Paddling Through The Slosh To Find A Winning SEO Agency For Your Small Business
While it is an ever-growing number, there are an estimated 1 billion websites online and there are just over 17,000 agencies that offer search engine optimization services worldwide. While that may seem to be a rather unbalanced number, it is a truly saturated service market that leaves many buyers unable to choose the best SEO agency for their specific needs. If you know exactly what you should be searching for, it may not be that much of a daunting task. And it will allow you to choose the best option the very first time. Knowing what to look for and what to avoid in an agency are critical. Today, we are going to look at four elements that will allow you to make the best decision
Who Are The Real Experts?
It begins by talking with the real SEO experts in the agency, the sales team.
While you can read reviews, testimonials, and case studies, it is possible to find the real potential the agency has during the sales process. In fact, you could consider this an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of how the magic happens! The sales process is going to allow you the opportunity to gauge how effective this agency is going to be for you. However, there is a downfall to this particular strategy and that is when upper management becomes involved in the sales process.
Management is typically going to be the best of the best and they can surely offer up many compelling reasons as to why you should hire their company. They are going to be knowledgeable of the company as well as the finer aspects of search engine optimization. Typically, they are also very charismatic and could sell just about anything to anyone, regardless of their need. Have you ever heard of salespeople who could sell ice to an Eskimo? Well, that is the level of sales techniques these management members have, and we are not saying that is a bad thing.
Management is in a position to impress you as a client and make you feel as though anything is possible through the efforts of SEO. Again we are not saying that there is anything wrong with these tactics, however, you do need to be aware of these tactics.
Considering the fact that management is going to be so polished at making the sale, it never allows you the chance to speak with the regular agency employee.
You want to meet the individuals who are going to be performing the daily tasks of the strategy that will be implemented for your website. Are these individuals going to be able to perform the tasks that are necessary for the results that you were sold by management?
In many cases, once you have signed the contract with these types of agencies, management is off looking to sign up new clients and will typically never have any association with you or your website again. Your account will be handed down the line and you will begin working with another individual you have never met before and who knows little to nothing about your needs and expectations.
While this is a common scenario among many SEO agencies, it is not always the norm. You want to choose an agency where the sales process does not begin and end with management selling you on the service.
You want an agency where it is a team effort and the employees are able to not only sell you on services but educate you on the process as well. The agency must be larger than one single management member or CEO. The average SEO sales representative must be able to carry on a conversation about the basic aspects of a technical website audit to the finer details of proper link building just as strongly as the management team would be able to.
Understandable most people want to talk to the individual right at the top, especially concerning the needs of their business. However, getting down to the root of the agency is going to show you the basic skillset of the agency as a whole.
It is going to be in your best interest to find an agency that allows regular team members as the sales force for a general indication of the type of service you will receive.
Choosing An Agency With Specific Goals
It is important to be leery of agencies that are of the mentality of offering everything and the kitchen sink. This is a typical marketing ploy that generally encompasses a lot of industry-specific words designed to impress. This form of marketing is simply meant to impress you by overwhelming you. No agency is going to be able to offer everything without losing its direction and strategy.
You want to search for an agency that is not filled with everything. You want an agency that is going to offer a specific outcome without all of the filler and nonsense.
While this may make the agency look smaller, it will not matter if they are able to deliver specific results.
Utter Lack Of Timelines And Goals
You want an agency that works in a truly efficient and profitable manner. With this in mind, they will typically be experts in resource planning. You want to know if your timeline is going to align with their expected timeline and expectations.
Do not be afraid to talk about the scope and timeline of your projects as well as the overall strategy. If an agency is not able or unwilling to talk strategy and timeline about YOUR project, cut them loose.
The specific strategy and timeline are one of the most essential aspects of your decision. If they are able to offer a sound strategy and decent timeline, you will know that they are the right agency.
First Page Promises
Do you want to know a little secret? Anyone can get a keyword on the first page of the search engines. However, not everyone can get a cash-generating keyword on the first page. If a keyword has no way of bringing in sales and leads, it is absolutely worthless. The agency you choose should have a strategy in place for the acquisition of powerful keywords that are going to have a positive impact on your website and business.
The ideal agency for you to choose is one in which they are going to examine your data and create a strategy that is built upon your goals. They should take into account conversion rates, the historical performance of the site as well as any other specific information in the project. The agency is fully aware that if they are not able to bring a positive ROI to the client, they will more than likely lose the account. Most agencies will use a specific ROI projection algorithm to help determine the overall viability of the campaign
It is best to stay away from any agency that does not have a clear path to a positive ROI and growth projections.
Reviews And Testimonials
- Verified reviews and testimonials are one of the strongest aspects of an agency’s ability to perform for the client.
- However, it is important to remind yourself that there are many companies that are in the market using paid and fake reviews.
- In fact, there is an entire industry built upon offering fake and paid reviews for businesses. And it should go without saying that there are going to be businesses willing do to anything to build their reputation. Thankfully, it is possible to scout out fake reviews, as long as you know what you are looking for.
- You can begin by choosing to cross-reference the review through LinkedIn to find out if it a legitimate company. If the review has been paid for, you may notice that the profile is associated with reviews all over the country with almost all of them being 5-star reviews.
- The agency that you choose should have many specific reviews that are real and factual. The reviews should be from established companies in wide-ranging verticals. This will allow you to see that your agency works with legitimate customers with needs similar to your own.
- The agency you choose should already be well aware of all the fake reviews that plague the SEO industry. With that in mind, they are conscious of providing real reviews that can be verified via telephone or email. And if you are looking for further information, they should be more than happy to get you n contact with other satisfied clients.
- If the agency does not have at least two reviews that you are able to verify, you should pass on their services. In addition, try to speak with at least two references for details about the service. While ti may seem like a lot of work, it is a better alternative than choosing a corrupt agency.
We do hope that these tips are going to take you down the path to choosing the ideal agency for your needs.
About Salterra Digital Services
Salterra was started in 2011 by Terry and Elisabeth Samuels; nothing fancy and nothing pretentious. Quality work at a fair price. Starting with a web design focus, they both quickly learned that while having an amazing website to highlight your business is a great start, marketing is intrinsically foundational for our clients. When several clients were not seeing results through the search efforts of other companies, Terry took it to the next level. While digging into SEO and marketing, he found something he was very passionate about. His inner geek pushed him to focus solely on the data and analytics side of the business while Elisabeth built on her creative and visual strength and expanded the design side. In the industry, it is not always common to have both designers and digital marketing so closely connected, but to them it made perfect sense. Salterra’s World Headquarters is in Tempe Arizona