May 1, 2024

A Guide To Choosing the Right SEO Agency for B2B SaaS

Kevin King
Kevin King

As a SaaS business, search engine optimization could mean the difference between reaching new customers or getting lost in the shuffle. But with so much on your plate, it feels impossible to do it all alone. 

That’s where the right SEO agency comes in. But how do you know if an agency will work for you? 

B2B SaaS companies face unique challenges. Your agency partners need to adapt quickly to a constantly evolving market, scale effectively and cost-efficiently, and understand your unique business needs. 

In this guide, we’re diving deep into what you should look for, red flags to avoid, and the best questions to ask when shopping for a digital marketing agency so that you’ll partner with the best SEO agency for your needs. 

Identifying how an SEO agency can help your business

Before you choose an agency, you need to determine if an SEO agency is the right path forward. 

If you’re thinking about working with an agency, make sure your team has clearly defined your goals. For that, performing an SEO audit is a must. You’ll want to understand exactly where your SEO stands so that you know what kind of support it needs. That way, you can align with an agency that excels exactly where you need them to. 

For instance, if your technical SEO is off the charts thanks to your in-house backend whiz, but you aren’t ranking on the SERP you want, it’s time to ramp up your content creation. 

You’d want to choose an SEO agency that specializes in long-form SEO content that will give your search rankings a boost. Similarly, if you don’t have a single backlink or your on-page SEO is desperate for a change, you wouldn’t work with an agency that offers SEO services as an afterthought.

When you’re selecting an SEO agency, you’re not just looking for a vendor. You’re looking for a partner — someone who will learn the ins and outs of your business and has the resources and expertise to build content that will take your SaaS brand to new heights.

Qualities to look for in a top-notch SEO agency

Let’s take a closer look at the qualities that every good SEO agency will have. 

Proven B2B SaaS experience

The best content agency for a B2B SaaS company will be able to identify trends, speak confidently to your target audience, and generate leads that convert to happy customers. Working with an agency that has previous experience working with B2B SaaS companies is the easiest way to avoid expensive missteps — like partnering with an unqualified team that overpromises and underdelivers. A successful track record indicates a deep level of understanding of the industry, including navigating its fast-paced and tumultuous market. 

Transparent reporting and communication

Your agency should be an extension of your in-house team, not a partner you meet with once every six months. Clear reporting on critical metrics, communication regarding KPIs and your return on investment, and regular check-ins for strategy adjustments are necessary. Without them, your marketing budget could be aimlessly spent without any results. 

Make sure you understand which SEO tools your agency uses, how they define success, and how your reports will be delivered. Among other SEO tools, providing your agency access to your Google Analytics ensures both teams can keep a close eye on performance. 

Strategic SEO services and approach

Understanding the SEO tactics an agency uses to earn results is crucial to choosing the best SEO company. Does the agency offer one-size-fits-all solutions, or do they take the time and effort to tailor-make a custom strategy designed specifically for your business? 

Pace is another important factor. Some agencies may emphasize sprints, hitting the low-hanging fruit, with little concern for sustainable long-term growth. A reputable agency is going to cross their Ts and dot their Is. It may mean it takes longer to see an initial impact, but increasing your organic traffic through trustworthy SEO practices reduces your risk of being penalized by search engines down the line. 

Holistic SEO and content integration

Combining SEO strategy with content marketing maximizes your online presence. An agency that focuses all of its efforts on SEO — from keyword research to link building — may not have the infrastructure to support the creation of content that helps drive organic search results. If you’re looking for a hands-off experience and don’t have a content team in-house, that SEO firm isn’t going to be the right fit.

Instead, you’ll want to partner with an agency that understands SEO is about more than keyword rankings alone. Your agency should understand and cater to your ICP, align deliverables with your business goals, and build an SEO process that integrates seamlessly into your comprehensive marketing strategy. 

Positive testimonials and case studies

An agency’s current clients and previous success stories say a lot about their merit. Take the time to peruse testimonials and browse case studies to familiarize yourself with an agency’s work. Take special care to note clients who also operate in the B2B SaaS sphere. 

Keep in mind that you’ll want to review both testimonials on the agency’s site as well as third-party software reviews, such as G2 or Capterra, for an unbiased perspective. 

What to consider before hiring an SEO agency

Pricing, deliverables, and responsiveness — before you sign the dotted line, let’s look into the top things you should consider when searching for an agency partner. 

Aligning goals with agency expertise

Not every B2B SaaS company needs exactly the same thing. While your industry colleagues may partner with an agency that only produces content, your team may benefit from the strategic support a full-service agency offers. 

