Should You Hire an SEO Agency?
As a business owner, you probably don’t have time to worry about online marketing. But you know how important it is to growing your business. An agency can help you increase your customer base by taking care of this aspect of your business, so that you can be free to do what you do best: serve your customers.
But how do you go about hiring the right crew? Here are 5 things we think you should look for when considering who to hire for your digital marketing efforts.
#1: Credibility: Review their portfolio to make sure they have plenty of relevant experience working with a variety of clients. Not every business is the same when it comes to online marketing tactics. No SEO agency should take a one-size-fits-all approach. This is one thing we pride ourselves in at Thayer Ads. Some businesses will necessitate a strong social media presence, while others will require more search engine marketing. A credible agency will know exactly what you need and will tailor a marketing plan to suit your business.
#2: A White-Hat Philosophy: There are a lot of online marketers who use black-hat or grey-hat tactics to boost your website rankings. Make sure you find a white-hat agency. White-hat tactics are those that follow the guidelines set forth by Google and other search engines, while black-hat tactics break the rules to get faster results. You should never expect fast results when it comes to SEO. Which brings us to our next point.
#3: No Guarantees. This may be a hard pill to swallow, but you can’t expect any guarantees when it comes to results from any SEM (search engine marketing) campaign. There are a number of factors that contribute to rankings, one of which is time. If you remember nothing else, remember that it takes time to get a website to rank in search engines. You can’t just throw up a new website and expect it to rank in days, weeks, or even months. If it does, that’s great, but you should be wary of any search engine marketer who makes extreme claims as to when you’ll experience the results you’re looking for.
#4: References and Data. Going along with point #1, make sure the agency you choose to work with has established credibility. Look for case studies, data, and ask for references to verify their work with previous clients. Reviewing their portfolio should tell you a lot, but try to get more information through other sources.
#5. A High-Ranking Website. Though this factor can be a little iffy (they might have just gotten lucky or be the first established agency in their local area), if a digital marketing agency can get their own website ranked on page 1 of the search engines, it’s usually a good sign that they know what they’re doing, especially if they’re in a big city with a lot of competition in this field. You will want to look at other factors that may be at play, such as the age of their website (older sites tend to rank higher), but if they are ranked well and meet all of the other criteria mentioned in this post, they’re probably a pretty good crew and will work hard to get your site ranked as well.
What About Cost?
Don’t hesitate to shop around. Get multiple quotes from various agencies, and decide which one offers the best value based on your individual needs. Note that this won’t always be the one that offers you the cheapest deal. Cheaper is not always better. There are lots of agencies in other countries like India that will claim to rank your site for $250, and we can almost guarantee that it’s a waste of money. Look at each quote from a whole-package perspective and decide what you need and what you’re willing to spend to achieve your goals. Don’t be afraid to negotiate either; a good agency is usually willing to work with you and your budget.