As of this article’s publishing date, 17,353 agencies offer SEO services across the globe according to Clutch.
In one of the most saturated service markets, how does a buyer like you find the right SEO agency?
If you know what to look for, it’s easier than you think – and can be the difference in making the right or wrong decision for this critical marketing channel.
What does your ideal agency look like – and what should you avoid? Here are four easy takeaways.
Their sales team are SEO experts
The sales process is a perfect time to uncover the expertise (or lack thereof) of a potential agency. It’s your personal red carpet treatment. As such, you can use the sales process to benchmark an agency’s skillset.
Beware of: The CEO sale. Speaking with the agency’s CEO is always compelling. They’re the most knowledgeable and charismatic asset of the agency.
With a full understanding of the agency’s history and performance, the CEO can impress. The CEO sale sets expectations sky-high. So why should you beware?
A CEO-led sales process steals a critical moment from you: the ability to evaluate the expertise of a normal agency employee.
What about those who execute the strategy day-to-day? Will they have the ability to follow through on the incredible results the CEO sold you on?
By the time you sign your contract, the CEO is off on another adventure and you might be stuck with a junior-level account manager two weeks into the job.
What to look for: Your ideal agency has expertise “up and down the chain.” There are no knowledge silos. The CEO isn’t white-knighting the sales process.
Instead, the agency knows it is bigger than its CEO and knows its rank-and-file employees can educate and sell. The sales representative can command a conversation around contextual link building or technical audits as well as the SEO Director.
This might seem counter-intuitive (“I want to speak with the CEO!”). The truth is, there’s no greater way to discern the skillset of the agency as a whole.
Takeaway: Focus on agencies that use regular team members in the sales process (and speak with as many members of the fulfillment team as you can).
Their scope of work is crystal clear
A great scope of work is like a great recipe. It’s easy to follow, includes specific amounts of ingredients and creates a great outcome (yum!). Your ability to discern a great scope of work from a poor scope of work is a critical part of selecting your agency.
Beware of: The “unspecified laundry list” scope of work. This looks like an exhaustive list of SEO buzz words and marketing gimmicks. It’s meant to impress a prospect by sheer overwhelmingness. What it lacks is any cohesion with a greater strategy.
What to look for: Your ideal agency avoids filler deliverables. If a deliverable isn’t tactical (part of the strategy) or outcome-driven (creates bottom-line impact) it’s not included.
This may mean your ideal agency’s scope of work is smaller; this won’t matter if it’s specific and descriptive.
Beware of: Lack of clear timelines or wishy-washy language …read more
Read more here:: marketingland.com