Tips for Selecting a Digital Marketing Agency

August 16, 2018

Time for a new website. (Or a better one).

Your business is just too important to you to mess this part up.

You have 13 employees and are slammed with work but you know how important an online presence for your company will be.

It is no longer a time where a busy business owner can sit down and build their own website.

Obviously there are exceptions to this but for the most part, programming is not what you do on a daily basis.

Furthermore, it isn’t enough just to build a website, competition online is fierce.

You need to know the ins and outs of the Search engines to be able to stand out and have your website be found.

To be able to maintain a strong web presence you need to know not only how the search engines work and what they’re looking for, but have the creativity and time to be able to do what is needed.

This includes regular content updates, SEO best practices for on site technical issues such as Title Tags, Meta Tags, Alt Tags, keyword density.

And if these words sound like a foreign language to you, then it is time to hire an agency to take care of this stuff for you.

This doesn’t mean that you have to spend $25,000 per month on some giant agency with 150 employees, but it means that the internet is much too important to the success of your company to either not worry about it, or not let it be handled by a professional.

Let’s talk about how to pick the SEO or content marketing company that fits best for you.

how to choose the right content marketing agency

6 Things to Consider When Selecting an SEO Agency

Obviously, there are a few things we need to know before we start our journey of finding the right content marketing agency to work with.

Number 1 is definitely budget.

1. Average SEO Costs

Costs, which may be a bit on the high side initially can lead to a steady increase in customers and sales over time. Here are some (very general) price ranges:

  • Monthly Retainer: $750 to $5,000+
  • Contract Services: $500 to $7,500 depending on length and nature of contract
  • Project-based Pricing: $1,000 to $10,000+ for large ongoing projects
  • Hourly Consulting: $100 to $300 per hour

These figures are based on a Moz survey of 500 SEO specialists, consultants and agencies. The price ranges fluctuate a lot. Your specific business needs will change these numbers a lot, which is why it is very important to get a complete consultation with the agency.

When it comes to SEO and content marketing, a strategy that is focused on long-term success is usually what is going to work out best. Of course, this doesn’t make sense for all companies but as a general rule of thumb, you should allow 6-8 months before expecting to see dramatic changes. SEO and working with the search engines takes time.

When determining if the price makes sense for your company to figure out what it will cost your company to work with this agency for a year. Do the sales increase that you will gain from this partnership outweigh the cost of working with them? This is the best way to figure out if the pricing is worth it to you and something you should pursue. Don’t be afraid to ask the SEO company these types of questions, like “How much can you improve my sales in a year?”

After figuring out what your monthly internet marketing budget is, time to search for the right agency fit.

2. Why Not Start With Your Inner Circle?

Is there anyone you know or trust that is in this line of work? Have any of your business owner friends talked about how much their business has improved since working with the blank and blank company?

When it comes to giving up any sort of control or letting people into your business, the relationship you have with that person or company has to be very strong. That’s why looking towards people you already know or have been referred to you is a solid way to go.

3. Due Diligence on The Agency’s Website

Any SEO or Content Marketing company should have a beautiful website filled with excellent content.

If you go onto their site and it isn’t updated, or they aren’t putting out quality content, those are immediate red flags.

I mean it’s what their business is based off if they aren’t doing it for themselves, why would they do an excellent job for you?

The second thing you want to look for on their site is their past work.

Do they have a lot of testimonials saying how good they were to work with?

Do they specialize in your industry?

Have they ever worked with a company in your industry?

This part shouldn’t make or break because of course a lot of SEO companies can perform at a high level inside a new industry, but it does add a level of comfort sometimes to see that they’ve worked in your industry before.

4. SEO That Won’t Get You Penalized

One of the main goals of an SEO agency is to know what Google is looking for, and NOT to do anything that is grey hat to get your site slapped with a penalty.

This might not make a lot of sense to everyone but basically, the main job of an SEO company is to move your website up in the rankings on Google.

To do this a company needs to be creating great content, adhering to the best practices of technical SEO, and gaining backlinks.

This last part is where things start to get a little tricky.

Since Google has publicly come out and said on many occasions that backlinks were the most important ranking factor, a lot of SEOs and websites have tried to abuse this and have done some pretty spammy things to get more of them.

