5 Simple Questions Every Business Owner Should Be Asking Their Marketing Agency

5 Simple Questions Every Business Owner Should Be Asking Their Marketing Agency

In this video we are going to go over the 5 Simple Questions Every Busines owner should be asking their marketing agency. This will save you a lot of time, and money.

Hey, what’s up guys? In this video we are going to go over the five things business owners should be asking their agency or the five things business owners, if they’re doing their own marketing, should know for a good marketing campaign. My name is Jace. I am with Red Digital. And if you’re wondering what happened to my face, I played a lot of basketball this morning, or yesterday morning. I got hit in the face with somebody’s head and I lost. So, got some stitches, got a nose thing. But that’s okay.

So first off, question number one, so how this video came about. Let me explain that first. So how this video came about was yesterday morning, actually the guy who was doing my stitches, we were discussing his marketing agency and he had a couple of questions and they ended up … A lot of agencies do this, is when the business owner starts to ask questions, one, they don’t have good answers or they start to scramble. So, this might’ve happened to you where they start scrambling and they come up with all of this stuff to say, “Oh, your words are climbing.” And they’ll use marketing jargon to try to confuse you to think, “Oh, that makes sense.” Or, “Okay, I guess they’re doing something.”

So, what I want to do is there are some numbers that you guys need to know if you want to have a successful marketing campaign. So, question that you should be asking them. Question number one is: What is your cost per lead? You need to know that. They need to know that. So, as an agency, it’s important to know your cost per lead. Now you may not have it exactly, that’s something where you could have organic stuff coming in. But if they’re running Facebook ads, if they’re running Google ads, you can even track direct mail, any of those types of things, you need to know what your cost per lead is. Whether it’s 10, 20, $30, everything is based off that cost per lead. Okay.

So, that’s question number one you should be asking them and they should know that number and you should know that number all the time. At the end of every week. What is my cost per lead on Facebook? $20. What is my cost per lead on Google ads? This much. So get to know that number.

Next number you need to know is how much you’re actually spending on ads. So, a lot of agencies will charge you a fee. They don’t give you access into your ads account, nor do you get to see what’s actually happening on your platform. That’s another video in and of itself. You should have access to anything. As a business owner, make sure when you hire a company that you own everything. You should own your own Ad Words account. You should own your own Facebook Ads account, or have admin access so you can look at any time.

A lot of times agencies make it proprietary or they say, “Oh, we have a proprietary system.” That’s a lot of B.S. Everyone goes through Google Ads, whether they tie into their API or not. So, just understand that, that need to have full access to everything so that you know how much is being spent on ads. If they are taking a $2,500 fee and they’re telling you we’re spending $500 on ads, there’s a disconnect there. We don’t operate that way. We normally do just a standard fee and then anything above that is ad spin so that you know the exact ad spin.

Next thing. You have to ask business owners, this is number three. Make sure that you have tracking in place. Ask them what kind of tracking do they have in place and do you have access to that tracking? Everyone should be using Google Analytics. You don’t need to go out there and use some other software. Just use the Google Analytics and make sure all your conversion codes are being or setup. When I say conversion is if somebody fills out a form and hits a thank you page, that counts as a conversion. If somebody calls, you have call tracking, that all needs to be put into place. And everyone should be using Google Analytics. It’s the best system. Anybody who has a proprietary one, they are tying into Google Analytics or the Facebook Analytics or you can have them create you something on data studio for free. Got it?

Number four. So, this is a big one and this is going to be a little harder to do for business owners, is does your agency practice what they preach?

Example, if an agency is out there telling you they know how to do SEO, if they’re like, “Yeah, we’ve done SEO. We know how to do it.” And SEO is search engine optimization, but if an agency is saying, we know how to do search engine optimization, what you do is you go look at their own site, see how well their own site is ranking.

Look, I’ve had a lot of people call me and they’re like, “Hey, will you take a look at our agency?” Because we do an agency audit. We’ll look at the agency and immediately we realize this agency has never written a good blog that will rank. They don’t rank anywhere. They don’t rank for keywords. So, you have a company saying, “Hey, we’re going to get you 1,000 views a month organically.” When they themselves are getting 30. There’s just a disconnect.

So, whatever your agency is pitching you, just make sure that they are doing it. Good example, we pitch create video. Well, what do you think I’m doing right now? I am creating a video and I do this for my own agency because I need to know what works for me in order for me to use it all my clients.

