How do you go about choosing an SEO agency for a fledging start-up?
This is a question that has plagued the imagination of several CEOs and Start-Up Founders. To be honest, this is not an easy task.
Everywhere you look, you see SEO agencies claiming themselves to be the best. Successful case studies are presented, referrals are given, and price flexibility is offered.
A simple Google search can throw up tons of search results. However, you should not use Google or any other search engine as a filter for choosing an SEO agency.
In this article, we are going to help start-up CEOs and Founders choose the best SEO agency for their businesses. Specifically, we are going to discuss the following-
- Questions to ask an SEO agency before you hire them
- Question 1: Have you worked with Start-Ups in the past?
- Question 2: Is the SEO Agency going to employ Black Hat Strategies?
- Question 3: Are the Results from SEO Guaranteed and Confirmed?
- Question 4: What are the SEO Budgets that you should be aware of?
- Question 5: Can your SEO Strategy be integrated into my Start-Up’s Business Model?
- Top Mistakes to Avoid when Choosing an SEO Agency for your Start-Up
- SEO Solutions for Start-Ups: What do you need to pay attention to?
- The Final Takeaway
Let us get right to it!
Questions to ask an SEO agency before you hire them
How would you know whether the SEO agency is the right fit for you and your business? one way of doing this is by asking a specific set of questions that can help you arrive at your decision-
Question 1: Have you worked with Start-Ups in the past?
If you are a start-up, you know just how much you are different from any other business out there. The working style, culture, objectives, and business models all differ. This is why you need to work with an SEO agency that understands the exact nature of your business. This will help them tailor make solutions, according to your business expectations and projections.
Question 2: Is the SEO Agency going to employ Black Hat Strategies?
Most SEO agencies, even some of the very best ones, are guilty of prioritizing black hat SEO strategies for showing results. This is something that Google detests and should not be done at any cost. While this might be able to deliver the results and your SEO agency will state with conviction that nothing happens, you should stay away from them at all costs.
Question 3: Are the Results from SEO Guaranteed and Confirmed?
There are many SEO agencies out there that will tell you during the pitch stage about results guarantees. This is something that cannot be proven! In other words, nothing in SEO is certain. There are just too many variables that need to be factored in. Most agencies that provide guarantees are only looking to get your business and nothing more than that.
Question 4: What are the SEO Budgets that you should be aware of?
Start-ups are cost-sensitive and rightly so. This means that they need to be aware of all the probable costs that SEO is going to set them back by. Make sure to get the costs and fee structures in writing. Bad SEO agencies are notorious for putting hidden costs in Invoices and then threatening to remove the links and content pieces. Do not fall for this trap at any cost.
Question 5: Can your SEO Strategy be integrated into my Start-Up’s Business Model?
A good and solid SEO strategy needs to compliment your start-ups overall business model and objectives. In other words, you are choosing more than just an SEO agency. You are choosing an effective partner that will be able to guide and lead your start-up on digital platforms like search and social. This makes the role of an SEO agency a lot more important than you think.
Leading start-ups in Singapore, try to get help from an SEO agency like Digitrio to help them align their business objectives with digital marketing strategies.
Top Mistakes to Avoid when Choosing an SEO Agency for your Start-Up
In this section, we are going to educate start-up founders about some mistakes that should be avoided when choosing an SEO agency-
Falling for SEO Agencies that quote Lowest Prices – Quality and result-driven SEO is not easy. Creating content in the form of informative long-format articles requires some money. Do not make the mistake of choosing an SEO agency that quotes the lowest prices. In this industry, low prices are often equivalent to poor service.
Running after Traffic and Rankings from SEO– Start-ups need to be mindful of the fact that high-quality SEO is more about just traffic and rankings. If done right, SEO can guarantee sales, credibility and allow you to target your potential customers. this is far more rewarding than attracting traffic that is wasteful for the start-up.
Investing in SEO for only Three Months– As a digital marketing strategy, SEO needs to be pursued for a sustained period of time. This means that you need to stick with the strategy and investments for at least six months. The movements from SEO might be slow, but they are sustained and will allow you to experience long-term benefits.
Believing that all SEO Strategies are the same– If you are a start-up looking to hire an SEO agency, you need to be familiar with what you exactly need. If you are an E-commerce company, your SEO will be different from a simple brand website. This is why you need an agency that is experienced and proficient in your specific SEO needs.
Not Educating yourself about the Basics of SEO– Yes, start-up founders and CEOs are busy professionals. However, you must keep educating yourself at least with the basics of SEO and other digital marketing strategies. This will allow you to be aware of what the SEO agency is up to. This will prevent you from getting tricked.
Once you can eliminate all the five mistakes mentioned above, you will be able to narrow down on the perfect SEO agency for your start-up.
SEO Solutions for Start-Ups: What do you need to pay attention to?
According to experts, start-ups are a peculiar business model that requires tailor-made SEO solutions. We spoke to leading SEO strategists at Digitrio and asked them what are some intricacies on SEO that Start-Ups need to pay attention to-
Firstly, for start-ups, SEO and SMM cannot be viewed as isolated entities. On the contrary, both these digital marketing strategies need to support and complement one another. This is something that the SEO agency needs to make sure about.
Secondly, start-ups need to communicate to the agency about what their KPIs are from pursuing an SEO agency. If you are looking for revenues, then your SEO strategies need to be by your KPIs. The same goes for targeted traffic.
Thirdly, start-ups need to shortlist at least three to five SEO agencies. You cannot pursue the first one, no matter how desirable and affordable they appear to be. Comparing the expertise, experience, pricing, and values is what you need to do.
Fourthly, while you can take referrals from your friends within the industry, that should not be the only option. You must do your research on online platforms when it comes to the selection process. There is no substitute for the same.
Fifthly, pay attention to the terms of the contract and the pricing structure. Make sure that the contract has been done in such a way that outlines all the SEO deliverables. Pay attention to quality over quantity in any SEO proposal that an agency submits.
Lastly, if you want to prioritize SEO as a way of growing your start-up, opt for setting up your internal teams. While this is something that most start-ups cannot afford, if you have the budget, you should be considering the pros and cons of the same.
Choosing an SEO agency is not the easiest thing in the world for start-ups. More importantly, given the environment and times, we are in, digital success on search and social is a top priority.
The Final Takeaway
If you are a start-up that is expecting immediate results from SEO, think again. You need to understand that there is a lot of hard work, effort, energy, and effort that goes into making SEO strategies reap results.
In this article, we have tried to outline important points that can help start-ups choose the best SEO agencies. Following the sections and points mentioned in the article can help you narrow down your selections and come to the right decision.
If you have any other questions about choosing an SEO agency, let us know in the comments below. We will be more than happy to help you answer the same.