What makes for good marketing? That’s a pretty lofty question, huh? However, it’s not as ambiguous as you might think. There are concrete factors that differentiate great marketing from passable efforts. If you’re about to drop the cash to outsource your marketing with an outside agency, you need to know that they’re giving you what they need.
Below, we break down some of the main services you should be receiving from your marketing company. It’s not just about hitting these marks, but creating a marketing plan that goes beyond what’s expected and gives helps your business thrive.
SEO Strategy and Keyword Rank Reports
Why does SEO matter? Think about it this way: how do you find products and services you want to use? Where do you start? Maybe it’s word of mouth, but more likely than not you’re going to begin with a Google search. Same thing goes for your audience and potential clients. If you’ve hired a marketing company and they’re not providing you with SEO services to help you show up better in Google results, you’re missing out on tons of potential business.
However, that’s just the start with SEO. Like we said before, doing the basics isn’t enough. SEO is always evolving with the rules changing and the tactics with it. If you’re hiring a marketing firm and they’re just dumping keywords onto your pages, that’s a warning sign. An expert SEO marketer will constantly be reassessing and finding ways to improve your site. SEO takes care, devotion, and attention. You’ll need a full audit of your site, seeking out broken links and images. There’s always something to unearth under every nook and cranny of your website – stuff that’s easy to ignore if you’re just stuffing keywords on pages. Little things like these can have long term repercussions on your page ranking.
A great marketing company will also give you transparency into what’s working and what’s not. Make sure your marketing company is providing you with a keyword rank report that will show you an in-depth look into what people are searching to find your website. This helps you know not just how well your SEO efforts are going, but also gives you insight into terms you should be focusing on. Maybe you’re a cloud company who has put endless hours into building up your content around Amazon Web Services, but then your keyword rank report shows that many users are finding your website searching Microsoft Azure. Or maybe you have a keyword that’s ranking just below the front page of Google and it just needs a little SEO TLC to make that leap forward.
Web Design That Doesn’t Suck
If your website doesn’t look good or function properly, all the SEO tactics in the world are gonna be for nothing. Your site has to stand out. One of the great things about this era of the Internet is just how dynamic web design has gotten. The flipside to this is that dated websites really look dated. You don’t want someone landing on your website thinking they’ve stumbled onto an AngelFire site circa 2003. You need to appear modern with a functional interface. If users are struggling to find basic information on your website, you’ve got a major problem on your hands.
Now it’s easier than ever to build a website from a template, you need to be aware of what platform the marketing company you’re hiring is planning on using. Stock websites don’t work – at least not for your business. You need something customized to your needs. If the marketing company is offering to build you a SquareSpace site, be weary. Not only is that something you could do yourself, it simply won’t give you the functionality and customization your business needs and deserves.
Having a marketing company that understands best practices and emerging trends is the best way to ensure your site is up to snuff. This doesn’t mean taking major budget setbacks either. An expert design team will know how to take minimalist concepts both in look but also from a user interface perspective. They’ll be able to make you a great looking website for a decent price that will give you respectability among your peers and prospects.
Driving Traffic with PPC
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising isn’t just a “nice thing to have.” It’s becoming more and more essential for businesses to take advantage of. Unlike traditional advertising, PPC gives you the transparency to know exactly how well your ads are performing and lets you target audiences so you’re not wasting your time reaching out to the wrong people.
PPC isn’t something you can set on auto-pilot either. It’s easy for marketing companies to take your budget, delegate, and let it run. In that situation, you might get lucky and have an ad perform decently – but that’s not a guarantee. A great marketing firm will constantly be tweaking, researching, and giving you updates on how your PPC campaigns are performing. Paired with SEO, PPC can be a major force in bringing people to your business. Make sure the marketing firm you’ve hired is giving you the best shot at reaching your potential customers.
Users are fickle and you have to spend time learning how they interact with content in your industry. That’s why before you ever even start your ads you’ll need to know what you’re going after. This means thinking deeper than “They run a brewery, so let’s try and rank for ‘beer.’” You have to think like someone using a search engine. If you’re looking for a drink, would you search “beer”? Probably not. What about “brewery Shoreline growlers”? The more specific your keywords, the more likely you’re going to get results. Part of figuring this out is doing audience research as well as competitor research. What are the other breweries in the area ranking for? How can we go after those terms? Which keywords are currently not being sought after that are a prime opportunity? These are things your marketing company absolutely needs to be doing in order to ensure you’re getting the most out of your PPC campaign.
Not to toot our horn too much, but these are all qualities N2Q prides itself on providing to all of our clients. Whether it’s running SEO campaigns like we did for Bloodworks NW’s rebrand, building a network of websites for Fairway Mortgage, or getting 991% conversions with a PPC campaign for Bartell Drugs; N2Q gets the job done. Want a marketing company that can get you the results you need? Drop us a line today and we’ll setup a coffee date.
Branding & Design No To The Quo