Many business owners who don’t have time, knowledge or their own SEO team decide to outsource the positioning of their websites to specialist agencies. Outsourcing of such services is a popular solution often employed in practice.
Using services of a third party in website positioning gives access to qualified professionals who have many years of experience and know how to promote your website in search engines. However, in order to achieve all of that, you and an SEO agency need to get off on the right foot because such collaboration with an SEO agency tends to go wrong very frequently.
“I’ve already paid, why are you calling me?”
It happens that clients who have ordered and paid for a website positioning service think that everything is in place and are surprised that the service provider wants something more from them. They believe that a wire transfer means a job done and no need for further contact. From time to time, clients distance themselves after signing an agreement or paying an invoice despite relatively smooth communication prior to launching a campaign.
Already at the outset, when an SEO audit is being planned, calls to the client are neither answered nor returned and emails seem to be undelivered. It’s problematic for an SEO agency, since without consent to changes, SEO efforts are not as successful as they could and should be. Communication is key to good collaboration. It happens that after spending 2–3 months trying to contact the client, even simply to approve an SEO audit, the client replies that… “results are unsatisfactory”.
The same applies to audit time when clients decide to perform an SEO audit by themselves: delays and frequent mistakes while auditing waste precious time in which the SEO specialist may answer questions and the client may enjoy outcomes. That’s why it’s best to work with a software developer who understands SEO or to put your software developer in contact with the SEO specialist directly.
What to do to establish fruitful collaboration, avoid problems and tap the full potential of your efforts? Here’s a brief list.
Identify contact people and communication channels
Agencies have various structures and customer service departments. Sometimes a project manager is delegated to help and guide a client, sometimes a specialist responsible for the project needs to be contacted directly. Regardless of whether it’s the former or the latter contact method, right at the beginning you should identify a person responsible at the agency for your project and establish how you can communicate with this person.
If you have a coordinator of SEO efforts at your company, tell the agency about it. Smooth contact bolsters good collaboration and helps achieve satisfactory results.
Delegate people from your marketing department to communicate with the agency. It’s not recommended to engage managers of any tier in talks about SEO because they won’t have time to read a technical audit report. Neither is it advisable to designate a person who doesn’t have a say in what’s posted on the website and isn’t in touch with IT department. People with a basic knowledge of coding and SEM are best equipped to work with SEO experts.
Set goals and objectives of an SEO campaign
Next, think of what you expect from the agency you are to collaborate with. I mean setting common objectives of an SEO campaign, e.g. ROI or a specific increase in sales. Remember that if you agree on an increase in traffic or rank, the agency may overlook or ignore sales. Set a transparent SEO goal and tell the agency precisely what you need – it’ll help strategize efforts and analyze results.
I believe that a lot of good SEO agencies struggle because of those few companies that promise unachievable results: from positioning for keywords without the potential through promising outcomes over way too short periods of time or for way too low prices. It’s been happening for years and such agencies ‘breathe’ only thanks to invoices paid by people who don’t understand for what they pay and don’t question absence of action.
Our most interesting discovery was a big client who would pay three SEO agencies at the same time. Only one of them did any work on a regular basis, but they all issued invoices. Such a client will not be able to trust other agency in the future. That’s why it’s so crucial to properly train your salespeople so that your client perfectly knows and understands what to expect and demand and how to verify SEO results easily.
Krzysztof Marzec, CEO @ DevaGroup
Introduce your business
Gather the most essential information on your business and provide it to your SEO agency. If your website used to be positioned, mention that as well. In addition, define your target audience and try to determine what distinguishes you from competition. Describe your best products and services and list those on which you rely the most.
Notify the agency of the foregoing. Consider SEO experts the way you consider Google Ads specialists – they need to have an understanding of how Internet users search for your products or services, and they’ll be unable to do it if they don’t know you and your clients.
This will simply allow them to better comprehend what you sell, to whom you sell and how to promote you online.
It’s very important to tell the agency who was responsible for SEO at your company earlier. Take reports from the last agency, lists of links established and optimizations implemented and provide them to your new SEO partner. This will accelerate collaboration and help avoid many mistakes.
Grant an SEO specialist access to all required tools
Having established collaboration, every reliable SEO agency will request access to two fundamental tools: Google Analytics and Search Console. These are the most important solutions employed by specialists for positioning efforts.
If you’re not familiar with said tools and don’t know how to grant access to them, don’t panic. Contact your agency and ask for help.
Are you concerned about your data? Sign an NDA. Request the agency to verify who may presently access your data and to take care of any Goggle messages originating from Google Analytics and Search Console.
Take into account time needed to communicate with an agency
You need to communicate with your agency, whether you like it or not. If you intend to outsource positioning, you must make certain decisions and undertake certain actions to succeed.
First three months of collaboration are most intense in terms of communication. It’s a busy period when a lot has to be agreed on. What’s more, it often kicks off an SEO audit underlying efficient website positioning. In this period of time, the client also receives first activity reports and a considerable number of questions from specialists.
It’s a period when you should expect to be frequently contacted by the SEO campaign coordinator, when you ought to share remarks and ideas with the specialist. Alternatively, the SEO agency can do everything for you, but it needs access to the website code and the green light to act.
Collaboration with an SEO agency – things to consider. Summary
When signing an SEO agreement with a good agency, you get new people into your business network. Just like your other employees, they’ll need you to approve ideas, they’ll need to be familiar with your business, they’ll need your time and notably your feedback. There’s no better incentive to work harder than praise. However, don’t be afraid to express your dissatisfaction – whether with results or with how communication proceeds – since openness and transparency is key to mutual understanding.