8 Things to Look For When Hiring a Search Engine Marketing Agency

Choosing and hiring the right search engine marketing agency can be a crucial step in ensuring success for your business. To help you make the right decision, here are 8 key things to consider when selecting a SEM agency.

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The essential 8 Things to Look For When Hiring a Search Engine Marketing Agency

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Specialized Expertise

It's important that your search engine marketing agency has specialized expertise in all things related to online search. This includes SEO, SEM, and other forms of digital advertising. Ask the agency about their qualifications and track record to see if they have the necessary experience for the job. Make sure that the team is up to date on all current best practices and trends in the industry.

Assess Your Needs.

Before you start your search for a Search Engine Marketing Agency, it's important to assess your business' needs and determine exactly what type of services you require. Ask yourself questions like: Who is my target audience? What social platforms do I need to reach them? What strategies am I looking to implement? Having these answers ready will help you narrow down your list of potential agencies and find one that will meet all of your specific needs.

Determine Your Budget.

Once you’ve identified the type of search engine marketing services that you need, it's time to determine your budget. This will enable you to narrow down your selection and only consider agencies that can accommodate within your price range. When setting a budget, think about the amount of work required and plan accordingly. Make sure there is enough money allocated for all aspects of the job – from initial research and recommendations to the actual implementation of your campaign.

Analyze Candidates’ Expertise and Experience.

Experience and expertise should be at the top of your list when looking for a search engine marketing agency. Look beyond their websites and portfolios to find out who makes up the team – their qualifications, experience levels, specialties, etc. You need to feel confident that they have the right knowledge and experience to handle your project’s specific needs. Ask questions about any potential conflicts or weaknesses that could impact performance too.

Identify Their Specialty Services.

Knowing what services an agency can provide is important, but it's just as critical that you identify the specialties or unique capabilities that the agency offers. Search for an agency with dedicated groups specialized in PPC campaigns, content marketing, or other search engine marketing disciplines, and make sure to ask questions about the team’s qualifications and experience when it comes to your specific areas of need.

Research Their Results for Other Clients.

It's essential to understand the successes other clients have experienced with the agency before you sign on the dotted line. Check out their case studies, portfolio samples, and ask for referees who can provide real-life testimonials about what it’s like to work with the firm. Try to look beyond general accomplishments such as campaign ROI or improvement in rankings, and ask questions that focus on specifics such as speed of execution, strategy and tactics used, or creative brainstorming capabilities. The answers will help you determine if this agency's services are right for your business.

A Comprehensive Strategy Plan

You also want to make sure that the SEM agency you hire provides comprehensive strategy plans for each of your campaigns. This plan should include research and analysis about your target market and competitors, keyword targeting, audience segmentation, landing page optimization, content writing, tracking and reporting methods, analytics, etc. A solid strategy plan is necessary for sustainable growth over the long term.

Transparency in Pricing and Reporting

When you’re looking for a search engine marketing agency, you want one that is transparent in its pricing and reporting. A lot of times, agencies may offer low monthly rates but then charge add-ons for specific services. Ask to review the pricing structure and what services are included to make sure you’re getting an accurate assessment of the total cost. Additionally, any agency you consider should provide regular reports that show your progress towards your goals and make it easy to understand where money is being spent.

Understanding of Your Business and Audience Goals.

It is essential that a potential Facebook Ad Agency have an in-depth understanding of your business goals and objectives, as well as your target audience. A good agency should be able to provide detailed insight and knowledge when it comes to the type of campaigns that will most likely achieve your desired results. This includes having an established strategy for setting up ads that use the right messaging, visuals, targeting, and timing for maximum success rates.

Additionally, a top-notch Facebook ad agency should be highly knowledgeable about the platform’s algorithm and features. With an understanding of constantly-evolving features such as dynamic ads, remarketing options, video campaigns, custom audiences, and more -your agency should have no problem staying up to date with all of the latest tools that can help you get more out of your campaigns. By having this background knowledge in place, you’re sure to get the most out of your advertising budget and reach your business objectives as efficiently as possible.

However, understanding the platform and its features isn’t enough. Your Facebook ad agency should also have a full understanding of your business goals along with an extensive knowledge of your target audience. This includes demographic info such as age range, gender, location, interests and behavior in order to accurately create campaigns that not only get you noticed amongst your competition, but will also drive conversions through conversions or direct sales. Furthermore, having access to these insights enables your ad agency to conduct A/B testing which serves as the perfect opportunity for retarging better-performing ads that are tailored to fit exactly what audiences are looking for in terms of content.

To effectively reach the right audience and drive conversions, your Facebook ad agency needs to have at least a basic understanding of your business goals in order to create campaigns that cater to what you’re trying to achieve. Advertising agencies should be able to use insights from A/B testing, such as audiences’ preferred content format and better-performing ads, in order to ensure they are accurately reaching the right target audience. With a deep understanding of your target customer, current trends in their behavior, and a clear goal of what you want the campaign to achieve, promising results should follow.

Proven Track Record

Before you choose an SEM agency, verify that they have a proven track record in their field. Ask to speak to their clients and look at the performance of their campaigns. If the agency has been successful in your industry, it speaks to their expertise in the area and indicates that they have what it takes to get you the results you’re looking for.

Experience with Existing Tools & Platforms

Knowing how to use the right tools and platforms is integral to any successful search engine marketing campaign. Make sure your SEM agency has experience using existing tools and platforms, as well as any specialized tools that are commonly used in your industry. Ask your prospective agency about their performance data from past campaigns to get an idea of their proficiency with various tracking mechanisms such as keyword research and analytics.

Search Engine Marketing Agency

Still unsure on where to look for a search engine marketing agency? Here's a couple of choices

Tom Cahill Head of Growth

Tom Cahill

Head of Growth

Our digital marketing systems are seriously powerful. They are designed to completely change your business growth and dramatically increase your bottom line.
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These growth techniques we’re using RIGHT NOW to grow our own and our client’s businesses.

Tom Cahill

Head of Growth

Our digital marketing systems are seriously powerful and it will completely change your business growth dramatically.
This isn’t theoretical stuff.
These are ideas and techniques we’re using RIGHT NOW to grow both our own and our client’s businesses.

Tom Cahill Head of Growth

Discover how we can help your business grow

Contact us to work with a results driven digital marketing agency


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