It is impossible for your business to thrive and prosper in the modern business world without some strong digital marketing on their side. Building a solid online presence is one of the cornerstones of success in the early 21st century, which is why more and more business owners are turning to professionals for aid. A good digital marketing campaign can put your business head and shoulders above the competition, but a bad one can result in quite the opposite outcome. So, in order to make sure who you are dealing with, you need to learn how to recognize if your digital marketing agency is doing what they are paid for.
They Need to Show Some Results
First of all, this doesn’t mean that your work will already do better one or two days after you’ve hired an SEO (search engine optimization) company. These results might not be even visible in the first few months. However, you will be able to see what exactly they are doing for you. For example, the content of your website should be better written, organized and more user-friendly. They should also provide you with a detailed analysis of your site’s link profile. Finally, if they are doing what you’ve paid them for, they should be able to show you published articles linking back to you. In other words, the results might not be immediate, but their work should be visible from the day one.
You Need to Have a Mutual Communication
Sure, you may be quite busy with your work and, therefore, appreciate when people don’t bother you. However, if you haven’t heard from your digital marketing experts, something is surely not right. As your marketing campaign coordinators, they will constantly need new information and new authorizations from you. For example, your SEO expert must have access to your content management system (CMS), access to your business’ social accounts, as well as the info on your target keywords. If they don’t require any of those things, it might be because they are just linking back to you on a plethora of low-ranked sites. This kind of black-hat practice can only hurt your business reputation and downgrade your rating on search engines.
Ideas Need to Go Both Ways
In some cases, if you have a clearly defined business strategy, you might even want to provide input about the SEO strategy of your digital agency. Making sure that you provide enough instructions, or even feedback regarding the whole link building process can lead to higher quality results. This can be done if an agency sends you a list of websites and blogs it wants to contact at the beginning of each cycle (every month for example), and your team reviews it based on the niche, target readership, domain authority and other measurable ranking factors. Or even if the design and topics aren’t to your liking. You are paying the money and you need to get the best out of your marketing dollar.
They Should Be Open About What They Do
In a recent conversation with a couple of SEO experts, they made it clear that while no one likes to give away they tricks of the trade, SEO techniques are not exactly a secret Coca-Cola’s or KFC’s recipe. If the SEO experts you’ve hired seem too secretive about what exactly they do to improve your standings in the digital world, there might be something fishy about this whole deal. Calling up upon “the nature of the industry” and “the policy of confidentiality” is nothing more than making excuses. Some may also try to confuse you by generalizing and saying that they optimize your site for search engines or claim that it would take too long to explain everything they do. When met with this kind of response, it would be best to just find another digital marketing agency.
Dropping in Ratings or Traffic
Now, we mentioned that results probably won’t be seen in first few months, but once they arrive, they will be quite conclusive. First of all, the ranking of your website will speak for itself. The digital marketing agency was (amongst all else) hired to improve your website’s ranking so, if after several months your rating remains the same or even drops, they are not doing their job right. Another metric that might be quite revealing is the drop (or increase) in your website’s traffic. However, this might depend on various factors.
Watch Out for Google Penalty
Finally, getting a Google Penalty might not be that common, but from the SEO standpoint, it is the absolutely worst thing that can happen to your website. It is also a somewhat reliable indicator that the digital marketing agency you hired uses black-hat techniques to improve your site’s visibility. Of course, it might not be their fault and there may be some foul play by your competition involved, but it is definitely something you should watch out for.
Your business is your livelihood and your chance at making something truly great during your lifetime. Precisely because of this, people use phrases like “married to business” or even compare their company to a family. This means that, whenever you have an opportunity to improve its standings, you should definitely take it. However, it also means that, if there are those who would harm it (both intentionally and unintentionally), it is your job to protect it at all costs. One of the ways to do so is to make sure that, when you outsource it to someone, you know that your business is in safe hands.