How to identify the Top Digital Marketing Agencies?
Nowadays, Digital Marketing is the heart of any business. Without focusing on this you cannot make a successful business.
Most of the businesses do not have a Digital Marketing team. They outsource and lose their valuable investment just for reading the expenses report sent by the Digital Marketing Agencies. In this case, you should scrutinize their performance meticulously. Before that, you have to know what are the points you have to cross check with your Digital Marketing Agency’s performance. I have seen many businesses with an in-house Digital Marketing team which do the same as how an ordinary Digital Marketing Agency does. Daily I review a lot of marketing reports. Most of the reports will be very basic or below average.
Before reading this post, I would recommend you to check my previous post on “What is Digital Marketing and how to master it on your own“. This post could help you to gain the basics of Digital Marketing.
This post is not about telling you the list of top 5 digital marketing agencies in India but this will make you understand the procedure for selecting the Top Digital Marketing Agencies in India or elsewhere. I also covered broadly on how to identify a digital marketing agency or even your own in-house digital marketing team is cheating you or not.
How to select the Best Digital Marketing Agency in India
Now let us learn about the step by step procedure to select the Best Digital Marketing Agency.
Step 1: Do I need a Digital Marketing Company to develop my Business?
When you’re running a business, you must be aware of the budget allocation. You should know what is the expenditure for your Marketing Department. You need to include the salary of your employees who are all in your marketing team and the recurring monthly working capital for particular sales channel. If you can pump funds continuously at least for 3 months without expecting more on conversion part then it is good to hire a Digital Marketing Company.
Step 2: Budget Flexibility
Digital marketing is not like our conventional marketing where we pay a fixed rate. Here you pay only for getting your website traffic or for showing Ads per person. So the marketing budget will be flexible. If you didn’t get the expected traffic then your budget is unused. Ask your team about the unused budget and verify whether they will carry forward it for the next month’s promotion or you will get that balance subtracted to the next month marketing fees. If they hesitate to share those data then it is better to quit their services.
Step 3: Transparency-Budget, Process, and Reporting
Make sure you get access to the popular analytical applications which tracks the website visitor data. Ask them whether they can share a real-time visitor data by giving us the access to analytics applications. Just reviewing weekly or monthly reports will make no sense. It will be a mere report focus on the campaign expenses data. Real-time data is very important to feel the intensity of a marketing campaign. All you have to check is the visitor’s path i.e how a visitor is coming to our website and what they are browsing. You should also be able to access city wise/country wise report on the visitors and their bounce rates (How often a visitor tends to leave the website without browsing the other pages). If we have the access to that then you can analyze and ask them what strategy they are going to implement in order to reduce the bounce rate. They are deemed to answer your questions now.
Secondly, there should be transparency in terms of budget allocation when it comes to PPC. 90% of Digital Marketing Agencies in India (Not only in India) do not share how they are going to use your budget and what is their profit or charges in that. As I said earlier, here you have a flexible budget option. You should make things clear at the beginning about their charges for promoting your services. They should be willing to distinguish the budget allocation.
Let me tell you what are the questions you should ask an SEO agency before hiring them.
- What will be the time allotted for my SEO assignment?
- What kind of backlinks you build and How many backlinks you build each month (Just an approximate answer is enough as there is no guarantee for placements) and whether you follow good practice?
- Ask them whether they aware of Google Penguin and Panda update.
- How many keywords will you consider for ranking?
- Whether content writing is responsibility if yours or mine?
- What are the onsite optimization you do for my website?
- Do they work with your competitor sites? (We cannot rely on a company who works for our competitor)
- What is their knowledge level relevant to your Industry?
- What kind of support required from you apart from the monthly or annual fee payment?
- Any successful case studies made by you?
By asking these questions to SEO agencies you can easily conclude which agency is best for your SEO assignment.
