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Internet Marketing Agency: Instructions for Use

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Last time we talked about how to choose the right web studio if you are planning to make yourself a new site – good and working. It turned out that there are not so few aspects worth paying attention to. But having done this in advance, you can count on the result.

The situation is approximately the same with the choice of an Internet marketing agency: in order to set up a site for productive (conversion) work, it will have to be optimized, advertised, and promoted in search engines. This work has many nuances and sometimes looks like a “shamanic ritual” from the outside. But no matter what rituals some Internet marketers perform, this may not lead to the expected results. Therefore, let’s figure out how to avoid surprises when choosing an internet marketing agency.

How to build the process of effective communication with an Internet marketing agency

Even if you are not particularly well versed in the technologies and possibilities of online promotion, it is you who have to choose who to entrust your website and reputation for the next 3-6 months in order to get the first tangible results. Examining websites, portfolios, and reviews about the work of agencies is a minimum plan that will help you create a shortlist for a further selection of that “one”.

1. Prepare promotion goals and share responsibility

Again, goals come first. It’s simple: goals are the flagship of promotion. What do you want to get from the site when it is on the first lines of search engines? The whole workflow, set of tools, and the choice of promotion channels will depend on your answer.

After identifying global goals (increasing the number of sales from the site, improving reputation, increasing brand awareness, etc.), it is necessary to share the responsibility for working to achieve them with the agency. Because, for example, your contractor will not be able to be responsible for sales, since you still sell yourself, but increasing traffic from search engines to which you can offer your products is his part.

Further, the goals are best broken down by periods:

  • n subscribers for six months,
  • position in the TOP for 4 months,
  • increase in website traffic by n% in 5 months,
  • an increase in the number of applications from the site 2 times in six months.

Decide who is responsible for what issue, how the effectiveness will be assessed, and in what period.

2. Specify who will be present at the first meeting with you

Already at the first discussion, you should have the opportunity to ask questions not only to the sales manager but also to the head of the promotion department or a leading Internet marketer – that employee who knows “from” and “to” the promotion mechanism and agency workflows. If you are a leader, then be sure to bring along a marketer or other employee of your company, whom you will appoint to be responsible for communications on promotion issues. This will help the agency specialists collect more accurate information about your company and make their offer more interesting.

An important caveat: the person whom you will appoint responsibly must understand the goals of this process and be seriously interested not only in the result (expressed, for example, in the form of a checkmark opposite the “SEO” item in the marketing plan), but also in the process, to represent the interests of his company …

Polina Stolpovskaya, Head of Internet Promotion Department

It happens that sales managers, marketers, or office managers who are not ready to represent the interests of their company in any way are appointed responsible. They perform work within the framework of instructions, more often “for the show”, and no more. It is hard to work with such people: they cannot make decisions, they cannot convey information to the manager, and even more so to the business owner, while the agency is also not allowed to contact the decision-maker. This is a waste of resources and money, which is unlikely to lead to good work results.

3. Ask what promotion methods the agency uses

To ask such questions, you need, of course, to understand the question a little. There are agencies that are focused exclusively on short-term cooperation: achieve results in 3 months and disperse. But then the customer’s site gets banned or filtered, and what to do about it? So ask questions.

For example: how do you work with links?

Correct answer: “We practically do not use links when promoting, and if we do, then they are as natural as possible, with adequate texts. We place them on thematic sites, we have a separate specialist engaged in this ”.

Wrong answer: “We use a special service for buying links” or “We actively use link promotion, this is an important factor!”

Old methods of promotion have not worked for a long time, using them, the agency runs the risk of lowering the site in the search results even lower or driving it into a ban. These are thoughtless buying of links, renting links, template optimization, placing keywords 20 times per page, using texts for robots, and other methods.

4. Prepare a “summary” of your business for the meeting

Your strengths and weaknesses, a list of your closest competitors, information about the target audience, as well as a list of the most marginal areas to focus on when promoting. It often happens that 20% of the catalog of an online store brings 80% of the profit, and it is important for an agency to immediately find out which specific categories or even products are included in this 20%.

5. Check the technical capabilities of the agency

Most likely, after an audit of the site, it turns out that technical improvements are needed. Therefore, find out in advance if the agency has developers who can implement edits for the goals of Internet marketing. It is convenient when the work is carried out in a “one window” mode: the agency will undertake the work not only to find weak points but also to correct them correctly. All you have to do is coordinate changes and receive reports.

