Choosing the right SEO agency is really important if you want to boost your organic growth.
You’ve done months of research to make sure you show up in search results, so it’s important to find the right partner.
The right partner will tailor their strategies to your website and brand.
They’ll be a great source of growth for you.
On the other hand, if you don’t choose the right agency, you could end up wasting money on efforts that aren’t relevant to your business.
This guide will help you understand what to look for and how to choose an SEO agency that will help you reach your goals.
Understand Your Specific SEO Goals
Start the agency search by setting out your SEO goals.
Do you want to get more people to your website, rank for more keywords, or get more quality leads?
Set some numerical goals, like getting your keyword rankings to the top 3, getting your website to double its traffic, or increasing organic revenue by X%.
This will give agencies a better idea of what you’re looking for and how you want to achieve it.
Show them your site analytics and how you’re doing so they can figure out what to look for.
Making it clear what your goals are will help them determine if they’re the right SEO provider for you.
Define Your Target Audience and Market
Give agencies a comprehensive look at who you’re trying to reach, where you’re located, and who your competitors are.
That way, they can tailor strategies to fit your needs using targeted keywords, and benchmarking.
For instance, you should outline who your core business buyers are, what the top US metro markets are, and who your top 5 competitors are.
This will help them focus their SEO efforts on your most important search visibility opportunities and customers.
It’ll also help them figure out which niche rankings your competitors aren’t targeting.
Set a Clear Budget for SEO
Be honest with agencies about how much you’re spending on SEO each month or year.
That way, they can come up with solutions that fit your budget and resources.
Don’t just ask for a “proposal” without setting out how much you’re willing to spend.
If you want to pay based on how much traffic, ranking, or conversions you get, be flexible with your SaaS marketing budget.
That way, you won’t waste time getting offers that are too good to be true.
Look for Years of Experience
If you’re looking for a SaaS SEO agency, make sure they’ve been around for a while and have experience in more than just general SEO.
SaaS has complicated sales cycles and technical features, so you want to make sure you have the right strategies in place.
Look for someone who knows how to use long-tail keywords to draw in qualified customers during their buying process.
Ensure the Agency Specializes in SaaS SEO
If you’re looking for an agency with a lot of SaaS clients in your area, like finance or marketing, it’s a good idea to start with a specialized SEO agency.
That way, you’ll have a better idea of what your market is like, who your customers are, and how your competitors are doing.
Ask potential SEOs how they plan to make sure your SaaS sites are optimized from start to finish, from tech to content to outreach.
Ask for examples of how they can make SaaS sites better, like improving search results, using schema markup, or ideas on pricing plan pages.
Prioritize Genuine Client Testimonials
When looking for a SaaS SEO agency, focus on reviews and reviews from real clients instead of just generic references.
Make sure to get in touch with them directly through LinkedIn or their website to make sure they’re genuine.
Ask for more than just general claims about how satisfied they are – ask for concrete results and stats about how well they’re doing.
For instance, if they say they helped us get 86% more organic traffic than last year and rank number one for our main keyword, that’s a pretty strong indication of how much of an impact they’re having on SEO.
Ask for Case Studies
If you’re looking for a SaaS SEO agency to help you with your business, ask them to create case studies that show how they’re doing it.
For instance, if you’re an accounting platform that uses SaaS, ask them to show how they’re optimizing finance sites like yours.
They’ll give you examples of how they do things like content audits, creating content, building links, and other things related to your market.
The case studies should include metrics that show how they can use tactics that are tailored to your industry, rather than just general SEO.
Expect Dedicated Account Managers
If you’re looking for an agency, it’s best to go with one that has a dedicated account manager.
That way, you don’t have to worry about switching clients between different teams.
Plus, you can rely on their expertise to keep your accounts up to date and help you reach your goals.
Ask how often you can talk to your account manager compared to younger staff members. Will they be leading strategy meetings?
Make sure that all the big results and reports come from your main contact.
Familiarize Yourself with Agency Pricing Models
When it comes to pricing, it’s important to understand the different types of services you’re working with.
Some agencies will charge you for certain services, like content creation, while others will charge you for everything.
Make sure you know how much each service costs before you sign up, so you don’t get any surprises later.
It’s also important to compare the prices of different services to make sure you’re getting the best deal.
Some agencies might charge more for certain services than others, so make sure you know the trade-offs.
Research the Agency’s Reputation
If you’re looking for an SEO agency to work with, don’t just rely on client references.
Do some research online and look for reviews on sites like Google and Glassdoor.
See if there’s any bad news like leadership changes or legal problems.
Also, check out how many people are visiting their website and how well their SEO is doing.
Reputation is a measure of how good an agency is at what they do, so make sure you find one with a good track record of successful SaaS projects and ethical practices.
Ask About Their Tracking and Reporting Tools
When you’re looking to measure the success of your SEO efforts, it’s important to have strong analytics and clear reporting.
Ask agencies about the platforms they use to track rankings, traffic, leads, and other key metrics.
If they use tools like SEMrush and Ahrefs to provide detailed monitoring and optimization advice.
Ask for samples of past client reports to see how well they work and use data-driven approaches to get actionable insights.
