Congratulations – you’ve just signed on with your new SEO agency partner. They’re the right fit and you’re excited. You’ve discussed how to measure success, reviewed their case studies, and feel relieved that they will take your business in the right direction. The next few months will be filled with administrative items to complete, questions to answer, and everything else the agency will need to get up and running to manage your account. But before any of that begins, you should ask yourself, “How can I be the best partner possible?” It is important that you also ask your new agency, “What do you need from me to have the best partnership possible?”
Based on my 11-year career of onboarding clients into marketing agencies, I have developed these tips that will set you (and your agency partner) up on the best possible path to success.
Provide as much information as possible.
Especially during the onboarding phase, and anytime something new comes up, make sure you share as much information with your agency as possible. Are there new case types you are focusing on? Have service areas changed at all? Have you added any staff or attorneys? Have you won awards or new settlements? Things you might not think of mentioning are helpful to your team. Even events happening in your local area you want to target like conventions or festivals are extremely helpful. Every piece of added context and information helps your overall SEO strategy. Making sure your agency has the most up-to-date information will help them to adjust their strategy to provide you with success. Help them, help you!
Be clear on your goals.
Knowing exactly what success will look like for you is crucial for your SEO agency partnership. Stating that you want “more” isn’t enough to guarantee success because it leaves room for misinterpretations. Saying that your goal is more of a particular type of case or more cases in a specific location are two good places to start, but how about narrowing that down even further? Be as granular as possible, like providing the number of cases you would like in a specific practice area, and in a particular location, are great details to provide. Even having that information tied to a financial goal is the ultimate clarity.
When asked how much would you like to pay per case, again, the answer can’t just be “less.” Being measured and specific is key. You may not know exactly where you would like to be and that’s ok, your SEO agency partner can analyze your current data and let you know where you currently sit. With that information, a decision can be made on where you would like to go from there, and you’ll get valuable feedback if your goals are realistic based on your market. Figuring out where you are starting from and then providing clear insights on where you want to go is the formula for success. And if you don’t know where to start or what your goal should be, collaborate with your law firm SEO partner. That’s what they’re great at.
This might seem like a no-brainer, but we all know that work can become busy. So busy, in fact, responding to questions from your SEO agency can take the back burner. Whether digging to provide answers or even just jumping down the rabbit hole of checking emails, all of this requires time – the time you might not have when you’re busy winning cases in court. Can you appoint someone who has more time flexibility to respond on your behalf? Anything you can do to help to ensure progress on your SEO doesn’t slow because of a lack of responsiveness is important for your digital marketing success. Think of it this way, when your SEO agency partner is waiting for a response, it could cause whatever they are working on to come to a complete standstill. Make sure the money you are spending is working for you, including doing everything in your power to be sure you aren’t the bottleneck. Doing just that will go a long way. In my experience, while the biggest time commitment from clients comes in the first few months of hiring a new SEO agency, there will always be times when they need feedback from you. You are paying for their services and results; make it a priority!
Trust your agency.
You chose your new agency for a reason. As I mentioned earlier, you did your due diligence and decided on your digital marketing partner. It may have been the people you interacted with, what you read on their website, or their reputation in the industry. Something connected with you and made you click on that e-signature to sign the contract. Trusting in their expertise is important in solidifying your relationship with them. Knowing they have the experience, the data, and the best practices to back up what they are recommending is why they are considered experts. Experts you employed to take your business to the next level. Trust their recommendations and embrace them. Know they are doing what they think is best for positive movement in your website’s performance.
Of course, if you have questions or disagree with something they want to do or focus on, speak up! Even though they are experts in their fields – and maybe in your industry, you know your business best. However, you can trust that they have your best interest at heart and they want you to succeed so they can succeed. This is the ultimate win-win partnership.
Remember: Your SEO agency is your partner.
SEO for law firms is an important and valuable marketing strategy. The relationship with your SEO agency should be considered an extension of your internal marketing team. You are partners working for the greater good of your business. They want to succeed as much as you do because they are personally tied to the SEO performance related to your website. Approach this relationship with this mindset. There will be good times, great times, and maybe even some not-so-great times. But, they are not robots, they are people who value being accountable and a part of your success. Understand mistakes will be made, there may be bumps in the road, but a thriving client/agency relationship is one where treating each other with respect is bi-directional, and kindness and respect will go a long way in a long-term partnership. One of our guiding principles at Hennessey Digital is, ”MAKE IT FUN; DON’T BE A JERK.” While it is pretty simple, I believe in most cases anyone you partner with will agree with the sentiment.
A partnership can be defined as two or more people working together. A successful partnership can be defined as two organizations working together to ensure positive outcomes for both parties. Fully embracing the suggestions I have outlined will help lay the groundwork for a successful partnership that can be built upon for years to come.