6. Ask about work experience

This is not only about how many years the agency has been providing services, but also whether it had experience in promoting another company in your or related topics and what are the successes. And then decide for yourself: is it critical for you to be promoted by a contractor who, for example, does SEO for your competitors? Or, on the contrary, it is better, because the agency’s specialists are already familiar with the “pitfalls”, which means that they will perform the same tasks for you better.

Polina Stolpovskaya, Head of Internet Promotion Department

If an agency manager accepts a call from a client who owns a car site and does not understand half of the words the client says, the caller is unlikely to choose this agency. But if the manager tells him in passing about the throttle or something “themed”, that’s another matter! As soon as you make it clear that you understand the market, the client becomes animated and wants to continue communication, because they speak the same language with him and delve into the essence of the business.

7. Specify the composition of the team that will be involved in the promotion

Does the agency have in-house copywriters, SEO specialists, SMM specialists (if you order promotion in social networks), how many people work in the company? It is important that these are people with sufficient skills in their line of work, and not try to combine the skills and responsibilities of 3-5 different specialists in one. Ask how many projects one employee is leading. Of course, promotion to the TOP is a semi-automatic and low-quality process, when a person leads 60-70 projects at the same time. There can be no talk of any individual approach in such agencies, but, unfortunately, there are many of them.

8. Have a promotion experience? Tell us about it

What work was carried out, according to what indicators, what was wrong, what would you like to change, what could be achieved with a new contractor?

Polina Stolpovskaya, Head of Internet Promotion Department

A common reason for companies to part ways with agencies is their lack of interest in the process. When the agency actually does its job, “it does something”, but there is practically no result, only tasks closed with checkmarks and dry reports. This greatly inhibits the real development of the project. We are always ready to interact with the client and adapt to his situation: you say your wishes, we bring it to life, and in the reports, we write how we succeed.

9. How do you plan to report?

Discuss in advance how often progress reports will be sent to you, and what information they will contain. In the reports, costs must be separately recorded by item. Unfortunately, many companies cannot even say what exactly the amount they pay per month is spent on, how much was spent on Yandex. Direct, and how much for optimization work.

It would be nice, of course, that these reports were still written in understandable language, and the employee responsible for communications from your side carefully studied them in order to know how the work is progressing.

10. Ask what level of access are you willing to provide?

Do you have a login and password for the advertising office, will counters be added to your accounts? Be sure to check these questions so that after the end of the work you will have data and analytics. Many companies, unfortunately, do not do this, and then they begin to “go through the agony”.

Polina Stolpovskaya, Head of Internet Promotion Department

It happens that hosting and the domain name of the site is registered for the developer. The site is already 10 years old, the company has grown during this time and increased its turnover at times, the developer has long resigned, or maybe he did not work there at all. Where then to look for access – no one knows. So it is with advertising offices.

11. When to expect results?

Immediately clarify which promotion channel and after what time to expect the result. Most likely, they will not designate clear terms for you, since there are some nuances, but explain the rationale for each answer. If this is SEO promotion, then you should be given a deadline, depending on the region of promotion, the degree of business competition, the newness of the site, etc. If you plan to launch contextual advertising – how long will it take to write the ads when they are launched.

Make sure that then the information on the terms and stages of work is reflected in the contract. It is necessary to clearly stipulate in the contract what the agency is doing, so that the promotion is a very specific work, and not a lengthy name for the process.

12. Ask for a “negotiation summary” and ask questions!

“Summaries of negotiations” help not to miss anything and cut off misunderstandings. And if you do not understand something, then do not hesitate to ask how it works. This is normal. About 80% of executives at various levels are not versed in online advertising. On the one hand, they don’t need it, but on the other hand, then there will be misunderstandings on how to evaluate the work done and the decency of the contractor. Therefore, be sure to ask questions in the process, an adequate contractor will only be glad of this.

If you are asked a lot of questions about business processes, products, and services, that’s okay too. Therefore, the employee responsible from your side must understand that the questions must be answered within one working day, and the texts must be approved in a maximum of a week.

And don’t settle for buying what you don’t need. Any service offered must be justified in terms of the usefulness of your business. If you are a small local clothing manufacturer, then you will not be able to master the fight with Wildberries, Lamoda, and other market leaders in the TOP. If your company provides a truly unique service, for example, a treatment method, then you do not need SEO, search engines will find your site anyway if it is well filled and there are no critical errors.

High conversions for you!

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