Entrepreneurs often use a professional firm for marketing efforts because they are not experienced in the topic, do not have time to devote to online promotional efforts, or simply dislike these responsibilities. Once a business owner has decided to go this route, the decision becomes which service provider to use. Selecting an Internet marketing firm requires careful consideration because the result can literally make or break a business.
Determining whether the service provider is legitimate is one of the most difficult, but important, things to do. First, learn how long the company has been in business and verify this information by going to the Internet Archive Web page and viewing the different iterations of the domain name. For pay-per-click advertising, having a Google qualified status is important, so ask for the badge link from Google to verify that the company has this.
Any marketing service provider that does not have a process or method in terms of marketing approach should be eliminated from consideration. If marketing strategy development will take place, ask the vendor to provide examples of plans developed for previous clients. Also, ask them for references for these and other services that will be used. Contact these references and ask for specific feedback regarding performance, timeliness, and customer service. Check online to see if any bad experiences pop up or if complaints have been lodged with the Better Business Bureau.
Inquire about deliverables because these are necessary for the successful implementation of an online marketing strategy. Through questions and research, learn about the accomplishments of the company, focusing on those related to your industry. Ask what, if any, guarantees this vendor offers regarding results. If a company promises that the Web site will be visible in the top spot of the search results list for all major search engines at all times, beware. This is nearly impossible to deliver because search engines frequently change methods of ranking sites.
Any legitimate online marketing company will have a Web site, so look for this. Identify the specialities listed and see if any articles regarding these are posted on the site. Strategies like search engine optimization are no secret, as information can be found all over the Internet. If a vendor refuses to provide information regarding its techniques, be careful because the company may not know what it is doing.
Cost is usually an important consideration for a business, so research the industry standard pricing. Some service providers will not provide a price quote until they see the prospective client Web site and current promotional efforts. Give them time to do this and then compile quotes from the top vendors on the consideration list.
The final decision regarding an Internet marketing firm should not be based on price alone. Cost, deliverables, time frame, and experience should all be considered in order to make a selection. Taking the time to research service providers, ask relevant questions, and obtain important information is necessary. Doing so enables the best provider to be found, which should result in improved sales for the business.