5/31/2023 3 Comments
What questions should I ask before hiring a digital marketing company?
The first step in choosing the right agency for you is identifying your specific marketing needs. It’s important to understand that different agencies may offer different services. Some focus on foundational tools such as websites, SEO and SEM, others may favor social media and content marketing while larger firms may offer full-stack services. Businesses should evaluate their marketing goals, review agencies that can deliver results in the areas that matter most and then choose a firm that will truly value your business rather than treat you like a number.
Dr. Michael Perusich, CEO of Kats Consultants remarked, “we often think about marketing as a mechanism to accomplish a task. But, just like the need to create great relationships with your customers, the same is true when choosing your digital marketing partner. I advise my clients to avoid firms with ‘thousands of clients’. Yes, that can be reassuring to hear but, that also indicates a high-volume, cookie-cutter approach where you are just a number. Choosing a strategic partner that truly values your business will bear much more fruit for your business in the long run.”
It’s difficult to be confident about what services are offered and needed, how pricing and terms are structured and most of all, what results should be expected. And with so many choices, how do you select the right professional marketing team?
In this blog post we will explore the critical questions you should ask and considerations you should evaluate before selecting a digital marketing agency for your small or medium-sized business, discuss what services marketing agencies do for you, review the elements that make up an effective digital marketing strategy and, reveal standard costs and compensation structures.
Understanding these points better ensures that you’re more likely to select the right partner and create a successful relationship that generates the consistent growth outcomes you’re looking for. Let's get started!
When looking to hire a digital marketing company there are several things to evaluate. Look for an agency with experience in your industry, ask for examples of past work, what tools they use to track success, how often they can meet with you, the size of the agency, how they are compensated, what specifically is included and what terms are required.
What does a digital marketing agency do?
Digital marketing agencies typically provide a variety of services such as website design, search optimization, search engine marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, and SEO. Niche firms specialize in providing one or several services. Full-funnel digital marketing firms will typically offer all digital services plus graphic design, copywriting, video/audio production, branding, advertising, media planning/buying as well as public relations services.
What is an effective digital marketing strategy?
An effective digital marketing strategy requires careful planning, research, monitoring and goal-based adjustment. You need to define your target audience, establish your goals, choose the right channels, plan and implement your strategy, monitor and measure your results then adjust for improvement.
Effective digital marketing strategies are comprised of foundational elements no matter a business’s size, target audience or industry segment. By following these steps, you will be able to create a successful digital marketing strategy that delivers results for your small or medium business.
Ask agency candidates for example digital marketing plans and look for these elements:
What does it cost to hire a digital marketing agency?
Digital marketing agencies typically offer two types of compensation structures: project-based & retainer-based. Project-based compensation is charged by the hour for one-time projects such as website design, branding, or social media setup. Retainer-based compensation is charged monthly for services such as content creation, social media management, and email marketing.
When asked about why they chose a retainer through a full-funnel firm, Eric Johnson of CJ Real Estate said, “We struggled to realize how our website, SEO, email, events and social media - all our marketing - works together and needs to be managed as a whole. We wasted so much time and money with one-off projects and short-term focus. I’m so glad we listened to Chris Lowers and let his team get us marketing strategically. Grey Partners is a remarkable digital marketing agency – they have us off the sales roller-coaster and enjoying steady business growth. And, we’re spending about half of what we did on project work. Go figure!”
Service costs are often substantially reduced by entering into a monthly retainer agreement because it offers the same benefit for both the client and agency – consistent success. Agencies know that your success is their success. One-time projects typically won’t be good for them or their clients over the long term because websites and SEO must be continuously nurtured to be consistently successful.
Check out these FAQ’s to learn more about digital marketing agency pricing:
Before hiring a digital marketing firm, it’s crucial to do your research and ask critical questions to ensure that you end up with a firm that complements your business needs. Ask about the firm’s services, previous success stories, industry expertise, who will be managing your account, and their pricing structure. Ensure significant experience, an understanding of your goals and objectives, a commitment to be ahead of the latest trends and technology, transparency, and the ability and desire to measure success. With a clear understanding of the digital marketing firm, you’ll be more comfortable working together toward the common goal of building your brand and achieving consistent growth outcomes.