And lastly, this is a big one. Who is actually doing the work? You have to understand that marketing takes time, money, and expertise. If you have some intern who is working on your project, and this is how a lot of agencies operate, if you’re working with a big box agency with 50, 60 employees, not every one of them is that good. Very few of them. Okay? The top 5, 6% they’re either going to start their own industry or they’re going to go to some other job and get paid a lot of money.

So, you need to know who is actually doing the work on your account because your account is only as good as that person. If they know what they’re doing, you’re going to have good success. But the majority of these agencies do not have the staff. They do not have the expertise. They haven’t trained well enough for these guys to know what they need to do to make you successful. So if you’re dealing with an intern, somebody who’s been in marketing for six months, that’s a big problem because you’re just not going to see results. And how most of them operate is they have a gatekeeper who is your account manager and then that account manager has three or four other people, “Hey, you’re doing AdWords, you’re doing this.”

And the latest thing that I’ve seen pop up with agencies is they’re just outsourcing it all overseas. So, they’re not even marketing people themselves. What they’ve done is they’ve started an agency, they fooled business owners into signing up with them, and then they’re just going to outsource it all to somebody overseas and hope they can keep you as long as they can. I’m seeing that everywhere right now.

Just had, it was actually a good experience, we were just taking over an account and this account we called up to get access to the AdWords. Well, we found out another company was running their AdWords and then we found out another company who’d never done AdWords was running their analytics. Total mess. So, you need to know who is the one who is actually creating and doing the work on your account. If you are five steps removed, that tells you you’re dealing with an agency that they have one guy who knows AdWords that’s dealing with 150, 160 accounts.

That doesn’t work, so I hope that makes sense. You have to drill down who is the person you are dealing with that can make the changes. Now what we’ve done, just to give you an example of what you can look for. I’m not telling you you have to hire us. I’m not telling you to come to us. But we spend a lot of time in training. It takes a year for you to really know what you’re doing. But we have one person that controls the account and they’re doing AdWords. They’re doing Facebook Ads, they want to know your messaging. So, they operate more as a Chief Marketing Officer so that they understand everything about your business.

So, that’s what we found that model works. Now is it scalable? No. We’re really tapped out. It’s hard for us to take on like low budget clients just because we don’t have the manpower to do it because it takes so much work to get people to where they need to be.

So, that just gives you some ideas. So, if you have questions, let us know. But I hope that helped. Those are five questions every agency should be asking, every business should be asking their marketing agency, or those are some of the five questions you should be asking yourself if you are running a marketing campaign. If you have questions, just let us know. We’d be happy to help. Check out our YouTube channel. Make sure you subscribe if this is on YouTube. Go Facebook, LinkedIn, we’re all around. And at the end of the day, we just want to help businesses grow. So, keep marketing. Good luck. Peace.

Google Analytics Checklist: How to Analyze Data to Drive More Traffic

Google Analytics Checklist: How to Analyze Data to Drive More Traffic

Google Analytics is a comprehensive tracking tool on the market. 

This tool gives you robust information about visitors to your website and the actions they take on your web pages. After clicking on the email that you sent, you can see what people are doing on your site.

Nearly 61% of the first 1 million websites (Alexa ranking) use Google Analytics, according to SimilarTech.

If you use Google Analytics effectively, you can stop making blind assumptions and make data-based marketing decisions to increase profits.

Google Analytics
Google Analytics

One of the best things you can do with your website is to be in control. Even though content marketing is powerful enough to grow your traffic, you need to be updated on what’s currently happening on your website.

That’s the best way to do better research and come up with topics that will make for the most in-depth and useful content. 

This will result in Personalization, whereby your content isn’t just a string of texts but there’s personality attached to it. 

That’s exactly how Build.com increased conversions by 6% just by utilizing the audience insights in its content marketing processes.

Build.com
Build.com

What is Google Analytics (GA)?

Google Analytics is a web analytics tool that allows site owners to get a general picture of how users find and use their website or app.

What is Google Analytics
What is Google Analytics

Google Analytics is more than just counting clicks and simple page views.

It provides an excellent way to track visitor behavior, demographics, sales figures, traffic from other websites, and more.

All data you need is captured in real-time and divided into different areas (such as traffic sources, user behavior, etc.). 

You will be shown on a dashboard with diagrams and pie charts to visualize the progress of your website.

Here’s an example of the Google Analytics dashboard:

Active Visitors
Active Visitors

If you want to improve your website, we will guide you through data-driven decisions with Google Analytics to increase traffic.

