In our work with a diverse group of B2B tech companies, Golden Spiral has discovered that sometimes, hiring an agency for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) work often comes as a reactive rather than proactive digital marketing investment.
In some cases it is because a company redesigned their website in house and it didn’t make as big of a splash as originally planned. Other times, a company’s blog posts aren’t ranking the way they should be. Whatever the reason, in almost all cases, SEO becomes a priority after time and resources are invested elsewhere, and the results aren’t as positive as expected.
Then, it becomes a scramble, often an ineffective one. Yet, SEO should never be rushed.
Being proactive in SEO efforts saves your B2B tech company lots of time, frustration, and resources. And hiring an agency is a piece of that puzzle.
Here are the three core questions to ask before hiring an agency.
What are the Benefits of Hiring an Agency for SEO Work?
Hiring an agency to handle the SEO efforts for your B2B tech company takes a lot of stress off your digital marketing team because you have an experienced team keeping up with Google, adjusting your efforts based on those changes, and providing ongoing consultation for a variety of other content and inbound efforts.
Some of the top benefits of working with an agency include:
Expertise: Agencies live to understand Google, so you don’t have to
Search engine optimization is not a set-it-and-forget-it strategy. As a matter-of-fact, Google changes its algorithms about 500 to 600 times per year according to Moz, which tracks algorithm fluctuations. These fluctuations include everything from the algorithms that determine search results, to the layout of the search engine results page (SERP). Search engines are constantly evolving. That means your efforts need to be re-evaluated and potentially re-worked on a monthly basis.
However, if you’re working on a small, in-house marketing team, you’re already stretched thin which makes keeping up with Google difficult. It won’t be your top priority. For agencies, it is top priority. A good agency keeps the changes. A great agency will be ahead of them by watching the trends and needs of search users. So you don’t have to.
Bigger ROI: Get found in the searches that matter most
We understand that websites don’t rank, pages do—which is why we aim to present you first and center, gaining visibility in front of searchers that have the highest value to you. When you work with an agency, there will be a lot more going on behind the scenes to make the most of each and every website page, blog post, and rich content resource you share. And that visibility will produce a greater ROI.
Affordability: An agency can be cheaper than hiring a full-time employee
We usually don’t like to bring cost into the equation, but this is a situation where it counts. An agency can offer your B2B tech company more support and expertise at a lower cost than hiring an in-house SEO specialist. Software for quality SEO optimization is also very expensive, and may not be worth the expenditure for a company paying just to use it internally. And when you hire Golden Spiral, you don’t just get one SEO expert, you get our integrated team of experts who think and act with SEO in mind.
When is the right time to hire an agency?
While we believe any time is a good time to be proactive (or reactive) in terms of your SEO efforts, there are a few key milestones that are key indicators of “now would be a good time!”
These are the “big three” milestones:
Launching a New Website
Launching a new website rings in a lot of new opportunities for optimization, such as rewriting title tags and meta descriptions and optimizing website copy to improve your performance. But it also creates an opportunity for error—including site redirects and robot.txt files. Businesses often see a downward trend in website traffic immediately following the launch of a new website. Hiring an agency to make sure the SEO juice from your old site transfers to your new site is essential for minimizing that impact. (Be sure you hire an agency before that website redesign actually begins so that they can help with the entire process.)
Implementing a New Content Marketing Strategy
Blogs and other forms of rich content are just as important to your SEO strategy as your website and main landing pages. Treat them with the same attention to detail as your website SEO efforts. Hiring an agency will ensure you have a dedicated team of experts to plan, produce, and optimize content for the keywords that matter to your business.
Big PPC Investments with Little ROI
Every B2B tech company’s dream is to spend less on traditional forms of advertising and earn more traffic and conversions organically. If your business is looking to cut your ad spend or increase the return on your investment, hiring an agency can multiply your efforts. When an agency is connected to the ad platform, such as being a Google Partner or Bing Partner, the agency not only has several individuals that are versed in the platform but often given guidance, advance notice, and internal recommendations directly.
What should I look for in an agency?
When hiring an agency to do your B2B tech company’s search engine optimization work, you want an agency with proven results in working with companies like yours. This is not an area where it is worthwhile to cut corners. You want someone who is as “all in” as you are.
Here are some key services to look for:
Dedicated Project Manager
Make sure you have the name and qualifications of the individual you will be working with. This individual should also be able to provide ongoing support for your business and maintain a close relationship with your team.
In-Depth SEO Consultation
Every SEO project should begin with an in-depth consultation that includes: Keyword Research, Initial Keyword Positioning Reports, a comprehensive Website Audit, and a suggested course for improvement.
This should include integration of your most important keywords into your websites content, as well as optimization of items like page title tags, meta descriptions, and other on-page information.
This should include an audit of the technical aspects of SEO. It involves checking for items like your website's robots.txt file to ensure the correct content is crawlable, a submission of XML Sitemap to Search Engines, proper implementation of meta tags, image optimization, integration with Google tools, and common sense site architecture.
While every agency will offer different reporting structures, it is important to work with an agency that works with you to provide you with weekly, monthly, quarterly and/or annual reports on your search engine performance.
If your B2B tech company wants to rank higher in the searches that matter, spend less on pay-per-click ads, and get more qualified prospects visiting your website, hiring an agency is a good idea. If you’re interested in working with Golden Spiral, get in touch with us today. We’d love to learn more about your company and SEO goals.