There is the opinion that good SEO agencies shouldn’t be cold calling, that if they are good at SEO they shouldn’t need to. This is a redundant train of thought; it isn’t a case of needing to cold call to get business, it is a case of wanting to cold call to get the right business.
Cold calling is a valuable part of a well-rounded marketing strategy and to ignore it would be foolish. You can be highly selective when choosing targets to cold call, focusing on the companies you want to work with and know you can help.
But what about on the other end? What should you ask when an SEO agency cold calls, to separate the wheat from the chaff?
1. “What motivated you to call me?”
If they can’t give you a reason why they called you, the likelihood is that you were just the next name on a list. If they have done their homework, they will have seen a way they can help or have experience which is of interest to you.
2. “Who do you currently work with and how long have you worked with them?”
This gives the agency a chance to demonstrate their credibility, and asking about current clients and the length of the relationship qualifies whether they can keep clients happy. There will be cases where agencies had a short relationship with a client, then lost the business but still use the name.
3. “What approach do you take to doing SEO?”
Getting an idea of an agencys SEO philosophy can help give an idea of who will do a good job. Quality should be the focus. Any mention of outdated and spammy tactics should ring alarm bells that this agency isn’t on the curve, never mind ahead of it.
4. “How much does this cost?”
The reason for this question is simple; good SEO takes time and isnt cheap. If someone tells you they will do your SEO for a few hundred pounds a month be wary. How much can they really do with the time that will buy?
5. “Can you do an audit of my site?”
Agencies should jump at the chance to demonstrate to you what they can do. Dont expect them to give you all their trade secrets, but they should be able and excited to demonstrate their ability with a top level look at your site.