There are generic marketing professionals offering SEO and online marketing strategy, many ‘one man bands’ pretending to be agencies, those that went on a one day course and walked out with an SEO business/franchise… and then there are those that have been in the game a wee while.
The trouble with much of the advice out there is that on the surface it makes sense and some of it actually helps. Other SEO hints and tips, online marketing advice and even some of the ‘done for you’ services, could do you more harm than good.
Let me give you two examples.
A client last week asked us to take a look at a company that was bidding on their brand name in Google Adwords. This is a case of the company in question running Pay Per Click adverts and were getting high ranking adverts by bidding on our clients brand name.
After advising them that this was in break of their registered trademark and requesting them to remove such ad’s, they obliged but advised us that they had been told by someone to do this. A case of bad advice.
The other example is a tip from someone today saying (which got me writing this post) that your SEO strategy should not only include your website, but also your social networks and blogging. This is good advice, but in reality your website should be sorted before you implement an SEO strategy and the use of social networks are just one part of an ongoing plan that should be implemented.
Some people may just take the tip above as read and only focus on social networks for SEO. This may produce some fruit for you, but it should have been linked to a blog where different SEO tactics are displayed and where is says that your website (the foundations an SEO strategy should be built on) needs to be nailed before you start any ongoing SEO work. Part of the story sometimes doesn’t help all that much.
So where do you go for the best advice?
My first thought is that you need to look for people that niche. If you see people that try and be all things to all people, are they just as “jack of all trades – master of none?” Are they best placed to give specific niche advice in online marketing and SEO? A generic marketing agency may even outsource it to an SEO agency. Look for those that niche and are specific about the services they offer.
Look for the credibility in terms of testimonials and case studies from happy clients and ask to see the results from the work done. This will show you if the money that you are about hand over is going to be worth it or not. A recent toinfinity case study is available here showing over 2,000% ROI in Pay Per Click management.
And the biggest piece of advice – look for recommendations. Linkedin profiles enable you to see recommendations from clients and colleagues, recommendations from your friends and colleagues will also help.
Avoid the people that have little working experience in the online world and choose to work with experts that have proven time and time again that they CAN deliver… and continue to do so for many clients.
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Within a few months of going live with their new site, one of our clients saw a 6% increase in their conversion rate, a year-on-year increase in traffic of 110%, a 90% increase in revenue and a 46% reduction in the bounce rate.
The numbers speak for themselves. The new site is more engaging, with more customers buying more items per transaction than ever before.