Yes, provided you don't have large-scale eCommerce needs. Weebly is simple, affordable and effective. It’s an all-in-one domain, hosting and site builder able to run a powerful site – no coding or advanced knowledge required.
Simplicity is the advantage and disadvantage of using Weebly. Users of any skill-level can visually assemble and launch a responsive, SEO-friendly site fast.
Although not suited for large eCommerce sites, Weebly provides small-to-medium size players with a very cost-effective option. 50 million use Weebly worldwide and it is offered in 15 languages.
It is ideal for professional service providers, small-to-mid size manufacturers, non-profits or similar organizations that need a great site without the carrying costs associated with site development and management.
Weebly offers collaboration allowing site owners to invite people to edit specific areas of your site and assign them different levels of access. It’s a cool feature you won’t find everywhere.
The site-creation tool impresses with a clear, simple drag-and-drop interface that lets you easily build excellent-looking and responsive webpages. Novice users may not realize that the design limitations that come with ease of use also provide a layer of protection against inadvertent catastrophic mistakes that are so easy for novices to make when working in WordPress or other site-builders with more challenges structures and easy code access.
Weebly offers a fair selection of template designs and integrated e-commerce tools. If you’re not able to find just the right theme from Weebly, third-party themes from platforms such as ThemeForest and WebFire give you more options – be aware that these may require more technical knowledge to implement. And, additional functionality is available through Weebly’s app center. You can find over 350 apps and integrations for site-tools, social media, pop-ups, SEO, calendars, appointments, eCommerce and more.
Advanced users can customize HTML and CSS files providing greater control over website layout for users with developer skills.
Weebly is fast with outstanding 99.9% uptime. Many site builders fail on this point but our testing revealed response rates in the United States from 3ms to 81ms. Outside the US speeds averaged 136.8 ms.
SEO functionality is built right into the Weebly platform. Just like any site, the ability to rank highly on search engine results pages (SERPs), comes down to what’s in it. Factors like keywords, site content, and links are all critical elements of effective SEO. If you install the MarketGoo App, you can get a free SEO analysis report of your published site.
What the Experts Say
PC Mag rates Weebly as a good website builder with a 3.5 star rating citing well-rounded features with limited customization. Software analysts Michael Muchmore & Jordan Minor concluded that, “Weebly is an easy-to-use builder. It lets you create and publish attractive, responsive design sites, blogs and online stores, but could use more themes and a better photo repository.
Website development expert Sophia Conti feels that “Weebly is one of the best ways for beginners to build a website that looks and acts like it was built by an expert. It still has some limitations, but if you want to keep costs low and have all your tools in one place, Weebly could be the way to go,” giving Weebly 4.6 stars.
The Bottom Line
At the end of the day, choosing between an all-in-one site builder and a custom-built site comes down to your resources and budget.
If you’re looking for simple and affordable, or you’re a one-person marketing team, Weebly is an excellent choice. You’ll be able to create a nice-looking website that can be optimized to attract web traffic, without spending a lot of time or money.
On the other hand, if you aren’t restricted by expertise and are able to handle building and managing your site in-house, WordPress may give you more of what you're looking for.
If your website is not SEO friendly, you are missing out on significant traffic, leads, and revenue for your business. Think about it, what good is a website that's essentially hidden from your customers?
In this article, we'll take a closer look at what it means to have an SEO-friendly website and provide you with tips on how to optimize your website for search engines.
First, understand that SEO is a process rather than a destination. It must be continually refined and updated. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) refers to the process of optimizing your website's content, structure, and links to increase your rankings on search engine results pages (SERPs). Essentially, the higher your website ranks, the more likely people are to see it when they search for relevant keywords in Google or other search engines. This can lead to more traffic, increased brand visibility, and ultimately, more conversions.
