Evaluating SEO Agencies
Evaluating SEO Agencies
Having by one, or a combination of methods, selected at least three research services for further investigation, these must then be evaluated using some sort of screening process. Whilst there may be no immediate intention to buy research, but only to ensure preparedness for the speedy commissioning of future projects, much preliminary screening can still be carried out.
In the first place, the services selected as likely to be of interest should be asked to submit literature describing the scope of their operations and giving details of the resources at their command. Any published material, such as reprints of papers or articles, is well worth studying because from such publications it is often possible to judge something of the calibre of the services on offer. There is a parallel here with a practice common in the engagement of scientific and technical staff, where it has long been customary
for references to published material to be submitted at the time applications for employment are made. Care must, of course, be exercised to ensure that the authors of the publications are still employed within the service, particularly when the papers submitted are of attractively high standard.
After study of the submitted literature, it should be possible to determine any restrictions in the probable capabilities of the service. It may show that past experience has been substantially concentrated in specific product/market areas or in highly special-ized kinds of studies. For the most part, such restrictions are deliberately spelled out because it is the consultant's intention to limit the offer of his services to those areas where he has a competence of such an order that it gives him an edge over competitors. Provided there is a match between such specialist capabilities and the firm's requirements, the identification of services of this kind can be most rewarding for the client. In contrast, there are SEO Agencies, usually the larger ones, that are more broadly based and it must be recognized that the wider the scope of a competent agency's operations, the broader will have been its experiences and the more numerous the contacts it has made across the broad spectrum of industry. Capabilities of this extent are invaluable in many industrial marketing research investigations where a proper understanding of inter-industry links is vital to the solution of the problem prompting the research.
Few firms today rely only on home markets and thus an agency's links with overseas research companies, with associate consultants, or with subsidiaries overseas may be of special relevance. When it comes to the point of actually commissioning research, there must be careful scrutiny of such links because there can sometimes be a conflict of interest between the agency's clients and those of its affiliates.
In these first stages of screening, it is important to obtain comprehensive information on the number of people employed within an agency, their educational backgrounds and their qualifications. Many SEO Agencies, of course provide such data in their promotional literature.
Thus it is possible to build up reference files of data on external
research services, but when the stage is reached of going out to tender for a research project, it is essential that the selected services be visited at their own premises. Just as in business and industry generally, much can be judged by careful and visual observation of the environment, in physical and sociological terms, in which the firm operates, so can similar observations aid in assessing the calibre and capability of a service organization. Impoverishment in regard to staff, equipment and furniture rarely promises well in the context of the ability to offer a competent marketing research sent
Before requesting a formal research proposal, it is wise after indicating the subject of the research which it is proposed to commission, to request information on past and present clients and on the kinds of projects handled. No reputable agency or consultant will refuse such a request, and in most cases the information will be offered without being asked for. This offers another opportunity for a potential sponsor to check with someone who has previously bought research, in this case specifically from the service under consideration. It is not unusual for past clients to be much more frank in giving theft assessments of agency proficiency to another potential research sponsor than they would be in commenting directly to the agency: such is the cowardice of man.
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