May 28, 2024

How to Choose an Enterprise SEO Agency: 5 Factors to Consider and Red Flags to AVOID

How to Choose an Enterprise SEO Agency: 5 Factors to Consider and Red Flags to AVOID

A solid enterprise SEO agency can skyrocket your online presence.

The keyword here is “solid.”

So, here’s how to choose an enterprise SEO agency that is truly worth it. 

We discuss factors like services offered, prices, and tools. We’ll also give you our insider tips and case studies along the way.

Also, we share the industry red flags of SEO companies to steer clear of.

Let’s begin.


  • Services Offered: Ensure the agency provides comprehensive enterprise-level SEO services, including keyword strategy, content marketing, technical SEO, ecommerce optimization, and link-building.
  • Cost Considerations: Understand the various pricing models, like hourly rates and retainers. Assess the potential ROI and look for transparent pricing without hidden fees.
  • Essential Tools: Check for advanced SEO tools usage such as Google Analytics, SEMrush, Ahrefs, and technical SEO tools like Screaming Frog. Ensure these tools are integrated seamlessly into the agency's processes.
  • Industry Experience: Choose an agency with specific expertise in your industry. Review their case studies and client reviews to gauge their success and strategies.
  • Client Portfolio: Investigate the agency's notable clients and detailed case studies. This helps assess their capability to handle complex SEO demands and improve search rankings and traffic.
  • Red Flags to Avoid: Watch out for lack of transparency, one-size-fits-all strategies, guaranteed rankings, poor communication, and outdated techniques. Demand detailed proposals and proof of success to ensure the agency's reliability and effectiveness.

1. Enterprise SEO Services Offered

The first step in choosing your future SEO agency is to make sure they have the right enterprise-level SEO services.

Not using the right services is like trying to cure a broken arm with eye medication. 

In this case, your goal is to enhance your business's online presence. But the issue is why your search engine rankings are low or why you’re losing organic keywords.

From that perspective, you may need different services.

  • Keyword Strategy Development: Developing successful SEO strategies tailored to enterprise-level businesses involves deep industry experience. A comprehensive keyword strategy should also align your SEO efforts with your other digital marketing strategies and your overall business goals.some text
    • Insider tip: A top-level SEO agency understands that enterprises need to rank for non-branded and branded keywords. Also, they should go after competitive seed keywords as well, not just low-hanging long-tail search terms.

That’s what we did for influencer marketing agency We helped them outrank several huge online dictionaries for their brand name, “tiddle.”

And we did that by building lots of links to their homepage.

  • Content Marketing and Optimization: A strong content strategy drives organic traffic and improves low search rankings. After all, you’re responding to your target audience’s queries and search intent. some text
    • Insider tip: Depending on your minuses, a solid enterprise SEO agency should know how to do content creation to content optimization at scale. And they should ensure all your pages are fine-tuned for search engine algorithms.
  • Technical SEO: Technical optimizations enhance user experience and make your website easy to understand and index by search engine crawlers. Key areas include site speed, mobile responsiveness, and structured data. Doing these technical optimizations keeps people on your website longer, and visit length is a huge ranking factor for Google.some text
    • Insider tip: Enterprise-level websites have lots of pages. It’s hard to keep track of pages that aren’t indexed properly or toxic links that trigger Google penalties. That’s why we conduct regular SEO audits for our clients.
  • Ecommerce SEO: Specifically designed for online retailers, ecommerce SEO focuses on optimizing product pages, managing reputation, and enhancing conversion rates to boost sales process efficiency. some text
    • Insider tip: An enterprise-level ecommerce website has over 10,000 pages. You need an awesome website and URL structure for all that. Your future SEO agency should also tackle issues like page speed, duplicate content, schema markup, and hreflang tags.
  • Link-building: Building inbound links from authoritative websites is great for ranking and indexing purposes. Enterprise websites have specific needs, though. You can’t simply do guest posts like smaller websites. You need a constant stream of linkable content assets and tools. Besides, you need solid digital PR strategies and relationship link-building.some text
    • Insider tip: Try to get editorial links by posting industry case studies, white papers, and statistics related to your niche.
  • White-label SEO: You may already have an in-house SEO team. In that case, you need a third-party SEO agency to help you with specific issues. For example, your in-house SEOs can be great at creating niche content. However, enterprise websites need to promote that content heavily. some text
    • Insider tip: Our SEO team finds data-driven opportunities to promote this content by creating authoritative links to them or using social media.

Insider overall tip: Pick a data-driven SEO agency. You need your partners to constantly monitor their SEO efforts, zeroing in and doubling down on the best strategies.