Don’t be afraid to ask for monthly reports or more frequent recaps to keep track of progress.
Make sure you and the agency have open lines of communication so you can get real-time info and make any changes you need.
It’s a great way to build a strong partnership where both parties have full visibility into what’s happening and what changes need to be made.
Don’t be fooled by agencies that make vague promises without analytics backing them up or don’t want to give you a specific performance recap.
Stick to metrics-focused communication to get the best ROI.
Gauge Their Responsiveness Early On
When you’re dealing with an SEO, it’s important to pay attention to how quickly they respond, how professional they are, and the quality of their communication.
Ask questions over email and phone to test how quickly they can get back to you, and see if they answer your questions and give you advice that’s tailored to your business, rather than just generic pitches.
Ask how quickly they can deliver proposals after talking about your needs.
This gives you an idea of how quickly they’re working, how attentive they are, and how dedicated they are to their clients.
If they’re not responsive or flaky early on, that should give you pause before signing a long-term contract.
Pay attention to how responsive they are, and you won’t have to worry about wasting money on an unresponsive partner later on.
Review the Agency’s Past Performance Metrics
When you’re looking for a SaaS SEO agency, it’s important to ask them to share any performance metrics or ROI from their past clients.
Case studies can give you some ideas, but raw data can give you an idea of what’s expected.
Ask for stats from their client base, like how much organic traffic they’ve seen, how much they’ve improved their keyword rankings, how many backlinks they’ve gotten, how many conversions they’ve had, and how much domain or page authority they’ve seen.
Then, ask for SaaS metrics for each vertical to get a better idea of what could work for your business.
It’s also a good idea to ask if they can verify results with Google Analytics, track software, or have client references.
This way, you can make sure you’re getting results that prove their systems and processes work.
Consider the Depth of the Agency’s Team Expertise
If you want to get the most out of your SEO efforts, it’s important to partner with an agency that has experts in different areas.
Ask them how big their team is and what kind of roles they have in-house.
If you don’t have key disciplines, you could be missing out or relying too much on outsourcing.
Having a wide range of expertise will give you the flexibility to do different optimization projects at the same time.
Also, check out their leadership team – their expertise should be aligned with the main areas they focus on, like content, writers, and outreach.
Having a team that’s well-rounded and focused on one area can help you create solid SEO strategies for your SaaS.
Ensure Cultural Alignment with the Agency
When it comes to SEO, it’s important to make sure you and the agency you’re working with are culturally compatible.
Check out their communication and work style during the sales process to make sure you’re right for each other.
Ask about their management style – is it hands-on, autonomous, or something in between?
Think about what kind of working relationship you want too.
Look for values that you and the agency share, like having a good balance between work and life, being proactive, and being held accountable.
If your personalities don’t match, it can lead to problems when it comes to working together.
Do they have a process for strategy input that works for you? Do they have a list of skills and mindset indicators that go beyond qualifications?
SEO agencies are like family – you want to make sure they fit into your team without any issues.
Investigate Their Client Retention History
If you want to know if an agency is satisfied with their clients, it’s a good idea to ask how long their top clients have been with them.
If they have stayed with the agency for a long time, that’s a sign of a successful partnership.
If they had a 6-month wind-down period, that would be a sign of recurring departures.
If there are sudden account transfers, that could be a sign of a problem with the provider.
It’s important to look at retention data to see if the relationship is sustainable and if there are any major clients leaving.
Assess Their Flexibility and Adaptability
When it comes to SEO, it’s important to find an agency that’s flexible and willing to change with the times.
Ask them how they keep up with changes in algorithms and ranking factors to make sure their strategies are up-to-date.
Do they stick to the same old tactics or try new things based on research and tests?
Ask them how they’d adjust if their goals weren’t being met – would they just change things up or would they try something new and not succeed?
That way, you can get a better idea of how responsive they are.
It’s also important to pick an agency that can balance flexibility with consistency – your priorities might change over time, so it’s important to have a partner who can adjust while still keeping your goals in mind.
Clarify Expected Deliverables and Timelines
Make sure you know exactly what you want from the agency when it comes to SEO – how many blog posts per month? How often keyword research is done? What kind of reporting cadences do you want?
Make sure you and the agency have a clear understanding of what you want to achieve.
Ask how they plan to handle any delays – do they have an escalation process or penalties?
When you anticipate a setback, make sure the agency is open and honest about it.
Having clear deliverables and deadlines gives the agency the accountability they need to follow through on their promises.
It also helps set leadership expectations for when SEO results should be expected. Defined plans make for defined success.
Picking the Right SaaS SEO Agency
Choosing the right SEO agency is a big decision, but it pays off in the long run for SaaS businesses.
The right partner has the expertise and know-how to optimize complicated B2B SaaS sites, plus a history of making a difference for brands in your industry.
They create data-driven strategies that fit your business’s needs and goals.
But the wrong agency can lead to wasted money and a lack of impact across your digital marketing efforts.
Veting responsiveness, skills, fit, and past performance can help you avoid regret down the line.
To find the right partner, you need to look beyond the qualifications on paper – culture, work ethic, and adaptability.