As a full service digital marketing agency that provides SEO services to our clients, we find that we’re constantly answering the same questions to the clients that call us to inquire about our services. Now, we have a rule in our office that the consultants on the phone should be saying “no” to more deals than they say “yes” to. The reason being, SEO is a tricky thing and one agency cannot hope to be the solution for every company out there. Therefore, we should be just as picky with who we work with as our clients should be with who their agency is.
So, if you’re like those clients that are looking to choose the best SEO company for their needs, then this guide to doing so should help you make your decision.
Before you start any search for a new SEO agency partner, you’ll want to ensure that you’ll be able to keep up with them when they’re discussing basic SEO. You do not want to appear to be a complete neophyte when it comes to digital marketing, otherwise you risk falling prey to a predatory group that is looking to pull a fast one on an uninformed client.
Everyone hates talking about budget, but it’s an essential evil in any conversation between a company and a potential SEO vendor. But it really does play a massive role in whether the engagement can really work out.
While we never want to be rude, we do try and discuss what a feasible budget is with our potential clients very quickly in the conversation. We do this because our services are more expensive than your typical small business focused agency. Our core target are slightly more established companies that have the resources to build out a holistic and custom digital marketing campaign.
So, instead of wasting the business owner’s time with dozens of emails and a few proposals, it’s better to find out whether you’re even in the same ballpark when it comes to budget.
And don’t stretch yourself beyond your limits just to get a chance to work with a “premium” agency. Always do you homework first to make sure they’re worth the value, otherwise you’ll have ended up blowing your entire budget and have little to show for it.
This is a critical step when trying to pick the trustworthy SEO agency. You need to do as much homework as possible on the company, and the founders. The reason I mention the founders is that some less reputable agencies have the tendency to rebrand when their previous name has become too sullied. But if you’re lucky, you can usually find a trace back to the defunct brand name through one of the founders.
You’ll also want to check and see what their ratings are on Facebook, Google Plus, and any other third-party independent ratings agency.
But make sure you don’t get duped by searching the company’s name and the word reviews, and then end up clicking on a property they own. This is another common tactic used by agencies that don’t want you to see their real customer reviews.
Once you’ve sufficiently vetted their customer reviews and their online reputation, it’s time to move on to the next step.
You will want to ask your potential agency partner if you could see some detailed case studies of some of their previous success stories. Find out if they have any from a company in a similar position or industry as your own. This will give you the best idea of how that agency works with groups like yours and if they’ve had success.
But don’t stop there.
This is a big one. You want to have the ability to reach out and call or email one of the satisfied customers. Because, the truth of the matter is that case studies and testimonials are just words on a paper. But if you can speak to an actual person, then you can ask them you questions and really find out all the ins and outs of working with your potential SEO agency.
I personally ask any of our potential customers to ask our references what they didn’t like about working with us and to report that back to me. This shows them that I feel comfortable with them asking, but it’s also important feedback for me on what we can improve. Plus, you, as the potential client, should want to ask about the negatives. There are always going to be negatives. You just have to decide for yourself whether you’re willing to put up with the negatives hat are described.
Meet Your Team
Another big complaint I hear from potential clients is that their last agency simply passed them off after the sales process and assigned them to a junior member of the team that couldn’t fulfill on anything that the sales person described during the pitch. They experience the pains of working with an inexperienced staff member and eventually leave with a bad taste in their mouth.
So, to avoid this, ask to have a call with your potential account management team, and even one of the founders or a senior member of leadership. It’s well within your rights to do this. If you’re going to be paying your hard-earned money to this agency, they should be willing to let you peek behind the curtain
Visibility and Goals
Finally, make sure you are going to be working with an agency that is on the same page as you when it comes to your goals. SEO has undergone some massive changes over the last few years. It’s no longer about just keywords and links. It’s now a symphony of content marketing, social media, onsite optimization, offsite optimization, and about 100 different other aspects.
And your goals should always be associated with your revenues. Don’t be talked into the pie-in-the-sky promise of being in the number one position on Google,Yahoo, or Bing. The truth is that the search algorithms have become so contextual, that rankings vary based on location, time of day, device, and your search history. So, just focusing on keyword rankings is not going to be enough.
Instead, discuss what you need to see in terms of sales and conversions in order to achieve a solid ROI from your marketing efforts. If the agency is not willing to discuss those goals, then it’s time to look for another group.
And when you finally find the group you are willing to work with, you’ll want to ensure that they have the ability to share with you a view of what is going on behind the scenes. It’s perfectly within your right to request monthly reports, weekly phone calls, and even access to a real-time dashboard, if they have access to that soft of technology.
The point is, you don’t want to be kept in the dark, because that’s when things can get out of hand. Instead, don’t treat them like you’re a watchdog, but rather that you’re a partner with them and you want to help wherever you can and give insights where you may.
If you follow these steps you should be able to avoid the landmines that little the digital marketing agency industry and hopefully find the partner you truly deserve.
Digital Marketers India is one of the trustworthy SEO companies that offer the best SEO services. To discuss your project, drop a line at: firstname.lastname@example.org