Choosing the right SEO agency for your brand

Finding the right SEO agency to partner with can be complex – you need to find the right mix of technical acumen, commercial understanding and creativity.

So what questions do you ask and how do you know how to budget for SEO? Here’s a few basic tips from dotSearch’s Marketing Manager Luella Ben Aziza (who has had the pleasure of recruiting several agencies!) for marketers considering hiring a new SEO agency.

Who is dotSearch?
dotSearch is the London Bridge based search marketing arm of the dotDigital Group plc – the parent company to dotMailer, the UK’s leading email marketing service provider, dotSurvey – the best online survey tool in the universe, and dotSearch and dotAgency, who together build beautiful websites that convert.

Got questions?
Just get in touch – call 0207 654 8675, email info@dotSearch.co.uk or tweet @dotSearch. We’ll be happy to help fet your more of the right traffic, and boost your site’s conversion rate too.

Free resources
You can also download a free quick-guide to hiring a new agency at www.dotSearch.co.uk/ebg where you find a direct link to the latest eConsultancy UK SEO agencies buyer’s guide and other free, related resources.

Video Transcript
If you’re considering hiring an SEO agency for the first time, or hiring a new agency, start by taking an honest and critical look at your own website.

Driving traffic itself won’t help your website perform — you need to follow through with a site that converts too. And the right agency can help you do that.

If you’re sites not ready — it doesn’t mean SEO isn’t for you. It’s just a different approach. SEO agencies have a wide remit beyond technical optimisation — get the agencies you speak to to show examples of how they’ve used disciplines like conversion rate optimisation, and page design and build, to get results.

For example, if your challenge is demonstrating ROI on a non-transactional site, then ask agencies about their experience with b2b companies.

And if you’re looking to drive more traffic from social networks, then consider the way they handle their own social media channels — if the team are active on Twitter, for example.

It’s not easy to find an agency with a deep knowledge across the digital spectrum — but as digital marketing channels are symbiotic, getting an agency with that kind of broad knowledge will pay off.

In terms of budget — stay away from cheap and dirty SEO agencies. If they’re promising you specific timeframes, relying on simplistic techniques or promising specific results — be wary.

Effective SEO is resource-heavy and Google is smart — there really are no safe shortcuts.

Really you need to consider how much more revenue you think you could achieve with however much more traffic you want to make.
If you consider the impact a 10% increase in your traffic could make based on your current site’s conversion rate, and then consider another, say 10% increase in conversion rate — that’s a significant increase in revenue from SEO that you could be missing out on right now.

It’s a good time to mention that you really shouldn’t be focusing soley on rankings at this point — ultimately you’re probably approaching an agency so you can aquire and retain more customers online — so make that the metric.

As search becomes more social and content / media led — you need to feel comfortable with an agency that can use your brand well. If they’re super-technical, they’re not going to be able to interpret your visual identity well, say, in a video.

And if they’re all marketing, check that they are actually up to speed with the technical side — which is of course, still a very important factor in search marketing. In fact, go ahead and ask them what Google’s latest algorithm change is and see how they respond.

They should come across confidently, proving they’re up to speed, but at they should also be able to tell you how those changes might affect your site.

For detailed information on the UK’s leading SEO agencies, download the eConsultancy SEO buyer’s guide, and don’t forget to check out dotSearch’s profile on page 79. Good luck.

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