Add Google Analytics to Your Website

Before you can access data, you must ensure that Google Analytics is set up correctly on your website. Misused tracking distorts your tracking data and leads to the wrong decision.

To start using Google Analytics, all you need to do is create an account, link your website to Google Analytics, and add the tracking code snippet to the <head> section of your website.

Boost Keyword
Boost Keyword

If your website or blog is hosted on WordPress, you can use this simple guide to set up Google Analytics.

After setup, it might take several hours to collect data on your website. Let’s look at a few different aspects of using Google Analytics to improve your website.

1). Focus on Your Goals

To make the right decision, you need to stay focused on what you want your website to accomplish for your business and understand how to achieve them by setting Goals.

There are different types of goals you can set in Google Analytics. Some webmasters may prefer to set a goal to understand what happens on their “Thank-you” page. 

That’s the page the visitors land on after filling out a form or subscribing to your email list.

Goals

Once a clear goal has been defined, it’s time to dig into your top pages. One way to view your content is to visit the Google Analytics Pages report. 

From there, you can determine which blog posts and pages generate the most conversions.

Once you find the type of content that will give positive results, you can bring more content ideas to your blog and include them in your editorial calendar.

2). Bounce rates

One of the most critical indicators you must remember is the bounce rate. The bounce rate is the number of visitors to each page on your website. It’s a range of 1-100.

Bounce Rates
Bounce Rates

Find out if your visitors keep using your website or bounce off after reading your post or reaching your homepage.

Essentially, the lower your bounce rate the better. But this isn’t always the right way to accurately measure the bounce rate. Because a visitor may land on your page, finds exactly what they’re looking for, and leaves.

This doesn’t mean your page is low-quality or poorly-written. On the contrary, it means that your page is useful and provides trusted answers to users’ questions. 

Overall, you should work on your website to lower  the bounce rate. The lower the bounce rate, the more attractive your website is, the better it is for your business.

Looking at it from another angle, if you notice that a lot of visitors leave your web page after viewing just one page, it could be an indication that your content isn’t useful and you need to optimize your content or use a better call-to-action to engage users.

How to Improve Your Bounce Rate

You should always aim to improve your bounce rate. Although several plugins and tools promises to magically fix it, adhering to simple tweaks can help a lot. 

  • The first step is to create compelling content that’s easy to consume and implement by users. 
  • Reduce page load time on your website and make your landing page visually appealing.
  • Use an exit popup form to capture visitors’ email addresses and give them useful resources before they leave your website. Tools like OptiMonk and OptinMonster can be useful for building an email list and reducing bounce rates. 

User behavior

Apart from tracking valuable website metrics with Google Analytics, you can also do a user flow analysis to understand how visitors explore your website and its pages. 

You’ll see the behavior flow across your website — and this can be a goldmine for understanding how users interact and navigate your pages.

Behavior Flow
Behavior Flow

By examining your users’ behaviors, you can understand why visitors are leaving your website and how to retain them. You’ll also be able to create a better sales funnel that will drive sales and revenue for your business.

After you identify this area, you can take steps to reduce your bounce rate and improve every aspect of your business.

First, set up Google Analytics goals for conversion tracking. To track Revenue and Conversion, you must enable Google Analytics eCommerce tracking.

How to Improve Organic Traffic With Targeted Queries and Landing Page Reports 

One of the main objectives of tracking your website analysis is to identify gaps and find ways to generate more traffic. In Google Analytics, you can monitor the SEO report on your landing pages.

But first, you must integrate your Google Analytics account into your Google Search Console account. 

Once the two tools are synced, you can display the best SEO search queries for your website that provide the best search engine experience.

Organic Traffic
Organic Traffic

Use the Google Analytics SEO report to see the ranking of keywords, Clicks, and Impressions for your website.

Adjust your keyword list by the number of impressions and find the most relevant keywords.

These are the keywords that are most valuable to your business. Besides, you can improve the click-through rate (CTR) for these keywords to drive even more traffic.

Here’s how to Boost Keyword CTR

Make sure that your page titles don’t exceed 55 characters and your meta description should be about 156 characters max. 

These are important elements because Google is going to display them to users in the search engines. So write persuasive and keyword-rich metadata.

Boost Keyword
Boost Keyword

Understand the context in which people are searching for your important keywords, and then create content that is relevant to those people. Research and create content with user intents and focus on solving users’ questions.

