Updated: Sep 10
OK, so you've been thinking lately... It's 2020, everything is digital, or at least everything will be digital. You have thought about the fact that brick and mortar stores are slowly dieing. Its occurred to you that less and less people get on their feet and walk into stores to have a chat. It may have even worried you that almost nobody picks up the phone anymore to ring around when choosing which provider/company is the best fit for the service or goods they are looking for. After all, you noticed that you yourself choose which goods and services to buy using Google and social media.
So, you've decided to hire a digital marketing agency.
That was the easy part.
The hard part is deciding which digital marketing agency to hire.
In 2020, anyone can create a website and offer their services. THIS is what makes choosing a digital marketing agency so difficult. Who do you trust? Which agency is suited to your needs?
Lets dig deeper to see what you should be looking for, what to avoid and how to pick the best digital marketing agency for your needs.
Before we do that, lets quickly touch on what YOU need to think about first.
What Are Your Goals?
Your business is not the same as your neighbours business. Plumbers are very different to lawyers. Bakers don't even know what a wrench is. You get the point...
The same idea goes for digital marketing agencies. Most agencies offer a full array of digital marketing services such as Google Ads Management, Website Design & development, SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) Social Media Marketing, Business Branding Graphic Design, etc, however, they usually specialise a couple areas. This means that they prefer projects within their specialties, and they can serve YOU best within these specialty areas.
So, the first step in choosing the right digital marketing agency is thinking about YOUR goals, and then going about selecting an agency that matches your goals and objectives.
This also makes the process of talking with an agency so much easier, because they are clear on exactly what you need, and they can eloquently propose strategies to meet those exact needs.
You want your business to be seen on page 1 of Google Search Results (SERP's) so you can attract more customers, but you have no idea how to achieve it or where to start.
So, your goal would be: I want my website to rank on page 1 of Google search results. And more importantly, the result you may want is to double the amount of traffic to my business website.
Now, you can talk to digital marketing agencies with some confidence about what you want, and they can respond with clear cut strategies and options for you. Think about a time you hired someone or bought something that wasn't quite the right fit for you....Annoying isn't it?
Now, lets get to the point...
5 Features of a good digital marketing agency
Now that you know what you're looking for, we can jump into what makes a good digital marketing agency...great.
1) Expert & experienced staff:
Ask them who the actual person is that would be working on your digital marketing solution. For example, lets say that you've agreed that you need Google AdWords Management. You then speak to this digital marketing 'expert' and find out that they are an expert in social media marketing only, and have only ever set up one google ad campaign. You dig deeper to see what training they have for Google Ads and they tell you that the last time they were trained in Google Ads was 5 years ago. Your eyes should be rolling by now.
Digital marketing is dynamic. Google's SEO algorithms and guidelines change so often, that someone that hasn't managed a SEO account in just 6 months would be out of date. Likewise, someone that hasn't re-trained in Google Ads or Facebook Advertising platforms for example within the last 24 months should make you concerned. So, ASK QUESTIONS.
This one is obvious. Read the agencies reviews for the past 12 months. Check out their Google reviews and rating for the past 12 months, Facebook reviews and reviews on their website. This will give you an indication whether they are proficient in the service you need, responsive, honest and affordable.
3) Their Portfolio / Clients
A reputable digital marketing agency will list recent projects or clients they work with. Have a look on their website to see if they actually have worked on projects similar to yours. If you cant see any recent clients they've worked with, that should be a warning sign. A recent client list is a good indication of their experience.
Also, for creative services such as website design/development and graphic design, they should have examples and links to their portfolio. If they don't, look for a provider that can showcase their work.
4) Is their own website well designed?
You'll be surprised at how many agencies don't even bother putting time into their own digital marketing. So ask yourself, if their website looks like your dogs breakfast, how motivated can they really be? If they haven't put effort into their own business, how much effort would they really put into yours? The answer is obvious. A well designed website represents a company that has a passion for what they do. Yes, we are self confessed geeks over here at SureTech. Listen to your gut. If their website looks cheap, it generally means they don't understand that a cheap website costs more than an expensive one.
5) Is their own digital marketing services working for them?
You wouldn't service your car at a mechanic who's car was always breaking down. Likewise, you shouldn't hire a digital marketing agency who's own digital marketing services aren't working for them.
You've decided to go down the path of Google Ads.
Go to the agencies website to see what services and locations they service. Then search for that service and location into Google. Do they show up on the first page of google search engine results? If they do, its a good indication that they are highly proficient in managing their own AdWords campaign and also yours.
Additionally, can you see advanced/expert features in their google ads? Things such as sitelink extensions, structured snippets and callout texts are all advanced features of Google Ads that generally only experts implement. You can read about these advanced features here. If you cant see these ad extensions, you should be concerned that they aren't really experts in Google Ads, or they are...well...lazy. Both are very bad indications for someone you want to hire.
You've decided to go down the path of SEO (search engine optimisation).
Again, go to the agencies website to see what areas they service for SEO, and try a few different searches to see if they show up on the first page. If you can see them on page one, you can be assured they are highly proficient in SEO, and have invested a lot of time and effort into getting to page one. SEO is such a tricky, and time consuming endeavour, that the mere fact you can see them rank on page one, tells you A LOT about their business ethic. Further ask yourself this. If they cant rank their own business on page 1, how can you expect them to rank YOUR business on page 1?
You've read this far, so you get a bonus on how to pick the best digital marketing agency. Now you are already well set to choose, but here one simple clue that most of us miss. Does the agency make promises that you feel they cant possibly guarantee? For example, if someone tells you they can rank you in the number 1 spot of organic Google search results(SEO) in 1 week, you can go right ahead and call them a liar. SEO, generally speaking is a long term endeavour. If they sound like a used car salesman, then they probably shouldn't be marketing your business.
Now you know what to look for and what to avoid. Use the features we talked about here next time you’re looking for a digital marketing agency that can build your business.
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