What are some common mistakes when it comes to marketing...
It seems like new SEO companies are popping out of the woodwork nearly every day. If you’ve been tasked (or tasked yourself) with the challenge of hiring one, the sheer numbers and range of services offered by SEO companies can seem overwhelming.
You may be tempted to simply hire the first company you contact; or the one that sends in the cheapest proposal; or the one with the cutest SEO specialist. But if you do so, you may not be hiring the right SEO company to meet the needs of your business.
The first step for any company when they start their marketing campaign is to decide exactly what they need. It is a good idea to decide this before you hire an SEO company. Doing so will make the selection process more intuitive and allow you to have a clear goal in mind when you start interviewing candidates.
Examples of what a business might need include PPC campaigns, link building and SEO audit, a campaign to promote a new product or a number of other possible services. If you are not familiar enough with SEO to decide what kind of strategies you might need, than you can think about other goals such as increasing sales by a certain percentage or having a certain number of new subscriptions to your newsletter.
Once you’ve decided what you need from your SEO company, it is time to start looking around for a company to work with. Sit down with several companies that you think would be a good fit for your business and discuss in detail what you are looking for.
Most companies will offer free consultations because it gives them a chance to showcase their work and they see it as an opportunity to make a sale.
Keep in mind that it may take several days for an SEO company to come back to you with a proposal as they will likely have to do some research outside in addition to just collecting information in the interview.
If you want to get an idea of how well an SEO agency will do for you, it is extremely helpful to look at the work that they have done (and the results that they have got) for other companies similar to yours. When selecting an SEO company, you want to feel confident that they have a decent understanding of your industry and what you are trying to accomplish through your search engine optimization.
References from happy customers are also very important. Just like you would check the references of a job applicant, you want to be sure that your SEO company can provide solid references as well.
Today online marketing involves a lot of storytelling. Get your candidate to tell you stories about how the firm started, their best and worst experiences with clients and about their core values. As you listen to their stories it will either reinforce your feeling that this particular agency is (or is not) the right fit, or it may alter your opinion.
If you like the way that an SEO company tells its own story, chances are you will like the way the company tells your business story.
As you start the process of hiring, you may also have your own criteria that you will want to use. But if you start by deciding what you need, consulting with a handful of companies, looking at their case studies and listening to their stories, you will end up with some great information to help you make your choice.