Increase Traffic with Keyword Reports

As a website owner, you can use insights from the Google Analytics Keyword Report to increase traffic to your website. You can achieve this by effectively optimizing your page with the right keywords. 

Simply navigate to the Traffic Sources tab to access this report.

Keyword Reports
Keyword Reports

While analyzing your traffic sources, don’t forget to consider the keywords that are bringing people to your website.

But you don’t have to use all the keywords, just concentrate on the top 10 keywords that get the most traffic to your website.

Here are some of the key areas you can use the top 10 keywords to drive more traffic to your web page.

  • Use the keyword in your Image title  
  • Use the same keywords in the title tag and meta description of your page.
  • Use the keyword as your anchor text. 

Note: To avoid over-optimizing your anchor text (which Google frowns at), make sure that your keyword-based anchors also contain other natural words. 

If you’re a web developer, for example, use “here are the best web design trends” as anchor text instead of using the web design trends as your primary anchor text. 

You want to appear as natural as possible with your keywords, links, and anchor texts. 

Create a Variety of Content Targeting Your Top Keywords 

At the end of the day, traffic is what drives traffic to websites. You may want to utilize paid traffic initially, but as time goes by, you’ll want to drive organic traffic from search engines, social media, and other websites.

That’s why you need content.

To get started with content creation, you’ll need to know how your existing content pages are doing. 

Is your content driving a decent amount of traffic? Are you satisfied with your unique visitors and page views? 

Conduct a Content Audit 

Content Audit can produce dramatic results in terms of organic traffic and revenue. 1800DoorBell increased year-over-year transactions from Google organic traffic by 83% and revenue grew by over 96%.

Content Audit
Content Audit

When you invest in content marketing, you need to focus on several other metrics to determine your ROI from your marketing content. By calculating your ROI on content marketing, you can see whether your investment is paying off or not. 

Not many webmasters like to conduct a content audit because it can be daunting and boring to work with Spreadsheets and numbers. 

To simplify the process, you can use SEMrush’s Content Analyzer tool. Just enter your website URL and analyze it.

Content Analyzer
Content Analyzer

For most websites, the primary purpose of content marketing is to the right leads and turn them into customers. 

However, you cannot expect every website visitor who lands on your website to become a customer. 

This means that in addition to conversion, you also need to focus on other key metrics such as lead quality, traffic, and on-site engagement.

Lead Quality
Lead Quality

How often should you audit and review your website content?

Well, you can do so every 6 months or yearly. It all depends on what data you want to collect.

Here are some things you should consider:

  • Find the keywords that generate the most traffic to your website. Understand your organic visitor’s intents and find out if you’re truly helping them on your website. 
  • Identify the articles you’ve published initially that are generating a decent amount of traffic and engagement. When creating a new editorial calendar, make sure you use the same ideas in your best-performing articles to improve your new content.
  • Above all, you need to be creating a variety of content. Different content formats can help you reach new audiences in real-time. 

For example, you can turn your best blog posts into Podcasts and share on iTunes and other podcast directories. 

This will provide an additional way to reach a new audience who prefers to consume audio content. Don’t forget to create videos, Slideshare presentations, infographics, and other types of content.

Remove content that no longer reflects your business.

Your business is going to change approach, focus, or products. As a result, you also need to reflect this with your new content.

To begin, you should get rid of content that no longer reflects the objectives and goals of your business, in its entirety.

In Google Search Console, you can even remove outdated content from Google’s index. That way, Google will no longer count them as your site asset. It helps to save time so that crawlers can focus on fresh, relevant, and useful pages on your site.

Webmaster Tools
Webmaster Tools

As you conduct a content audit, you may discover articles that are no longer useful or have become outdated.

There’s no need for allowing them to take up dust and cost you hosting fees, remove them or better yet, replace them with better content.

Conclusion

Google Analytics is a sophisticated web analytics tool that allows you to extract valuable data from your website traffic. 

By using the various reports and statistics available in Google Analytics, you can identify any gaps in the design, content, and structure of your website and make adjustments as needed. 

Knowing how to use this web analytics tool correctly can play a crucial role in generating targeted traffic to your website and landing pages, consumers to your product pages, and boost your overall income. 

Yes, that’s how powerful Google Analytics can be if only you’d spend some time to master it.

Uncovering Your Gurus Deception

Uncovering Your Gurus Deception

Let’s talk about what going on.

As I scroll down through my Facebook feed, I see an endless number of self-proclaimed gurus that are running marketing campaigns for businesses.

Here’s how it happens. 

