When it comes to web marketing, business owners have three options: take the matter into their own hands, hire an in-house specialist, or use the services of a digital marketing agency. The digital marketing services industry, however, is highly competitive, making it difficult to tell which company can really deliver results.
Let’s take a look at the key things to consider when hiring a digital marketing firm.
Portfolio and References
The quality of a digital marketing agency’s portfolio should help you decide if you would like to move forward with their proposal for your website. A marketing agency that claims to have years of experience should be able to showcase not just their work but also who they have worked with by providing a list of clients.
It is possible to find a digital marketing agency without a list of previous clients or a vast portfolio if you are dealing with a newly established company. Being a new company, they should at least be able to give you a great price considering that they are still building their portfolio.
Specialized Services and Team Members
Online marketing covers a number of digital marketing services such as search engine optimization, social media, online ads, link building, and landing page optimization. There are even deeper aspects to each of these so you will want to look for a digital marketing agency that has team members who specialize in each.
To find out if they have a well-rounded team, go to LinkedIn and check out who the company’s employees are and their current roles. Their website should also give you information on who leads each of their specialized teams.
Social Media Reputation
Social media is one of the pillars of online reputation and a digital marketing agency that has built a reputation should have already maximized the use of social media to share their projects and reviews from clients. Their posts should reflect their brand and provide value to their subscribers.
In addition, some of their clients will have already written reviews about their digital marketing services providers, and you should be able to find these on their client’s websites, blogs, or social media pages.
An Optimized Website
Before you even look at a digital marketing agency’s portfolio, you will have already found their website. This is actually the first item on their portfolio. If a marketing agency does not have a website that employs the best practices when it comes to SEO, run in the opposite direction. It is hard to trust a company that does not practice what they preach.
Some of the things that you need to look for are the quality of the design and the content, ease of access, website page load speed, and search engine optimization.
Uses Up-To-Date Methods and Tools
Search engine algorithms get updates every so often and if a digital marketing agency fails to keep up, they will cause their clients to miss a lot of opportunities. Have you noticed how your website’s ranking drops after a major Google search algorithm update? A great digital marketing agency should be able to immediately adjust their strategies to these changes before their clients suffer substantial losses.
There are also a number of new tools for campaign management and monitoring such as MailChimp, Campaign Monitor, SEMrush, and Ahrefs.
Understands Your Needs
While digital marketing covers a broad line of services, a responsible digital marketing firm will work with you to determine what your website actually needs. They will not offer a one-size-fits-all solution and instead, they will customize the best solution to suit your website and your target market.
Furthermore, they will not be scared to talk about their strategies. They know their job and they can confidently discuss their plans with you. Be wary of an agency that does not reveal any of their strategies. If they are using black hat techniques, you may observe quick results, yet search engines may penalize your website in the future.
It is easy to think that agency size has nothing to do with your choice of digital marketing services provider, but actually, it does. A small firm may be able to identify the person working on your project, which will allow you direct and frequent communication with them. Because a large agency has several people working on your project, you are assured of continuous progress regardless of staffing changes, and most likely, quick completion.
A large firm should also be able to offer a broader range of services, such as web design and setup, providing great value to business owners who are just getting started with online marketing.
Frequent and accurate reports are your basis of if your campaigns are working and if you should continue your partnership with your digital marketing agency. They should be able to provide you with the metrics and how they compare with your goals, whether you would like to increase your site visits, conversions, or your pay-per-click results.
The reports should be transparent, timely, and easy to understand. A great digital marketing agency should make an effort to assist their clients in understanding the values included in their reports.
Look for a digital marketing services firm that offers what is needed at a fair price. A price that is too low should cause you to probe the quality of their services. Higher priced firms can provide you with dedicated resources because those charges are part of your fees.
The price and quality of the services being offered are typically what makes or breaks any deal. However, you should also check how realistic the marketing agency’s promises are. Some of the claims that you should be wary of are:
- Achieving position one in search results
- Instant results
- % increase in sales (sales can be affected by a lot of factors)
- Specific social media metrics (follows, likes, comments)
These are just the 10 fundamental things to look for before signing a deal with a digital marketing agency. Because these are hard to memorize, here is one key tip: If your instincts say that something does not feel right, take that as a sign not to rush the deal. Do your research and ask questions until you feel confident about signing the contract.
Create by Influence provides a complete and innovative digital marketing consultation for all of your digital branding needs. Visit our website, Facebook, and Instagram for more information on making intelligent web marketing decisions.