Thursday, November 10, 2016

How to Find a Reliable and Reputable Online Marketing Firm: Four Simple Questions

Last week we discussed a simple, yet crucial question for a website owner: Do you need SEO?

Although SEO can benefit any site, not every site requires professional website optimization. Unfortunately, of the many websites that do require website optimization, many fail to seek professional help.

As we noted last week: "Our experience...reveals that a majority of online businesses...looking for new customers, profits, and success, are not performing website optimization--are not, in fact, engaging in any Internet marketing whatsoever."

Internet marketing. Website marketing. Digital marketing. Whatever the name, marketing is a necessity for any business that hopes to profit online. If your website promotes a good product, and your price is right, you deserve a well-executed marketing campaign.

So why do so many businesses fail to seek professional help? The problem is partly about indecisiveness. The inability to make a decision plagues even the most successful business leaders.

Read: Is Indecisiveness Costing You Money?

But indecisiveness is merely a symptom of a more insidious problem: many online business owners do not understand the value or purpose of digital marketing. Worse, many online business owners are suspicious of online marketing strategies, like PPC or SEO.

We write this blog, in part, to dispel misguided ideas about organic website optimization--organic SEO--and Internet marketing. We understand, though, that the best way to ease suspicion is to guide online business owners to honest, reliable, and skillful online marketing professionals.

If you've decided you do need website optimization, or any form of online marketing, but have not yet found the right firm, this post is for you. How do you find the best firm for your business? The devil, as they say, is in the details.

Digital marketing can be an engine to profits--if you partner with the right firm. [Photo Source]

Define Your Goals

The goal of any online marketing campaign is a conversion.

Of course, in a sense, all online marketing is about attracting visitors to your site. More important than any number of visitors, however, is a single conversion--when a visitor performs an action, like buying your product, sharing your content, or signing up for your newsletter.

To define your goal precisely, then, answer this question: How do I define a successful conversion? Your answer will help guide you to the most appropriate online marketing options. Remember, though: be specific.

The chart below (from the Content Marketing Institute) shows organizational goals for companies who engage in content marketing. The problem with this chart, however, is that goals like "brand awareness" and "engagement" are not specific enough.

Instead, define a precise conversion, then find the best options to fulfill that conversion.

Know Your Options

As we noted above, online marketing firms go by many names, and many offer a variety of diverse services, including SEO, link building, content marketing, website audits, reputation management, and PPC management.

By defining a successful conversion, you hone your strategy. Now ask yourself: What is the best online marketing strategy to achieve my conversion goals? 

Most firms use a combination of strategies to achieve multiple goals. To discover the best strategy for your conversion goals, you might have to perform some research.  Learn about SEO and PPC and other strategies--at least enough to understand how each inspire conversions.

Find a Firm That Specializes in Your Chosen Marketing Options

Online marketing firms are a dime a dozen. One way to limit your choices is to find industry leaders for specific marketing strategies. If, for example, you've decided you want to generate leads with a robust content marketing campaign, you should find five of the best content marketing firms.

If you want to increase brand awareness with SEO, find five of the best SEO firms.

What does "the best" mean? In a sense, the answer is arbitrary. Again, you must research different firms. Look at reviews and portfolios. Ask yourself: Which firms offer the best services for my conversion strategy?

Once you've answered this question, you should narrow your list of options to three to five firms. Speak to each firm. Your consultations should be free and informative. If an SEO firm tries to charge you for a consultation, run for the hills.

Find a Firm You Trust

Like any business relationship, you want to work with an online marketing firm you can trust. If a firm cannot communicate clearly, you should try another firm.

In the online marketing world, trust can be defined, simply, by communication. A trustworthy firm will explain its process lucidly. A trustworthy firm help you hone your specific conversion goals and strategy.

Of course, too, once you have interviewed a few firms, ask for references. A trustworthy firm will supply references on demand. Experience is important. Finally, ask yourself: Can I trust this firm? 

If you have any reservations, you should continue your search. Don't give up! The right online marketing firm is out there waiting for you.

Is Online Marketing Worth Your Money?

To navigate the complicated challenge of digital marketing, you might need to hire an marketing firm like Stepman's PC. Do not let the changing search engine algorithms compromise your sales. You need the astute wisdom of a professional who can help you answer the question honestly: Is online marketing worth your money?

Contact Stepman's PC today to learn how you can improve your website's performance: 215-900-9398.