Why should you care about being your agency ’s favorite client? Shouldn’t they love you because you pay them to love you? Yes, but adopting these strategies to be a favorite client will not only get you some extra lovin’ you haven’t paid for when you need it, it will also make you feel more secure about what the agency is doing and ultimately get you better results
It ’s important to make sure you’re on exactly the same page as your agency about what you’re going to get in exchange for the money. Once you hand the agency the money and walk away, when you think “what are they doing?” (which is a question you will ask yourself and be asked) do you know the answer?
Remember that the more often you communicate the smaller percentage of the time that you ’re paying for will be spent doing things.
Spell it out!
So now that we ’ve found the best agency for our needs and budget, let’s talk about how we can keep that love alive.
Unfortunately, hiring an agency doesn ’t mean you get to stop thinking about the stuff that they do. The best thing you can do for the project is to stay involved and be an internal advocate. For this project to really work, you’re going to need to continue working on it – the agency can’t operate in a bubble (this is more true for SEO projects, but even PPC projects need your help on things like getting landing pages built and mapping keywords to lifetime customer value)
The agency is not in the meetings you go to. They don ’t know the things you know. This means not only looping them in on new changes, but also keeping members of your team looped in on what the agency’s up to so everyone understands why we’re spending this money.
One area where it ’s worth your time to push is the report. If you find their reports dense or confusing, ask questions and push back until you know exactly what the report says. You should be able to open it up, take a look, and know what’s going on. No furrowed brows allowed. A good report should also clearly outline what next steps are for you AND for the agency, as well as nag you about any outstanding items.
This is data your agency may not have. This is data they get from YOU. Don ’t make them yell “Show me the money,” it makes everyone feel embarrassed.
This may be the most important thing you can do for the success of your business – turn things around quickly. Your agency doesn ’t have access to your site – it’s up to you to make sure that recommended changes get implemented. You need to be their person on the inside. If they make recommendations that don’t get implemented, the project is a failure, they get fired, you look bad and you wasted money. Everybody loses.
A 5-hour-a-month SEO job is not a 20-hour-a-month SEO job. A $2K PPC budget is not a $100K PPC budget.
About MeLead SEO, SEOmoz.org•Home to
the web’s most vibrant SEO community•Drive SEO strategy, consult on SEO productsPast: Senior Manager, Search Marketing, GameHouse•1400+ games online & for PC, Mac, mobile and social•Drive strategy for SEO, PPC, Conversion Rate Optimization•Manage vendor relationshipsPast: Client Manager, Point It! Search Marketing Agency•PPC and SEO clients•B2B, retail, ecommerce, SAAS, enterprise solutions•Budgets from $5K to $250K monthly @ruthburr
Evaluate the Agency• Who will
be doing the work? Can you meet them?• Is pricing similar to other agencies?• Can you talk to other clients?• What will you get for the price quoted?• How willing are they to share data and projects with other vendors as needed? @ruthburr
Manage Expectations• What does success
look like to you?• What does success look like to your boss?• Can this agency get you there?• What do you expect to see in a report?• How often will you communicate?• How closely will the agency need to work with internal staff? With other consultants/vendors? @ruthburr