Financial Data
Updated 25 Feb 2020

The ultimate agency checklist

Do you know who will turn your money into real SEO? 

Richard Bensted, 21 December 2017  Share  0 comments  Print

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All the answers to your unique business lifestage questions

Most savvy start-ups know that they need to be online to get the attention of their customers. 

There’s all the research and statistics that prove how a website, social media and online engagement are essential to building a brand and a business, but few people know how to get online or how to maximise their presence when they get there.

That’s when they turn to an agency to help them out. Unfortunately, not all agencies are created equal so here are some points to help you pick the ideal agency for your online strategy:

1. Price point

Most start-ups are on a budget so look to an agency that delivers value and trust at a price point that suits your needs. Also ensure that they are capable – you don’t want to add more micro management to your To Do list.

Related: Defining the start-up online strategy

Regardless of how cost-effective they may be, they need to get on with the work and deliver results while you focus on your business.

2. Clear requirements

A good agency will know that, as a start-up, you’re going to need very specific support and services. These include: increased brand recognition, greater customer retention, wider reach and user engagement, and a return on your investment.

3. Specific qualities

When selecting your agency, make sure that they have certain qualities before you sign on the dotted line. They need to have knowledge about trends and updates, experience in verticals related to your own, a transparent way of working, open and regular communication, and a link to past work and testimonials. Always get feedback and reviews from other organisations that have used them in the past.

Related: Why does your start-up need an online presence?

4. Warning signs

If your sparkling new agency doesn’t help you create SEO keyword phrases or make suggestions that support your search, then maybe look elsewhere. They should also audit your site and provide you with an implementation list, and all work should come with monthly reporting on keyword improvements and an increase in traffic.

5. The essential skills

SEO is a long and tedious process that requires hours of monthly work and attention to detail. To implement SEO with finesse and expertise, an agency needs programming skills to understand the algorithms, copywriting skills for the SEO and content, and analytical skills that provide insights and help you set out effective SEO work plans for your selected keyword packages.

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About the author

Richard Bensted

Richard Bensted is the Chief Operations Officer for iShack Innovation Consultancy. He is the social strategist, the digital whizz and the people pleaser who ensures that the digital campaigns created for clients are exactly what they ordered. He co-founded the Venture Network, is a shareholder in iShack Ventures and has done all of this after starting out as an accountant. It’s not that big a jump from accountant to digital strategist – the numbers always tell – but the skills he’s learned along the way have helped him drive the startup from idea to agency over the past few years.

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