Hey there I’m John Doherty and I’m the founder and CEO of Credo where we help great companies get introduced fast to the best pre-vetted digital marketing firms. 

Make sure you’ve downloaded our free ebook – The Busy Executive’s Guide to Hiring A Digital Marketing Agency.

How to hire an SEO agency

Today we’re going to talk about How to hire an SEO agency.

If you’ve ever tried to hire for SEO, you know how frustrating it can be. As Credo’s helped thousands of companies looking to hire over the last 5 years, and many of them looking to hire SEO, I know just how hard it can be. I’ve also hired them myself when I was in-house (both agencies and full time employees) and been hired as an SEO consultant many times, so I have first hand knowledge across all the challenges.

When I was working at Zillow, we worked with agencies and had full time SEOs in-house. Now, this was a publicly traded company that prioritized SEO, and I had prior agency experience as did most of the other in-house SEOs, but it was still challenging to hire. We were always being pitched by agencies, but we rarely hired new agencies because we often didn’t have the need.

Maybe these frustration are familiar to you, or you’re about to feel them if you’re starting the hiring journey:

  1. You’re googling around and finding a lot of agencies, but they all seem the same
  2. You start second guessing if you should just hire someone inhouse to do it, but you don’t really know if you have enough work to keep them busy
  3. You’re being pitched different things at different price points by different agencies, and you have no idea where to start.

I hear you. I know these challenges and frustrations intimately and personally. And that’s why I’m recording this video for you. There’s a common myth out there that you’ll never find a good agency or that any agency can get you great results. I’m here to tell you that’s not true, but that doesn’t mean you should give up the search. It is possible to do it well!

The opportunity ahead of you, when you’ve finished this video, is more clarity into hiring.

And I’d be remiss if I didn’t tell you that this is what Credo does – we get you connected with the right pre-vetted firms according to your needs, and we do it fast.

After this video you’ll understand:

  1. What separates good agencies from bad.
  2. Why you’re getting so much differing advice, and what to do about this
  3. The kinds of projects and proposals you should never sign, and those you should

I have five points for you to learn and consider.

  1. Be clear on if you need strategy or services, or both, and hire accordingly. Some firms are really good at strategy while others are really good at strategy, and some are good at both. You need to hire the right type of provider for the type of work that you need.
  2. Make sure they’re ranking for their own terms. An agency that invests in its own growth understands how to grow businesses.
  3. Look for a consistent process in how they determine who will work on your account, how often they’ll communicate with you, and what results to expect. A good agency will have good processes. Agencies without the experience don’t have a set process that they know works, which is why you’re getting pitches all over the place.
  4. Find an agency that specializes in the type of business you are. It’s all well and good if they have rockstar SEO auditors, but if that auditor doesn’t understand your business model and thus how your site needs to be built to not only rank but also convert, then you won’t get as good of a return. 
  5. Focused proposals or bust. If an agency is sending you a generic proposal without specifics on how the project will progress and a big dollar sign, run away. You need to know what you will be paying and when and what you will get in return.

So to review, there are five things you should take into account when hiring an SEO agency:

  1. Be clear on if you need strategy, services, or both.
  2. Make sure they’re ranking for their own terms.
  3. Look for consistent processes.
  4. Find a specialist agency complete with testimonials and case studies.
  5. Require focused and specific proposals.

If this was helpful to you, make sure you’ve downloaded our free ebook – The Busy Executive’s Guide to Hiring A Digital Marketing Agency.

And make sure you subscribe to our YouTube channel so that you’re notified about weekly videos moving forward.