This is an expanded look at one segment of the eBook “The Digital Marketing Smell Test…How to Hire an Agency that Doesn’t Stink”. You can download the free eBook here or at the end of this article.
If they’re so good, why don’t they show up on the search results?
Admittedly the competition is fierce in this industry and not every digital marketing agency can be in the number one position on Google at the same time for a phrase like “digital marketing”. However they should be able to point you to a moderately competitive “long tail keyword phrase” that they made their own. Something like “digital marketing orange county” or a relevant niche keyword like “adaptive seo”. As competitive as it is, if they don’t show up for something in their own industry, I would question if they have the skill and resources to make it happen for you.
Do they have a robust social media presence themselves? They may not be big on Facebook but they may emphasize LinkedIn and GooglePlus or Twitter where THEIR clients frequent. Most of us in the industry agree that it’s best to put most of your resources into a few social platforms than to spread yourself thin across most of them.
It’s fair game to ask what THEIR social strategy is and then see if they are actually following through with it themselves.
Websites have a tendency to go out of style faster than a 1970’s leisure suite.
Have they designed theirs in a current style? Is it clean looking and easy to navigate or scroll through? Is it mobile enabled (spelled “Responsive” Design)? Do they have their own portfolio of web projects? We actually have legitimate award winning designs that we don’t even show any more because they are so… two years ago.
Reviews? Are they able to generate positive reviews for themselves and their clients?
Keep in mind that reviews are naturally skewed negative because most people will make the effort to vent when they feel they’ve been wronged, but not so much when they got the service they expected. In other words, customers have to be prompted. Do they have a program in place to generate those 5-star reviews? You know why those stars are gold don’t you? Because that’s what they’re worth.
At the end of the day they better be able to prove they walk the talk. The good digital marketing agencies eat their own dog food. The best agencies? They drink their own Champaign.
Want to learn more about what to watch out for when hiring a Digital Marketing Agency?
You’re welcome to download the free eBook below. It even comes with a handy checklist of questions to ask, and acceptable answers to listen for.