Tom Shurville
Tom Shurville Managing Director

How to build a strong relationship with your search marketing agency

Tom Shurville
Tom Shurville Managing Director

Identify a common goal

The chances are that if you’re a business owner or work in marketing then you’ll need the services of a search marketing agency along the way. What can you do to maximise the value of that relationship? We’ve noted down some of the client behaviours which help us help you, the client, achieve the results you want.

The ultimate goal for both of us is a unifying one – both client and agency want the client’s company to grow and succeed. You’ve hired an agency to provide the expertise needed to target the right audience, drive traffic and conversions. However, to tie this to your end objective requires insights that only you, the client, can offer.

Collaborative engagement and strong communication between client and agency is fundamental to the success of search marketing activity. As Steve Jobs himself stated: 

‘Great things in business are never done by one person, they’re done by a team of people’


We can’t stress enough that collaboration is key to building a strong relationship with your search marketing agency . If you can make a shift from thinking of your agency as a ‘service provider’ to a ‘strategic partner’ then you stand to reap the benefits.

It may feel frustrating at times when the advice you’re hearing does not marry up with your thinking, but trust that your agency’s expertise is built on years of experience and skill in their field. If the shared attitude is one of working as a team, then both sides can listen to the insights of the other and optimal solutions can be found.

Be open – what does success look like to you? 

Help us understand your business – what makes you unique, your pain points and aspirations. We’re not being nosy – this information is useful because it informs the strategies that we employ to achieve your business objectives.

If what you’re looking for is an increase in sales of a particular product or service, to increase brand awareness or achieve a target number of enquiries, then make sure you tell us so we can plan accordingly and spot opportunities which may present themselves.

Have a primary point of contact

Consider the frustration and ineffectiveness of working with an agency where you don’t have a main point of contact. Now, reverse this and you’ll understand how ineffective the client-agency relationship is when there’s no primary contact for the agency to speak to.

Ideally, this person should be involved from the very beginning of the discussions and be a spokesperson for your company’s interests and objectives.

Be responsive

We frequently ask for client feedback on work we’ve produced such as landing page designs, targeted keyword research, blog posts and ad copy. When client review and sign off is slow to acquire, our ability to drive campaign objectives is frustrated. Of course as the client you want to see results as soon as possible, however your constant input and feedback are required to ensure that success is maximised.

Key to this is client responsiveness. Timely feedback – particularly at the start of the client-agency relationship – is essential to achieve those quick wins and to set up campaigns for long-term success.

Trust that, with time, our understanding of your needs will become more intuitive.

Be patient

One of the most disheartening things for us as an agency is to see our clients leave us just before their high performing campaigns have had time to mature. All great marketing takes time and this is particularly the case with SEO.

Although clients understand that SEO is a slow burn, too often there isn’t a realistic appreciation of what this means for their bottom line. If it’s imperative to achieve a return on investment quickly, then you may be best placed to consider paid search advertising. Waiting for SEO momentum to build requires a greater level of patience than some clients are prepared for.

If you can attract the right traffic to your website and increase conversions, then sales invariably follow. So hold tight!

If you’re unhappy with your agency

Ask yourself whether you’ve accepted your share of responsibility for the health of the agency-client relationship and evaluate what you can do to improve things. If you’re doing your bit and your expectations still aren’t being met, then maybe it’s time for an honest discussion with your agency.

Most agencies will keenly want to keep your business so give them the chance to make amends and rebuild the relationship.  

We pride ourselves on our strong client focus, so if you’re keen to find out more about how we do things here, just get in touch. 

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