ROI and Internet marketing have been compared and contrasted for years. Just how do you know if you are getting the most from your investment with an SEO firm? While the answer to this question can be a bit subjective, there are a few key points you can look for that should apply to any client/SEO firm relationship.

1) The SEO firm should develop and manage a multi-faceted Internet marketing account for you. It should do this because not every component of your campaign will generate the same amount of buzz and traffic at once. Ask your firm how the campaign will provide early successes and long-term benefits. It will likely build a strategy that features organic search activities, PPC (AdWords), social media and more. It can take some time to generate favorable positioning in Google’s organic index, so AdWords can give you some good traction while you wait for organic to kick in. Plus PPC pushed out ahead of your other campaign initiatives can help set a precedent for later paid campaigns through extensive testing and monitoring of your ads.

2) Determine if the SEO firm provides multiple ways to repurpose your content. Whether you or your SEO firm, or both of you produce content as part of your marketing campaign, it’s vital that your investment in copy, infographics, images, video and more content formats derives as much value for you as possible. This means that you want your SEO firm to deliver multiple opportunities for your content to reach your audience. If the content starts as a blog post it can become an email newsletter article, it can live again as copy for a landing page; or if it is a video, it can reside on YouTube and be shared on social media. Discuss with your agency how they repurpose content so every penny you spend on its development is maximized.

3) Does your SEO firm give you recommendations for offline activities? Just because your agency manages your online marketing campaigns that doesn’t mean they should draw a line between online and offline. These two should be blended whenever possible to keep your business top of mind. A good example of this is when you conduct a special event. Maybe you are a non-profit and you hold a yearly fundraiser that is your headline event. Your SEO firm has to be out in front of this event, helping you build buzz for it far in advance of the date. Your agency can help you with a variety of connections between online and offline, such as recommending the insertion of social media icons and event hashtags on your direct mail pieces.

4) Your SEO firm has to be ‘all in’ when it comes to learning about your business. It’s unrealistic to expect your agency to become an expert in your business, but it is their job to become well-versed in the important facets that matter most to you. The SEO firm has to do this so it will know the best way to create and position your content online. You can be very helpful by providing fact sheets, brochures, corporate videos and more materials that explain your business’s products and services.

5) Tracking campaign progress is crucial to success. Are you satisfied with the reports your SEO firm provides? If not, then you need to tell them because they won’t know what they should be reporting on (short of some general stats). Tell your agency how you want your reports presented. For example, you may own divisions in 3 different countries. Ask your agency to create an Excel sheet report with data for each division on a separate tab. Ask them for the data format you prefer, too. Perhaps you only need a few graphical representations of the numbers every month to insert into a master report you are required to send to your supervisors. If so, ask your agency to format your report in this fashion. Others may require raw data and a graphical representation. You can ask your agency to produce reports that work for you.

ROI means different things to different people but one fact is clear when determining the value an SEO firm provides: The agency has to align its processes with your goals. As your marketing partner, your SEO firm must bring all of its expertise and experience to bear to ensure your campaign’s success. As you reach each campaign milestone remember to look back at when you began with your agency. Determine if the SEO firm has actually led you to success by comparing the list of accomplishments with the initial proposal the firm submitted.

Organically serves clients in Sevierville, Gatlinburg, Knoxville and surrounding cities, plus develops and manages campaigns for clients across the nation. Let’s get your company the online visibility it deserves!