Shopping for a digital marketing agency can be exciting or a pain in the butt depending on where you’re coming from. If this is your first time, you’re probably more excited. If you’re looking for a new agency because your old agency didn’t deliver on their promises, well…maybe it’s less exciting and more of a pain in the butt. Either way, there are certain things you’ll want to look out for. Here are some red flags you should avoid at all costs:
1. They Guarantee Results
If the agency guarantees results or promises specific metrics, especially if it has to do with SEO, beware. Most likely they are blowing smoke up your skirt. That’s because marketing is not an exact science. SEO is extremely difficult to predict and a long-term process. Sure you can see steady progress on keyword ranking and page position, but if someone promises something like having you in position one on a SERP (Search Engine Results Page) in a month, they are flat out lying to you. If they could do that for all of their clients, they’d be millionaires. Beware.
2. They Are Based Overseas
While there are probably some legitimate marketing companies from overseas, the majority are click farms or “SEO agencies” offering cheap SEO services that most likely employ black hat techniques that will do more harm to your web presence than good. Plus, there are cultural nuances like language and tone that will make your brand seem sloppy or worse, shady in the consumers’ eyes. Unless your target market is from that country, just don’t be tempted.
3. They Are Dirt Cheap
Good marketing doesn’t come cheap. You have to hire the right people with the right skills to get the results you want. It’s not easy. The old adage is usually true – you get what you pay for. You may end up paying a higher price for their inexperience and have to fix their mistakes further down the road.
Tips for Success
There are a few things you can do to help ensure you find a reputable company:
- Check them out on the BBB website. Make sure they don’t have a lot of complaints.
- Define what you’re looking for before you start contacting companies. If there are specific services you need, focus on those and make sure the agency can meet your needs.
- Do your homework. Check out their agency website, talk to current clients of theirs, ask lots of questions, tell them what your expectations are and define what success looks like.
Choosing wisely will make all the difference. Use your gut and find a company that shares your values and fits your budget. There are many to choose from, so take your time and hopefully, you won’t have to go through this again for many years.