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7 Top Qualities of an Effective Online Marketing Service

With so many online Internet Marketing agencies out there, you’re probably wondering how to find one that is reputable, responsive and results-oriented. It is easy to find the ideal one for your business if you know exactly what your needs are.

Agencies that are reputable will be knowledgeable in all the following services but not limited to them; Social Media, SEO, Email Marketing, PPC,  Conversion Rate Optimization, Web Development, Web Design and Tracking/Testing/Reporting. While they may not be specialists in all these areas, they still need to have some knowledge about each.

This article will guide you in identifying what you should expect to receive, the red flags,  and will help you navigate options when you need to hire a reliable online marketing team.

Why hire an Agency?

For your business to succeed you have to do what other successful people and businesses have done and that is focusing on your strengths and seek experts to do the rest.  Business owners who want to market goods or services online must learn to spend time on their specific expertise. It’s a waste of time and resources trying to spend your time learning what the experts already know. Use your time and energy to focus on managing your business instead. Let a good online marketing service handle your marketing needs.

How to find the best online marketing service

It is easy to conduct a search in Google when you need to find an online marketing service. The problem however, is how to find the ideal one from the numerous options available. Worse yet is not knowing what you are looking for. It is important then to hire a good online marketing service to prevent you from wasting your time and resources in hiring the wrong agency.

Here is a list of the characteristics to look for in your search to find the best online marketing service.

Seven Top qualities of an effective online marketing service

Before selecting an agency, you should create a list of the companies you’re interested in. Here’s a short list of how to complete that first step of actually finding an agency:

  • Carry out a Google search (look for phrases like “internet marketing services” or “industry internet marketing”)
  • Twitter is a great platform to post a question such as “Would anyone care to recommend a good #SEO company?” or “where can I find a reputable #online marketing company?”
  • Check out competitors’ websites that look great or rank, also look at their site footer to see who actually did the work.
  • Ask family and friends for referrals

The qualification process begins when you can have a list with 5-10 agencies you can speak with.

Here are seven qualities to look for to ensure that you choose the best Internet Marketing agency for your business…

They keep their word.

If a company is able to keep its word or practice what they preach, you can trust that one to handle your marketing needs. For example, if the company states that SEO is among their specialty, you just need to look to see if they are ranked for their most important key phrases (“online marketing service” or “internet marketing company.”) If you can’t find them, this is most definitely a red flag.  This is applicable to any other service such as social media or web design. If their website is repulsive or there are only 10 likes on their Facebook page, run as fast as you can!

They are reliable and open

Some agencies when asked direct questions tend to provide evasive answers. For example, if asked how do you do what you do, they respond by saying “it’s not our policy to give out that information.” Or if asked about any weaknesses they have, the response is “we don’t have any.” These answers are really red flags, so watch out!  Agencies that are reputable and effective are open and reliable, willing to share information that the clients ask for. A good online marketing service will willingly share information with their clients so that they can build long-lasting relationships.

They are not afraid to show valid results.

Never make the mistake of not asking for reviews and legitimate results. The agency should at least be able to show you their legitimate results. A few examples, preferable the ones related to your industry showing results from previous works will help you make the right decision. While client confidentiality may prevent you from getting the direct amount of money these customers spend, you should nonetheless be given enough information to confirm the agency’s experience.

They offer valid suggestions.

A good online marketing agency will not only take your orders but also will provide you with information and make the necessary recommendations based on your objectives to help you expand your business.  If they just listen to you as you dictate all the strategies, without offering any suggestions it’s a signal that you need to get out of there. You need an agency that will not treat you as a number but as a customer having your best long-term goals in mind.

They promise rankings.

There are agencies that promise to rank your website in Google. If this is your experience, run! This is definitely a red flag, so don’t let them try to convince you it can be done, it cannot. Falling for this will cause you to pay dearly in the future. Trustworthy agencies will never guarantee rankings. They will instead, conduct the correct research and help you set realistic but strong KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) that will help you achieve your goals.

They are willing to call.

This particular characteristic often goes unrecognized and only surfaces when you become a customer. If you pay close attention during the sales process, you can pick up a few hints. Asking for the type of customer service and the frequency in response time will give you an idea of what you are in for. Many agencies, especially the less experienced ones are known to have delayed phone calls or have hidden behind emails just to get extra time, even at your own expense. Get hooked up with a responsive marketing agency that is liable for its services and advises.

They are cool and creative.

Although this may not be on everyone’s list, we believe it is worth adding to the list. Being passionate and excited about prospective and present customers is a sign that the agency you have selected to market your business has your best interest at heart. An agency that is able to share creative, fun ideas with you and make suggestions that give you more than an edge above your competitors is definitely what you need.

Grow with your agency

Now that you have created your list, completed your research and have selected the agency you believe is the best for you, it’s now time to trade expectations. Never sign off or make any payment before you both understand and agree on your expectations. Ensure that all expected results, expected turn-around times and communications are laid out on the table, and stated plainly in advance. If you do this, your business and the selected online marketing service will grow old together resulting in an expanding and successful business. If you fail to do this, be prepared to watch your business wither and die. Avoid future bickering, frustrations and disappointments by ensuring that the agency of your choice delivers upfront what is expected.

Anna Ray