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Is a B2B SEO Agency Really Worth the Cost?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is an investment in your business. While you may try to do content marketing yourself, you still have to invest time and money to complete keyword research, produce content, and monitor the success or failure of those efforts.
When it comes to SEO, you do have options. You can do it in-house, hire a freelancer, or partner with a B2B SEO agency. With so many options, it may be challenging to decide which is the best for your business.
This article will arm you with the tools necessary to make that decision. We'll cover what B2B SEO agencies do, content marketing and SEO vitality, and best practices for vetting different agencies. Finally, we'll answer the question; is hiring an SEO agency worth the cost?
What a B2B SEO Agency Does
SEO is a complex process; however, the main job of an agency is to generate traffic and leads from scratch by improving your website's visibility on search engine result pages (SERP). The focus is on optimizing both on-page and off-page SEO components to make your site more visible to potential customers using search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing to find information about products or services similar to yours.
Many agencies will also offer content marketing as part of their service. Again, this broad term can encompass anything from developing blog content to promoting infographics or ebooks. Typically, content marketing is involved with every process of SEO.
The agency should also be able to provide you with detailed monthly reports outlining the progress of your SEO campaign, including keyword rankings, backlink growth, traffic statistics, and conversion data. We'll discuss the best process for vetting an agency's process later.
SEO & Content Marketing Is Vital for Your Business
In short, content marketing and SEO are essential for any business that wants to be visible online. There are reasons for this.
- SEO generates leads. Of all online experiences, 93% begin with a search engine, and 75% of people never click past the first page. So if your website isn't ranking high on SERPs, you're missing out on tons of potential traffic and leads.
- SEO builds trust and credibility. In a recent study, 72% of respondents said they trust Google to deliver the most accurate results. When you appear at the top of SERPs, people trust your information; especially in medicine, finance, and legal. In addition, younger people tend to trust Google searches more than older people.
- Content marketing drives conversions. Like content marketing and SEO, inbound marketing tactics have generated 54% more leads than traditional outbound tactics. Why is this the case? It turns out that content marketing nurtures leads. They become familiar with your business and view you as a thought leader, making them more likely to become customers.
Now that we've answered what a B2B SEO agency does and why it's important, let's move on to how you can vet different agencies to find the best one for your business.
Best Practices for Vetting a B2B SEO Agency
1. Check Their Reviews
One of the best ways to get an idea of whether or not an agency is worth your time (and money) is to check their reviews. Google and other search engines make this easy; type in the agency's name followed by reviews. You'll see Google reviews about their business, practices, and strategies for previous clients.
Additionally, you can check their website for other reviews, testimonials, and case studies. Reaching out to a past or current client of the agency is almost always a good idea. You can learn first-hand how the agency has performed for its client. Similarly, case studies offer excellent insights into other businesses' success. We recommend finding a case study that's similar to your business.
2. Ask About Their SEO Processes
The next step is to ask the agency about its specific SEO processes and strategies. You want to know what they plan on doing to improve your website's visibility and ranking. In addition, you should be able to get a sense of how long the process will take and what kind of results you can expect.
3. Discuss Expectations
This step goes hand-in-hand with the previous one. It would be best if you had a frank discussion with the agency about your expectations for results.
- What kind of timeframe are you looking at?
- What sort of budget do you have?
- What are your goals for the campaign?
You and the agency must be on the same page regarding expectations for results, timeline, and pricing. Otherwise, you're just setting yourself up for disappointment.
4. Ask About Communication & Reporting
It would help if you also asked the agency how they communicate results and progress to their clients. For example, how often will you receive reports, and what information will they include?
This step is crucial because you need to be able to track the progress of your SEO campaign. Monthly or bi-weekly reports are typically sufficient. These reports should include keyword rankings, backlink growth, traffic statistics, and conversion data.
5. Share How Involved You Want To Be
Finally, share how involved you want to be with the agency in the SEO process. For instance, do you want to be updated every step of the way? Sometimes business owners like to understand the SEO process. Alternatively, you might want to be given the results at the end of each month.
The important thing is that you communicate your level of involvement to the agency. This way, they know how much work they need to do on their end in terms of communication and reporting.
The Bottom Line
A B2B SEO agency can be an excellent asset for your business, but only if you choose the right one. So, be sure to vet different agencies before making a decision. And, don't forget to discuss expectations, timelines, and budget upfront. So, is the investment worth it?
That's the decision you'll have to make; however, the benefits of implementing SEO and content marketing speak for themselves. Inbound marketing is the most effective form of obtaining the most fruitful leads. That's why we genuinely recommend hiring a B2B SEO agency.