I had a conversation with a friend recently and it has stuck with me. On one hand, I was pleased that he referred a potential client but, on the other, he didn’t manage to find out any information about them beyond needing SEO. All he said they asked was,
‘Do they (an agency) make a difference?’
My first reaction to that was, ‘Yes, of course. We offer SEO and other great services,’ but the more I thought about the question, I realised that it’s not one answered well by many people. When compared to a real world context, like ‘does the gym make a difference?’, or ‘does a diet make a difference?’, the typical response is also ‘Yes’. But achieving tangible, lasting results in the gym or with diet requires a better response.
Before we get too philosophical, the obvious point is, SEO, like many things, needs to be constantly reviewed, maintained and improved. When implementing SEO, it’s important to partner with people willing to understand the target business outcomes and continuously work with the client to achieve these.
No one shoots to the top of Google for their relevant terms out of luck; it takes dedication and experience to achieve this. A successful SEO service should identify strengths and weaknesses, and recommendations to improve. And the best SEO strategy won’t be effective if it doesn’t align to business outcomes. The relationship between client and SEO parter, therefore, needs to be collaborative and inclusive to ensure best results are achieved.
The real question isn’t whether or not an agency makes a difference to SEO, but ‘how can effective SEO execution achieve business outcomes?’