The process of choosing an SEO agency can be overwhelming if you’re not sure what to expect. There are so many options, variations, and different services available that it becomes challenging to decide what your business needs. If you’re looking to obtain substantial results from hiring an SEO agency, you want to do it right.
There’s no shortcut when it comes to choosing an SEO partner. However, there are a few key steps every business owner should take when choosing an SEO agency. This article will cover the most important steps when selecting an SEO partner.
1. Understand your business goals
The phrase “understand your business goals” is quite vague. Yet it’s crucial to success when hiring an SEO agency. As a business owner, if you are unsure of the results you’d like to achieve with SEO, then the agency won’t know precisely how to help your business.
If you’re entirely in the dark, the first thing you should do is look at your metrics, KPIs, and other data you have around SEO. Data like average monthly traffic, clickthrough rate (CTR), and determining which pages receive the most visits. This data will give you an understanding of how your business is currently trending, and the data will serve as a guide for your SEO agency.
Sharing your current data with potential SEO partners is one of the best things to do. Typically, SEO agencies deal with this data daily and can help you interpret it. From there, the agency can give you an idea of what results to expect.
Most business goals are broad. Break them down into goals that are measurable through data. If your goal is to increase revenue by 30%, calculate how much more traffic per month you’ll need to achieve that goal. You’ll also need to know your conversion rate. Here’s a comprehensive guide to identifying business goals.
In addition, there are SEO agencies that don’t just offer SEO services. For example, you could package conversion rate optimization (CRO), SEO, and Facebook Ad management into one service, which we’ll discuss next.
2. Begin talking with different SEO agencies
We recommend discussing with multiple SEO agencies to ensure the fit is perfect. Since SEO is a long-term strategy, you’ll want to make sure the partner you choose are people you like, competent, and persistent in helping your business achieve its goals.
Many SEO agencies give free consultations. That’s how you’ll be able to get an understanding of what types of agencies are out there, their offered services, and the results they can help your business achieve.
The consultation is where you’ll decide on the types of services you want to purchase, how long the process will take, and what kinds of results you can expect to see during and after the partnership. Remember that communication is critical in this stage. You want to give the agency as much information as possible to ensure a healthy, successful relationship.
3. Ask a lot of questions
Once you’ve determined your goals and had a few consultations with different agencies, it’s time to sift through your options. The way to differentiate among various agencies is by questions.
First, you’ll have to determine whether or not you’ll choose a partner that offers other services that complement SEO. Before, we talked about combining CRO and SEO. How does the price change? What results can you expect to see from doing one rather than doing both?
Digital Authority Partners provides an excellent outline for specific questions your business should be asking prospective agencies.
Second, make sure you’re asking to see testimonials. Ask if they’ve worked with a business similar to yours and ask about the results of that campaign. An agency is only as good as its best testimonial. If you’re still unsure, ask the agency to forward the contact of a past client! Then, you’ll be able to talk with another business owner who was once in your position.
Lastly, ask about the price and framing of the deal. Some agencies do monthly retainer fees, while others use a full project fee. Our advice on pricing: Finding the perfect middle ground on pricing is ideal. SEO agencies aren’t cheap, yet their value to businesses is beyond price. Of course, you want to ensure correct SEO optimization, so paying a little more for higher-quality agencies is well worth the cost.
The secret to a successful partnership is in the foundation. Laying out your business goals, talking with prospective agencies, and asking questions about their services is how you create a successful relationship.
Hiring an SEO agency is a significant commitment for your time and money. That means taking the extra hours to get it done right is paramount.