Most builders start internet marketing by searching online for a specific service provider. They may get lucky but most companies are going to end up hiring a firm that only possesses half of what is required to make a builder successful.
If you’d like to be one of the lucky builders, you should learn how to detect a good internet marketing services firm from a not-so-good one. Here are three important pieces of an online marketing strategy that you must make your web design and internet marketing firm present to you.
Internet marketing starts with information. In speaking with various small business owners it is crucial to be able to not just look at the information from their site, but also additional information from the web about their website, their competitors’ websites, search engines, blogs and social media sites.
Your website isn’t an island on the web. A lot of factors determine whether you’re likely to get more traffic from search engines, other blogs and social media sites. A good firm will be able to estimate how much traffic you can get without looking at what you get now. They should also be able to tell you how much work it’ll take to get that traffic.
If you’re interviewing firms to design your website or plan your internet marketing strategy, they should be presenting information processes to you that help you start calculating the traffic, leads and sales you’ll get from internet marketing.
What software will power your website and internet marketing? You must ask this question of any internet marketing services firm you’re interviewing. Very few firms have this figured out. There are still way too many web designers creating websites by hand coding them from scratch. And there are way too many websites that aren’t built on an internet marketing platform. Most design firms will start pitching you by showing you mockups of pretty websites. This can also be a way that designers handcuff you into using their software. Push back! Tell them that you know that the software is ultimately what’s going to enable an ROI.
Be sure they offer a content management system (CMS) that you can operate, create landing pages and manage search engine optimization. Make sure you have a marketing analytics agreement that shows where your leads are coming from. And be aware that the software can be easy integrated with your social media, email marketing and even your customer relationship management software.
If you have the right data and right software in place, all you really need is an interest in writing and the analytical skills required to read a graph.
However, if you’re going to outsource your internet marketing to a firm, you should find a firm that has writers at their disposal; a staff to plot your strategy; and a few to help with your repetitive social media and link building activities.
No matter who you hire, give them the data and software they need. Then, measure them based on their ability to generate leads for you.