In the race to the top of the search results, companies turn to Internet marketing agencies for solutions. However, when it comes to online marketing, there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ answer.
The marketing world continues to rapidly change and evolve. And thanks to technological advancements and a more Internet savvy crowd, people are able to find and purchase products from brands quickly and easily.
Internet Marketing Companies: Good versus Great
With more people spending time online, it’s no surprise that there are a TON of Internet marketing agencies out there, vying for your business. But how do you separate the chaff from the wheat to reach the ‘cream of the crop’?
A good Internet marketing agency will help you get your website up and running. They may know a thing or two about certain CMS platforms, like WordPress. They’ll help you get your social media accounts squared away, and they may be able to offer input into content creation and hyperlinking.
A great Internet marketing agency, however, will offer a suite of specialized services, including (but not limited to):
- Web Design
- Web Development
- Content Marketing/Development/Management
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Mobile Website Design & Development
- Press Releases
- Social Media Marketing & Management
- Online Reputation Monitoring
- Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Management
- User Experience
- Brand Development
- CMS Integration
- And More
A great Internet marketing company knows that simply having a strong online presence isn’t enough. It must be complemented by an equally strong mobile marketing campaign, for example. To connect with your target consumers, you have to appeal to the consumer, which means understanding and knowing that no one person digests information from the web on a single device. Great Internet marketing agencies stay ahead of the latest trends, do the research, and implement changes that drive results.
It’s no longer enough to just specialize in one area. Instead, many companies are looking for a one-stop-shop when it comes to Internet marketing, and the Internet marketing agency you select should be able to deliver tangible, realistic results in a way that is clear, comprehensible, and aligns with your goals.
Great Internet marketing companies do more than simply help your website be found. They take the time to get to know you and your business so that you can work together on a full scale Internet marketing plan that yields positive results.
So, with all of this being said, what sorts of questions should you ask before you decide to hire an Internet marketing agency? We’ve outlined some of these key questions below.
8 Key Questions to Ask an Internet Marketing Agency
#1 – Are they Google AdWords Certified?
Selecting an Internet marketing agency where the staff members are Google AdWords Certified matters. It demonstrates that the company has gone the extra step to obtain certification, and they possess the knowledge and expertise needed to professionally manage your AdWords account.
#2 – What is their fee structure?
While different Internet marketing companies may have different business models for their fees, their pricing information should be transparent and accessible. Some companies may charge a percentage, while other companies charge flat rates for work based on hourly consulting or monthly account management.
#3 – Have they done work with similar clients?
Depending on the line of business you are in, you may feel more comfortable hiring an Internet marketing agency that has current or past experience working with clients in a similar industry to yours. You’ll also want to make sure that there is no conflict of interest, should you decide to become a client (ex: The Internet marketing company is already working with one of your biggest competitors).
#4 – How long has the Internet agency been in business?
How long the Internet company has been in business is relevant. You don’t want to hire a fly-by-night company that was just set up in the past month. Then again, you don’t want to hire a company that has been around but hasn’t been able to achieve any real results for clients in your industry. There are different factors to take into account, many of which will rest on: client testimonials, deliverables, and the company’s level of expertise.
At LTTR, we have been doing business successfully for nearly a decade with clients from a variety of backgrounds and industries – both locally and internationally.
#5 – What sorts of SEO strategies do they use?
Once upon a time, unscrupulous Internet marketing companies employed “black hat SEO” strategies to help achieve success for clients. As the name suggests, black hat SEO is defined as any unethical techniques that are used to obtain higher search result rankings.
Today, the Internet marketing community frowns upon the use of unethical, black hat SEO strategies. And while some companies still employ these practices, they also run the risk of being penalized by search engines.
When speaking to an Internet marketing agency, it is important to make sure that the SEO strategies they are using are ethical and follow the general guidelines set forth by modern practices. The last thing you want is your website being taken down or slapped with a penalty!
#6 – What is the background/experience of the people employed?
An Internet marketing company is only as good as the people it employs. Therefore, it is important to know that the management of your online marketing campaigns and strategies will be in capable hands.
#7 – Can they guarantee a #1 spot on Google search results?
Any Internet marketing company claiming to guarantee you a #1 spot on Google search results is a red flag. While comprehensive Internet marketing plan, fraught with PPC advertising, SEO strategies, content marketing, and more will certainly improve your company’s standings in the results – Internet marketing, as a whole, is not an exact science.
There are a number of factors that can influence the ultimate results you wind up with. A trusted Internet marketing company will be able to give you a general idea of how they think your campaign will turn out, though nothing is ever ‘guaranteed’.
#8 – How do they communicate with clients?
Communication is key, and knowing what to expect and in what form to expect it is important. For example, at LTTR, we send out weekly reporting, and monthly reporting via email with follow up phone calls and/or in-person meetings (depending on the client and preference).
It’s important to set these expectations early on so that you avoid confusion and miscommunication down the road. More importantly, regular communication about how your Internet marketing agency’s efforts are doing helps the both of you to work together to make changes as needed in order to foster better results.