There are plenty of Search Engine Marketing (SEM) agencies to choose from but how do you choose the best one for your company and your specific objectives? First, you should identify what you would like to accomplish; are you looking to drive targeted, organic traffic to your website or are you looking to increase ROI from an existing online paid search campaign? You should also consider what type of clientele your prospective agency typically works with. If you are a business serving a local audience, you will want to look for an agency that has clients who rank well in Local Search.

Other questions to ask and qualities to look for in your prospective SEM Agency:

  • Make sure they do their homework before you commit. Have they shown you where your website currently stands in the search results on specific keywords? You have to know where you stand to measure your progress.
  • Find out who will be doing your SEM work and what is their SEM background.
  • Find out what you are paying for; are you being charged an hourly rate or is it a price per project? Beware of agencies who charge a percentage of advertising spend.
  • Find out how on-going management of your SEO and PPC will be handled and charged. SEM is not a one shot deal; it takes time and on-going optimization to maintain positive results.
  • Look for an Agency who focuses on analysis. Do they research the top keywords for your business before beginning SEM work? Do they analyze your competitors?
  • Does the agency take the time to teach you the basics of Search Engine Marketing? It is important to understand what your agency is doing and why.
  • Do a local search on the SEM Company name; they should be listed in Google. Check out any reviews and look for any complaints.