If you're running a business in today's competitive marketplace, it will be no secret to you that the internet plays a vital role in the success of your brand. But while most entrepreneurs and business managers know the theory behind online marketing, many of them don't have the time or technical know-how to put it into action.
If you're looking to build or improve your brand's online reputation, the best place is to start is by outsourcing an internet marketing agency who can use their knowledge of SEO, internet branding and social media management to help drive more traffic to your website and encourage browsers to convert to customers.
If you're not familiar with the terminology – don't worry, an internet marketing specialist will be able to help recommend the best solution for your business. But, in layperson's terms, SEO stands for search engine optimization: a term that describes the process of getting your webpage to the top of unpaid search engine results.
There are a number of ways of achieving this, including keyword research and analysis, landing page optimization, SEO content writing, link building and social networking, to name a few. A professional SEO service aims to improve the overall user experience of your website, as well as bringing targeted traffic to your website.
An internet marketing company can do all of this for you, helping to build your Google page ranks and create back links to your page from other relevant web pages or influential blogs. But in terms of hiring the right company for the job, how do you know what to look for?
The best place to find an SEO service is online, using your Google search engine. The results will present you with a list of companies in your area, and those that operate globally. Look for those with high rankings, but spend some time considering your options – you don't have to hire the first agency you land on.
Thanks to the nature of the internet, you won't need to find a company that is local to your area in order to get help with your online marketing, as most consultants work remotely. This means they have a global reach of customers, so will likely work with businesses both big and small from all over the world.
Some agencies will display a portfolio or list of their clients online, however it is quite unusual for them to divulge all of this information, so don't be concerned if you can't see a list of existing clients displayed on their website. It probably means that those companies wish to remain private.
One thing you can check out online, however, is their reviews and testimonials, as well as a list of any awards or accreditations they might have received. This will give you an idea of their reputation and what they have achieved for previous or existing clients before you hire them to help improve your business.
Look for a company offering a turnkey approach, as this means you will be able to pick and choose the services best suited to your business requirements and budget. This way, whether you're looking for a whole new website design, or a simple social media strategy, you will get an entirely tailored approach that meets your unique business needs.
Lastly, make sure you find an agency that offers a free quote, as some will charge you for this. Some websites will have a simple form for you to fill out that will automatically generate a quote for you using just a few simple details. You will probably have to input your website details, as well as your monthly budget and which services you require.