Many times when a company or individual is looking to hire a search marketing vendor, they have a mental process that they go through in order to qualify the potential service provider for their own business.
Smart business people take the time to talk to learn about their potential partner. Search marketing is not a cheap expense. You need to know that the service provider you choose will handle your project with care, professionalism, be accountable and of course, deliver results.
Some enterprise level companies might have concerns on if a search provider can handle all of their needs. While that answer will vary from each company, the best way to answer that question is to talk to the vendor! Ask the service provider how they would handle a large account, and ask for examples, perhaps some real time results?
A true professional will tell you their limitations. For example, I don’t do PPC at all. It’s a key element in your online marketing efforts, but I know that I could not provide an excellent level of service to anyone who would hire me for that. But, when it comes to organic rankings, I feel that I can get any site ranked for any phrase – provided that I have the budget in place.
The great thing about the Internet is that we are no longer bound by regionality. Most online businesses can deliver their products to just about any location on the planet. Likewise, just because a certain region may traditionally have a plethora of talent, that doesn’t mean that someone with the same level of talent who chooses to reside away from that crowd isn’t as good.
Experience should be a major qualifying factor in deciding on a vendor. Everyone claims that they have been doing search for years. How can you know your vendor is talking shop or sh!t? Perhaps the most confusing part about search marketing is that there are many ways to get a site ranked. If you talk to five different search vendors, they could probably all tell you different ways to get ranked and they would most likely all be correct.
So what does it come down to? Like everything else in life, personality. Some people are just naturally charismatic and are good at influencing people. While that might do well in other verticals, in search, results should be the starting point of every conversation. From that point forward, the personality of the people involved should then add to the final decision.
I can’t speak for other seo companies, but I think the best way to get this process started is with a simple call. You can tell a lot about people when you are on the phone. Many times it’s the conversations not talking about search that will provide insight on how the relationship might go. We’re all human and have interests outside of work. Just mentioning those aspects in life will either pre-qualify your vendor or eliminate them entirely.
The intent of this post is to help those of you who are looking for seo services but aren’t ready to take the plunge. I for one am always willing to talk to people and help them understand what I do. That goes against the grain for a lot of seo companies, but I’ve always felt that if the client understands why I am suggesting a certain method or asking to do a certain type of campaign, they will recognize that it’s being done for their own rankings.
Hope this helps, and give me a call or contact me with your questions!