9 Things to Consider Before Hiring a SaaS SEO Agency

Pushkar Sinha
Aug 22, 2023
7 mins read
9 Things to Consider Before Hiring a SaaS SEO Agency

Any SaaS company that wants to compete in the competitive and always-changing digital marketplace needs to have a strong marketing strategy. If you don’t target the appropriate channels, it can harm your ARR growth substantially. Now, essentially, you have two options for choosing marketing channels – either inbound or outbound marketing. In inbound, you do some marketing activities and expect users to come to you. On the other hand, in the case of outbound marketing, you go directly to your customers knocking on doors.

Outbound marketing makes much more sense when starting a business rather than waiting six months for inbound to kick in. But as your business starts to mature, you cannot rely on outbound marketing because it’s too people-dependent, almost directly proportional to the size of your sales team.

Inbound marketing, on the other hand, scales like crazy. What’s better than your customers coming to you to buy your product? What sounds like a dream is the reality of hundreds of thousands of SaaS companies. It’s definitely not easy. It takes time and effort to get leads for your B2B SaaS consistently. 

One of the most popular and effective inbound marketing strategies for SaaS companies is SEO. You can either build an internal SEO team with analysts, content writers, and technical SEO experts or outsource it to a SaaS SEO agency that takes care of everything. First is more resource and time-intensive, and in the future, it might be an ineffective channel for your niche. So, unless you have a truck full of investors’ money and a highly irrational appetite for risk, it is recommended that you hire an SEO agency for your SaaS business.

Hiring an agency is a challenging task as well. It takes a lot of research and thorough analysis. SEO agencies charge anywhere between $3,000 to $20,000 a month, a considerable amount for any business that’s not a FAANG company. 

Let’s get started with nine things you should consider before hiring an SEO agency:

Do your homework

Undertake a comprehensive research journey before trusting a SaaS SEO agency with your online presence. Explore their digital presence: website, social media accounts, and online reviews.

A well-structured website, active social engagement, and positive feedback from previous clients can signal a strong contender. Also, search for their name with keywords like “reviews” or “complaints” to uncover valuable data for making an informed decision. 

Here are the best tools for searching and exploring SaaS SEO agencies:

  1. Capterra
  2. G2
  3. CrowdReviews

Apart from these three listing sites, you should research Twitter and LinkedIn to find agencies that have driven results. Keeping track of agency awards and partnering with the winners and finalists is also a great way to boost your SEO game.

By doing your homework, you will better understand their reputation and credibility, enabling you to make a decision that aligns with your business objectives.

Dig into their past experience

Beyond the broad scope of SEO, it’s essential to gauge the agency’s familiarity with SaaS dynamics. Initiate conversations about their specific experience in catering to SaaS clientele. An agency well-versed in the intricacies of software-as-a-service is likely equipped to tailor strategies that align with the sector’s distinct requirements. Their history of navigating SaaS complexities can substantially influence the efficiency of your SEO endeavors.

You should also ask them if they’ve worked with similar businesses like yours and if the results were satisfactory compared to what you expect for your business.

Ask for case studies and references

While agency claims hold weight, tangible evidence offers more profound insights into their capabilities. Request comprehensive case studies spotlighting their achievements within the SaaS industry. 

Furthermore, consider contacting past clients to glean qualitative insights into the agency’s communication style, problem-solving approach, and overall client satisfaction.

Chat with the VIPs (Very Important Partners)

Go beyond references and proactively communicate with the agency’s existing clients. These conversations provide firsthand insights into their operational dynamics, responsiveness, and ability to adapt to client needs. Many agencies claim their team is a call way, but the real test asks existing clients if that’s implemented in practice.

Such interactions yield unfiltered perspectives akin to soliciting a friend’s opinion before making a choice.

Some agencies might hesitate to share the name due to confidentiality issues. In situations like that, dial up the clients they have mentioned in their case studies and testimonials.

Make sure they use white-hat SEO practices

The realm of SaaS SEO demands a commitment to ethical practices. Confirm the agency’s dedication to white-hat SEO techniques that align with industry standards and regulations. 

While black-hat strategies might promise swift gains, they often result in severe penalties that could tarnish your SaaS venture’s online standing. Prioritizing ethical SEO ensures a sustainable path toward long-term success.

Obviously, by asking, you cannot ensure whether their practice is ethical. But by mentioning that, you reflect that you are aware of the consequences of violating search engine guidelines and take it seriously. If you don’t mention that, an agency might think you are naive and clueless and will deliver poor work.

If not taken seriously, Google can penalize your website and ban you permanently from their search engine. The same goes for Bing and other search engines.

Tools of the trade

Delve into the agency’s marketing stack’s tools, technologies, and methodologies. A sophisticated stack not only streamlines their operations but signifies a proactive approach to staying current within the evolving landscape of SEO. 

A robust toolkit equips them to analyze data, uncover trends, and optimize strategies, enhancing the impact of their efforts on your SaaS enterprise.

As a general rule, the agency you hire must have these tools in place:

  1. Google Analytics: to understand how users interact with your website
  2. SEMrush or Moz: for keyword research and reporting
  3. G Suite or Microsoft 365: this is seriously a no-brainer
  4. SpyFu: or any other tool for better competitor research
  5. Grammarly: for making sure the content is error-free

Enquire about their strategy for link-building

A strong link-building strategy remains pivotal in SaaS SEO. Trust and authority are the most critical factors for climbing the SERP rankings. 

Initiate discussions about your SaaS SEO agency’s approach to securing high-quality, relevant backlinks. A well-structured link-building strategy can significantly bolster your SaaS platform’s authority and visibility, contributing to heightened organic reach.

And make sure they don’t use any black-hat tactics that might end up losing your website. This is also why you should never hire a cheap SEO — most follow shady tactics that show fast results and put you at high risk.

Penalties for terminating contracts

Transparently addressing contract termination terms is crucial to fostering a professional partnership. Although the anticipation is for a harmonious collaboration, it’s prudent to understand the potential penalties associated with contract cessation. 

Engaging in these conversations establishes a foundation of open communication and shared expectations.

Communication and reporting

In teaming up with a SaaS SEO agency, the foundation of effective collaboration lies in transparent communication and informative reporting. 

Chat about their preferred communication methods – regular meetings, slack channels, email updates, or a project management platform. Clarity on communication channels ensures you’re in the loop and can share valuable input. 

Equally important is their reporting approach. Understand the metrics and data they provide to track progress and measure your return on investment. A solid reporting system keeps you informed about the results of their strategies, helping you make data-driven decisions. 

Proactive communication and detailed reporting reflect their commitment to your business and drive to involve you throughout the process.

About Pushkar Sinha

Pushkar Sinha SaaS SEO expert Pushkar Sinha

Pushkar Sinha is the Head of Digital Marketing at FirstPrinciples Growth Advisory. With 15+ years of expertise, he specializes in SEOfor European, American, and Indian markets, both in agency and in-house roles. His holistic skill set encompasses Google Ads, Affiliate Marketing, SEO, SEM, PPC, E-Commerce, and Project Management. Pushkar is...

About Pushkar Sinha

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