Digital content marketing is an essential part of just about every business, whether big or small, but it is complicated enough that it can be downright impossible for the layman to do by themselves. The gap between the need for this service and the wide-spread availability of the skills to conduct it has created a well-used and successful gap in the market in the form of digital marketing agencies. Even tech-savvy business owners who have the skills to conduct their own SEO, may have difficulties finding the substantial amount of time requires to make their campaign a success, and may need to enlist in the services of a professional.
As such there are plenty of agencies about, but not all of them are cut out for the task, or indeed the needs of your business. So to help you make sure you’re going with the right digital agency for your SEO needs, here are some questions you can ask your potential contractor to see if they fit your company’s needs for the best online marketing services for 2016.
How Long Have You Been Conducting SEO?
This is a straightforward question that will help you get a better idea of the agency’s experience. The digital agency industry has been going strong for some 30 years now, and it has gone through many changes in that time. Each change has come about as a reaction to SEO loopholes, or as a need for better search engine services; as such, each one has forced agencies to learn new tricks. Those that have held on through the dynamic shifts likely have a lot of tools under their belt, and are experienced with handling just about any kind of job.
This is not to say that a new company is unsuited to the task. Many new digital marketing agencies can pool their resources and expertise from stronger companies, or are fast learners. A great way to check if your agency can provide you with optimal SEO, is to check if they are a Google partner, which is proof that they have a complete understanding of, and direct support from search engines.
Do You Have The Capacity To Market My Business?
You would think that a company that has seen success with many different clients, and works at a high capacity would have the experience to give you exactly what you need, and you would be right. But agencies that have a staggering amount of existing clients may have another problem. If they are fully tasked and preoccupied with their other customers, there is a very good chance that they won’t have the time, resources or man-power available to efficiently work on your business’ SEO properly.
This is most important when dealing with smaller agencies that have a limited team of SEO experts. Their higher paying customers will always take preference if they cannot fit you in… but that might not stop them from making unrealistic promises.
Have You Done Work For Similar Clients?
The answer that you don’t want to hear to this question is “SEO is SEO is SEO…” That simply won’t do. Any expert knows that each job comes with its own unique needs and challenges which vary depending on the business niche, target audience, budget and time constraints. Besides that, there can be complications with your website’s architecture and content needs to adequately provide to your audience.
Ideally, you want an agency that has had some form of experience dealing with a niche that is similar to yours, and if they claim that they can, they need to be able to show you examples of their work.
If your agency hasn’t had much experience with your niche, that doesn’t necessarily rule them out as a good option. If your business is unique to them, try and see if they can provide examples of how they have adapted and thought outside of the box with their other customers. If there is proof of ingenuity, they are likely able to give you what you need.
How Inclusive Are Your Services?
Digital agencies are concerned mainly with SEO, but SEO can be quite a broad term. A good company should be able to see to all of your needs, depending on what you require of them. These qualities of a good SEO company are the sorts that always bring favourable results. If you need a website built from scratch, can they do it for you, and at what cost? Will they handle social media campaign management, keyword research and AdWords campaigns? What is their approach to the creation of content? Will they report back to you on analytics and results of your campaign? Can they design a mobile app for your business, if yes, at what cost?
Not every agency handles all of these areas inclusively, and some of them even outsource the work to other companies. You need not select an all-inclusive service if you don’t need one however. For instance, if you already have a website then it isn’t a problem if they cannot design one for you. Take careful note of the needs of your business, and make sure that your agency can provide.
How Will You Go About Designing My Website If I need One?
A good few agencies take a ‘one size fits all’ approach to web-design, making use of pre-set templates to build your site so that they can save time. The results of this can be somewhat generic, and a generic website simply cannot reflect your brand’s unique image. Speak to your agency about their approach to find out if your business will be treated as an individual.
Ask to see examples of sites that their team has already built, and look through a good few of them to determine whether they do this or not, and stay clear if they do. Also find out their policies on responsive designs, multi-page sites and auditing to see if they will not only build it properly, but manage it adequately as well.
What Is Your Approach To Content Creation?
The creation of relevant, high quality content is one of the most crucial parts of SEO, so you want to make sure that the agency in question is doing it properly. Find out their position on content creation. Do they need you to supply it, or do they have in-house copywriters to handle it for you? Creating great content requires a sound understanding of keyword usage, and it is always better when it is done by someone who has mastered writing. How do they implement keywords? Do they use black-hat techniques like spamming? All of these things can have a serious effect on your site’s ranking.
Poor quality content sends a terrible message to your audience. So to put your best foot forward, make sure that your digital agency is able to create consistent, interesting, high quality and natural content on a regular basis.
You Might Also Like: Content Marketing Failed? Here’s What You Should Do
What Is Your Approach To Backlink Building?
Backlinks are essential to a successful SEO campaign, so you want to make sure that the agency you deal with can provide a quality service in this regard. Many agencies pay little to no attention to backlinks, or use dodgy techniques like using link farms or questionable sites to host the link. This can have seriously negative results for your campaign, all but destroying your ranking potential. Speak to your agency to get as many details as you can about their link building profile and site auditing tools, and only accept those that offer quality service in this regard.
Don’t Miss: How To Get Backlinks Without Spamming
Agencies may not have all of them, but what you require from the company depends very much on your business’ needs. So do your homework and don’t be afraid to ask questions… it will pay off in the long run.