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Tips for Finding the Best Digital Marketing Agency for Your Business

Tips for Finding the Best Digital Marketing Agency for Your Business

Digital Marketing is essential for the growth of any business in this age of internet marketplaces. Don’t ignore it, and don’t just go for the cheapest agency with no expertise and nothing to offer. You should be prepared and educated about your options and the services that would be most beneficial to your business.

You wouldn’t want to hire a business lawyer without being prepared, right?

When choosing an internet marketing company, you want to be well-informed and prepared.

You may be wondering “So, what do I need to know?”

Before you even have the first meeting, here are some preliminary steps you should take:

1. Do Your Research

Familiarize yourself with the basic concepts of SEO before discussing options with agencies. There are tons of free online resources to introduce you to SEO such as Search Engine Land, Think With Google and Search Engine Journal.

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Being well-informed not only helps you know which services you need most, but also protects you from being taken advantage of by a company looking to “pull the wool over your eyes” so to speak.

Research your own website, your competitors, and the demographic of expected customers. Use Google and Bing to search for terms related to your business and see where you’re currently standing in the search engine results page (SERP).

2. Consider Reviews and Reputation

Once you’re familiar with the basics of internet marketing and Search Engine Optimization, it’s time to do your homework on the company (or companies) you’re considering hiring. Start with a simple Google search to learn about the company’s services, history, and location. Look over their ratings on Yelp, Google and Facebook as well. Get creative.

This is where you will (hopefully) get the unbiased, unfiltered report on their performance. This is like asking a passerby where they recommend to go for lunch, rather than walking into a cafe and asking “how’s your food?”.

Note: If you’d prefer to have face-to-face meetings, then narrow your search that way, however, a good SEO agency should be keeping you informed via emails, phone calls, etc.

3. Consider your Budget

Before you contact a company to discuss working together, you want to have a general figure in mind of how much you’re willing and able to spend on SEO, SEM, web design, social media marketing, or anything else that comes to mind.

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In general, most digital marketing agencies will tend to work with similar size companies – meaning, they may specialize in small, locally-owned businesses, or, larger, more established ones like major car dealerships. This will affect their pricing structure. Through your research, you will probably be able to tell if your business aligns with their specialty.

The agency may bring up the topic fairly early in the conversation to make sure you’re on the same page. Don’t just go with the cheapest bidder. If you want results, expect to hear prices from reputable agencies from $1,500 to $10,000-plus monthly. This may sound scary at first, but the return on investment is almost always more than double what you’re spending.

Ponder this:

If you were to pay $2,500/month for SEO, and your website then starts ranking at the top of search results…

Then say at least 500 people/month search for your goods and/or services…

And only 100 of them actually landed on your website…

Then only 50 of them became clients…

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If you were to only make $100 off of each client, you just made at least $5,000 that month from new clientele.

Not too shabby, eh?

Also, when you contact a digital marketing agency, try to be prepared to answer the following questions:

  • How is your business now – slow, busy, dropping off?
  • Where would you like to see growth? Did you recently start offering a new product or service? Did a competitor just open up down the street – how is that affecting you?

Remember that whoever you decide to hire for SEO, the more transparent and cooperative you are, the more likely you are to see better results. Meaning, provide all the details you can about your business. Being able to provide your own insight and knowledge as described above will help digital marketing agencies tailor your website to work in your market, and of course, increase your business.

Next Steps:

Now that you’ve educated yourself on SEO and the company you’re considering working with, it’s time to meet with the agency and ask questions.

The expert/company you hire should be willing and enthusiastic to explain how their services will help your business grow. Ask questions, clarify what services come with what “package,” and confirm timelines and contracts and what they need from you.

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Finally, you should have the answers to the following questions before signing any agreement: 

  • How do you measure the success of your SEO campaigns?
  • What will you do to improve my site’s search engine rankings?
  • Do you adhere to Google’s guidelines?
  • Are you experienced in optimizing for “local SEO?” (This question is especially important for smaller, brick-and-mortar businesses)
  • Will you keep me informed on changes you’re making to my site?
  • How will we communicate?
  • How many people are on your team, and who will be working on this assignment?
  • What happens when the project is over?
  • Do you offer “maintenance” services? (Periodically updating the back-end of your site and optimizing for SEO). If so, what are the fees, and how long is the contract?

    After these questions are answered, confirm that you will still maintain ownership of all content, then of course confirm fees and payment.

Wrap-up

Being prepared, doing research, and asking the right questions can help you ensure that you end up working with the SEO agency that best fits your needs. Remember to stay engaged throughout the process as well! Ask for updates, and review proposals and content to make sure they are accurate and aimed at meeting your goals.

That being said, you’re hiring someone so that you don’t have to take care of this aspect of your business yourself. It’s a full time job; you should focus on running your business. If they take up too much of your time or seem to be clueless without you – ditch them. Hire someone who does their own homework, producing results to the point where you’re doing what you do best – taking care of the results being sent.

Featured photo credit: Jay Freidman via entrepreneur.com

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Kyra Taylor

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Last Updated on December 30, 2018

18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools (2019 Updated)

18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools (2019 Updated)

No one can dispute the countless benefits technology has brought us. It’s undoubtedly allowed us to connect, perform, improve and leverage our resources beyond what was once imaginable.

If you’re not taking advantage of one of the hundreds of time management apps and tools out there, you’re definitely missing a trick.

But with so many apps to choose from, how do you know which ones to use? Well, this will depend on your needs, but we’ve put together a list of 18 of the very best time management apps that can help you with the most common time management challenges.

Let’s dive straight into the list…

1. Rescue Time — Use your time wisely

    If you have doubts that you’re using your time sensibly, this app will send you weekly reports to indicate what things are stealing your time. You may be shocked to discover how much time you’re actually wasting.

