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Finding a B2B SEO Agency That Works for You

An SEO agency that specializes in B2B can be a big asset for increasing organic traffic. This article will explain how to find an agency that knows your industry and customers to get the best results.

A strong digital marketing presence is a powerful way for B2B companies to reach new customers. SEO in particular is an effective method of building this presence, capturing customers by leveraging your use of keywords, targeting, and content creation. As you might imagine, setting up an internal team can be expensive and take a long time. Using a B2B SEO agency reduces time sink, increases potential leads, and creates a solid foundation for social media initiatives, ads, and more.

Finding the right B2B agency can take time, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. In this article, we’re covering the important points of finding a B2B agency for your company, including:

  • What is B2B SEO?
  • The benefits of an agency
  • How to find a great agency
  • How long should you work with an agency?
  • Sourcing an agency for your niche

What is B2B SEO?

B2B SEO (search engine optimization) focuses on helping B2B companies have a prominent position in search results, such as on Google. Leveraging SEO is a powerful way to connect the right people at the right time, which is critical to success in the world of B2B.

While B2C companies focus on consumer-based keywords, B2B SEO focuses on the phrases searched by decision-makers at work. Keywords are researched, refined, and reframed to find the best possible match for your company.

B2B SEO has many long-term benefits. Unlike advertising, which only yields results while the adverts are running, SEO-driven content can last a long time in the digital marketplace. Maintaining a good position in search rankings does take effort, but your outcome will be well worth the output. With some digital upkeep and a bit of research, you can continue to benefit from your SEO efforts for years to come.

The importance of SEO for B2B industries cannot be overstated. It has the potential to:

  • Boost brand awareness
  • Increase conversion rates
  • Jumpstart inbound marketing
  • Facilitate growth in the marketplace

From startups to established businesses, building an SEO plan can be difficult without prior experience. Trying to implement it on your own can waste precious time and revenue. That’s why hiring an SEO agency is so vital for B2B companies.

The Benefits of an Agency

B2B SEO agencies are an essential aspect of your digital marketing strategy. Not only are they handy for growing businesses, but they help to supplement smaller or newly-established in-house teams.

Agencies provide several benefits that in-house teams simply cannot. For one thing, agencies only work on your SEO and its ranking, and do not require full-time salaries. They can also diagnose and improve your ranking from an objective standpoint (free from bias).

Unlike hiring an in-house SEO team, agencies source experts in many fields. Professionals perform SEO work all day every day, meaning they know exactly what works and what doesn’t. They keep a finger on the pulse of any trends and quickly pivot to new strategies when necessary. As such, you only pay for professional writers, SEO pros, and experts on individual projects. You avoid expensive overheads like training, benefits, and salaries, and instead pay a monthly cost that covers services directly.

How to Find a Great Agency

The difference between a good agency and a great agency is vast. Not just any business is equipped to handle SEO for B2B enterprises, and inexperience could cost you in a big way. When the time comes to source an agency of your own, you’ll need to find one that specializes in your niche and business type.

There are at least six significant characteristics to look for in a great B2B SEO agency:

B2B SEO agencies should be on top of the latest trends. If they aren’t continuously adapting to change and looking for ways to improve, they aren’t going to make a long-term difference in your SEO, either.

Understanding the differences between B2C and B2B marketing is also essential. Your agency should not be wasting time looking for trending keywords. Instead, they should be researching exactly what enterprise decision-makers are searching for at work.

Industry Knowledge

B2B SEO agencies need to have an excellent command of your industry, including any topic clusters and keyword research that may apply. For technical software companies or SaaS enterprises, this agency characteristic is essential. Agencies that don’t understand your service or marketplace position will probably fail to make any significant impact.

Generic agencies can move the needle a little, but they aren’t going to make the same impact as one that is knowledgeable in your niche. Agencies familiar with your product, audience, and software have a better chance of making a difference in your SEO strategy. Deeper understandings create less generic, more authoritative content that resonates with your audience.

History of Results

You wouldn’t be treated by a doctor with a history of harming patients. In the same vein, you shouldn’t hire an SEO agency with a history of failing its clients.

