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SEARCH MARKETING: Outsourcing SEO

Because some B2B marketers see search engine optimisation (SEO) as a 'black art', it's no surprise they are more likely to outsource this service than try to do it themselves. But how do you choose the right supplier? What questions should you be asking to make sure you choose the specialist, which is the right fit for your company? How do you distinguish between a good SEO campaign and a bad one?

If you don't know much about SEO, I would highly recommend doing some research. Appropriately enough, you can start with Google. Just type in 'SEO beginners guide' and you'll find some useful resources such as SEOmoz's beginners' guide to get you started.

Beware of wide-brimmed hats
One of the first things you need to find out is whether the agency specialises in SEO or whether it primarily offers paid search services? Is SEO something it takes seriously or offers as an additional service? Sometimes it's difficult to see past the jargon, which is often a deliberate attempt to confuse. If the agency can't explain what it does in simple terms, I'd be less inclined to trust it.