What Should I Look for in an Internet Marketing Firm?
A strong internet marketing firm uses effective strategies to help clients meet their business objectives. Finding a marketing agency for your business isn’t the challenge – finding the right one is. How can you determine if the marketing firm you’re interested in will bring you the traffic, conversions and performance you need?
In this post, we will discuss some of the key qualities that you should look for when hiring an internet marketing firm for your business. Before we get started, let’s do a quick refresher on what an internet marketing agency is and why it’s important to have one for your business, regardless of its size or industry.
What is the Role of an Internet Marketing Firm?
An internet marketing firm is a team of professionals that work together to promote a brand and its services online. These professionals have hands-on experience and are aware of the most cost-effective ways to market products and services.
Though agencies have their specialties, they should be familiar with the following types of services:
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Pay per click (PPC)
- Social media
- Web design/Web development
- Email marketing
- Conversion rate optimization
- Content marketing
- Tracking, testing and reporting
Most agencies will not specialize in all of these services, but they should at least be knowledgeable with them. Trustworthy agencies know their strengths and weaknesses and can point you in the direction of someone who can help you with the services they may not offer. For instance, many firms specialize in SEO and social media but not web design and development, and vice versa.
Why is it Important to Outsource Your Marketing Needs?
Working with an outside agency is the key to success. Why? Marketing firms focus on what they do best so that you can focus on what you do best. Put your time and energy where it deserves to be – managing your business.
Also, remember that things are always changing in online marketing. Even if you were to teach yourself the tricks of the trade today, your knowledge would become outdated very quickly. Marketing agencies make it a priority to keep on top of the latest trends in search engine marketing. This way, your company will always be following the best practices and keeping one step ahead of the competition.
Key Traits to Look for in an Online Marketing Agency
Here are some of the most important characteristics to look for when outsourcing your digital marketing needs.
Honest and Transparent
Reputable agencies are honest and transparent about what they do. They don’t have “top secret” processes that they refuse to share with others. They are confident about their practices and want to share this information. This is part of building a long lasting relationship with customers and establishing their own presence.
Good Role Models
Does the marketing agency practice what they preach? If they claim to be experts on SEO, check to see where they rank for their most important keyword phrases. While they don’t have to be the top ranking site, they should rank well for their keywords.
The same holds true for the other types of services they offer such as social media. If the company claims to be a social media expert, they should have engaging social media pages with images, posts and decent engagement from followers.
What types of results does the agency have? Even though they may be busy working for their clients, the agency should be able to show you a few examples of their best work. The marketing firm may have a page on their website that details case studies from past clients, so start there. But don’t hesitate to ask for additional results.
It’s amazing how many SEO firms still guarantee rankings. While they should work diligently to get your site ranking well, there’s no guarantee that your site will land in the top SERPs. This is up to the search algorithms, not the SEO companies. The best firms perform the necessary keyword research to help their clients set reasonable KPIs (key performance indicators) that help them meet their goals.
So many times, customers are focused on what they can get for the price, they overlook the customer service aspect. A good marketing firm will take the time to learn about your company, its strengths and weaknesses and its overall marketing objectives. They won’t be afraid to pick up the phone and talk to you.
In fact, they will give a wide range of methods to get in touch with them, and they will respond quickly. If you’re left hanging before you even hire the agency, you should probably think twice about moving forward.
Things like SEO, SEM and PPC may not be the most fun things to talk about, but the firm you work with should have some excitement about the matter. Why does this make a difference?
Having a team that is enthusiastic is contagious and will make you more excited, too. Plus, you want an agency that is willing to think outside the box and separate you from other companies of your type. Be ahead of the competition, not trailing behind it.
Once you have built your list of potential agencies, it will be up to you to decide which one will help you meet your objectives. Don’t sign anything until you both agree on each other’s expectations, including turnaround times and communication methods. Yes, you’re paying for a service, but it’s one that can completely transform the way prospects and customers feel about you.
WSI Net Advantage is an internet marketing firm that has all the qualities listed above – and more! Call us at 510-687-9737 for a FREE consultation and get a feel for how we do business. We love to talk to new prospects, and we enjoy helping our clients reach their objectives! We look forward to hearing from you and learning about your brand!