An appealing website is a great start for establishing an online presence, and the website may even be worth the investment, but the right digital marketing plan can help potential clients find you online.
If you’re going to outsource Digital Marketing (SEO, PPC, Social Media) follow these steps and hire the best company.
1. Know Your Needs Before Choosing an SEO Company
Understanding your needs is the first crucial step. Do you just need SEO or graphic design, social media, and/or paid advertising. Take an audit of your existing online presence, see what’s missing and what you need moving forward. You can’t hire the right company if you don’t know what you need. The right company can make recommendations of course, but in the end it’s up to you. No one knows your business better than you do.
Draft a budget, and be realistic about the services you’ll get. SEO costs can vary so your budget may need to be flexible, but have a good idea on what you want to spend.
2. Use the ‘Two-way Interview’ Approach
In a one-way interview, the potential SEO company will submit a proposal for you to review. It’s hard to learn about a company with this type of approach, and SEO is not a one-size-fits-all approach. The company you’re hiring needs to know specifics about your business as well.
Two-way interviews make the recruitment process more engaging, and help you explore multiple aspects of your marketing operations. Maybe you’ll discover that Google Ads or social media is a better strategy for your type of business. Either way, an in-depth conversations should happen so your money is well spent.
The potential SEO agency should always inquire about your company’s unique selling point (USP). Expect to share the goals of your website, your current means for attracting customers, your CPC, current budget, what’s working, and what’s not. Keeping this information private only makes the agencies job harder. If needed, have them sign an NDA but in my experience I’ve found that the more thorough and open the process is, the faster you can hit the ground running, and start generation positive ROI.
3. Do Your Own Research
As a client you need to be researching SEO companies before hiring them.
At the very least visit the potential agencies website to see if there are clients listed, biographies or addresses listed. The firm shouldn’t be hiding anything from you if it wants to have you as a customer. At the very least you’ll be able to tell what type of business they are i.e a small agency with a few people or a huge organization with a huge sales team. Working with either can have its pros and cons but know what you’re getting into.
4. Verify References
References help determine if a company has an impressive track record, and gives you insights on the types of clients they’ve worked with. Even if you don’t call the references there’s value in asking. Do they push back or are they glad to provide them?
Ask each digital marketing agency for at least three customers you can reach, and ask about the results generated from the SEO and digital marketing efforts.
Use the references to identify the pros & cons of each SEO firm. You’ll learn about quality of work, customer support and many other things you won’t get directly from the agency.
Review sites are a great way to determine an agency’s credibility. Check Google My Business, Yelp and other industry listings for positive & negative reviews. Negative reviews may not be a deal breaker but check and see how the company responded to those reviews. Did they do it in a professional manner?
Check whether the company is listed on BBB. See if the agency’s employees are members of any groups or associations.
The agency should also have a nice website and a solid online presence. Visit the agency’s social media pages to see whether they feature quality content.
6. Request an Audit for Your Site
Any reputable online marketing agency will audit your website and be able to tell you where your short comings are, but it also takes a little homework on your end as well.
If they ask give the agency access to your analytics data and let them know what online resources you’ve used already. Having several candidates perform the audits helps you compare the results and choose the best company for you.
The SEO company should evaluate your website’s rankings in the search engines, and identify what issues may be preventing your website from ranking higher.
Website audits will help determine your businesses relevance on the web. The reports should suggest ways to make your content easier to find, and they should list SEO strategies that suit your budget and needs.
7. Involve Your Team When Making the Final Decision
SEO can help your site draw larger audiences, increase conversion rates and have positive ROI. An SEO company should offer you and your team strategies to make these goals achievable. Depending on what your goals are that will determine who in your company they’ll be working with.
If they’ll be working heavily with the sales team then you’ll want their opinion. Respect their suggestions and use them to guide your final decision.
The Right Digital Marketing
Our company targets businesses like yours looking to use digital marketing services to optimize their online presence. Our digital marketing portfolio includes web design, SEO, PPC and social media marketing.