How to Choose The Right Technical SEO Agency

Got a crawling, indexing, or site-wide ranking problem?

SEO traffic isn’t just about having the right content.

One wrong technical SEO setting can bring your entire site down.

And many technical errors are so obscure that they go unnoticed for years.

Even small problems can add up, slowing you down and resulting in less traffic.

Technical SEO audits require specialized skills and in-depth expertise. Google is constantly changing it’s algorithms. If you want the audit done right, you’ll need someone that really knows that they’re doing.

Well, I have good news.

Step-by-step, I’ll walk you through how to choose a technical SEO agency that’s right for your business.

Whether you’re a small business that just needs an audit done right, or a major corporation that needs a complete SEO program, there’s an option for you.

Know Your Goals and Desired Outcomes

Most people only give technical SEO a second thought when things have gone south. It shouldn’t be this way.

Why?

Technical SEO is the backbone of every successful, long-term SEO strategy.

Here’s a few examples of when it’s worth making technical SEO a priority.

Example #1: Traffic Drops After Publishing More Content

Let’s say you started your content push to get higher Google rankings.

You created, published, and promoted in-depth blog posts.

After a while, Google rewards your efforts with higher rankings for some keywords. Your site traffic starts to increase.

Things are going well.

So you keep publishing more content. And that’s when things go bad.

Your traffic tanks.

More content doesn’t always yield more traffic. Sometimes, it shrinks your organic traffic from.

I know it sounds crazy but this happens all the time.

Bloated sites with duplicate content make it really hard for Google to figure out which pages of yours to rank.

What does Google do when they’re not sure what to rank? They usually rank nothing.

Duplicate content on your blog, a ton of similar pages that were created automatically, or telling Google to index internal URLs can all lead to problems.

If you see anything like this, get a technical SEO to help you.

Example #2: An Abrupt Traffic Drop

If you play the SEO game long enough, one of your sites will fall off a cliff overnight.

Years ago, our blog at KISSmetrics saw traffic drop by 40% in less than a month.

That dropped our monthly traffic by hundreds of thousands of visitors. The team scrambled to fix that.

Everyone goes through one of these.

And the first thing you want to do is reach out to a technical SEO.

Hopefully, it’s a simple fix like a bad robots.txt file. Even if it’s a bigger problem, you want a serious expert to pinpoint the issue and chart a course to get that traffic back.

4 Characteristics That Make a Great Technical SEO Company

Not all agencies can develop, let alone implement, advanced technical SEO strategies. A reason for this is that it requires specialized skills and vast experience.

So, how do you recognize those who can not only develop a technical SEO plan unique to your business but can also implement it for maximum results?

Such agencies work with a team of experts and the other characteristics I’ll discuss below.

1. Experience With Massive Sites

Smaller websites rarely have issues with technical SEO that are difficult to fix. In most cases, any problems can be solved by checking the robots.txt file, making sure the site is on a good platform (like WordPress or Shopify), and upgrading to a good web host.

If a small site struggles to rank, it’s usually because they need a lot more content and authority. Rarely is there a quick fix.

Large sites, however, are completely different.

When a site has millions of URLs, all sorts of insane problems come up. There can easily be thousands of junk URLs that never should have been indexed to begin with. Or terrible canonical errors that cause rampant duplication problems. Not to mention keeping everything clean between dozens of languages.

For sites like this, make sure you’re working with someone that has tons of experience working on larger sites.

Otherwise, they won’t have the experience need to spot your technical problems quickly.

2. A Holistic Process that Includes Technical SEO

As I’ve mentioned earlier, technical SEO is the backbone that gives your site structure. Occasionally, you will see some quick technical SEO fixes bring you traffic.

But what then?

After you fix your technical SEO, what’s your plan for growing SEO traffic over the long term?

We’ve seen lots of folks work on quick fixes and then never take the next step to growing their site by 2X, 5X, or 10X what they have now.

If it was me, I’d want to work with someone that could keep growing my site year in and year out. That’s where the real impact comes from.

If you have a gnarly technical SEO problem, work with a specialist. But an agency with deep SEO expertise across content, technical SEO, and promotion will take your business to an entirely different level.

3. Thought leadership

It takes patient experimentation to develop, plan, and implement technical SEO strategies.

And to show their processes and how they achieve results, exceptional technical SEO agencies publish their findings from experiments.

That’s one of the easiest ways to look for a top tier technical SEO agency. Find the folks that product the best content in the space.

After all, if they’re already doing great SEO, they can likely help your business too.

4. Been in the SEO Game Long Enough to Spot Patterns

Technical SEO can move really fast.

Google is always releasing new features, shutting down others, and changing their priorities.

It’s a shifting landscape.

Getting a great technical SEO that knows the rules today isn’t enough. Ideally, you’ll want to work with someone that knows where SEO is going in the coming months and years. Or at least can take a good guess at it.

The last thing anyone wants is to restructure their site and then have Google go in an entirely different direction.

How to Work With a Technical SEO Agency

Once you’ve picked an agency, then what?

How do you work with one? What should you expect when you hire technical SEO specialists?

Typically, the process looks like this.

1. In-house Team Alignment

Most technical SEO agencies work as an extension of your in-house marketing team.

To ensure the partnership between both parties starts smoothly, you should:

  • Hold an in-house stakeholder meeting to align your teams.
  • Communicate why you need to work with a technical SEO agency and how their work would impact your site and business.
  • Make sure everyone is truly onboard with getting help. The agency may help find problems but internal teams need to be motivated to fix them.
  • Appoint front-facing employees that’ll work directly with the agency.

