Hiring a company for Internet marketing services can be valuable if you don't have the time or know-how to market your business online. However, you shouldn't just go with anyone that offers web marketing services. Here are some guidelines to use when choosing a service provider:
1. Verify Prior Work
Many business owners struggle with landing their first clients, if their industry demands experienced workers only. You need someone to take a risk on you so that you can become experienced. You might sympathize with this circular problem as an entrepreneur, but you don't want to take a risk when hiring someone to provide internet marketing services. You need to see and judge results from past clients who were satisfied with the web marketing services provided. Unfortunately, there are many scammers online promising a pot of gold to business owners, and it can be hard to decipher fact from fiction. If the company or individual has done work for at least three clients that you can research, and they've helped to increase those clients' online presence, then you're one step closer towards hiring them.
2. Look at Their Online Position
A search engine marketing company should be doing a great job for their own company. If you enter "seo services" in all of the major search engines, do they come up in the first one or two pages? What if you search other related keywords, like "web marketing services" or "search engine marketing"? Does their rank position improve? If it's hard to find them online, through page rank, article marketing or blogging, then it's hard to believe that they can do much for you.
3. Review Their Written Work
A comprehensive Internet marketing service business will include writing and editing work to help with website content. You can get an idea of how well they can write by looking at their website. Is it full of grammatical errors? Does the website make you want to take action, such as hire that company, or is it just another website? You could hire a copywriter to take care of your web page, but there are some internet marketing service companies that will offer to do the writing for you. If you're not impressed with the writing you see, keep looking for other companies, or take it into consideration as you compare companies.
4. Examine Their Strategies
Some companies use "black-hat" strategies to get themselves and their clients a higher page rank in major search engines. These strategies are unethical in cyberspace. If you're caught, you could get penalized by the search engines. Some of these black-hat strategies look like this:
- They pay already established websites to link to their websites
- They put competitor's links on spam websites so that Google and Yahoo! lowers their page rank
- They click on competitor's pay-per-click advertisements so that they disappear from Yahoo! or Google for a while
If there's even a hint of this as you interview and research prospective companies, don't hire them. It's not worth spoiling your reputation (one of your key assets) or getting penalized.
Once you've interviewed companies and they meet the above criteria, you can consider hiring them. Get the services spelled out in a contract so that you know exactly what you're getting in return for the money you're paying.