2. Enterprise SEO Costs

The costs of enterprise SEO services can vary widely depending on your company size, the scope of the SEO services you need, and the specific needs of your enterprise organization. Here’s how to navigate the pricing landscape and ensure you select a fair price:

  • Assess your SEO budget: Define your SEO and marketing budgets. This will help you understand what you can afford in terms of SEO. More importantly, it will align your investment with your overall digital marketing strategies.

  • Understanding different service levels: SEO costs differ based on whether you're getting comprehensive keyword research, ongoing optimization, or a one-time SEO overhaul. Enterprise SEO firms offer packages or a la carte options. And each is priced according to the depth of the service.

  • Hourly rate vs. retainer: Some enterprise SEO agencies charge an hourly rate, while others ask for a monthly retainer. Retainers are common for long-term projects and include a suite of services such as regular updates, technical optimizations, and content optimization.

  • ROI expectations: Evaluate potential agencies not just by their cost but by their potential return on investment. A reputable agency should be able to project the potential uplift in organic search traffic and conversion rates, which can justify higher upfront costs.

  • Transparent pricing models: Look for agencies that offer clear and detailed explanations of what each segment of their service costs. More importantly, make sure there are no hidden fees. Transparent pricing indicates you’re dealing with a reputable company.

3. Enterprise SEO Tools

Enterprise-level companies need enterprise-level SEO tools.

You can’t manage large-scale websites and complex SEO strategies with basic plans. 

So, here’s our rundown of different tools you should expect your next enterprise SEO agency to use:

  • Google Analytics and Advanced Analytics: You need this for tracking website traffic, user behavior, and conversion metrics. These tools help the SEO agency make data-driven decisions and optimize its digital marketing efforts.

  • SEO platforms like SEMrush or Ahrefs: These provide comprehensive functionalities, including keyword research, competitor analysis, backlink tracking, and SEO audits. We use them both together for developing robust keyword strategies and monitoring search rankings.some text
    • Insider tip: We long noticed that Ahrefs and SEMrush can give you different traffic data. That’s why you need to use multiple SEO tools together to get a bigger picture.

  • Content Management Systems (CMS) with SEO capabilities: Platforms such as WordPress or Magento have SEO plugins. Using these platforms is great for content optimization and managing large-scale content.

  • Technical SEO tools like Screaming Frog or DeepCrawl: These tools crawl your website like a search engine would. They identify technical issues that could impact your search engine optimization, such as broken links, poor mobile usability, or slow page speeds.

  • Conversion optimization tools: Tools such as Optimizely or Unbounce let you A/B test different elements of your website. We like them because they’re really helpful when it comes to improving conversion rates.

  • Reputation management software: This type of software is great for large-scale websites that get plenty of brand mentions. You need these to strategize around online reviews and feedback. That’ll help you manage your online reputation to avoid negative surprises and skyrocket your organic traffic.

  • Custom enterprise solutions: Some enterprise organizations may require customized tools developed to meet specific needs, integrating various aspects of SEO, content management, and analytics into a seamless interface.

Now, here’s the million-dollar question: How can you ensure your SEO agency uses the right tools?

  • Ask for demonstrations: During your selection process, ask potential enterprise SEO service providers to show you how they integrate these tools into their SEO process.
  • Tool expertise: Check that the agency’s team has certified or highly experienced specialists who can leverage these tools to their full potential.
  • Compatibility check: Check if the agency's tools are compatible with your internal systems. The main point here is to see if they can integrate smoothly without disrupting existing workflows.

4. Industry Experience

A versatile and adaptable enterprise SEO agency can cater to various industries. However, that’s not always best for your SEO efforts. 

Different niches present unique challenges and opportunities in SEO.  Besides, you need to truly understand an industry to grasp your audience’s search intent, which is arguably more important than backlinks or content.

And that’s why you need an agency with relevant industry experience. 

Here’s how to ensure your next SEO agency fits your industry:

  • Identify specialization areas: Some enterprise SEO agencies specialize in specific sectors like real estate, ecommerce, or technology. Choose an agency with proven experience and success in your specific industry.

  • Review case studies and client reviews: Look at case studies that detail the agency’s work with past clients, especially those in your industry. Client reviews can also provide insight into the agency's expertise.

  • Evaluate industry-specific SEO strategies: Each industry requires a unique approach to SEO. For example, ecommerce SEO demands a strong focus on product optimization and user experience. Real estate SEO might emphasize local SEO strategies and content engineering.

  • Discuss industry-specific goals and KPIs: During initial meetings, discuss your specific industry goals, such as increasing specific product line visibility or dominating local search results. See what digital strategies the agency plans to achieve these goals with.

  • Assess their understanding of industry trends: An agency that keeps up with the latest trends and changes in your industry’s digital landscape will be more capable of adjusting strategies dynamically to maintain or improve your search engine rankings.

