Hiring a search engine optimization (SEO) agency is sort of like hiring a mechanic. Most of us don’t have the knowledge to work on our car and keep it running on our own. We simply put gas in the car and it goes, and when it doesn’t go, we take it to someone who can fix it. We find a respectable garage, and we trust the mechanic knows what he’s doing.
Now replace car with Web site, garage with agency, and mechanic with SEO. Shouldn’t the process be similar when you hire an SEO consulting company?
To get the most out of your SEO agency it’s important to learn how to get involved and when, well, maybe not to get involved. Here are a few tips.
It’s a no-brainer, right? We all think we’re pretty good at communicating, at least most of the time. But when you’re paying thousands of dollars for an agency to run any sort of project or campaign for you, communication becomes even more important. And it’s important to learn the best way to communicate with your SEO agency. You may decide to come up with a regular meeting schedule so that you’re able to ask your team questions when they arise, without needing to email them several times through the day/week. Sending them too many emails can lead to confusion and take your consultant away from the work they’re supposed to be doing on your campaign! Be sure to be prompt about answering any questions your agency may have for you. The more information they have—and the sooner they have it—the more productive they’ll be.
Trust Your Agency—And Yourself
As a savvy businessperson, you did due diligence before hiring an SEO agency. You checked out their site, blog, testimonials, Twitter feed. You asked around, maybe contacted some former clients. You might have even checked them out through the Better Business Bureau or other consumer advocate organizations. Everything looked good, so you signed a contract. The next part of the process is to step back and let the agency do what you hired them to do. Sure, you may need some reassurance now and then, but ultimately you need to trust your agency’s expertise and try not to question them at every turn, even when it’s tempting to do so. Clients get the most from their SEO experience when they allow themselves to become part of the process, without falling down the micro-managing slope.
Have an Open Mind
Part of trusting your agency means having an open mind when they make recommendations. If your agency suggests something new for your campaign or something you’ve never heard of, trust in them and give it a shot. If you’ve done your homework you can be sure that they’re not going suggest anything they haven’t successfully done before or without good data to back up the recommendation. Is it guaranteed to work? No. There are no guarantees in SEO. But if your agency thinks there’s potential for a great return on investment, try to have an open mind about it.
Think of your SEO agency as a partner with a common goal. Most people who work at SEO agencies are there because they’re passionate about SEO. Turn that passion loose on your site, and watch what happens. You may just be amazed.
[This post is part of our 12 Days of SEO series where we'll be publishing a different nugget of knowledge related to the sounds of the season. We'll be updating the 12 Days of SEO page as new posts are published.]