Marketing as a small business presents several challenges. Between budgetary constraints and a lack of clarity about the right ways to market a business, it’s no wonder that marketing is often a small businesses least favorite business function. But it’s probably the most important. It’s crucial to maintain an ongoing marketing and lead generation strategy to yield beneficial outcomes for your brand.
How to Hire an SEO Agency
Find the Right Partner for Your SEO Strategy
Building a strong online presence is now standard practice for any organization. Internet visibility drives website traffic and can help you reach your business goals. There are many components to internet visibility including organic reach, paid placements and earned media.
Organic reach or organic SEO involves strategies to increase your website traffic and improve your site’s presence in non-paid search engine results. The world of search engine optimization is incredibly complex. Improving a website’s rank on search engine results pages (SERPs) involves technical and creative expertise, and they work in tandem to create a positive site experience and encourage repeat visits.
If SEO isn’t in your wheelhouse, you’ll likely want to partner with an SEO agency who can help you effectively navigate the search engine playing field. It could take years to acquire the internal bandwidth to build and implement successful SEO campaigns yourself. Having experts in your corner will support online visibility and will naturally assist with lead acquisition.
What Are the Goals and Outcomes of Your Organization?
To get the most out of any SEO agency, you need to determine the goals and outcomes you wish to achieve. Do you need more website traffic to help fill your sales funnel? Do you want to create more traffic-generating pages? Do you want to improve your brand’s reputation and credibility during the sales cycle?
Search engine optimization is not just about search results; it also entails how your company is detected as a whole. These campaigns are most effective when integrated into a larger marketing strategy, so you’ll need to get clear on your goals and how you are measuring success.
Think through how an SEO campaign will support content marketing, public relations and other social media marketing activities. Make sure you have the right internal team members at the table during these discussions.
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What to Look for in an SEO Agency
Although hiring an SEO agency might seem like a daunting task, you certainly don’t need to be an expert yourself to find the right partner – but you do need to ask the right questions. Here are six questions to consider when interviewing potential partners.
What is your SEO philosophy?
SEO isn’t just about keywords and content, and the best agencies know this. There are many ways to utilize search engines, algorithms, and other processes to improve visibility. There are three types of SEO you need for a well-rounded organic strategy: on-page, technical and off-page.
Ideally, you want a partner that’s well versed in all three areas. There are many consultants that only specialize in one or two, but modern SEO requires a holistic approach and experienced execution.
What SEO tools do you use?
Legitimate professionals invest in the tools required to do their work. The exact tool isn’t as important as listening for how and why various tools are used. A good partner will be able to explain why they use specific tools and the impact they can have when used properly.
What is being measured and reported?
SEO agencies who value the relationship they have with their clients know that they need to measure and report metrics that both parties find useful. They find specific details in their reports and use the data to make informed decisions. Avoid companies that cannot get specific about the metrics they used to measure success.
Who is doing the work?
When it comes to the above fundamentals, is the company you are interested in doing the work in-house, or are they outsourcing? Will you have English-speaking writers creating content? Search engine optimization is both an art and a science. You need the right minds working collaboratively if you want to move the needle.
How do you remain up to date on trends?
SEO is a constantly evolving discipline that requires education and first-hand testing. Keeping up to date on Google’s Webmaster blog is just one step to understanding the latest trends. The best SEO agencies also do their own research and testing and have a set of best practices that build on common knowledge.
Do you have sample case studies?
Case studies often tell a very clear story of how effective your potential partner will be. SEO companies who know what they are doing and want their clients to succeed use case studies to clearly demonstrate what they can deliver.
Partnering With an SEO Agency is a Smart Move
Hopefully the tips above will help improve your organic SEO campaigns. Have more questions about partnering with an agency? Reach out to us directly.
Outsourcing your marketing is one of the best decisions you can make for your small business. Traditional in-house marketing teams are a great solution for larger organizations that have the resources available to employee experts in the 10+ roles that it takes to run an effective department.
As supply chain issues create out-of-stock scenarios across industries, brands are missing the opportunity to better align their marketing, sales and supply chain leaders. Learn how internal teams can work together during this crisis.
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