Looking to hire a web consultant to manage your business’ marketing efforts? Perhaps you did a quick Google search for a “marketing company near me” and are overwhelmed at the number of choices in Charlotte (or whatever city you live in.)

Or maybe you’ve been jaded in the past by people who call themselves “SEO experts.” They took your money and didn’t give you the results you needed, in the form of tangible business growth. Does the following phone script sound familiar?

“Hi Mr. Business Owner, my name is John and I own a web marketing company in India. I happened to notice that your website is not on the first page of Google. Our company specializes in web design and SEO and would like you to pay us just $400 a month to help you grow your business.”

$400 a month doesn’t sound like a lot, so what do you have to lose right? You fork over the money, month after month, only to find out you’ve been scammed out of $2400 six months later with nothing to show for it except a crappy website that’s not generating you any more business.

As the saying goes, “you get what you pay for…” We’ll talk more about that in a few. For now, if you’re searching for the right company to handle your online marketing efforts, know that you’ll save a lot of time, money, and headaches by hiring the right people to do it the first time. Ask yourself the following questions before making your final decision.

#1. Do they have a good online reputation? A good marketing company has plenty of satisfied clients who are willing to rave about their performance. Read online reviews before you even consider speaking to an online consultant in your area.

#2. Are they ranked? An SEO company that’s not showing up at the top of the search results is either a) brand new on the web, b) lazy, or c) too focused on their clients to work on their own search engine rankings. Because of the latter, we recommend not making this a deal-breaker for whatever company you decide to do business with. Consider it an added bonus—if they are ranked well for a variety of competitive keywords in your local market, it shows you that they probably know what they’re doing. But again, just because they aren’t ranked, it doesn’t mean they don’t.

#3. Do they stand out from their competitors? SEO is quickly becoming a very saturated field. If we can be honest for a moment, the current landscape of digital marketing agency websites is a giant snooze-fest…

Just like Instagram made the average person into a “professional photographer,” the Internet and free website building platforms are turning everyone into “professional web designers” and “online marketers.” You’re probably already lost in the boring mess of websites all saying the same thing:

“We can get you ranked on Google…”

But digital marketing encompasses so much more than search engine rankings (though that is a large part of the equation.) Look for a company that really stands out. Do they have unique branding, well-written website copy or an interesting approach that other marketing agencies in your area seem to be lacking?


Hire them. Hire them now.

#4. Can they prove value upfront? This is something very few marketing companies are willing to do. Most people want you to spend money before showing you what they’re able to do, and you end up putting a lot of trust and cash into a project that may or may not generate results.

It’s a scary place to be as a business owner, especially when you consider that no one can guarantee anything from SEO services since the Internet and search engines are constantly evolving. If you find a company that’s willing to educate you and provide you with a free blueprint for how to grow your business online, consider it a keeper.

Even better—if they are willing to generate a few leads for you upfront without charging you a dime—don’t, I repeat, don’t let them go. Results upfront is a rare thing in business these days, no matter what industry you’re in. But it’s especially true in the fields of SEO and lead generation.

Speaking of value…

5. Are they competitively priced? When we say “competitively,” we don’t mean “cheapest.” As we said before, you get what you pay for. If a so-called “SEO expert” is offering his or her services for an extremely low price, it could be a huge red flag. (Not saying it is, but it could be.) Do your due diligence, and keep in mind that it’s not the cost that matters. It’s the value. If you’re getting a tremendous amount of value, then a higher ticket might be well worth it.

Sure they may be able to produce detailed analytics reports at the end of every month demonstrating how certain keywords in your niche are ranking higher than before. But if that doesn’t translate to more phone calls and tangible business growth, then you’re paying hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars for a bunch of fancy charts and graphs.

If you’re looking for an Internet marketing company that meets all 5 of the above criteria, you just found your o.t.p. (that’s newspeak for one true pairing—thanks George Orwell!) In fact, we’re ready to give you some upfront value right now. Click here or give us a call at (980) 224-0238 to request a FREE digital strategy audit. We’ll do an in-depth analysis of your current online presence and send a short video of our findings straight to your inbox.

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