Building your search engine optimisation (SEO) strategy is a complicated process. It takes experience, time and dedication to ensure your website is found in the major search engines – it doesn’t happen overnight.
If you’re considering outsourcing to support your SEO strategy, here are some things to consider when shopping around for the right online marketing agency.
- When looking you may wish to employ an agency offering a range of online marketing such as email, pay per click (PPC), website usability, and web design in addition to SEO. Most online marketing agencies offer a variety of services in-house.
- This is a no brainer really, but once you’ve selected a potential agency type their name into any of the major search engines. If the agency’s name doesn’t appear on page one in Google they obviously haven’t got their act together.
- Ask suppliers and peers in your industry for recommendations or the name of the marketing agency they’re using. You may find the same one pops up a few times.
- Make sure you take a good look at their website. Always check out their case studies and latest news sections. Sometimes there’s a ‘meet the team’ section; it’s always good to learn more about who you could be working with.
Meeting the online marketing agency
- If you can, ensure you meet face-to-face with prospective agencies, taking the time to meet them properly. After all, you’re deciding whether to place your online business in their hands. I believe it’s essential to meet the team who’ll be implementing your SEO strategy.
- Request an overview/proposal from the agency of what they would do to build on your SEO strategy and find out more about what work needs to be done.
- Always ask about white hat and black hat practices. All SEO specialists/agencies should be able to explain briefly how they’ll approach SEO for your particular type of business. You should ensure they’ll take an ethical approach or you could run the risk of your website getting blacklisted. For example, if an agency says they’ll get you onto page one instantly in natural search you should ask them how, as this is entirely unrealistic. Ensure white hat practice is involved especially at this early stage.
- Any good online marketing agency will want to evaluate and ask what your overall marketing and sales objectives are. You should expect lots of intelligent questions about your plans.
Your chosen online marketing agency
- Get a contract in place. Always set goals and objectives. This way you can easily review any progress the agency makes.
And to conclude
Please keep this in mind: Choose an online marketing agency which fits well with your business and offers the full range of services you require.