A “guru” says he is making a $10,000 a month running marketing campaigns on Facebook for other businesses. 

Simple money right?

So he creates a course on how you can make money running marketing campaigns for businesses on Facebook. He flashes a few images of money he has collected in his bank account to get people to sign up. 

Desperate people buy it, and we are off to the races. 

The new “guru” who has just been educated by the old guru is now promising businesses that he will make them successful. He lands a couple of gullible business owners, and now he is off to the races. 

Rinse and repeat. 

It’s the perfect case of the blind leading the blind. 

Who are the losers? 

The business owners. Many of them are not educated enough to know what is fake and what is not. They will eventually figure it out after months of wasted time and money. 

By than…

The “guru” has moved onto other companies. 

Beware of “gurus” and beware of promises. Best to only pay these people based off of their performance. But don’t go blindly and mindlessly into business with them. 

Marketing takes time, money, and expertise. There’s no simple solution. It’s hard work to beat out your competition and wrestle with social media and search engine platforms. 

It’s a battle out there. You can’t have tinker bell at the head of your army when you’re fighting against Maximus or William Wallace.

Now onto some good stuff. 

I’ve been reading “Scientific Advertising” for the third time. It’s one of the best advertising books out there because Claude Hopkins was one of the best Ad Men. 

He understood that Advertising is about profits. He said, “Men are in business for profit, not to exploit their ideas. And their ideas vanish just the moment that profit fails to show.”

Profits come by speaking to the consumer and getting in their heads. We are continually fighting this concept with both Marketing Hy and Ydraw. 

Your audience will listen if you talk service to them. Speak to their needs and their wants. Consumers will turn their backs when you seek to impress an advantage for yourself. If you take a look at your website and it is all about you, change it up a bit and change your ads. 

Most advertising dollars are blown by companies creating selfish ads. 

“That’s another big point to consider. Argue anything for your own advantage, and people will resist to the limit. But seem unselfishly to consider your customers’ desires, and they will naturally flock to you.”

Keep Marketing!

Direct Marketing vs Brand Marketing – Which one?

Direct Marketing vs Brand Marketing – Which one?

Businesses get brand marketing and direct marketing mixed up. It is costly and causes a lot of mediocre results and headaches.

We’re going to fix this age-old debate right now!

You may find yourself running a brand campaign thinking you will get direct marketing results or you are running a direct marketing campaign and expect branding results.

If you mess these up, you will lose, become frustrated, and abandon ship for the next shiny marketing idea.

Let’s first define the two of them so we can know what to expect.

Seth Godin in his new book laid it out the best I have seen. We will use his definition.

Direct Marketing

If you’re buying direct marketing ads, measure everything. Compute how much it costs you to earn attention, to get a click, to turn that attention into an order.

Direct marketing is action marketing, and if you’re not able to measure it, it doesn’t count.

Brand Marketing

If you’re buying brand marketing ads, be patient. Refuse to measure. Engage with the culture. Focus, by all means, but mostly, be consistent and patient.

If you can’t afford to be consistent and patient, don’t pay for brand marketing ads.

What I just shared with you ought to have paid for the time and money you have spent reading my posts, emails, website and watching my videos.

When you know what kind of marketing you are engaged in, you will set the right expectations.

Types of direct marketing include:

  • Google Ads
  • Facebook Ads
  • YouTube Ads
  • Email Marketing
  • Solo Ads
  • etc

They’re Ads you can track directly to a sale.

Types of brand marketing include:

  • Billboard signs
  • The way you answer your phones
  • Your uniforms
  • Sponsorships
  • SEO
  • Networking events
  • Company culture
  • etc

The list above is not exact, but I think you get the point.

Different platforms can be used for both direct and brand, but the difference is your expectations, goals, and measurements.

Small startups get too caught up in their brand. They spend time, money, and energy dealing with brand experts and not enough time building out direct marketing campaigns.

Big brands try to make a shift into direct marketing and use branding techniques and wonder why nothing worked.

A Typical Story About Branding vs Direct Marketing

Marketing Hy worked with a client this last year who hired a new VP of marketing. He came from a large corporation that ran branding campaigns.

The owner of the company wanted to track all results and make sure marketing was giving him an instant ROI.

So

The new VP of marketing made called his past Agency and did a large media buy. The agency took the $241,000 and ran a display campaign along with a few magazine ads.

How much traffic came to the site? None!

Six months into the campaign sales had not increased at all. Less than a year later the VP of marketing was looking for a new job.

