Selecting your search engine optimization (SEO) consultant or agency is about more than just money. Your SEO strategy can virtually decide the fate of your company. Business-to-business (B2B) owners should not underestimate the importance of hiring the right SEO consultant. Finding a B2B SEO agency is an art and science that requires effort for optimal success. There are eight questions you should always ask potential professional SEO consultants before signing on the dotted line:
- Do You Have Experience With My Business Type?
Your B2B company isn’t like a business-to-customer (B2C), publication, merchandising, ecommerce, or hybrid business. Each of these business types is unique and requires a different SEO strategy. On the search for a B2B SEO agency, look for one with real-life experience handling your business type. Ask about past projects with other B2Bs and success with prior SEO strategies. Request to see referrals, testimonials, or a portfolio.
- Do You Have Experience with My Market and/or Market Segment?
SEO and marketing should work together as a seamless single unit. They are no longer two separate entities. As such, you need professional SEO consultants who have worked with other businesses in your market, market segment, or niche. B2B marketing centers on meeting the needs of other businesses, not the end client. An SEO consultant should recognize this important distinction and include strategies for your specific market, whether you’re a producer, reseller, or other institution. An understanding of your market is the only way a consultant can craft a successful SEO strategy.
- Do You Have the Experience to Help Prioritize SEO Projects Externally?
The list of tasks relating to SEO is enormous. It can include website redesign, internal linking, content creation, and a number of other items. It takes a team of dedicated professionals to tackle the many elements of a single SEO project. Experienced SEO professionals will prioritize search engine optimization tasks using audit programs or sets of recommendations. The SEO consultants can then implement solutions to specific SEO problems. External prioritization can make a project move much more quickly and efficiently, saving the client time and money. Rookie consultants may not have the resources or skills to for external SEO prioritization.
- Do You Have Familiarity with My Platform/Site Technology?
Familiarity with your chosen platform or website technology is a must for your B2B SEO agency. An agency will not be able to provide top-quality services if it doesn’t have at least a general knowledge of how your platform operates. For example, a consultant who has only dealt with WordPress sites may be at a loss when it comes to SEO for SquareSpace or Blogger. The consultant you choose should at least have experience with site technology that’s of a similar scale to what you use. Agencies with more than one SEO specialist are more likely to have someone with experience handling a lesser-known platform.
- What Level of Experience Do You Seek in Your Directly Interacting SEO Consultants?
The directly interacting SEO consultant for your project should be qualified to address your specific concerns. The best consultant for the job will have experience handling clients similar to you, and can therefore understand issues that apply to your business type. Ask what type of experience, skills, and qualifications the agency requires of its consultants. Look for an SEO consultant with experience in B2B markets particularly.
- If There is a Critical Project, Would an SEO Consultant Be Able to Work On-Site?
A good remote SEO agency can tackle almost any project from afar with the same personal approach and dexterity as a local company. Yet sometimes you might prefer a consultant to be with you, in the same room. If this is a priority for you or something you believe you will need for a critical project, find a consultant willing to meet you on-site. Ask the potential consultant or agency if they can accommodate on-site requests before you start working with them. The last thing you want is to discover they can’t meet you in person after already signing a contract.
- Does the Agency Provide Additional Tools to Focus Not Only on SEO?
Search engine optimization is not a compartmentalized task. It is an all-encompassing goal that requires more than just basic SEO best practices. To achieve and maintain a better search engine ranking, you need services like local listing management, social media advertising, conversion rate optimization, blog management, marketing automation, and a number of others. If you want to truly improve your business with your SEO agency investment, find one that can address all your marketing needs, not just SEO. Additional tools can prevent you from having to hire more than one consultant or agency.
- How Would You Describe the Potential Account Manager for My Account?
Your account manager will be the one in charge of overseeing your project. He or she will likely be your main point of contact – the person you’ll work most closely with to establish and meet your goals. The skills of the manager can make a big difference in the success of your project. Get to know your potential account manager as much as possible before hiring. Ask questions about the individual’s experience, specialties, referrals, strengths, and weaknesses. Arrange for a meeting or phone conversation with the potential manager, if possible.
The questions you ask before hiring a consultant or retaining a B2B SEO agency can help you establish whether you’re making the right decision for your brand. Keep these eight questions at the top of your list to ensure that you vet properly and proceed with confidence and hey, feel free to contact Vizion Interactive.