Not all marketing agencies are created equal. It’s a sad fact that way too many people throw up a website and call themselves internet marketers, web designers or Search engine optimization consultants with little to no knowledge, worse case they could fumble through and end up damaging your website by doing bad SEO, build you a website that is slow and full of errors, or completely mess up your social media presence. Or you could unknowingly be buying a service from a ‘middleman’ who uses a third party to do the work and you have paid an inflated cost for.
It’s not all doom and gloom out there as there are a lot of decent, reliable Agency’s that do fantastic work and do exactly what you need. You just need to know how to find them.
1. Are they a real business?
It might sound crazy to ask yourself this, just because they have a fancy website doesn’t mean they are a legitimate company. Is there an address? do they have a contact number? (not just a mobile), have they got a social media presence? Can you see any customer reviews or testimonials?
Do they have a linked in profile that you can see a company profile?
Call them on the phone and make sure they answer.
2. Check out their website and web presence
If a company that offers web design has a slow loading, cluttered, badly designed, unresponsive web site, would you buy one?
If a company that specializes in search engine marketing or Search engine marketing is a nightmare to find (they don’t show up in organic results) and have to rely on google ad’s, would you trust them to rank your website?
If a company that offers social media marketing only had an outdated facebook page that hadn’t seen a new post for the last 2 years, would you let them manage your social accounts?
No. As the saying goes, never trust a skinny cook!
3. Get some quotes.
Firstly the cheapest quote isn’t always the best option. I’m sure it’s a given but you really do get what you pay for.
Yes you can hire someone from the Philippines for $10 a month to do your SEO but they are all about volume and will do their upmost to get results as quickly as possible and implement ‘blackhat’ tricks to get you ranked. That’s great until the next google update then google will slap a penalty on your site faster than you can say Penguin! You will then need to pay through the teeth to get your website re-indexed.
If you want lasting results that won’t get you slapped by google then you need to hire professionals who are both ethical and exceptional at internet marketing and who will treat your website with respect, it will save you money in the long run.
4. Ask for a website audit
This is a good trick to find out who walks the walk not just talks the talk. If a SEO Agency know there craft then it will show through in the proposal, have they included a clear audit of your site, done a complete competitor analysis, identified the best keywords you should be targeting, shown how much more revenue you could expect. Or have they just run your website through a software program and given you a standard report you could get yourself for free.
In conclusion you really need to research the business before handing over your hard earned cash. Internet marketing is a very sound investment the potentially could have a massive ROI only IF you choose wisely.