The owner had one expectation and the VP of marketing another.

Let’s look at SEO.

It’s a problem and owners have the wrong expectations.

SEO (search engine optimization) is the attempt to rank for generic terms in a search engine. Businesses spend a fortune on SEO because marketers promise to rank them for highly searched keywords.

SEO can be considered brand marketing or direct depending who you ask but here’s the problem…

It’s a gamble, and the odds are stacked against you. There are limited spots available, and it takes months if not years to rank for generic keywords.

90% of owners do not have the time, patience, or money to wait for the results. So they quit too soon.

What makes business owners assume they can outrank companies like Wikipedia, Home Advisors, Yelp, and Google on generic searches?

It’s not happening.

I find it best to avoid the games you will lose. No matter what your SEO company says.

What can you win?

Build an SEO campaign where people search for keyword that you can rank for. This will come in a later post.

Which brings us back to the beginning…

What kind of marketing campaign are you running? Are you mixing them up?

Don’t.

Both brand and direct marketing are good, as long as we set the right expectations.

If you’re interested in growing your business with a direct marketing campaign, reach out to use.

We would be happy to show ways to drive traffic, leads, and sales.

If you’re looking for a brand campaign, that is not our thing. I have a hard time spending money on marketing that can’t be measured.

Does branding work? Yes, it does. Just takes time, patience, and a lot more money.

Keep marketing!

Did You Hire A Total Douche? You Should See What It Cost Them.

Did You Hire A Total Douche? You Should See What It Cost Them.

Have you ever met someone that deserves to get a beatdown? I did last week.

Total douche.

Sorry for the harsh language but that is about the extent of my swearing, so I like to use that word when I can.

Here’s the story.

A friend and business partner of mine needed some help with a client, so I offered to head down to Vegas to explain online marketing to a guy I had never talked to or met.

That was my first mistake.

Twenty seconds on the phone with this guy would have told all.

Picture this…

Our Prince had a shaved head wearing a Cop like uniform packing his Glock. His muscles were all tight because he was probably doing pushups and flexing in front of the mirror a few minutes before we met.

I am not joking.

The meeting was to go over a PPC campaign and show him where his clicks were coming from and what kind of impact Google ads were having on his Marketing.

It didn’t go so hot.

The Douche had taken a crash course on online marketing the day from another agency.

He knew it all and wanted to show us that PPC is a waste to their business and that social media doesn’t work to bring in sales.

Even though, they had 81,000 organic followers on Facebook and some of the best engagement I have seen on a Facebook account.

Get this.

Last month somebody hacked their account and instead of getting it resolved they decided to start a new page. They abandoned the old Facebook page.

Who does that?

The Douche does!

During the meeting, Prince Charming pulled out some analytics sheets to show his traffic and stats, but his tracking was off, and he was not looking at the right stats.

His mind was made up. It was a total waste of everyone’s time. We closed down the PPC campaign.

How does this happen?

This business is legit. They do about 20 Million in revenue and have an excellent product.

The actual business owners put this guy in charge of their online marketing campaign a couple of weeks before.

It’s the perfect example of the Peter Principle. Google it if you don’t know about the concept.

Is this story normal?

Sadly it is.

I can’t tell you how many times businesses put the wrong person in charge of their online marketing campaigns. Or they hire a digital marketing agency that puts interns in charge of their account.

Online marketing takes skills, time, and a bit of luck.

You can’t put Tinkerbell in a war with a Gladiator and expect her to win.

But…

That is precisely what a lot of businesses are doing.

Who’s in charge of your online marketing?

What skills do they have?

What results are you seeing and what results are you tracking?

Did you hire the best?

All great questions to ask yourself.

Here’s a cool video we did talking about this principle.

5 Warning Signs To Watch Out For When Hiring An Online Marketing Agency – Don’t Be Fooled By Digital Marketing Agencies.

5 Warning Signs To Watch Out For When Hiring An Online Marketing Agency – Don’t Be Fooled By Digital Marketing Agencies.

For 10 years I have seen businesses thrive and businesses die from what they do online and a lot of it comes down to the online marketing company they hired.

Here’s what you should watch out for when hiring an online marketing agency. I hope this guide will help you because the odds are not in your favor.

But first, a small disclaimer. There are such things as bad products and services. Even though a marketing company does everything right, not all products and services are equal.

Also…

A good online marketing company is not going to save a tanking business. If you have internal issues or no budget, an online marketing company is not going to save you. It doesn’t work that way.

