from penalties and your SEO efforts from being compromised.

A good SEO agency will:

  • Be transparent about their strategies and methods
  • Explain the reasoning behind each action and how it contributes to the campaign
  • Build trust and a working relationship
  • Share strategy and execution with you every step of the way

This level of openness builds trust and a working relationship. An agency’s approach shouldn’t be a mystery but a collaborative process where strategy and execution are shared with you, the client, every step of the way.

The Cost-Benefit Analysis of SEO Services

When choosing an SEO agency you need to weigh the cost against the benefits. The cost of SEO services is not one price fits all; it depends on the business objectives, the time frame for the services and the complexity of the work.

There are different pricing models, from hourly rates to project-based or retainer fees, and you need to find a structure that suits your business needs and budget.

For small businesses just starting online, basic SEO services may range from $700 to $2,000 a month, while more established businesses with greater ambitions and budgets can expect to invest between $2,500 and $7,500 monthly for comprehensive efforts.

Regardless of the investment size, it’s crucial to have a clear and detailed agreement with the SEO agency outlining all aspects of the project—its scope, costs, and timings—to set sail with clear expectations and avoid any hidden icebergs along the journey.


So there you have it, understanding what an SEO agency is is key to your business. An SEO agency is more than just a service provider, it’s a expert guide to your business success.

Whether it’s through strategy development, using advanced SEO tools or improving user experience to boost conversions the right SEO agency can get you more visible and growing online.

Feel free to book a free consultation call with us today to discuss how we can boost your online presence and drive more qualified traffic to your website.

Frequently Asked Questions

How quickly can I expect to see results from SEO?

You can expect to see a noticeable increase in traffic within the first 30 days, but for significant returns and positive ROI, most SEO campaigns take around 6 to 12 months, with more substantial results typically seen in the second or third year.

What are the key services provided by an SEO agency?

The key services provided by an SEO agency include keyword research, on-page optimization, image optimization, and link building, all aimed at enhancing search engine rankings and visibility.

How do SEO agencies adapt to changes in search engine algorithms?

SEO agencies adapt to changes in search engine algorithms by staying current with the latest updates, using advanced tools with natural language processing for content recommendations, and implementing white-hat SEO practices to avoid penalties and ensure long-term success. This allows them to maintain a strong online presence and visibility.

What should I look for when selecting an SEO agency?

When selecting an SEO agency, look for a proven track record, positive client reviews, professional certifications, transparent communication, ethical SEO practices, and clear pricing models. These factors can help you make an informed decision and choose the right agency for your needs.

Is hiring an SEO agency cost-effective for small businesses?

Yes, hiring an SEO agency can be cost-effective for small businesses, with basic services starting from $700 to $2,000 a month, considering the potential long-term benefits of increased traffic and conversion rates.

Tomás Affranchino Vivanco

Tomás is an SEO professional with over 10 years of experience. He is the founder of eWebsites, a leading SEO agency in Melbourne. Tomás has led several successful SEO campaigns in some of the most competitive niches in Australia, such as health, real estate and law.
Tomás is an SEO professional with over 10 years of experience. He is the founder of eWebsites, a leading SEO agency in Melbourne. Tomás has led several successful SEO campaigns in some of the most competitive niches in Australia, such as health, real estate and law.

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