Every business should consider these five questions when engaging an SEO agency!
The Digital Marketing Agency selection process should involve two steps: the marketing agency getting to know the client and the client interviewing the agency. Through an open discussion about the project and client goals, both the SEO agency and client can identify if they’re a good fit. With that said, here are the five questions:
- Do they have knowledge with your web platform?
Web platforms can create limitations related to SEO. To counter potential problems here, make sure your SEO agency has experience and knowledge with the platform you use. This can often save dozens or hundreds of hours by skipping the “platform learning curve” that new teams go through.
Some agencies may recommend you change your platform or website template. They may have good reasons, but unless your system is really antiquated or limited, it may be a sign you should continue to explore your options. A full site redesign may not be necessary or desirable just to improve your SEO results. We at Get Ranked 365 believe if the client’s budget can afford to go to a WordPress platform, than we do. Because we specialize in WordPress and we can get SEO results faster.
- What is your average client size?
Like most digital marketing, SEO does not create good results with a one-size fits all approach. Some agencies have the resources to work in enterprise environments and collaborate with a wider IT and marketing team. Some agencies serve Small Mid-cap Businesses better. Some have the flexibility to do both.
Make sure the agency fits your needs. You don’t want to be the biggest client at an SMB agency and you also don’t want to be the small client that gets ignored while the agency focuses on their enterprise clients. Get Ranked 365 has affordable digital marketing solutions for businesses of all sizes. We try to base our quotes not only on the project, but the ROI of the business. Why quote a doctor, lawyer and house cleaner all the same. Doesn’t make sense.
- Do you have a Search Engine Optimization department?
This is a key question. Many large and reputable agencies that include “SEO” as a part of their capabilities have a great “SEO guy” versus a full “SEO department”. This requires a single human to understand the role of a technical SEO expert, a content specialist, and an off-site SEO expert.
It’s rare to find a single individual who understands the technical aspects of SEO and also understands how to write content that appeals to humans. Technical and content needs vary from one business to another. For most businesses, an agency that blends content and technical expertise delivers the best results.
- Do they understand User Experience (UX) and Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)?
Google continues to update and change SEO. Recent tests with machine learning as a ranking signal demonstrate Google’s goal to shift search away from keywords. Today and in the future it’s all about the user experience since the goal of SEO programs are to drive conversions, not just rankings.
In 2016, SEO isn’t only about SEO. Commercial websites don’t need to have as much text as a Wikipedia page, but they also can’t look like Tumblr. Finding the balance between SEO content, brand guidelines, user experience and conversion optimization is the key to successful SEO that drives rankings and more importantly, conversions.
- Can they say “No!”?
This may be the most important question. It’s one you need to ask yourself. Will the agency we’re talking with say “No” to us?
You see, at Get Ranked 365, we’ve heard it all. Ideas on how to trick google, quick hitter strategies that involve the purchase of 10 domains to let SEO push to the primary site and even more ways to manipulate search response. Techniques like these once worked. Today, Google issues penalties for them.
When choosing an agency, you need one that will say “No” and give you a clear explanation. Or at the very least they should ask “Why?”. If you want SEO success, you need to hire an SEO internet marketing agency to give you advice as an expert consultant. It’s the job of the SEO internet marketing team to give you advice…even if it’s not popular with your CMO or IT department.
We advocate transparency and directness in all discussions. That said, it might be worth asking your prospective agency some wild gray area questions. Call it a litmus test. See how they respond. Do they act as advisors and challenge or say “no”? Or do they say yes and humor your every whim to get the “deal”.
A good SEO & Digital Marketing Agency will be honest, deliver bad news, counter recommendations and, if necessary, give you a firm NO. This is a good thing.