Step 4: Fixed Plans (Red alert)
Every business has different marketing goals. So if the marketing agency displays a single plan then you have to avoid them because they themselves aren’t aware of what is marketing. Marketing is something creative. It requires a clear understanding of your business concept. Pre-priced plans will never work. They must forecast the marketing budget for you based on your requirement and then they should let you know the complete break up by including their service charges. This is applicable to all kind of assignments. (SEO/SEM)
Step 5: Interaction Rate
A consultative mindset is required to create strategies. So ask them how frequently they will interact with you to understand your short and long-term goals. Do not judge anyone by seeing their portfolio on their website. We need to understand how good listeners they are and how far they will help us in developing our business.
Step 6: Look for their promise
There is no fixed success formula in Digital Marketing. So if the agency tells you that they will produce result faster, then you must understand that their motive is to acquire you as their customer or we can say them as money minded. If it is SEO, it will definitely take one year (minimum) to feel the progress and in case of SEM, it will take minimum 3 months to structure a profitable campaign. Read How to get your website on the first page of the Search engine to get an idea of how SEO should work.
Search Engine Marketing is all about competitive analysis and online auction. You have to feel some conversions at the beginning stage and that rate of conversion should rise gradually. If this happens then your Digital marketing agency is doing the best for your business. Read How to outrank your competitor in Search Engine Marketing.
How to find whether your Digital Marketing Agency is cheating you or not?
Based on the above 6 steps you have to hire a Digital Marketing Agency. Now its time to evaluate them. Many small businesses don’t have an idea of what is Digital Marketing and how to do it successfully. They believe in false claims and become a victim at the end. Not all digital marketer can create a successful campaign at a short time. There will be both success and failure. So it is difficult for us to determine who is doing right and who is cheating us. You have to understand how they are changing their strategy to transform a low yielding campaign into a lucrative one. Not all reputed agencies are good and not new agencies are bad. Each and everyday marketing strategies are evolving. We need someone who can guide our business in a better way.
As I told earlier, you need to have all the access to real-time reports. Demand them the access for Google Analytics and Statcounter. This makes a good pair to understand the website visitors. Your Digital marketing agency cannot escape from you if you have the access to those analytics tools. If your marketing agency offers only weekly or monthly reports then you should understand that they are trying to cheat us.
For SEO assignments, access to Google Search Console is enough to determine their work quality. If you observe your backlink count is not increasing they we can understand that they didn’t build backlinks during the particular period. For keyword rankings, if you check the search term report and compare it will the previous period we can understand whether the agency is taking the campaign to the right direction or not. We can get the no of impressions, average position for each impression and clicks easily.
In case, if you hired a digital marketing agency for doing Search Engine Marketing then ask what is your current CTR. This one question is enough to screw them. The campaigns I monitor will have a CTR of 25% and plus. I’m not exaggerating, see the below image to look the CTR of one of my campaign. (I have removed the personal data for privacy reasons)
CTR (Click Through Rate) represents how relevant your campaign is. CTR= Clicks ÷ Ad Impressions. The above result was achieved in a period of 4 months. See I helped my client in achieving 10% conversion rate. Here conversion refers to actual sales. Apart from this, the client has got several enquires which will convert later. The above campaign belongs to a highly competitive niche. There are more than 15 companies bidding for the same keywords. By getting 25%+ CTR with an average position of 1.5 (Always at the first spot in Google) I just produced an awesome dominating campaign for my client.
It is not easy to get high CTR’s in all niches. It depends. Normally, if you have a CTR of 10% and above then your campaign can be classified as a successful campaign. If your CTR is between 6-9% then your campaign is at above average level. If your CTR is between 3-5% then your campaign is just eligible to participate in the auction (an average campaign) and it requires attention. Alas, if your campaign’s CTR is below 3% then it is time to begin an argument with your digital marketing agency/team. The CTR will tell you where your campaign stands. You should continue or terminate your contract with the marketing agency by considering both CTR and the conversion rate.
Hope this post on “How to choose the best digital marketing agency in India” is useful to you. Share this post to save your business friends from the cheating Digital Marketing agencies. Comment below, if you have any questions.