A Beginner’s Guide to Partnering with an SEO Company

If you are a business owner who’s new to internet marketing, you may decide that you want to hire an SEO agency to help your company website get found online by new customers in the search engine results, Google, Bing, Yahoo etc.

We’ve previously posted about important questions to ask before hiring an SEO company, but in this article we’ll focus on how to best manage the relationship with your chosen agency when you’ve agreed to go ahead with the work.

Define measurable SEO goals

Before any search engine optimisation work starts, it’s a great idea for both parties to define and agree on the campaign objectives. For example, setting a goal for specific targeted keywords or phrases to reach page 1 of Google within three months is a clear and easily measurable goal.

At Shake Digital we often have new clients come to us after having had little to no success working with other SEO agencies. Usually, the client has agreed to general search engine optimisation improvements with the previous agency rather than setting defined goals, this is a big mistake. Often this can lead to some agencies ranking your website for a few easy “long-tail” phrases which often nobody ever really searches for, resulting in a very poor return on your investment.

Make sure your SEO goals and expectations are realistic

Achieving higher rankings for your website in the main search engines can depend on many factors including how well your website is coded, how much competition there is for particular keywords/phrases, how many links point to your website from other websites and how often your site is updated with fresh and relevant content. In fact, this is just scratching at the surface, there’s actually over 250 different factors that can effect your websites ranking positions within the search engines.

Your chosen Internet Marketing Company should be able to give you a rough indication of timescales at the start of the project in which they expect achieve the first set of defined goals. Remember, ranking your website #1 in Google for the term “mortgages” is likely to take a lot longer and be much more costly than something like “face painting in Edinburgh”, so it’s important to be realistic about your goals and timescales.

Search Engine Optimisation – Client Responsibilities

Before committing to a contract with an SEO company you should be aware of your own responsibilities as a client. Depending on the agreed objectives, you may be asked to provide certain information to enable the search engine optimisation work to be carried out quickly and efficiently. This could include things like getting them access to your website hosting account or providing information on your competitors. It’s in your own interests to provide any requested information as quickly as possible to avoid any delays in progress, that way you’re much more likely to get the best return from your investment.

Reporting and Communication

Trust is very important in any client/customer relationship. At Shake Digital we love helping our clients to drive their businesses forward and get a real buzz out of getting them great results. Search Engine Optimisation can be a complicated subject, so it’s important that your chosen SEO company takes the time to clearly explain exactly what they are doing to help you dominate your market online. Open communication from both parties is key to a great working relationship, and as a client you should never feel that you are in the dark as to what is going on with your own SEO campaign.

Make sure that your initial agreement includes regular and transparent reporting so you can see what’s been achieved and what difference that work has made to your search engine rankings. If your chosen Internet Marketing Company refuses to check in regularly to report on progress made on your project then walk away. Any genuinely good SEO agency will enthusiastically report on progress and should feel like an asset to your business, not a burden.