Before you start interviewing potential agencies, fully diagnose your company’s needs. Don’t waste your time working with an agency that specializes in PPC ads when you need to upgrade your off-page SEO. Similarly, if you’re primarily concerned with improving your company’s local SEO, then you don’t need to partner with an agency that focuses on email marketing.

All great partnerships rely on trust, and working with an agency is no different. Working with a black-hat SEO agency that ignores best practices wouldn’t be conducive to a long-term relationship. When your objectives and needs align with the resources and expertise of an agency, you can be certain your SEO is in capable hands. 

Understanding the contract and expectations

Your SEO budget isn’t bottomless. Before you agree to any new contract, thoroughly examine the terms. A few things in particular to note: 

  • Deliverables: When and how will deliverables be provided? How many deliverables are included in your agreement? 
  • Timelines: What results should be expected during the terms of your agreement? When will your contract need to be renewed? What are the exit clauses? 
  • Pricing: How will you be billed? Is there a minimum monthly payment? 
  • Reporting: Which content marketing metrics will be measured? What SEO tools will be used to gauge success? How will those reports be delivered to you, and on what cadence? 

If you’ve got questions, ask! You and your agency both want this to be a successful partnership. Without clear communication and shared expectations, frustrations can easily arise. 

Looking forward to scalability

Long-term partnerships provide the opportunity for long-term growth. The agency you work with should be both a fantastic fit for you now and provide forward-thinking strategies that will grow alongside you. 

When you’re considering scalability, keep the size and speed of each agency in mind. A sluggish agency may not be able to make the quick pivots required by a tumultuous SaaS market. A smaller, more nimble team could make critical game-time adjustments.

Additionally, you may want to consider what ad hoc services an agency offers. Choosing an agency that also creates social media assets or excels in web design could save you time and money trying to find a new vendor down the line. 

At Ten Speed, we work successfully with both early-stage startups with no existing content as well as established content programs that already have thousands of pages on their site. Our SEO experts perform in both arenas. 

Considering budget or ROI constraints

Successful SEO is sustainable. Content pruning and refreshing supports a higher conversion rate because you ensure your site is up-to-date and relevant. However, if you sink your budget into an agency that promises massive returns but can’t create the desired results, your site will suffer. 

During the decision phase, consider your realistic SEO budget. Choose a partner that can work within the confines of your current financial standing. Don’t be shy about ROI. Your agency partner will be glad to discuss how they will utilize your marketing dollars and provide a positive return on your investment. 

Feeling out cultural fit

When searching for a new full-time employee, you’ll likely consider how someone will gel with your existing team. The same should be true for your agency partner. 

Shared values create a firmer foundation of trust. An agency that doesn’t align with your team’s principles will be more challenging to work with. Because you will be in regular communication with them, an agency with a better cultural fit will work more seamlessly, collaboratively, and cohesively with your team than one that isn’t. 

How Ten Speed makes a difference for brands like yours

Ideating and implementing successful SEO campaigns to position your company at the forefront of the saturated SaaS landscape is no small feat. Understanding the B2B SaaS market takes hands-on know-how. Ten Speed’s founders and team of in-house SEO experts with SaaS backgrounds are uniquely qualified to help your software succeed. 

Here, we don’t just focus on SEO. Our integrated content team creates bespoke content that will keep your SEO running. Whether you’re starting your SEO from scratch and need all-new content or you’re working with a backlog that needs some serious refreshing, we’ve got you covered.

With strategic, long-term partnerships, our clients have seen overwhelming success. When we worked with Stable, we increased their organic traffic by 509%, a crucial boost in visibility. Similarly, Workvivo, an employee experience software, saw a drastic jump in traffic — and accrued over $54,000 in related revenue — after working with us for 12 months. 

Our ultimate goal is to help you win business. We won’t get stuck in the weeds or waste your time. By pairing you with a dedicated account manager, we’ll get to know the ins and outs of your company, learn how to speak directly to your ICP, and generate results. Plus, having a single point person means Ten Speed is easy to reach, quick to respond, and you won’t feel like a broken record constantly repeating yourself. 

Make a confident choice in your SEO with Ten Speed

Working with the right SEO company could determine the future of your business. You’re creating a partnership when you decide to work with an agency, not crossing off a to-do list item. By following the guidelines outlined here, you’ll find an agency that is the right fit for your business’s SEO goals. 

At Ten Speed, we’re confident we can help your SaaS brand reach a larger audience, convert more leads, and generate more revenue. Book a call today to get started.

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