    Download Rescue Time

    2. Remember The Milk — Keep on top of all your tasks

      If you’re struggling to manage everything you have to do, and you work with many different devices, then this is the app for you. It’s a great free tool which is compatible with your mobile, computer, Gmail, Outlook, etc. It helps you to manage your tasks easily, and reminds you of them – wherever you are.

      Download Remember the Milk

      3. Focus Booster – Boost motivation to complete tasks

        This app is based on the principles of the Pomodoro Technique, and is aimed at individuals who procrastinate and feel overwhelmed by tasks. It’s designed to enhance your focus and remove any anxiety you might have with time pressures.

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        Download Focus Booster

        4. Toggl – Keep track of time spent on projects and tasks

          This is a great alternative to time-sheets, if you need to track how much time you spend on different projects. Effective time management starts with being clear on exactly how much time you actually spend on your projects and tasks, and then through analysis, working out how you can manage them more effectively.

          Download Toggl

          5. Dropbox — Store and send large files easily

            There are many apps that allow you to transfer content from your computer to other devices – but Dropbox is free and easier to use than the others. With the Dropbox app, you can even access and share important files on the go.

            Download Dropbox

            6. Evernote — Keep all your notes in one place

              Evernote is a free productivity tool that allows you to capture all your ideas, thoughts and images in many different ways (e.g., with voice, notes or images).  You can even record your meetings, interviews, speeches and ideas, create lists, add voice or text attachments, and share your files with friends. You can also sync Remember The Milk with Evernote to really optimize your time.

              Download Evernote

              7. Mind42 — Focus on tasks at hand with mind mapping

                Mind mapping is a great productivity technique, and Mind42 is the best free mind mapping app currently available. It helps you to become more organized by focusing your thoughts – thereby gaining clarity on what needs to be done.

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                Download Mind42

                8. SyncBackFree — Back up and sync your files effortlessly

                  This free software allows you to back up, restore and synchronize your files easily. It not only saves you time now – but also in the future. If you have never backed up your files before, you should definitely take a look at this pivotal tool.

                  Download SnycBackFree

                  9. MyLifeOrganized (MLO) — Manage your to-do lists effectively

                    Check this out if you find it difficult to manage all your tasks, to work with your to-do lists, and to organize your goals. This task management system helps you to target what you should be focusing on to reach your objectives. It automatically generates to-do lists, with priority actions for your immediate attention so that you can track your progress methodically.

                    Download MyLifeOrganized (MLO)

                    10. 1Password — Have all your passwords remembered

                      This app allows you to keep all your passwords in one encrypted database, protected by one password. This saves you time when you forget your passwords and need to retrieve them. It also allows you to use various passwords for different accounts so you don’t compromise on security.

                      Download 1Password

                      11. Pocket — Keep your eye on the ball

                        When you’re surfing the web, it’s easy to get distracted by enticing and fascinating websites. Use this tool to save your ‘finds’ to access and read later on at a convenient time which will not impact on your immediate work.

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                        Download Pocket

                        12. [email protected] — Boost your attention span

                          This amazing app combines neuroscience and music to boost your productivity. According to the developers, it’s possible to increase your attention span by up to 400%! Ideal for those who find it difficult to focus while studying, working or reading.

                          Download [email protected]

                          13. Launchy — Interact with your computer in a smart way

                            This small and simple tool allows you to launch your documents, project files, folders, and bookmarks with just a few keystrokes. This makes life so much easier as you don’t need to go through the start menu to access what you want.

                            Download Launchy

                            14. Forest — Boost your focus by growing a forest

                              This unique and fun app helps you stay focused and on-track. The concept is simple: whenever you want to focus, plant a virtual tree. If you stay focused, the tree will grow. If you lose focus, the tree will die. As the app’s name implies, you can grow multiple trees to create a virtual forest!

                              Download Forest

                              15. Trello — Track your projects in a highly visual way

                                This is a hugely popular app that you may already be familiar with. It works by allowing you to create cards for tasks that you need to complete. Each card moves across the Trello board (which is typically broken into columns such as To Do, In Progress, and Completed) as your start, work on and complete the associated task.

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                                Download Trello

                                16. Wunderlist — Digitalize your to-do lists

                                  Purchased by Microsoft in 2015, Wunderlist is an easy to use, feature-packed to-do list app. From planning a holiday, to sharing a shopping list with a partner, or managing multiple work projects, Wunderlist will keep you on top of all your tasks.

                                  Download Wunderlist

                                  17. TimeTree — Have a shared calendar with your family

                                    This app allows families or teams to share multiple calendars and appointments. So, whether you’re planning a party, or run a local sports team, Time Tree can keep everyone up-to-date with all current and upcoming activities and events.

                                    Download Time Tree

                                    18. Todoist — Capture and order all your tasks and activities easily

                                      Todoist is close to being the ultimate digital to-do list. It’s available via browsers and apps, and lets you schedule all your tasks and activities. Each item can be flagged for priority as well as given a due date. There is also a neat option to add notes to any of your tasks.

                                      Download Todoist

                                      The above list covers what we consider to be the very best time management apps and tools. And the good news is – that many of them are completely free of charge! So, what are you waiting for? Select the ones that will be the most valuable to you – and begin boosting your productivity now!

                                      Oh, and one more thing… Take a look at a couple of our other articles that will help further streamline your time management:

                                      40 Top Productivity Apps for iPhone and 20 Quick Tips For Better Time Management

                                      More Recommended Productivity Experts on Lifehack

                                      • Leon Ho — The Founder and CEO of Lifehack, which he share productivity hacks to make life easier
                                      • Carl Pullein — A renowned productivity and time management coach
                                      • Mark Pettit — A Business Coach for ambitious entrepreneurs who want to achieve more by working less

                                      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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