Don’t get ripped off by a digital marketing agency. Learn how to choose a digital marketing agency before you invest in a company that may not offer the services you need—or whose, efforts that will actually work against your goals. The following are seven key tips to help you choose an effective digital marketing agency to ensure that you don’t lose time and money.
1. Knowing the Right Questions to Ask
When you’re learning how to choose a digital marketing agency, you’ll soon realize that it boils down to asking the right questions and listening to the agency’s answers. If they don’t have a prepared answer, they probably aren’t experienced enough as an agency to be a smart investment.
Though, even prepared answers may reveal that the agency isn’t going to deliver good results. Which key questions will give you the insight you need to determine if they are the right agency for you? The rest of the points in this article will uncover the best questions to ask a digital marketing agency and keep in mind as you make your decision.
2. What is Their Strategy?
An agency should offer you a personalized digital marketing strategy plan that they have developed after getting to know your business and which results you need. They should be transparent about their strategy and process, and how they can accomplish each goal.
If you’re not sure what any aspect of the strategy entails, it’s smart to both search the topic online and ask the agency. Does the strategy make sense for your goals? Is it proven to deliver results? If the agency can’t speak at length about how their strategy works, they may not be able to deliver on their promises.
Also, there are agencies out there that will use “black-hat” strategies, especially for SEO. These strategies can result in your site being penalized by Google, so it’s critical to avoid agencies who may use them. A quick search should tell you if the strategy is frowned upon.
3. What Results Have They Achieved for Other Clients?
This is one of the most important questions to ask a digital marketing agency. They should be able to show you specific statistics that demonstrate they can really achieve results. Often the most telling result to ask for is increase in sales. Your business’ bottom line is what’s really important.
Of course, more common ways to measure results, like increase in website traffic, movement in keyword rankings, and back-links are also important. For example, if your digital marketing agency tells you that they’ll double your website traffic, they should be able to point to a client who saw those results.
If they haven’t delivered the results you need in the past, what guarantees they can do it now? Your business probably can’t afford to take a risk on a company that has no experience.
You shouldn’t accept anything less than a digital marketing agency which has a proven track record of delivering results that are similar to the results you need.
4. What are Their SEO Deliverables?
When you’re exploring your options and learning how to choose an SEO company, you’ll find that every company has a slightly different take on SEO strategy and a different opinion on which SEO deliverables they think are most important.
Your agency should be specific about their SEO deliverables, including providing real target figures when possible. They should also be able to connect these deliverables to your overall goals. Usually, your primary goal will be to support or boost lead conversions and sales.
Your digital marketing agency can estimate or give exact figures for lead conversions and sales numbers due to search traffic. However, that’s not the only metric that your digital marketing company will focus on.
There are many different factors that affect SEO and many different SEO deliverables. While many digital marketing agencies only scratch the surface, you want a company that delves deeper. Optimizing meta data, finding keywords and building links are only the beginning.
In the end, a wide range of SEO strategies are best to help support your overall goal of getting more leads and sales. If your digital marketing company can’t adjust to your specific business and delve deep into SEO deliverables to find the right ones for your business, they aren’t right for you.
5. What Timeline and Goals Can You Expect?
The best digital marketing strategies include comprehensive, but reasonable, timelines. SEO doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a long-term strategy that does require investment. However, experienced digital marketers can still give you a timeline of when they expect to achieve your goals.
If a digital marketing firm doesn’t give you a timeline, they may not be able to deliver results at all and may be planning on stringing you along with promises that their marketing efforts will work soon. They won’t.
In contrast, if a digital marketing firm is giving you a timeline that’s very quick, and they don’t have a track record of actually delivering on these tight timelines, they may not deliver the results they promise, either.
Ask your potential digital marketers about what kind of timeline they usually work on and they should be able to point to concrete examples. Also, having a timeline is a great way to keep your digital marketing agency honest and accountable. If they miss major deadlines, it’s time to walk away.
6. What is Their Link Building Strategy?
Link building is a sound strategy that suffers from being associated with a lot of digital marketing scams. There are many ways to honestly build links and other ways to try to buy links or create poor-quality links.
Undoing the improper work that a poor digital marketing agency has done in an attempt to build backlinks to your website can be more costly than a proper and effective link building strategy in the first place. Bad back-links can hurt your website and your company, but unless you’re a digital marketer, you probably can’t tell a good link strategy from a bad link strategy.
Spend some time discussing link strategy with your digital marketers and you’ll see how confident and transparent they are about their strategy. If they don’t seem open about their tactics, they may not be above-board.
If they do explain the link-building strategies they plan to use for you, ask to see examples of where their strategy has worked for their clients in the past. That may help you determine if the link strategy is a beneficial one for your business.
7. What are Their Team Dynamics?
It’s important to know exactly what kind of company you’re partnering up with. Is this a one-man operation who tries to handle your whole digital marketing strategy personally? Or, is your agency a larger organization with more people who have more specialized skills?
You can’t expect one-man digital marketing agencies to have a wide range of specialized skills. Just like your family doctor is a general practitioner who refers you to specialists to do specialized procedures. The digital marketing world is always changing and it’s hard for one person to keep up with their own specialty, never mind for one person to manage all aspects of a business’ digital marketing.
It’s best to partner with a full-service agency that can offer you specialized knowledge and strategy in every area of digital marketing. A full-service agency should have several experts on staff including developers, content writers, SEO specialists, PPC specialists and more.
Choose Your Digital Marking Agency
Our last piece of advice on how to choose a digital marketing agency is all about going with your gut. You should trust your digital marketers and know what they’re doing and why they provide value to your business.
WEB ROI is a digital marketing agency with over 14 years of experience developing cost effective and successful digital marketing strategies. We’re transparent about our strategies and are proud of the work we’ve managed to accomplish for our clients.
To learn more about how our proven Digital Marketing Lifecycle process can help your business, download our free guide, “The Surefire Way to Get More Qualified Leads”.