What Are Smart Questions To Ask When Hiring a B2B SEO Firm?
Many factors come into play when hiring a B2B SEO agency, which people may tend to underestimate to their own detriment. For instance, how much do you know about SEO in the first place? How do you know whether SEO services on offer from a firm are right for you or of good quality?
To find out, you have to ask the right questions, which is what this guide gives you, specifically:
- A quick overview of how outsourcing SEO helps your business
- Seven critical questions to ask any B2B SEO firm you hire
There’s a lot to discuss, so get ready to take notes.
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Is Outsourcing B2B SEO Good for Business?
The short answer to “When is the right time to hire a B2B partner?” is always yes. However, the more nuanced and better response is to carefully consider the pros and cons for your business. For instance, do you have the time and financial resources required to outsource your SEO?
Are you okay with delegating such an important part of your business to a third party? On the other hand, can you afford to overlook the benefits of working with an SEO expert? These are all vital considerations before deciding whether to hire a B2B SEO firm.
7 Smart Questions To Ask a B2B SEO Firm
Now that you have gotten the ball rolling on deciding that outsourcing is right for you, the next step is thinking carefully about what you need from a B2B SEO firm. You might feel tempted to hire the first smooth-talking salesperson to enter the door, but just hold that thought.
Not all B2B SEO techniques are good for business. Some are more effective, some are a little sneaky, and some are just plain trouble. You need to protect yourself and your business by knowing the difference, and that comes from asking the right questions when hiring a B2B SEO firm.
1. Do You Have Experience Working In My Industry?
As the first question on this list, this should weigh heavily into your decision on hiring the firm. You need to feel confident that they know what to do. Practical experience in SEO and practical experience in another industry are two entirely different ideas.
For example, they might know what to do in terms of B2B marketing, but they might not know how to reach your target customers. The disconnect can lead to mismatched strategies that go nowhere fast. Make sure to know definitively whether a B2B SEO firm knows enough before hiring them.
2. How Do You Approach Content Strategy for Clients?
You might think that content has nothing to do with a business catering to other businesses, but this is far from the truth in practice. This and other B2B SEO myths hurt your performance and competitiveness. High-quality content is just as critical for B2B businesses as it is for blogs.
Use this to gauge how well they know their responsibilities to you, the client. Be the first to reject cutting any corners on content creation, especially sacrificing quality in favor of quantity. Start looking into other options if you see red flags during your initial meeting with a B2B SEO firm.
3. What Services Does Your SEO Firm Offer Clients?
Every B2B SEO agency provides a typical set of services such as research (including keyword, market, and competitor research) and technical audits to optimize your website. However, that does not mean you settle for the usual. Some advanced B2B SEO services you should look for include:
- A well-made content strategy to put your website at the top of Google’s search results.
- A backlink-building plan that covers a variety of authoritative sources, including news.
- Making the sales funnel part of your website’s growth and customer retention strategies.
4. Which SEO Tools Do You Have or Use Most Often?
The most effective SEO tools often require a license or subscription, which makes sense for a B2B SEO firm to have but probably not you. In any case, the choice of which ones to use comes with that. Every SEO tool has its use and place in constructing the best SEO strategies.
You do not need to know all of them by heart, but it helps you decide when you know enough to judge whether the B2B SEO firm is making the right investments. Most importantly, though, is that they have the right tools on hand to accomplish everything you need them to do.
5. How Do You Plan To Improve My Conversion Rate?
This is vital to know from the start. A B2B SEO firm should have a long-term and flexible plan for growth. Most importantly, treat short-term thinking or get-rich-quick ideas as red flags, partly because they are not sustainable and partly because they involve black hat SEO practices.
You should also make it a point to ask how they intend to help you retain clients. Try to gauge their commitment to creating genuine growth for your business or securing another client for profit. After all, their help means nothing if none of your new customers stay with you long-term.
6. Do You Use Any Black or Gray Hat SEO Strategies?
As intelligent as search engines are these days, they are still nowhere near perfect, and some people like to take advantage of that. In short, SEO is not all good; there are unethical (black hat) and questionable (gray hat) practices, too. Here are examples of what you should avoid:
- Buying expired domains is a cheap way to boost site traffic or domain authority (DA).
- Using generative AI tools to mass produce content without regard for SEO or quality.
- Purchasing spam links or creating fake backlinks artificially inflates your website’s DA.
7. Does Your Marketing Plan Include PR Outreach?
Good PR always results in a sizable boost in business; just think of how many trends exploded from a single segment on the news. Imagine what a news article on Forbes or Entrepreneur can do for your business. In short, plans to build a relationship with news outlets should be in place.
Apart from PR outreaches, B2B partnerships are another suitable SEO plan. B2B businesses do not solely depend on gaining new customers and keeping old ones for growth. Collaborations also help your business grow in ways that are impossible for you to do alone.
Hiring a B2B SEO firm is a step in the right direction for your business, but you must approach it correctly. Similar to how you have to convince people to choose your business, you also need to be discerning throughout this process. Ask the right questions before deciding.
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