So you’re ready to invest in your business’ online presence but you’ve got at least one of two problems:
- No time to do Internet Marketing yourself
- Not sure how Internet Marketing really works (and works effectively)
That means you’ll need some professionals to manage this for you - an Internet Marketing agency. You’ll need the best agency to run your business’ digital marketing. I’d suggest a real thorough search of agencies because the last thing you want is to bounce around from agency to agency because of poor results and poor service.
Here are some tips to avoid that mess so you can pick the right Internet Marketing agency for your business:
1. See Who Ranks For ‘Internet Marketing’ In Your Area
While this shouldn’t be THE determinant for picking the right Internet Marketing agency to handle your business’ digital marketing, it’s a great demonstration of an agency’s abilities. Of course, the thinking behind agencies who don’t rank for ‘Internet Marketing’ in your area is that they’re too busy focusing on their clients to do their agency’s SEO. In my view, that’s bogus.
A great agency focuses on BOTH client work (that’s what we do!) AND attracting new business. Otherwise, how can any agency grow? They need to do work on the agency side.
So ranking for industry-related keywords is important improving your brand’s online presence no matter what your industry is. For Internet Marketing agencies, this is important. It’s a demonstration of an agency’s commitment to industry self-improvement.
2. Shop Around For The Best Bang For Your Marketing Buck - But Be Careful
It’s only normal for you, the business owner or manager to shop around for the best deal - on anything. The same goes for Internet Marketing.
However - A BIG disclaimer to this is that there are plenty of SEO companies that offer their services for very cheap. You can go out of province or even overseas for your Internet Marketing services. They might give you the lowest price you can find - but is it the best value for your business? You also have to examine the quality of their services. Many overseas SEO companies that claim to get your business to the first page of Google for cheap use what we call “black hat” tactics. These are tactics disapproved by Google that SEO’s use to try and get to the first page of Google. Google will recognize these tactics if they are implemented and penalize your website. The term for SEO’s using reputable tactics that Google encourages is “white hat SEO”.
So here are the underlying take-home ideas:
- Do NOT hire companies that promise to get you to the first page of Google
- Do NOT hire companies that promise their services for cheap
While it’s important for your business to minimize costs and get a return on whatever you’re investing in, make sure you ask the necessary questions so that your business doesn’t get the short end of the stick.
3. Look For Smaller, More Focused Agencies
While you should be careful about which Internet Marketing agency you choose, one common misconception is that a bigger agency is better. The thinking behind this is that a bigger agency is a bit more reputable and the reason they are as big as they are is because they have succeeded in what they do. While this may be partly true, I’ll challenge this notion that a bigger Internet Marketing agency is better.
While bigger agencies may come with higher sales figures, they might not allocate prime resources to manage your digital marketing. If you’re a smaller business than what the agency is used to dealing with, they’ll let some of their more inexperienced account managers and perhaps a few interns to manage your online presence. Is that what you want? Let’s not go there, for the sake of your business.
Smaller agencies will allocate larger teams, maybe even the entire team to manage accounts regardless of the size. They’ll also charge less than the big agencies. Big agencies have a high overhead and therefore, you’ll be paying for the big marketing ‘fat cats’ to sit in their high chairs. With smaller agencies, you’ll get a better return on your investment - and believe me, we’ve seen clients delighted with the cost-per-lead numbers they see!
4. Do A Background Check
Finding more about an agency that could be part of your team is a no-brainer. Just like any other product or service you buy on the Internet, you can use the same tactics. Type them into a search engine and see what people are saying about them. Look around their entire website. Check out their bios and social media profiles. See if they’re keeping up-to-date on the latest trends. Read their blogs and look into what they’re saying about Internet Marketing. Do they pass your own credibility test? Do you feel you can trust them? It’s usually good to like who you do business with. Find out as much as you can about your prospective Internet Marketing agency before deciding on one.
5. Search For Case Studies And Recommendations
I’m a firm believer that the greatest sales presentation that anyone can give is that of a customer testimonial. It’s just that human touch that takes your prospect from knowing what you do to trusting what you do. It’s one thing to hear a sales pitch from a salesperson but it’s another thing to hear that pitch from an unbiased, third-party viewpoint. That’s why it’s critical for any Internet Marketing agency search to include an in-depth look at what they have done for other clients. You deserve to see their results. It’ll help you see what they could possibly be doing for you.
Furthermore, if an agency is proud of what they’ve done for clients, they’d show it off, right? If their clients approved of using their name for their agency’s case studies, then clearly the client feels good approving of the job the agency did, right?
All of these tips are just some of the things you can do and look out for in your search for an agency. Remember, whoever you choose will be an extension of your marketing team and an extension of your business. You’ll get everything you need - Paid Search Managers, Search Engine Optimizers, Social Media Managers, Writers, Designers, and more - all for the price of retaining ONE of these professionals.
The agency you work with ought to reflect your values and principles and vice-versa. Follow these 5 steps and you will be on your way to picking that perfect match.