There’s no doubt that SEO and SEM can be confusing for the average business owner, which makes finding the right marketing company a challenge. It can be easy to let yourself overspend on your budget because an agency recommends it, and then frustrating when you don’t get the results you were expecting. Are you worried about being taken advantage of by a digital marketing agency? Have you been burned in the past and are nervous about rolling the dice again with a new SEO company? Here are the 5 questions you need to ask to properly vet an SEO/SEM agency.
What Kind of Clients Do They Work With?
Every business is unique. Your business may operate in a highly competitive niche, or you may dominate the market for a particular product and now you’re ready to expand to something new. Find out whether the SEO/SEM agency that you’re researching has worked with companies that are similar to yours in terms of size/revenue, industry, sales funnel, budget, and overall goals. Will the agency provide you with references or case studies that show how they have helped other companies like yours? A good SEO/SEM agency will make the effort to really get to know your business and should be able to explain exactly how they can address your concerns.
Will They Customize a Strategy for Your Business?
Websites come in all shapes and sizes, just like businesses. Whether you want to improve your site’s visibility in search results, or bring in more prospects through pay-per-click advertising, there is no one-size-fits-all campaign that will work for every website. The needs of an e-commerce website are completely different from a B2B business that takes months to close large sales. Does the SEO/SEM agency you’re considering create a custom strategy for each of their clients? If so, ask how they would approach your business’s needs and goals differently. While the techniques may be similar, a good agency will not have a cookie-cutter approach to SEO or SEM for all of their clients.
How Will They Communicate with You?
Does the marketing agency you’re vetting teach their clients about the tools and tactics that go into a good SEO or SEM strategy? Ask about their credentials as well as how they keep up with industry changes. The world of digital marketing is constantly evolving, so being able to keep up with the trends is a must. Being able to explain how a particular program or strategy works is a good indicator that the SEO/SEM company has a sturdy understanding of what they’re doing.
Will you be working with an account manager who understands the ins and outs of SEO? Or will your contact person be a middleman between you and the expert on the team? Do they send a weekly, monthly, or quarterly report? Can you call or email when you have questions about your campaign? A good SEM or SEO agency should be able to share what they are doing with your company’s marketing so that you’re not kept in the dark.
How Do They Measure Progress?
Most SEO and SEM agencies will provide some sort of reporting to help their clients understand how the website and marketing campaigns are performing. But how do they truly measure progress? It will typically take time to see results, especially for SEO, and a good agency will explain how they are evaluating and measuring your campaign’s advancement.
Above all, be sure that the agency you’re vetting provides access to analytic data, not just a quick report of vanity metrics. Remember, this is your website, so this is YOUR data! Any SEO or SEM agency that doesn’t allow you to see your own numbers and data could be trying to hide something from you. You are paying this marketing company for their expertise, but in the case of PPC advertising you are also paying a search engine or social media platform for clicks. Make sure the agency you’re considering will provide a full accounting of your ad spend whenever you request it. A good SEO/SEM company will let you peek behind the curtain at the data, not just lock it away.
Does it Sound Too Good to be True?
Last, but not least, watch out for any promises that sound too good to be true during your quest to choose the right SEO/SEM company. You may come across an unsavory character or two who engages in black hat SEO techniques, or promises that they will push your site up to the #1 position on the search engine results page at an unreasonably low cost to you. Real SEO and SEM success is an investment that takes work and time to come to fruition. Being up front and realistic about your goals will make it much easier to find the right agency to take your business for the next level. A good agency will be honest if a digital marketing technique won’t be a good fit instead of pushing you to sign a contract for everything under the sun.
Now that you know the questions you need to ask when vetting an SEO/SEM agency, why not ask us! At Results Repeat, we take pride in caring as much about our clients’ businesses as they do. From SEO to PPC and social media advertising, our talented and experienced team of digital marketers will create a custom marketing strategy that works for your company. Contact us today to learn more!