There are always exceptions but this guide is going to point you in the right direction.

But first, let’s answer this question.

Why hire an online marketing company in the first place?

There are a lot of reasons:

  • Leads
  • More customers
  • Build trust with future clients
  • Increase sales
  • Increase traffic
  • Build influence
  • etc..

Does all of this happen overnight? No, it does not. Online marketing is extremely competitive and takes time, money, expertise, and patience.

Whether big or small, all companies need to have an online presence. If someone is going to buy your product or service they need to be able to look into your company and see some type of online presence.

We created a simple lead gen campaign for a body sculpting company. We were able to generate leads and free consultations at an excellent price, but there was one problem: our leads were setting up consultations and not showing up. Why were we losing them?

Because we were just doing a lead gen campaign. There was no nurturing campaigns, no remarketing, no followup, and no case studies. The company needed a full marketing campaign.

It builds trust.

Once you have established the fact that you do need to be online, the next question is…

Do you hire an in-house marketing team or do you hire an outside agency?

Hiring an in-house agency is a really good choice if you yourself know enough about online marketing. That way, you can manage a team and track the numbers.

But this is usually not the case.

What I have seen companies do is hire interns or hire a low wage employee that does not know what they are doing.

It’s not fair for new hires but they are expected to learn about online marketing and run a successful campaign without ever learning the basics.

You may have done this already.

We love competing against these types of companies. By the time the new hires learn enough to be dangerous, they have moved onto another company. Or they abandon their plans too quickly because they get pressure from above.

Plus, most of the hires just want a paycheck. Their performance is not tracked because nobody knows what they should be tracking.

If you want to compete you need to have good players.

A larger established business is in a little different situation. They can afford to hire the best. Bringing everything in-house could be a good solution. They’re the best suited to hire a full online marketing team and pay for their expertise.

Some of the most successful campaigns have come from in-house marketing teams being directed by a legit online marketer.

Doing this may not be in your budget. A team could cost hundreds of thousands a year, if not millions.

Big companies may find it to be more beneficial to hire an outside agency to train and run your campaigns.

At least until the in-house team gets caught up to speed.

Which brings us back to the start.

What things should you look out for when hiring a digital marketing agency?

Let’s get started.

The 5 Online Marketing Agencies to Watch Out For

1. Fooled By The Lowest Price And Size Of Company. (DexYP, network solutions, yellow pages, radio stations, etc.)

These agencies are a dime a dozen. They pitch a $300+ a month package to get you to page one of Google. The salesman’s job is to get you to pay as much as possible and stick you in a long-term contract. I have seen some of these contracts go as high as $9,000 a month.

A lot of dentists, plumbers, HVAC companies, and small local businesses get pulled into these contracts.

You may be in one now.

The price is attractive, but don’t be fooled.

Companies like DexYP, Dex Media, Network Solutions, YP are the exact opposite of what you want.

Think about it…

Who do they hire to manage your account? How many clients does that new hire take on?

My first hire was a young college kid that turned out to be a rock star. She loved online marketing. After 2 years she moved away and was hired by a company called Fusion.

She called me to ask a couple of questions about a client. I asked her, “How many clients are you handling?”

89 was the answer.

She said it was a total mess and she felt bad. But it was her job to try and keep them on as long as possible.

How can any one person handle 89 clients? Online marketing takes time and expertise. If your account is only getting 2 hours a month you will never make progress.

Here’s how these companies do it.

They have a client relationship manager (title may be different) that is in charge of talking with the client. Their job is to do everything possible to keep the client on board. If you go to cancel they will remind you that you have a contract that cannot be broken.

There will be a couple of weeks where they focus on your account until the next person complains.

When something on the campaign needs to be changed they will have the PPC person make the change. Who is that guy?

You don’t know. And you have no idea how many clients or accounts he is managing. It’s a terrible system.

Every marketing campaign requires quality time.

I think you can see the problem.

Better yet, just go read the reviews of these companies. Minus out the fake reviews and you should get a good idea of who you are hiring.

Just a word of caution on bad reviews. A few bad reviews are not a problem. Online marketing does not have a 100% success rate. 60% of businesses are going to succeed which leaves 40% disgruntled businesses.

So bad reviews happen.

The warning signs should go off when you see a consistency of bad reviews and mad businesses on complaint boards.

Run!

Paying the least amount possible is a great idea. I am all about bargain shopping, but you have to pay to play.

No legit marketing company is going to do what is necessary for $500 a month.

