How to choose an SEO Agency

How to choose an SEO Agency

Choosing an SEO agency can be hard. Some overseas SEO agencies send us endless (un)targeted emails and they promise you the world when it comes to getting you on the first page of google.

Your business could soar. In fact, they may have already done an analysis on your website and have (surprisingly) identified that you need a l.o.t of help. From them.

You don’t understand this whole google thing very well and you could do with an uplift in business. You wonder if you should give them a call……

Hold. on.

Think twice before you engage an overseas (cheap) SEO agency.

So, without talking to you and understanding your business goals, they have identified which keywords will best deliver on your strategy and your long-term goals?

So, let’s calm down before we frantically take these emails into our next staff meeting to discuss if this company has the elusive silver bullet you are searching for.

Spending your money wisely

When the resources of money and time are scarce (or come out of your own pocket) we require each activity to deliver us a quick return. We don’t have the luxury of spreading a marketing budget over 6 different activities and long periods of time.

Many SME’s only choose to spend marketing dollars on Google Adwords, SEO or both.

You are starting to tear your hair out and you haven’t even got started yet…

  • Who do you appoint to manage this for you?
  • How will you know they are doing a good job?
  • What about that email last week from this agency that said they found lots of issues with your website??

SEO as part of your larger strategy

Before you appoint an agency, you need to be clear on what this marketing activity (e.g. SEO) needs to deliver to your goal.

An agency might ask you” what is your budget” and they will spend that. Wisely.

But a far more important question is: What. will. it. cost. for. me. to. achieve. my. goal?

If you want to know more about digital strategy you could read this post: Choosing the right marketing channels

How much would SEO cost me?

Let’s use a simple example to illustrate our point.

Let’s say your business goal is to increase your revenue from 500,000 to 1,000,000 next year.

Currently 20% of your revenue comes from the website. And you want to increase this to 40%.

So, $400,000 of revenue needs to come from your website. To achieve this goal, you have decided to spend money on SEO and on Adwords. We will assume here that both shall deliver an equal share of revenue of $200,000

Currently 1,000 people a month visit your website already. 30 (3%) of those buy your $300 product. Your monthly revenue is $9,000. ($108K per annum)

You are half way there. But you need to grow the business.

You hire a (new) agency and tell them;

  • You need to double the number of monthly visitors to my website (2,000), or;
  • You to optimise my website so that not 3% but 6% of people buy my product
  • Or a mix of both 🙂

The agency quote will be based on two factors:

  1. the competitive nature of your industry
  2. the effort spent

Let me use an analogy here. The first factor is outside of your control. Competitors. The race is on and some race tracks require fast cars, some don’t. If you want to join the race, you have to decide what type of car you want to put on the race track (effort spent). Faster cars cost more money.

SEO Decisions;

  • What does each car cost?
  • Do you need to come first in the race to achieve your goals?
  • Can a slower car also achieve your goals? Leaving you money to spend on other activities?

A few things to remember;

  • SEO doesn’t create demand for your product. It harnesses demand.
  • SEO doesn’t compensate for a bad user experience on your website

How to manage your SEO agencies?

If you have the internal resources, appoint someone internally to measure activity performance on a regular basis. Thus, helping you decide to keep the activity going or not.

Alternatively, you can engage an outsourced marketing service like ours, and ask us to both choose your SEO Agency and manage them.

There are two simple metrics here;

  • Are they doing it right? (execution)
  • Is it the right thing to be doing? (strategy)

Both criteria need to be met. Your agency will report on the tasks they have been set; on the “doing it right”. You have to measure if this is “the right thing”.

Carefully managing agencies and external stakeholders and keeping everyone on track is vital to ensure your strategic goals are met.

Do you have time to find a new – or manage your existing SEO agency?

Agencies will thrive and deliver if they are managed well, kept in the loop and respected for their hard work. But managing all stakeholders can be a time consuming job. Call us today to let us do the heavy lifting;

0432 213 233

“The right things right” – a personal case study

Not that long ago I was part of a team who bootstrapped a new business. At some point we identified that SEO was a vital part of letting the world know we existed and we therefore engaged an SEO agency.

SEO would have to deliver 10,000 people per month to our website for us to achieve critical mass.

The agency was technically sound. They did a great job. The best they could considering we were taking on two 800-pound gorillas 🙂

  • Our ranking improved dramatically for some very competitive keywords
  • Our web traffic tripled.

We pulled the activity.

The agency did everything they could to discourage us from doing so;

  • “You have to be in it for the long haul”
  • “This is a marathon, not a sprint”
  • “Your budget is too low, we cannot compete”
  • “You need to double your budget”

Very common and expected responses from the agency who was not involved in the strategy development that led us to this decision.

For us to keep the business going we needed SEO alone to deliver 10,000 people to the site each month. SEO, however brilliantly executed, only got us to 1,000.

The money we’d have to spend to get to our target number was exponentially higher and not viable for the business.

This led to our decision to discontinue the activity.

About Traffic Act

We are not aligned with any specific agencies. Instead, we work with a vast array of agencies in order to find the right partners for your business.

Contact us for independent marketing advise.

About Jen

Jen has created 11 entries.