Digital marketing is simply not optional in today’s digital world where consumers flock to search engines. Even in B2B situations, the search engine is used to help find services or products a business needs. Finding a digital marketing business for your business can present some challenges.
Unfortunately, there are some companies in digital marketing that use complicated terms to show off less than stellar results. Others will show a metric that is not correlated with success as SEO can be very technical for the layperson. Metrics that should be used are search engine rankings, organic traffic, leads, and conversions from the website. Zero jump in traffic or search engine rankings are not great signs when spending thousands of dollars monthly on digital marketing, site optimization, and web design.
Ask About Similar Clients They Have Helped
Digital marketing companies might specialize or have a multitude of similar clients. An agency might already have established connections that can be leveraged with relevant publishers. Driving results will be far easier for an agency as work has already been done to a certain point.
Asking for results or case studies is imperative as data does not lie. A great tip is to hire a freelance SEO expert to take a look at the results you were provided. Translating certain data can take an expert and they will be able to see if the work done was worth the price.
A lack of willingness to show previous results is a warning sign that the company might not generate any meaningful results for clients.
Inquire About Tactics They Will Use
Digital marketing incorporates so many different areas including content marketing, social media, PPC, SEM, and much more. The number of companies that are still utilizing Blackhat SEO techniques is staggering and quite dumbfounding. Risking the website of a client for quick results can be a strategy that quickly backfires. The tactics below are those that you should be aware of as they can hurt your website over the course of time:
- Linking on websites that are not close to reputable or paying for link is against Google guidelines for webspam. The links can be within content that simply does not fit a site’s theme. Directories that are unrelated to a website can also damage the search engine rankings of a website.
- Keyword stuffing used to be far more effective but now you need to write for the consumer. Adding keywords is still recommended if it does not impact the quality of the content negatively.
- Private blog networks are used by a number of companies but provide no real results in terms of traffic as the websites are there to build links. Link farms have been penalized in the past with some agencies seeing client rankings get decimated with one Google update.
- Hidden text and links that are just on the website so they can be crawled by search engines.
- Content spinning tools can create content that does not pass Copyscape. Duplicate content can be detected which needs to be remedied. Creating new content is essential rather than using a content spinner.
- Malicious pieces of software on a site to gather information is a Blackhat tactic that is rarely used but it does happen.
The tactics that are used need to ensure the site stays healthy throughout its lifetime. Getting a large number of backlinks that are low-quality can lead to spending countless hours disavowing links.
Contract Length Should Always Be Discussed
Test contracts can be important before entering into any long-term deal. Entering into a multi-year contract can be risky especially if the digital marketing company does not produce results. If you are being pressured into signing without a test campaign, look for an agency that is willing to do this. With that being said, digital marketing is something that is a process so expecting results after a month is unrealistic.
Look For Any Rebranding Attempts In The Past
Digital marketing can be a vast world but mistakes do happen. If a company has rebranded multiple times in the past, this could be a sign they were penalized in the past. Searching for names or on LinkedIn can reveal rebranding attempts. Searching for the old names of an agency as it could reveal they had some very public issues with a link network being shut down or unethical business dealings.
Digital marketing can completely change the trajectory of your business for the better. The consistent investment into digital marketing is something you won’t regret with the right agency.