Stay away from agencies with mediocre or middling reviews. If an agency consistently fails to impact their clients’ SEO, it’s likely to be a waste of your time, money, and effort.

There are a few ways to check an agency for a history of results:

  • Google My Business reviews can be an excellent preliminary stop. Bear in mind that not all agencies have a GMB page, and prefer to collect reviews via other methods, so don’t worry if you don’t see one for every agency.

  • Ask previous clients about their experience with the agency, as well as their results. Did they feel it was worth the investment? Why or why not?

  • Check the agency’s social media channels for comments, tags, and news that points to success. Radio silence is not always a warning sign, but it could be worrisome if paired with lukewarm reviews.

  • Ask for case studies that prove the company’s skill with SEO. Few, misleading, or poorly composed studies should be a strong red flag.

Past results should point toward future accomplishments. Stay away from SEO agencies without a history of success.

Know Thyself

Before hiring an SEO agency, understand your goals as a company. Are you trying to rank higher on a particular search engine? Capitalize on recent keywords? Source new leads?

Sit down with your leadership team to discuss desired results. Narrow it down to two or three SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely). The bottom line: Know what you want from a campaign before sitting down with an agency rep.

Know thyself, and partner with an SEO agency that shares your values. Not only does this narrow down your potential options, but it saves time and money throughout your search.

Agency Ranking

How well does the agency’s SEO measure up? If you’re going to be paying for extensive marketing services, you want to verify that the agency knows what they’re talking about - and uses the techniques on their own business as well.

When you search for the agency, what shows up? Where on the page does the agency rank, and what kind of content makes it to the top? You want to be sure that a prospective agency can show you real examples of their work. After all, why would you pay expert fees for non-expert deliverables?

Customer Testimonials

Testimonials are powerful indications of a company’s quality. Reviews and endorsements can be sourced from a wide variety of channels, from Google Reviews to social media tips. Word of mouth is also an excellent source of information.

If you can’t locate credible customer testimonials, or if there are no available case studies, consider reaching out to listed clients about their experiences.

How Long Should You Work With An Agency?

B2B enterprises have a unique marketing format, and require some time to ramp into full gear. In other words, prepare to wait a while.

It takes time to see meaningful SEO results, even while working with an agency. Depending on the niche and how difficult it is, you can expect to wait six to nine months to see rankings improve. Once the contractual period is up, your company has two options: stay with the agency, or establish an in-house team.

Some companies choose to use SEO agencies on a longer-term basis. SEO campaigns are continuously refined to improve ranking, while other initiatives such as content marketing can be augmented to meet company goals.

Other companies prefer to build out an internal team to tackle SEO without agencies. However, consider that in-house teams can be much more expensive and take a long time to develop.

In either case, SEO work will take time to deliver meaningful results. You should expect to work with an SEO agency for about a year to see quality results.

As a side note, it’s essential to understand that SEO is an ongoing process. If an agency gets excellent results within the first year, don’t end the relationship because you think the work is done. SEO is a process that’s never fully completed, and evolves and changes as updates are made. Be prepared to stick with your agency for the long term if you want lasting results.

Sourcing An Agency For Your Niche

There are many different places to look for a B2B SEO agency for your industry. A simple Google search could yield millions of results, hundreds of which are relevant to your business, location, and campaign needs.

Word-of-mouth recommendations could also connect you with an agency in your niche. Personal referrers are more familiar with your product and industry, and offer suggestions tailored to your marketplace position.

Finally, you can seek out agencies based on their ability to follow trends, industry knowledge, and customer testimonials. These organizations should match up with your goals, knowledge base, and campaign needs, and help to increase your company’s rankings through SEO.

If you’re looking for a technical content agency, we work with our clients to create high-quality content that drives awareness and leads.

Think there’s a fit? Set up a discovery call to walk through the process. Talk soon!

Meagan Shelley

By Meagan Shelley

Meagan is a professional writer in VA that specializes in content marketing, research, and SEO. If she's not helping people craft their own stories, she's working on some of her own. When she takes time to step away from the laptop, she enjoys hiking, farmer's markets, and occasional thru-hikes.