3 things to consider when choosing a search marketing agency

Simon JonesStuff

Have you ever chosen someone to look after your search marketing and been massively disappointed? If you have, the likelihood is that you’re not alone.

I was speaking to someone the other day who said they see SEO as “a necessary evil” and nothing more. I’d like to say I was shocked. Problem is, I wasn’t. I’ve heard so many people tell me they’ve had their fingers burned by bad agencies who promise the earth and don’t deliver.

The good news is that there are people out there doing it the right way. These are three really important things you should be asking yourself to make sure you’re picking the right agency.


1. How do they measure their performance?

If you’re talking to an agency and they’re promising to “get you to the top of page one on Google”, it sounds great. The thing is, just getting to the top of page one doesn’t mean anything.

Basing performance purely on rankings doesn’t cut it anymore.

A proper search marketing agency will consider your goals and then build a plan around them. If you sell products online, they’ll put together a strategy that’s aimed at increasing sales. If you provide a service, they’ll strive to increase the number of leads and enquiries your website is generating.

A proper return on your investment is the only thing that should matter.


2. Do they undertake proper research?

You know your business inside out. Whether it’s SEO or PPC, you’ll have ideas about what phrases you should be optimising for. If you’re talking to an agency and they take your word for it…stop and think.

If you’re looking for a search marketing expert, expect them to act like one. Whilst you know your business inside out, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a better option. The only way to find out is by undertaking thorough research.

Research means assessing the market and considering all the options available. For example, you might sell pink t-shirts. You’ve always sold pink t-shirts. You’re all over pink t-shirts and you’re top of Google for pink t-shirts.

However, what if only 10% of your potential market is searching Google for pink t-shirts. What if the other 90% are searching for magenta t-shirts?

Before starting a campaign in earnest, an expert search marketing agency will undertake proper research and make sure there’s nothing being missed. A combination of your expertise and theirs is the best way forward.


3. Does their pricing sound too good to be true?

What’s the old saying? If it’s too good to be true, it probably is. That applies here and then some.

Expertise isn’t cheap.

To get proper results from search marketing, you need to invest in it. However, as I covered in the first point, a good search marketing agency should be able to look at their fees and make sure their plan will earn you back that investment. That means fully understanding the work involved in getting results.

Anyone who offers ‘cheap’ SEO services isn’t going to benefit your business. In fact, you’re probably better off taking your money, learning the basics of PPC and spending it that way.


There’s much more to successful search marketing but those 3 points are key to making sure you’re at least talking to the right people. At the end of the day, it’s your business and your money you’re spending. Like any investment, you want to make sure you’re getting something back from it.

No form of search marketing should be seen as a necessary evil, it should be seen as a profitable sales and marketing tool that helps your business grow and prosper.