When you hire an SEO agency, you may think that you can just let them handle everything and you have no part to play. After all, you don’t know much about SEO, and that’s why you are hiring SEO professionals in the first place.
But this can’t be further from the truth. You absolutely have a part to play in an SEO agency collaboration. You can provide the details the agency needs to make the SEO campaigns and executions smoother. And you can also involve yourself in these campaigns and executions and adjust them based on your business objectives and goals. You have a bigger part to play than you realize.
1. Clear business objectives
What are your business and SEO objectives? Are you starting out and just want to build brand awareness and get some sales? Are you looking to scale your company and want more website visitors and conversions? You have to be clear with your objectives and share these with your SEO agency. These will provide a roadmap for your SEO professionals, so they can make plans that will align with your objectives.
- Try to be specific in your objectives. If you are an e-commerce company, for example, increasing online sales may sound like a broad objective. It can work, but you can make it more specific like increasing online sales by 10%. When you are specific, your SEO agency can tailor their campaigns to ensure these objectives are met. They will also be able to make adjustments. They can be more aggressive or passive in their approaches depending on your company’s needs.
- Identify the metrics that matter most. If you are trying to increase online sales by 10% as an e-commerce company, some of the metrics that matter the most are organic website traffic, conversions, sales, and revenues. Make sure to establish your key performance indicators, so your SEO agency can focus on tracking and improving these specific metrics.
- Be open to optimizing and revising your objectives. As your SEO campaigns and executions progress, your SEO agency may see new things that need to be addressed. For example, what if increasing online sales by 10% becomes more achievable if you boost your brand visibility first? Your SEO agency can pivot to other strategies even though the end goals are still the same. You have to be open to these things.
2. Historical data and analytics
If you have historical data and analytics, make sure you share them with your SEO agency. The information these provide is invaluable because it can empower your SEO agency to make more informed decisions, optimize their strategies for your company, and deliver results more efficiently. Numbers significantly enhance the effectiveness of collaborating with an SEO agency.
- Provide key performance indicators. When you have clear business objectives, you know which metrics can serve as key performance indicators. Make sure to share everything with your SEO agency. And then highlight the key performance indicators, so they can serve as a baseline when you and your SEO agency are setting up new SEO goals and tracking progress over time.
- Offer insights based on past performances. Another great thing about historical data and analytics is that they offer valuable insights into what works and what doesn’t. Your SEO agency will be able to identify successful and unsuccessful strategies and make decisions from there. Maybe they can double down on successful strategies, tweak unsuccessful ones to make them better, or make entirely new strategies.
- Try to identify trends. Data and analytics can reveal trends of all sorts, from market dynamics to user behaviors. If a client such as yourself shares this with their SEO agency partner, their SEO professionals can adapt and adjust their strategies to take advantage of trends or avoid crucial mistakes.
3. Brand identity and voice
A big portion of SEO campaigns and executions involve creating content. This is why it’s important as a client to provide a well-defined brand, identity, and voice to your SEO agency. If your SEO agency understands your brand, they can make campaigns and executions that are consistent with it. This way, your SEO professionals will be able to help not just in your online presence, but also in your branding. With the right approach, SEO agencies can build brand awareness, authority, and consistency.
- Be consistent with your messaging. When you have a well-defined brand, your SEO agency will be able to ensure that all content they make, from website copy to social media posts, is aligned and consistent with your brand and its mission and values. This alignment and consistency boosts brand awareness and trust. Both of these are actually factors search engines consider when ranking websites, so they are also relevant for your SEO, not just for your branding.
- Resonate with your target audience. When you have a well-defined brand, it’s also likely that you have a well-defined target audience. And when you have a well-defined target audience, it will be easier for your SEO agency partner to create authentic and engaging content for them. This can drastically improve your SEO performance.
- Differentiate yourself from competitors. You are not the only company in your industry and niche looking to boost their SEO. Your competitors are probably partnering with SEO agencies too. Make sure you are sharing your brand’s unique selling points and values with your SEO agency, so their SEO professionals can emphasize these in their campaigns and executions.
4. Content assets
Unless your company is entirely new, you probably have content assets from at least your website and social media profiles. Show these assets to your SEO agency, so they have an idea of your branding and the kind of content you are already using for your online presence. They can enhance these assets and reuse some of them for brand consistency.
- Give access to existing content. You probably already have a repository of existing content, including articles, blog posts, and more. Give access to these assets to your SEO agency. This way, they will be able to assess their quality, revise them, or even reuse them for their SEO campaigns and executions. Repurposing is also an SEO technique your agency may use. With this technique, they can tweak existing content assets and turn them into something new. They can only repurpose if you provide them with your existing assets.
- Don’t ignore visual assets. Content assets are not limited to articles, blog posts, and other written content. They also include visual assets, such as infographics and videos. These assets can also be optimized for search engines. For example, images can include alt texts. When visual assets are optimized for search engines, they can also help with your overall SEO rankings because these assets may rank better in image and video search results.
- Provide research data. In your company, you may also have important data that you may have collected over the years, such as case studies, industry reports, research papers, and survey results. These are highly shareable content assets, so make sure you give them to your SEO agency. With these assets, they can build authoritative content and links, boost authority in your industry and niche, and come up with new SEO executions.