Stay away.

2. Fooled By The Lack Of Transparency. (Mystery Agency Where Everything Is Hidden And Secret)

Lack of transparency is one of my biggest issues with Online Marketing Agencies and it should be a big concern of yours.

You should have access to all the numbers and accounts behind your business. There should be a total transparency. If you want to see it, they should show it.

Why wouldn’t they?

Because…

Most do not want you to see how much money is actually going into their pocket vs how much is being spent on ads.

They will also try to hold you hostage, if you leave them.

Any marketing company that really cares about transparency gives clients full access to all accounts. It’s your business and you are paying money.

A word of warning. Don’t let these marketing agencies put your assets in their name and make sure they drive traffic to your website not some landing page that they create.

I am amazed at how many businesses turn over their domain names, website, Google Ads, and channels over to these agencies.

If you try to leave them, you will have a hard time getting everything back.

3. Fooled By Shiny Objects And Promises

Getting on page one of Google is not easy. Optimizing a Google ad campaign is hard. Creating quality content that people love takes a lot of time.

With online marketing…nothing is guaranteed and everything is a battle.

Marketing agencies that make crazy promises about how successful your online marketing campaign will be should be avoided.

How long does a good SEO campaign take? 6 Months to 2 years is a good time frame.

How long does it take to optimize a PPC campaign? Months.

There are exceptions. I don’t want to scare you away from Online Marketing. You can get customers quickly through ads.

Some businesses just need a few simple adjustments to start generating traffic and sales. Others need a full overhaul of everything.

Just depends.

Case in point.

A couple months back we took on a plumbing business. They had 3 different websites being run by 3 different marketing people.

One of the agencies (it’s a popular one) took their original website and placed it on their platform. They had years worth of awesome content that ended up being duplicated on a different website.

It was a total mess.

The 3rd agency was running their PPC campaign which was using another website for PPC. This agency didn’t even find out we switched the website for 3 months.

Meaning…

The account had not been checked in 3 months.

Don’t be fooled.

4. Fooled By The Agency That Doesn’t Practice What They Preach

This has to be one of the number one things to consider when hiring an agency. Do they themselves have a good online marketing campaign?

Do they have a good blog? Do they have a followup email sequence in place? Are they running ads? Do they eat their own dog food?

We have a couple of online marketing companies in my town that create sales through cold calling. They have no idea how to generate leads online. So they cold call the business and sell them on their online marketing packages.

Do you see the problem?

If an agency had a junky website and a terrible social media campaign, what makes you think they can do better with yours?

Why hire an agency for SEO help if that agency doesn’t seem to have their own SEO figured out?

If that agency cannot even get themselves positioning for their own organic phrases, then do you really think they’re going to be able to help you do so?

Be careful. Do a simple check and see what the online marketing agency is doing for themselves.

5. Fooled by Family, Friends, And Buddies

We have all heard this one.

The family’s neighborhood friend learned some coding and they are now in control of your digital marketing campaign.

I was in meeting with some attorneys last month that said this…

“My father-in-law likes to build websites and we have been waiting for him to build ours.”

Building a site and marketing a website go hand in hand. Once your family or friend builds your website then what?

One of the worst episodes I have seen was a couple of years back when I presented to a company that had their friend running their marketing.

He was charging them $15,000 a month and not doing the work. How did we know this?

The PPC account, emails, and campaigns had not been touched in weeks. The “friend” had been enjoying a monthly income without doing much work.

It’s good to hire family, friends or neighbors as long as they do marketing for a living.

Watch out!

Here are some of the questions you should ask when hiring a digital marketing agency.

  1. Do you have case studies?
  2. Do you have digital marketing for your own company?
  3. Do you track everything in Analytics?
  4. What failures have you experienced and why did the campaigns fail?
  5. Do I have full access to all accounts?
  6. Do I own the accounts when I quit using you?
  7. Do you use Google Webmaster Tools and follow their guidelines?
  8. How long will it take to see results? (run if they say a couple weeks).
  9. Will I be able to see actual spend within AdWords?
  10. How do you measure ROI?
  11. Do you take my calls and are you available when I need you?

Start there.

I hope this helps. Just be careful because digital marketing is war and you want to have the best. Don’t go into battle with mediocre. It’s not worth it and you will lose a lot of time and money.

Time that you cannot get back and money that could have been spent the right way.

Not all digital marketing campaigns are going to be successful. The key is, to hire a company that gives you the best chance to win.