So before you sign on with an agency make sure to ask them about what tactics they use to get your ranking up in Google and find out if they have gotten previous clients slapped with similar penalties by Google from some shady practices.

5. Honesty

If an SEO agency tells you they can guarantee you ranking first on Google in a short period of time, run for the hills.

In this industry, there are HUNDREDS of factors that can lead to your success on the Google Results Pages.

This stuff also takes time if you’re doing it right.

Like I said before, you should expect some results to start rolling in about 6-8 months into your SEO journey.

Almost 100% of the time if a company is promising you something that sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

There are a lot of great people in this industry that will be honest and won’t rip you off, so make sure you take that little bit of extra time to get to know the person/people you will be working with.

6. Timely and Organized Reporting

Most people don’t classify themselves as nerds, but let’s face it.

Anybody that is REALLY into SEO, is a data nerd.

This is in the best way possible, not to offend anybody.

When working with an SEO agency, the people in the mix are going to talk a lot about stuff that you have no clue what it means.

They’ll be throwing out terms like “dwell time” and “pogo-sticking” and you’ll be left wondering if you hired the right people.

Don’t worry, these SEO’s just live in a world where everything can be tracked, measured, and improved upon.

This is really important to your company and something that you will learn to love.

Make sure the company you choose to work with gives you weekly or monthly (at the worst) reports on how your website is doing.

Make sure you keep them accountable and have them fill you in on everything they’re doing to help your site and how it’s working.

There’s no magic here so it’s going to take time, but being able to look back after 6 months and see the exact route your company took to get where it is now, can be an invaluable tool to keep improving your business.

Set up certain goals with your agency to track monthly that you want to know how it’s going.

Some key things most businesses will want to track are Website Visitors, Conversion Rate, and Dwell Time.

These are just some examples as every business will have different things they want to focus on.

how to find the right seo agency

Choosing the Right SEO Agency for Your Company

So now you know what to look for when trying to find the content marketing agency that best fits your business.

If you are actively searching for the right company, maybe we here at can be of help!

Fill out this free consultation form or shoot us an email with questions to see if we are the right fit.

If we aren’t what you’re looking for I also have a lot of contacts in the industry and can help point you to some other great options!


10 thoughts on “Tips for Selecting a Digital Marketing Agency

  1. Many entities are certain that they may even have an internal marketing department, but sometimes it is advisable to outsource these services and to opt for a specialist positioning agency that provides extra quality to the company.

  2. Your advice to get recommendations from other businesses owners for online marketing companies that have helped improve their services is a good idea. Once you’ve researched and narrowed down the options, it might help to call or set up an appointment with the top companies. This could give you the chance to discuss their marketing services as well as your business in order to determine which one you’re comfortable working with and can provide the help you need.

  3. I Follow different SEO expert time to time but I believe SEO is more than reading. Its actually doing and getting good quality and relevant backlinks. Its really amazed me when i start getting relevant links. Results are awesome once you start getting quality links fast. Thanks for your Quality Blog.

    1. Thanks for the feedback. I agree, SEO is a lot more than just blogging. Backlinks make quite a huge difference when it comes to Domain Authority which trickles down to traffic and rankings. If you don’t mind me asking, what industry are you in, and what efforts have you been making to have such good success with your backlink strategy? Always good to learn from a peer in the space.

      Co-Founder of Poofnewsales

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  5. Hi, Thanks for sharing this blog. These tips are very helpful for selecting a right digital marketing agency. I will surely use them and would also like to recommend them to my friends. Thanks, keep posting!

    1. Thanks Olivia, glad we could help!

      What was your #1 takeaway from this article?

      What would you like to learn more about in the content marketing space?

  6. Thank you for sharing excellent informations. Your web site is so cool. I’m impressed by the details that you have on this website. It reveals how nicely you understand this subject. Bookmarked this web page, will come back for more articles. You, my pal, ROCK! I found just the info I already searched everywhere and simply couldn’t come across. What a perfect website.

    1. Foloren, thank you so much for your kind words. We put a lot of time into our content and it is great to see that it is helping our readers! Have you hired a digital marketing agency? If so, did this list of tips help you in the process?

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