When you do this, it ensures there’s team alignment between your company and the agency. It also keeps the agency in sync with your goals.

2. Discovery Session

The first task to expect when you contact a technical SEO agency is an invitation to share your business problems and needs relevant to technical SEO.

A reason for this is to understand your business situation better and get ideas from their vast pool of experience on the best approach to take.

This process starts with a discovery session.

The best technical SEO agencies are first there to help organizations develop customized strategies that drive business growth. But for them to help you, expect to share your needs via a discovery session.

3. A Paid Audit

For a lot of marketing agencies, they’ll do a bunch of research for free and pitch you a proposal on how they’ll accomplish your goals.

This usually makes a lot of sense. The marketing agency gives you a taste of what they can do, they charge for the execution of the plan itself.

Technical SEO agencies rarely work like that.

In their case, the value is the research. You’re hiring them to do a ton of digging on your site and surface every problem they can find.

So don’t expect free audits.

The agency usually has a standard rate based on the size of your site.

4. Audit Results

Once the audit is finished, expect a document that goes into every issue that the team found. You can also expect a call to go over all the results.

Have your team ask followup questions, get clarification, and get as much advice on implementation as possible.

Because after this call, you’ll have a choice.

Some technical SEO agencies will help with implementation too. They’ll go over what that looks like. Many will have a proposal ready to go just in case you want to move forward right away.

If you want to implement everything in-house, make sure that this work doesn’t get neglected. It’s easy for it to get lost in the hand-off. Break up the work as necessary and get all deliverables assigned to individuals that can carry them to completion.

5. Ongoing Work

If you’ve decided to work with that agency on an ongoing basis, you’ll get into a regular cadence of status updates, invoicing, and execution.

Since you’ve already completed an audit with the agency by this point, there shouldn’t be any surprises in how they work.

As long as they keep delivering great work, keep working with them.

How to Find The Right Technical SEO Agency For You

To choose a technical SEO agency that’s right for you, I recommend you start with these steps:

  1. Know your desired outcomes for technical SEO.
  2. Make sure the agencies on your shortlist specialize in these goals.
  3. Pick the one with the best track record in that area.

To make the selection process much easier for you, below you’ll find the best technical SEO companies below.

The 5 Top Technical SEO Agencies

1. Neil Patel Digital – Best For Technical Content Structuring

How to Choose The Right Technical SEO Agency

No doubt, content is king. But content without a strong technical SEO foundation doesn’t yield long-term SEO success.

Ideally, you’d have both. Great content and smooth technical SEO.

At Neil Patel Digital, we excel at developing and implementing SEO-optimized content structuring that meets the necessary technical SEO requirements.

I truly believe we have one of the most comprehensive SEO programs in the world. We’d be a great fit if you really want to go for it.

Quite a few Fortune 500 companies have picked us to do just that.

2. Webris – Best for Technical SEO Audits

Let’s say you feel really good about your SEO strategy. But something on your site is a little off. Or you just want to double check and make sure nothing’s missing.

In that case, a technical SEO audit would be a great fit for you.

The company I recommend for this kind of work is Webris.

Their entire process is published here, take a look before you decide to contact them.

Led by Ryan Stewart, Webris boasts a talented team of advanced technical SEO experts trusted by government agencies and enterprise companies.

3. Salt.agency – Best for Technical Organic Optimization

Salt.agency’s core differentiator is how they blend industry-leading technical expertise with organic growth strategies to drive organic optimization.

They’re a good option for business that need more than just a technical SEO audit. If you know that you have SEO problems but aren’t sure where they are, they’ll be happy to dig in and give you guidance on your strategy.

They have offices in Leeds, Boston, and London and  customers that include Travel Supermarket, Cloudflare, Hartley Botanic, and many others.

4. Ayima – Best for Enterprise Technical SEO

Ayima positions itself as the technical SEO agency for enterprise companies. And this agency’s minimum project size is $25,000.

This may seem on the high side from afar, but it only reflects Ayima’s vast experience and expertise, working with huge companies like eBay and British Airways.

Ayima didn’t become the technical SEO agency for enterprise brands overnight. The company earned its stripes after transitioning from a search engine technology startup into a technical marketing agency.

In any space, the best agencies have people that have built products in that exact space. They really understand how it all comes together.

If you’re looking for hardcore technical SEO expertise, reach out to them.

5. Orainti – Best for eCommerce Brands

Orainti, a Spanish-based SEO agency, works mostly with ecommerce brands selling globally.

This agency is excellent for developing SEO-optimized multilingual domains and a robust site structure for category pages and products.

Ecommerce sites have a lot of technical SEO problems that are completely unique for them. If you have a large ecommerce site, I’d definitely recommend working with an agency with deep ecommerce experience.

Most importantly, most of Orainti’s services is around technical SEO.

Founded by Aleyda Solis, a veteran SEO practitioner, author, and speaker, Orainti has an impressive portfolio of premium brands likeUnder Armour, Zillow, Sage, Eventbrite, and others.

Have a Plan for Technical SEO from Day One

Most businesses make the mistake of relegating technical SEO to the backseat.

Why?

Because from the onset, it doesn’t have much impact on rankings and traffic.

A little time invested today could gain you thousands of extra visitors without any extra work later.

Don’t wait for things to go south. Make it easy for Google to find, index, understand, and rank your content.

No sense in jumping on the SEO treadmill while trying to carry a bunch of extra weight that will only slow you down.

Get a solid plan for technical SEO from day one.

And if you need help, reach out to an agency that specializes in technical SEO.

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