Ecommerce SEO Agency: How to Choose and What to Ask
Ecommerce SEO is a top priority for ecommerce seo agency in businesses because, unlike other acquisition channels –– i.e. PPC, display and retargeting –– SEO drives completely free traffic. Well, almost free. Optimizing your site, creating quality content and adhering to best practices takes time, and it’s not always feasible for every business to bring that function in-house.
Ecommerce SEO agency allow you to get this vital work accomplished without having to worry about onboarding additional employees. But, while agencies are convenient, they come with some inherent risk as well. Do a quick Google search and you’ll come back with more than a few ecommerce SEO agency horror stories. Choosing the right agency, i.e. the one which does quality work and truly aligns with your company’s vision, is an absolute must –– and not just because of those horror stories. Poor ecommerce seo agency does a lot more than not benefit you –– it can do irreparable damage to your website.
In part one of this series, we’ll look at three key questions to ask prospective agencies to help you narrow down options and find the best fit for your business.
1. What similar work have you done?
While many SEO best practices transcend web verticals, industry-specific knowledge can be the difference between the first and second page of Google SERPs. Optimizing a car dealer’s website, for example, entails an entirely different strategy than an online clothing store. Ecommerce optimization has intricacies and special considerations that agencies should have proven experience in if they’re to be entrusted with the key to your castle.
Within ecommerce, different spaces have their own challenges. If you sell shoes, enlisting the help of an agency with clothing ecommerce seo agency experience is recommended because they already know what to look out for. Agencies will gladly take on any work, but it’s important to know that they’ve done something similar to your business. They need to have examples they can show you, and don’t be afraid to call the company and ask for a reference as well.
At the same time, a great agency knows that every client brings unique challenges. Adaptability is just as –– if not more so –– important as relevant experience because it demonstrates their ability to analyze the competitive space and employ the right tactics. While experience in ecommerce should be a must have, domain-specific knowledge isn’t necessarily a make-or-break factor. Just make sure you don’t let them sell you on adaptability when their entire portfolio consists of optometrists in Northwest Kansas.
2. How do you approach link building for Ecommerce SEO agency?
Links are one of the primary foundations of SEO, and great online marketers don’t just wait for other websites to find them: they utilize link building to expedite the process.
The downside? When done improperly, backlinks are one of the easiest ways to incur a Google penalty. Worse, sketchy backlinks are an easy way for the ill-intentioned agency to get quick results, only to leave you by the side of the road when Google swoops in. Your number one priority in choosing an SEO agency is finding a firm that works with your long-term prospects in mind, and links are a classic case of short-term gain, long-term loss. Even if you determine that link building isn’t something you want help with, it’s an effective means to evaluate an ecommerce seo agency values.
Of course, there are perfectly legitimate ways to build quality links, all revolving around creating content that people want. Link building isn’t always an agency responsibility, but the topic will invariably be broached. Good answers to this question could include:
- Promotions: Reach out to niche websites whenever you have a big sale or offer significant discounts. If you sell shoes, contact webmasters of shoe blogs to see if they’ll tell their readers about your sale.
- Content marketing: If you have –– or plan to create –– informative content, your best bet is to promote it on social media and reach out to industry leaders who can share your great work. Informative content is not product listing content. Blogs, white papers, LinkedIn posts and Medium articles all have something to offer besides the potential to generate sales.
On the subject of content, many agencies are able to produce category page blurbs, blog posts and other texts that target important terms for your business. While you may handle writing internally, it’s also common for agencies to do the creative work for you. Find out more about how the ecommerce seo agency will actually get this done.
- Who will actually write the content? Maybe they hire former journalists who can whip up tantalizing, keyword-rich content –– or maybe they outsource to an overseas content farm. These are very important differentiations.
- Can you show me an example of content you’ve written? More important than how it’s done is what it looks like and how it reads. High quality, informative and engaging content earns the most organic backlinks. If you aren’t producing this type of content, you’re wasting both your and your readers’ (i.e. your potential customers’) time.