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How to choose an SEO agency

Check out the first in the series of helpful monthly SEO articles from Network Albion, Network Oval and Network Hampshire members, Artemis Marketing!

In an industry where jargon and meaningless statistics are too often used to mask a lack of any discernible work, we feel our clients deserve a measure of success that is based on ROI, not numbers.

So, it is with this in mind I wanted to put together some useful questions for any business to ask when searching for a new SEO/Digital Marketing agency. By getting clear answers to these questions you will be in a far better position to make an informed choice rather than being overwhelmed by a sales pitch and impressive numbers often pulled out of thin air. 

Like many business owners and employees these days, you are probably sick to the back teeth with being offered SEO services via junk email or poor quality sales calls. It is a sad fact of the digital age that unscrupulous people feel they can make a quick buck from what is often a confusing and unknown world.

However, in among this confusion there are some very good, hard working, and highly skilled SEO agencies offering businesses a real means to reach out to customers and dramatically improve both traffic and enquiries.

If you are looking to move into this type of internet marketing, there are a few simple questions you can ask that will easily weed out the “churn and burn” scammers from the top-notch search marketers. 

How do you report the work you do?

This is a fundamental factor for any business looking to spend money with an SEO agency. If you pay for a service, you should be able to see what that service entails and what work has been completed each month

It is all too common for an agency to simply say they have done the work but insist sharing any details would compromise them. This is, frankly, an unacceptable response often used to cover up the fact no work has been done at all. Would you really be happy to work with anyone who cannot account, in detail, for the time you pay them for?

How do you report results?

Another huge factor in making sure you’re getting value for money is how the results of the campaign are reported to you. Gone are the days of just searching for yourself and seeing if you ranked higher than yesterday. Google recognises your searches and will invariably show your site above others because you are on it all the time. You need an accurate measurement of ranking gains to justify your spend. A good agency should have dedicated software that will clearly show each term’s movement over time. This should be accessible to you at all times and not just a screenshot sent once a month.

Do you promise results?

This is a very counter-intuitive thing to consider, but not when you are aware of the environment in which it sits. Google is constantly changing how it works to make sure users get the most suitable and useful results. This means it is impossible to predict what factors it may include in the future when selecting results. The job of an SEO agency is to pre-empt, protect and ensure client sites profit from these changes in order to grow their rankings. When you consider this, it’s also important to remember any kind of guaranteed results is at best hopeful and at worst simply made up.

A good agency should show you historic results and case studies and give clear evidence of success without making promises they are sure not to keep. A skilled agency will be confident enough to tell you they will get results as fast as they can, but that they cannot 100% predict what Google will do nor how much your competitors might suddenly spend on SEO. 

There are many more factors involved in choosing a good SEO agency, but these three questions should give you some idea of the type of people you are dealing with. You should also try and speak to some of their existing clients, and make sure they have a non-compete agreement in your area so you don’t end up fighting your main rival and both paying the same company. Also ask if they outsource work or do it all in house.

Outsourcing is fine but ideally it should only make up a very small part of the work on offer, otherwise you are just paying a middle-man for work with quality you cannot control.   

All of the team here at Artemis hope you’ve found this article useful. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me personally if you have any questions, or if we can help in anyway: matt.rosine@artemis.marketing

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