5. Commitment to an SEO agency collaboration
Some businesses just hire SEO agencies and expect the SEO professionals to do everything for them. Though this can still work if you don’t want to be too involved, you may see better results if you are still somewhat involved and you are showing your commitment to an SEO agency partnership. If you have a solid relationship with your SEO agency, camaraderie and the spirit of collaboration may become strong, increasing the chances of a successful SEO campaign.
- Actively participate in strategy development. Many SEO agencies actually educate their clients about SEO. This is useful because, when clients know about SEO, they can make more informed decisions in important SEO aspects, such as strategy development, execution, revision, and ongoing monitoring. If you are truly committed to improving your SEO, participate in all these aspects, especially in strategy development. Make sure to align your SEO strategy with your business goals.
- Provide timely access to resources. You have to be open to your SEO agency, so they can make the right diagnoses and solutions – the same way you have to be open to your doctor, so they can help you effectively. Grant your SEO professionals access to your website, business profiles, social media profiles, analytics, and content assets. This way, they can build appropriate strategies, implement changes, and track the progress of your SEO journey.
- Communicate openly and transparently. Effective and regular communication is an important factor in a successful SEO agency collaboration. Be proactive in communicating. Share your goals, expectations, and feedback. If you feel changes need to be made, make sure to communicate this too to your SEO professionals. With proper communication, you and your SEO agency will always be on the same page, preventing misunderstandings such as misaligned goals and unrealistic expectations.
6. Transparency and trust
Transparency and trust are some of the most important things a client brings to the table when they partner with an SEO company. These things just foster a healthy and productive relationship, which can only be beneficial for both the client and the SEO agency. If you have transparency and trust, your SEO agency can also work more effectively, ultimately increasing the chances of a successful SEO journey.
- Share everything you can. Be transparent with your SEO agency by willingly sharing all the information they need, including your business model, business and SEO objectives, industry insights, past SEO efforts, and challenges. This will give the SEO agency an overview of your business and your SEO situation, making their professionals able to come up with an SEO plan that will align well with these.
- Give honest feedback and control your expectations. Be transparent by giving honest feedback, whether it’s about SEO strategies and executions, timelines, or even budgets. This will enable both parties to align their objectives. This will also prevent unrealistic expectations, which are common reasons for souring client and SEO agency relations.
- Remember that respect is a two-way street. You don’t get to disrespect your SEO agency just because you are paying them to do your SEO. If you respect them, you will foster a better collaboration environment. Also, remember to trust your SEO agency’s strategies and recommendations. They have the industry know-how and the data to back up their plans.
7. Patience and realistic expectations
SEO and digital marketing in general is a competitive space. There are so many things that can influence the success and failure of SEO campaigns and executions, and some of these are outside of your control, like algorithm changes. You have to be very patient to see some form of success. And you have to control your expectations and don’t expect grand results like content virality.
- Understand SEO timelines. You can’t just hire an SEO agency for only a month and then think that your SEO is all set. SEO is a long-term game, and it is a continuous process. The bigger your goals and the more competitive your industry and niche are, the longer things will take and the more you will need continuity. Be patient with your SEO growth. Get regular reports from your SEO agency to see progress, no matter how bad or small these progress points are.
- Set realistic goals. Some businesses think that they can hire SEO professionals and suddenly their rankings will skyrocket to the top of Google search results. They also expect their content to go viral overnight, resulting in more leads and conversions. These are incredibly unrealistic. Share your objectives with your SEO professionals, and they will be the ones who can help set realistic goals with milestones.
- Be flexible with your SEO strategies. SEO strategies often require adjustments along the way. This doesn’t mean that your SEO agency has oversights. This is just how the game of SEO is played. Algorithm updates, industry changes, competitive landscapes, and other factors may force your SEO agency to adjust. Don’t immediately think that they are incompetent just because they need adjustments. In fact, it may even be a sign of their competence.
8. Willingness to experiment and test
A client’s willingness to experiment and test empowers them to actively engage in the SEO process. This can help foster a culture of continuous improvement and adaptation, which is something that you really need in your SEO journey. If you are not afraid to experiment and test, you can discover new strategies that can give you a competitive edge and you can avoid ones that are more detrimental than they help. This can lead to more effective SEO strategies and executions.
- Explore new tactics. If you are into content creation, maybe try different content formats and see how users will engage. If you are into link building, maybe try different email outreach templates and see how webmasters will respond. There are many ways to experiment and explore new SEO tactics. They may even be necessary to optimize your SEO strategies and executions. With experimentation and testing, your SEO journey also becomes more dynamic, flexible, and responsive.
- Perform A/B testing. Test, test, and test your new tactics. Do you need to optimize your on-page elements to get better results? Do you need to revise your guest post proposals to get more replies? By testing different variations, you can identify strategies and revisions that work better.
- Analyze experiments and tests with data. When you are trying and testing new tactics, use data to analyze their effectiveness. Use the appropriate key performance indicators to help you see if the new tactics are effective as is, require tweaking, or should be completely scrapped.
There are many things you bring to the table in an SEO agency collaboration
Clients play a vital role in the success of their SEO agency partnership. They can state clear objectives, offer industry insights, build respect and trust, and many more. These things empower not just the SEO agencies but also the clients themselves, and these can only be beneficial for the clients’ SEO journeys.
Remember that a partnership is a two-way street. The more willing you are to cooperate with your SEO agency, the better your chances of having a successful partnership with them.