There are three core SEO elements: on-page, technical and off-page.
On-page refers to the content that makes up your website - both (1) what people see and read to learn about your business so they can take action and buy, and (2) what search engines read to learn about your business so that they can return relevant results to people searching. One of the main components of SEO is keyword research. This involves identifying the search terms that potential customers are using to find businesses like yours. There are various tools available for keyword research, including Google AdWords Keyword Planner, Moz Keyword Explorer, and SEMrush. Once you've identified your keywords, you'll want to incorporate them into your website's content, meta descriptions, and other on-page elements.
Technical SEO plays an important role in your website's rankings. This involves optimizing your website's structure and code to make it easier for search engines to crawl and index your content. Factors such as site speed, mobile friendliness, and structured data can all impact your rankings. Working with a professional web developer or SEO agency can help you ensure that your website is optimized from a technical standpoint.
Off-Page SEO refers to everything you do outside your website to improve your ranking on search engine results pages, such as link building, social media marketing, and guest blogging. Off-page SEO is an essential part of optimizing your website. Without a good off-page SEO strategy, your website may struggle to rank well on search engine results pages. Remember, Off-page SEO is not a one-time thing; it’s an ongoing process that requires continuous effort. If you want your website to rank well, you need to build quality links, engage with your audience on social media, guest post on other websites, submit your website to web directories, and save your website pages on social bookmarking websites.This involves posting content on third party sites and getting other websites to link back to your website, which signals to search engines that your content is valuable and authoritative. You can build links through guest posting, outreach campaigns, and other methods. It's important to note that not all links are created equal, and quality over quantity is key. Getting a few high-quality links from authoritative websites can be much more beneficial than getting numerous low-quality links.
When done well, these three components contribute to build search engines understanding of your EXPERTISE, AUTHORITY and TRUSTWORTHINESS. In search vernacular this is referred to as E-A-T which is the fuel that drives search engine effectiveness and your websites ability to generate high seach engine results page rankings.
But what exactly is E-A-T, and how does it impact your website's visibility?
E-A-T is a concept that emerged from Google's Quality Rater Guidelines, which are used to train human evaluators on how to assess the quality of search results. Expertise refers to the knowledge and skills of the content creator, authority relates to the creator's credibility, and trustworthiness is about the overall credibility of the website.
Why E-A-T is Important
When search engines crawl your website and finds high-quality pages with excellent E-A-T, it views your content as trustworthy and authoritative. As a result, your pages are more likely to rank higher in search results than pages with lower E-A-T. Poor E-A-T, on the other hand, can result in lower search engine rankings and less visibility for your brand.
E-A-T is tough to quantify. Search engines do not provide a guide to building E-A-T ranking factors but, we know that there are a few factors that drive E-A-T. Some of these factors include the quality of your content, the expertise and credibility of the author, the reputation of your website, and the quality of your website's user experience.
Effective SEO generates strong E-A-T by feeding search engines high-quality content that's informative and helpful to your target audience, ensuring that you're publishing content that's written by experts in your industry, establishing your brand as a credible authority in your niche delivering top-nothc user experiences with intuitive navigation, fast loading speeds, and a mobile-friendly design.
So how do business owners move forward?
Having an SEO-friendly website is essential if you want to establish your brand and grow your business online. By following the tips outlined in this article, you can optimize your website for search engines and improve your visibility on SERPs. Remember, SEO is a long-term process, and it requires consistent effort and attention. Stay dedicated to these efforts, and you'll see positive results over time.
The more you understand SEO the more likely it is that you'll seek professional SEO help. Here are 12 questions to ask before hiring an SEO provider.
Striking the perfect balance between aesthetics and usability is key to crafting great user experiences. So how will your website give every visitor a great experience? 4-minute read.
A well-designed site builds trust and guides visitors to take action, all the while creating an enjoyable user experience. So how will your website give every visitor a great experience? Read on to learn 10 keys to great site design:
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