Digital marketing is a long term strategy designed to increase the online exposure of a business, generate traffic, and increase revenue. However, most companies are not prepared for the considerable amount of time and effort it takes to run an effective SEO marketing campaign; therefore they turn to SEO and internet marketing firms to take care of this challenging and vital aspect of modern business survival. Whether debating between Yodle vs Yext vs ReachLocal, or looking at independent SEO marketers, it seems that there is no shortage of help for companies to achieve their SEO goals. Unfortunately, many of these supposed firms are not qualified or experienced enough to fully implement a successful marketing strategy, yet they continue to flourish. Before your company pays any firm for their SEO and internet marketing services, there are a few key questions to ask.
1. How Has Your Firm Responded to the New Google Algorithm Updates?
This should be one of the first questions you ask any firm that you are considering purchasing services from. Even now, there are SEO firms and SEO professionals who pretend like the Panda and Penguin updates never happened. An internet marketing strategy that does not acknowledge these updates is doomed.
There are other smaller, but no less important, google algorithm updates that have changed the marketing game like: the 7 Result SERPs, Link Warnings, Exact Match Domain, DMCA Penalties, and more. Any true firm will be able to speak to the changes and accurately relay their firm’s responses to those changes.
2. Can You Guarantee a Number 1 Ranking?
This is a trick question. No SEO firm can guarantee that your services and/or products will live at the top of the search page forever, or at all. Beware of any firm or professional who guarantees a number 1 ranking. Even large firms like Yodle and ReachLocal don’t make these types of promises to consumers.
3. Can I Access My Own Analytics?
Some companies would rather not keep track of their website performance, assuming that the SEO marketing firm is keeping a close eye on your analytics and pay per click accounts. This can be a costly error. Any reputable firm will give you some access to third party data, not just their own data, that relays your company’s performance.
4. Who Will Perform Search Optimization for my Website?
Conflict of interest can occur if the same firm is selling the service and handling the service. Often firms have reps who may handle your account initially, but cannot give your individual account the proper care and attention that it may need to keep it relevant.
5. How Do You Measure Success?
While you should be leery of any firm that boasts a number 1 ranking for all of its clients, there should be ways to measure the success of your paid campaigns. Before paying for services, know what metrics specifically that you want to achieve. Then track how your company is doing with these metrics. For example, if one of your goals is to expand your business to a mobile platform, then you will want to track if, and at what rate, your consumers are accessing your website and services from their mobile devices.
6. What Tools Do You Use?
Even Yext and Yodle use tools for some functions. A firm should be using some form of tools to manage your accounts, and should perform other functions manually. Inexperienced firms will perform some functions manually that could be automated, costing you money and time. While firms should not use tools to: build links, generate idea, conduct social media efforts, or produce content, they should automate other tools that, for example, measure the competition’s progress, measure linking opportunities, track ROI, track customer insights, and other time consuming tasks.
7. If Using Pay Per Click, What is Your Markup?
Note that Google doesn’t offer advertiser discounts, so firms must have other ways to address profit. A reputable company will give you access to your account so you’ll be able to easily tell what their markup is versus what you are paying the firm.
Whether deciding between Yodle vs ReachLocal vs Yext, or choosing between smaller firms, there are no guarantees that your business will live at the top of the search rankings, but it can still benefit from a creative, smart, and well executed digital marketing strategy. Knowing which firms to trust with your business can be tricky. Cohlab is a digital marketing firm that will give your account the attention it deserves for the most optimization possible.
Contact us now about your digital marketing needs.