You probably get hundreds of calls and emails from “marketers” promising to get your company ranked #1 on Google.
So how do you know which ones are legit, and which are just blowing smoke?
Here are six things to look for in evaluating potential marketing partners …
1. Look Beyond the Obvious
Don’t hire someone just because they’re “Google Adwords Certified,” have a huge portfolio or show first-page rankings.
Google Adwords Certification and high search engine rankings are good to have – but they’re only one piece of the puzzle.
The real question is whether or not they can convert website visitors into new customers.
Many marketers can put together a decent Adwords campaign that drives traffic to your website – but the key is finding someone who can also turn your website into a sales-generating machine.
2. Don’t Just Focus on Keywords
Anyone can put a keyword list together (although it’s not always a good keyword list). But keywords sometimes have little impact on the success of your marketing campaigns.
What really matters is using those keywords, plus a lot of other research, to create ads, landing pages and content that consistently turns prospects into sales leads.
If your marketing agency is focused on generating long lists of keywords but not all the steps (and hard work) that come after that, then look for someone else.
3. Have a Method to Measure ROI
Reputable agencies can prove the return on investment of their work. They put tools and analytics in place to measure everything that’s important to your business growth.
Some of the things you should expect to see include –
- Call tracking systems with sales lead email notifications so you know how many leads you’re getting and can measure how many deals you close
- Analytics showing relevant metrics and improvements over time for your website traffic and ad effectiveness
- Suggestions for ways to lower your cost per new customer over time to increase margins
4. Understand the Tree Care Industry Inside-Out
Most marketing agencies serve a wide range of clients and so use a “one size fits all” approach that doesn’t necessarily work for tree care companies.
As a result, they’re forced to resort to costly trial and error and market research when they start working with you. And who do you think is going to pay for that?
If you want REAL results, it’s easier, faster and cheaper to get there by hiring someone who fully understands the tree care industry.
5. Take a Holistic Approach
So often, a digital marketer is highly focused on ads (both Google Adwords and social media sponsored posts). Perhaps they’ll look at your email marketing. And maybe, just maybe, they’ll consider the design and content of your website.
It’s rare to find someone who looks at your entire digital footprint and works to optimize your whole online presence. It’s even rarer to find someone who also works with you to develop a strong system for turning calls into appointments, looks at your offline marketing efforts, and helps build your leadership in the local community.
Online marketing success doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Without working on ALL of the things that affect your web presence, none of the individual parts will reach the level of success you’re looking for.
6. Have a Solid Plan
Would you try to remove a hazardous tree without a clear work plan in place?
Always ask for at least a high-level overview of any marketing plan before agreeing to start work. Be sure your marketing agency has a detailed process to follow and can explain to you how it works.
Here are a few key components look for:
- The process should start with a discussion with you about your goals, needs, and objectives, as well as developing a clear understanding of your current business situation and what sets you apart from the competition
- Establishing baseline and ongoing measurements so you can calculate improvements and ROI
- Developing dedicated landing pages to send ad traffic to (definitely not your homepage!)
- Improving SEO on your website (and revamping it entirely, if needed)
- Editing and/or creating new website content to turn visitors into sales leads
- Examining and improving local citations
- Working with your social media and email marketing accounts to increase online visibility