Insider tip: Look at the agency’s blog.

For example, we have lots of articles on different industries where we excel:


5. Notable Clients

You can check an enterprise SEO agency’s track record by looking at their notable clients, case studies, and reviews. These elements reveal the agency’s capacity to handle complex SEO campaigns and their impact on your business strategies. 

Let’s look at this three-pronged approach:

  • Research client lists: Browse the agency’s website for a list of notable clients. Larger, well-known companies prove that the agency can handle enterprise-level demands and expectations.

  • Examine case studies: Case studies are invaluable for understanding the agency’s SEO approach and their strategies' effectiveness. Look for detailed before-and-after metrics that demonstrate measurable improvement in search engine rankings, organic traffic, and conversion rates.

  • Read client reviews: Client reviews and testimonials provide insights into the agency’s reliability, responsiveness, and customer service quality. Reviews might also touch on the agency's ability to integrate with an internal team or collaborate on SEO goals.

Another major issue is how do you interpret these case studies correctly? Many SEO agencies can embellish their successes if not outright lie.

  • Check for Specifics: Reliable case studies should offer specific data and detail the SEO process, including challenges faced and strategies implemented.
  • Look for Context: Understand the context in which results were achieved. For example, the agency should outline industry-specific hurdles or particular digital marketing challenges.
  • Assess Objectivity: Be wary of case studies that only highlight successes. Look for mentions of setbacks or ongoing challenges, as these provide a more honest and realistic view of what the agency can accomplish.

And here’s how we advise you to learn from these case studies:

  • Adjust your expectations: Client stories help you set realistic expectations for what the SEO agency can achieve. You’ll look at timelines, potential obstacles, and the tools they typically use.
  • Strategic insights: Business owners and SEO chiefs can understand how the agency tailors its strategies for different sectors and problems. And that means you get a glimpse into their problem-solving capabilities.
  • Outcome evaluation: Assess whether the agency’s results align with your own digital strategy and SEO goals.

Take, for example, our case study for executive resume service, Arielle.

We showcase our services, tools, and results from the get-go:


We tripled Arielle’s SQLs by building over 400 links in authoritative websites.

We also outline very specific challenges that Arielle faced before coming to us, such as niche keywords that senior professionals and decision-makers use when performing Google searches. The high industry competition was another massive challenge for them.


We then discuss the project execution in some depth. We even offer before-and-after screenshots of Arielle’s progress to prove our success.

Here’s Arielle’s organic traffic growth:


And here’s Arielle’s ranking number one for the niche keyword “executive resume:”


But more importantly, you can see Arielle got these results over the course of a 2-year collaboration.

Warning: An SEO agency that promises overnight results is a red flag. That brings us to the next point:

Red Flags in Choosing an Enterprise SEO Company

Selecting the right enterprise SEO company is key to reaching your digital marketing objectives and sustainable growth. 

Choosing the wrong enterprise SEO agency entails a serious setback.

Here are five red flags to watch out for when evaluating potential agencies from our own experience in the SEO playground:

  • Lack of transparency: If an agency is not open about its strategies or does not provide clear, detailed reports on its digital marketing efforts, you could infer a lack of accountability. 
  • One-size-fits-all approach: Enterprise SEO needs are highly specific and vary from one business to another. Be cautious of SEO service providers that offer generic, cookie-cutter strategies instead of personalized solutions tailored to meet your enterprise-level business strategies.
  • Guaranteed rankings: Promising first-page rankings or fast results is a major red flag. SEO is an ongoing process that depends on numerous factors, including industry competitiveness and algorithm updates. Any company making such guarantees is likely not being honest about its capabilities.
  • Poor communication: Effective communication is key to any successful partnership. If an enterprise SEO firm does not regularly engage with your marketing team or provide regular updates, it could signal potential problems in managing your project effectively.
  • Outdated techniques: Older SEO techniques can do more harm than good, even leading to search engine penalties. Ensure the agency uses up-to-date, ethical SEO strategies that comply with current best practices.

How to avoid these red flags:

  • Demand detailed proposals: Ask for detailed proposals that outline specific strategies, timelines, and expected outcomes. This will help ensure the agency’s approach aligns with your digital strategy.
  • Seek proof of success: Request case studies or references from similar-sized companies in your industry. You need real-world evidence of the agency’s capability and industry experience.
  • Evaluate their online reputation: Research the agency online. Look for client reviews, especially those related to their digital landscape strategies, to gauge their reputation and reliability.

So, if you want to partner with a solid enterprise SEO agency with proven results, let’s book a strategy call.

We’ll help you with personalized SEO strategies just like we did for, Arielle, and our other clients.

Table of contents