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48 Questions to Qualify Potential Search Marketing Vendors



Ok , then only about of y'all may hold upward saying...don't y'all offering these services? Why would y'all desire to tell people how to 'screen' you? Well , the reply is two-fold. In the best interests of my potential clients , they should know what too who they are hiring. The to a greater extent than informed they are the easier my chore becomes too to a greater extent than fourth dimension is spent on achieving results rather than explaining 'who I am'.

Secondly , if I know what is going to hold upward asked I tin sack conduct maintain a neat response create , too to a greater extent than importantly , I tin sack hold upward prepared to explicate the reply inwards layman's price (ie. easily understandable).

So , onto the questionnaire for initial screenings:

Dear [Prospective SEM Vendor] ,
Thank y'all for entering into a dialog amongst us equally nosotros vet potential SEM vendors for [Name of Company]. In social club to function along the procedure equally streamlined equally possible , delight accept a few minutes to respond to this questionnaire. Our destination is to not waste matter your time.

The answers tin sack hold upward equally detailed or curt equally y'all deem appropriate. We expect forrad to the procedure of getting to know your fellowship better. We're happy to read articles on-topic originating from your means , if y'all supply the URL inwards whatever question's answer. Thank y'all inwards advance for your efforts.

Pay Per Click
1. Is anyone inwards your trouble solid AdWords Qualified or a Yahoo Ambassador?
2. Does your means conduct maintain a designated Google or Yahoo rep?
3. What is your agency's revenue model for PPC: per centum of pass , per centum of revenue , monthly fee , hybrid?
4. Do y'all conduct maintain a monthly PPC minimum pass or fee?
5. What method does your trouble solid utilization to larn by PPC: yesteryear mitt , yesteryear automation (what tool) , hybrid?
6. Do y'all utilization our credit carte du jour , your agency's or only about other method? How volition y'all invoice us?
7. What reports produce y'all typically mail clients too at what interval?
8. What PPC channels are y'all experienced amongst (Google , MSN , Yahoo , Facebook , etc...)?
9. How does your means stair out PPC conversion too ROI?
10. Is it inwards your vocabulary to produce multivariate landing page/ad message testing?
11. How much PPC spend-cash produce y'all grip annually?
12. Please submit 2 curt PPC instance studies highlighting success.
13. Please submit 1 curt PPC instance study highlighting failure.
14. Please submit 2 PPC client-references.

Organic Optimization
1. What link-building tactics too methods volition hold upward employed?
2. Does your means conduct maintain a content creation exercise , or volition y'all guide us inwards edifice out our content?
3. How produce y'all stair out organic prominence inwards low-cal of Personalized Search?
4. What keyword enquiry tools are used?
5. How does your means stair out organic conversion too ROI?
6. What methods are used to mine competitive tidings nigh our competitors?
7. What is the billing model for organic-related services? (retainer , hourly , apartment monthly fee , etc...)
8. Do y'all evidence organic landing page surgery amongst PPC?
9. What steps produce y'all accept to insulate clients from becoming equally good subject on Google?
10. Please submit 2 curt organic instance studies highlighting success.
11. Please submit 1 curt organic optimization instance study highlighting failure.
12. Please submit 2 organic optimization client-references.

Social Media
1. What channels are y'all currently active inwards for clients? (StumbleUpon , Digg , Facebook , etc...)
2. Give examples of how channels mightiness hold upward used to bolster the overall SEM effort?
3. What reputation monitoring tools volition hold upward used?
4. What is the frequency too heart of your reputation reporting?
5. What is your sense amongst opened upward source blogging software similar WordPress?
6. What are your typical non-blogging uses of blog-style software?
7. Please submit 2 curt social media instance studies highlighting success.
8. Please submit 1 curt social media instance study highlighting failure.

General Vendor Qualifications:
1. How many full-time employees inwards the agency? What are their roles?
2. What SEM conferences did y'all attend inwards the yesteryear twelvemonth , too which produce y'all programme to attend this year? (SES , PubCon , SMX , etc.)
3. What SEM conferences volition your staff verbalize at this year?
4. What merchandise publications , online or newspaper , produce y'all write for too on what topics?
5. Please submit three links to articles y'all or your employees conduct maintain written.
6. What forums is your means "known" in? (SEW , Sphinn , Cre8asite , etc.)
7. Links to your profile pages please
8. Traditional affiliations (BBB , Chambers of Commerce , etc...)
9. SEMPO member?
10. Does your means conduct maintain in-house programmers too designers or produce y'all outsource?
11. If outsourcing , what are your partner-vendors' URLs?
12. What analytics other than Google Analytics are used?
13. Is at that topographic point an in-house method to stair out offline conversions (phone , etc.)
14. What sense does your means conduct maintain inwards local/mobile?


You mightiness eliminate questions that don't apply to your company's specific marketing application or exterior of your comfort zone. Any means that's worth its tabular array salt volition welcome the chance to participate inwards a focused vetting process.

Giving credit where credit is due...content derived from Marty Weintraub.



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