The Pros vs The Fair-Weather Agencies
So, you're thinking of having a website developed, potentially get onto social media, and you're looking for information about this thing you keep hearing about; SEO. The next step is to meet with "pros" about how you can implement these changes in your business. So, you take some meetings. Perhaps you Google "digital marketing agency" or you go old school and ask around. Eventually you get a list of 3 to 5 agencies and freelancers you'd like to meet with. Now what?
We have come up with a list of 5 things you should pay attention to when taking meetings with agencies and freelancers. These are important, because they will weed out the pros from the fair-weather marketers.
01. Websites: Show Me Some Samples
Whomever you are talking to should be able to show you samples of desktop and mobile sites on the spot. Ask for 5 samples of various designs. Those designs should include; informational, graphical, advanced coding, mobile adaptation, and eCommerce. Now perhaps you're wondering why you'd want to see all 5 samples when you don't need a few of them. This is a sure shot way to see how experienced the website developer is. If they have samples of all 5 chances are they have the experience necessary to move forward.
Here is where a lot of agencies and freelancers can prove their honesty. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It's the art and science of ranking high on search engines like Google. When you meet with someone about SEO you should ask them a few key questions:
- Who have you worked with, and can you show me their rankings?
- How do you charge? TIP: SEO should not be charged monthly. Any SEO company in 2018 and beyond that knows what they are doing should charge based on the goals and tasks regardless of how long they take. Don't get trapped into monthly SEO charges.
- What is the most powerful tool in your SEO toolkit? Sync's is the execution of connecting through .EDU sites.
Many of the most popular platforms have become pay-to-play environments. Any online strategy needs to involve an ads campaign. Be weary of anyone that says otherwise. There are exceptions with small tasks but if your strategy is broad then ads need to be a part of the plan. Make sure you are billed directly for your ads. This way you can guarantee that the marketer is not taking points on your ads that you haven't agreed to. Here's another great test for your marketer. Ask for an honest assessment of when you can expect to see results from ads campaigns. TIP: It won't be right away. The marketer needs to do several tests to figure out optimal ad output. Without those tests you WILL spend money unnecessarily.
04. Social Media Networks
Social Media Management or SMM is a juggernaut job. A total strategy involves content, ads, multimedia, network growth, interaction management, and analytics. Once again, ask for samples. There should be 5 to 8 samples given for various networks. Ask what the goals for each network is, and which you should be involved in. Find out exact parameters for each of the tasks and also ask why. Lastly, you need to find out how the SMM strategies will fit seamlessly with your existing offline measures.
Take a look at the reporting structure of the marketer. Ask for custom elements if something is important to you. Also, establish frequency. Reporting more than once per month is likely ineffective and micro-managing, but any less than once per month and you'll be in danger of not understanding where you sit with your efforts.