search engine optimization first got started as an industry, it was way over most business owners’ heads. Because it was such a developing industry, being shaped by the very people that were immersed in it, companies chose to let SEO agencies and professionals do all the work for them so they wouldn’t have to learn an entirely new subset of marketing.

However, as SEO has continued to evolve, effective strategies now require participation and collaboration from clients and even their employees. The key to making this partnership successful is for each side to focus on what they do best, and then capitalize on what they can gain from the other.

So, how did the agency-client partnership evolve to become a necessity, and what is each side’s responsibility to ensure a successful SEO campaign?

What a SEO Agency Does Best?

SEO is too time-intensive and technically complex for non-experts to pursue on their own time.That’s where SEO agencies come in.

Agencies have a responsibility to be at the forefront of the SEO industry; they should know the latest trends and the best practices. Because of this, it’s best for agencies to complete the main SEO tasks that are mostly behind the scenes. These include:

  • Overall Strategy: Agencies have the responsibility of designing the overall online marketing strategy of their clients, then guiding the execution of it. This includes keyword research, competitive analysis, and content strategy.
  • Link Building: Local SEO citations, directory submissions, and other types of SEO link building are best left to SEO agencies because they generally already (should) have the processes in place, and understand the nuances of proper anchor text distribution, link type diversity, and domain diversity.
  • Audits: Website SEO audits are one of the first steps agencies should take for clients who already have an online presence. The purpose of the audit is to identify and understand what the business is doing right, as well as what needs to be improved.
  • Social Media: Social media marketing services aren’t offered by everyone, but because search engine algorithms are giving more and more weight to social signals, the importance of a strong social media campaign is higher than ever. As a result, agencies are offering community management, tweeting, Facebooking, and more on behalf of their clients to streamline marketing goals. The right SEO agency (particularly, the right social media account manager) can make a world of difference here.
  • Linkbait: Content with the potential to go viral, like infographics, are best for SEO agencies, since it’s unusual for clients to have a designer on staff. Furthermore, agencies typically have experience designing infographics that have the potential to go viral. They also usually already have designers on hand to design the infographic, along with the connections and resources to promote and distribute it.