What’s the difference between a good SEO company and a great one? The differences aren’t always obvious from an outside perspective. But those in the know will attest that there are some very important points to look for in an SEO company. An SEO company needs to handle three pillars which elevate both customer and company to the next level.
The customer experience must align with company expectations.
The top SEO companies share many traits. But the most important quality involves the successful management of customer expectation. This can also be referred to as client experience. Many people are familiar with the idea of company policy.
A company policy, at the heart of the phrase, is a statement which unifies everyone in a company. It’s true that any given company will have a wide variety of goals. And some, such as making a profit, are unspoken assumptions. But a company motto or policy helps to tell employees what they need to provide customers. Likewise, customers can use it to better understand what they should expect.
Not every company has a simple pithy statement which will offer up the full experience. But most can be summed up fairly easily. It’s something which helps both customers and company meet each other’s expectations.
Experience gaps often define the feel of any given interaction
Most people remember what it feels like to be unprepared for a test in school. They’ll also attest to the fact that it’s even worse when they’re forced to speak about something they don’t understand in front of the rest of the class. As rough as that is, it’s also what many customers experience when dealing with SEO companies. And at the same time, many SEO representatives face this when talking about a client’s particular industry.
The main point here is that neither the client or the SEO company should be expected to know about the other’s company. After all, each is working with each other due to the fact that they have different skill sets. This means that the second pillar of customer success is communication.
An SEO company should excel in overall communication. The company shouldn’t just communicate what they can do either. The top SEO companies also ask questions of their clients in order to better understand their particular needs. A small farmers market and a large gaming store are obviously very different. But quite a few SEO companies don’t really differentiate how they’d work with such disparate clients. The best of the best will actually ask questions about a client’s industry in order to better understand their needs. And they’ll also help ask the client questions to gauge how well he or she understands what they want from SEO.
External audits to find a customer’s opinion
When people hear the term audit they usually think about finances. But the best SEO companies have another association with that term. They think about audits in terms of customer appreciation.
Most SEO companies try to keep tabs on their customer’s overall experience. However, this seldom goes further than having a manager weigh in about overall statistics. It’s more guesstimate than solid data. An external audit of customer sentiment can produce more solid information about what’s going well and what might be changed for the better. This is why external audits, or verified customer opinions, form the third pillar of customer success.
A successful client is a happy client. Likewise, a happy client is a successful one. By keeping tabs on customer opinion an SEO firm is also tracking how well they’re performing. Clients should try to offer advice as they go along with the process. And the SEO firm should directly ask for feedback. But an external audit tends to produce more solid and reliable data.