If you are a business owner or manager that is looking for an SEO partner that will deliver what your business needs, this is the post that you need to read. There are thousands of SEO agencies that will happily pitch to service your business’s SEO contract. However, only a fraction of them will deliver. Unfortunately, there are many SEO cowboys and snake-oil salesmen that will happily take your money and not deliver what they initially promised. For business owners and managers, it is difficult to qualify and assess the agency candidates that will help them deliver what their business needs.
To help with the procurement process, here is a Transparency Test you can use to determine what to look for in an SEO agency; so it will help you choose the right SEO partner for your business.
What niches or industries does the agency have experience in?
Does the agency conduct SEO work for large corporate sites that have a big budget? Or do they specialise in local brochure or booking websites for local businesses that have a small budget? It’s important that you partner with an agency whose experience aligns with the type of business that you operate and the type of budget that your business can offer.
What processes and methodologies do they use?
It’s important that you are transparent with the types of SEO processes, tactics and strategies that they will use in your SEO campaign. You will need to ask the agency for examples where their SEO approach has worked. And then consult with them to see how they can transfer their previous SEO successes to your business.
Get referrals and testimonials from their previous customers.
If the agency is good with their work, get them to share testimonials and reviews from their previous clients. Even check their reviews on Google My Business or sites like TrustPilot.
Ask them about their transparency.
Nobody wants to be kept in the dark with their campaign. Ask if the agency will assign you a point of contact or an account manager, who will be hands-on with your campaign. Also ask the agency how often they will share things such as reports and analysis, as well as conducting meetings where you can review the progress of your SEO campaign.
Every credible agency should have case studies that proves the results of the SEO work that they’ve been conducting. The case study should show the initial benchmark and the tactics that the agency implemented to improve their overall campaign.
Assess their roadmap and agree to achievable milestones.
SEO is a long-term play, however both the agency and the business will benefit by achieving some wins in the short and mid-term. It is important that both parties agree to realistic targets that can be achieved from the tactics that’s implemented.
Some of these milestones may include:
- Increase in website engagement
- Increase in website traffic from organic search
- Increase in conversions
- Increase in revenue
- Visibility goals (Keyword rankings, publication features)
There are some things that you should also be aware of when making your decision on which agency to select.
Never make the decision solely based on pricing.
Many agencies will undercut their pricing in order to win the SEO contract. A cheaper service usually means there will be cost-cutting inside the agency, which will affect the work being conducted in your SEO campaign.
Instead, focus on the tactics, strategy and collaborative efforts that the agency wants to achieve when partnering with your business.
Be careful with what is promised.
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. You should cross-check any proposals that you receive with the proposals from other agencies. Ask the agencies if they will agree to a “Service Level Agreement”, whereby your business can hold the agency accountable for what they have promised. It would also be beneficial to have a legal SEO contract in place with clauses that will hold both parties accountable to the terms and conditions of the engagement.
Digital Next provides all of these in the SEO and digital marketing services provided. If you would like to discuss your business’s SEO goals, please get in touch with us.