So you’ve decided to bring in an outside firm to help your business grow. But with so many digital marketing agencies to choose from, how do you make the right selection? Search engine optimization (SEO) is an essential part of online marketing. After all, Google handles roughly 90% of all search traffic, which makes it a must-have for any website hoping to attract visitors organically.
Working with an SEO company can be a great source of ROI for your business, but it’s not always as simple as signing on the dotted line and moving forward. Even if you have a clear sense of what you’re looking for in an SEO agency, there are many details that need to be covered before signing contracts and handing over your hard-earned cash.
Defining Your SEO Goals
The first step when hiring an outside agency, SEO or otherwise, is to have a clear definition of what you’re looking for. When it comes to SEO, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. What works for one business may not be the best for yours. SEO is a moving target and one that can be difficult to navigate when you don’t know what you’re aiming for.
For example, the two most common goals of an SEO campaign are driving more website traffic and increasing leads generated from organic search. While there is some overlap between the two, they are not necessarily the same thing. Consider your business goals, the type of customers you want to attract, and the type of content that resonates best with your target market. From there, you can move toward deciding the right mix of on-page and off-page SEO tactics that will help you meet your objectives.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions
When you’re interviewing potential SEO partners, don’t be afraid to ask questions. There is no such thing as a silly question, and asking too few can cost you later on down the line. What is the process for setting up a campaign? What tools and technologies does the team use? How frequently does the team engage with your team to discuss progress? What is the team’s strategy for content creation and publishing? How will the team integrate with the rest of the marketing team? How do the team members measure success? What is the team’s experience with your industry? Also, what is the team’s background? What is the team’s track record when it comes to achieving results for clients like yours? These are just a few of the many questions you should be asking. You may have others depending on your situation. No question you have is too small or unimportant when it comes to hiring an SEO partner.
Have a solid plan for tracking ROI
It’s not enough to know that your SEO campaign is increasing the number of visitors to your website. You need to know by how much, and you need to have a plan for measuring that growth going forward. What is the goal for the campaign? Are you trying to increase the traffic from specific geographic areas? How many leads are you trying to drive from organic search? At what point do you want to start measuring success? Are you tracking goals? Also, are you measuring traffic? Are there milestones you want to hit along the way? How will you measure ROIs?
Check for transparency and reliability
The best SEO firms will be open and transparent with you throughout the hiring process. This is especially true when it comes to discussing pricing. While a low price doesn’t necessarily indicate a lack of quality, it’s important to understand what you’re getting for that price. What are your payment terms? When will you be invoiced? What is your payment policy? Are there any reasons for non-payment? How do you handle revisions or changes to the contract? What is the payment method? Will you be charged all at once or in instalments? What are the payment terms?
Make sure you know what you’re paying for
Part of knowing what you’re paying for is knowing what you expect to see in return for those fees. What do you get for the price? How does the billing break down for each service? What is included in the price? Also, what do you get for the price? What is the expected ROI?
The process of hiring an SEO firm can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. By following these tips, you can make the process easier on yourself and hopefully find the right partner for your business. What is your timeline for hiring? How do you plan to screen candidates? What will be the first steps in the hiring process? By keeping these questions in mind, you can make sure that you’re hiring the right SEO company for your business.