Being successful online is becoming less of a luxury and more of a necessity for many, many companies around the globe. The Internet has truly become the “global brain” that it was predicted to be. From companies whose sole focus is on e-commerce to those that mix brick-and-mortar with online sales, it is always important to be finding new ways to grow your online business.
Sometimes, success comes from doing your own research, taking courses, and trial-and-error. At other times, hiring an external consultant or partner can be the best way to get an instant injection of much-needed knowledge.
Of course, the devil is in the details, and you will need to evaluate at least 2-3 potential partner candidates to find out who can really do the job they are saying they can do.
If you are looking for an Internet marketing and advertising company to help you boost your online profits, here are 5 tips for choosing the right partner:
1. The company needs to have strong skill sets in 3 key areas: branding, optimization, and driving traffic:
Internet marketing is at the nexus of several intersecting – but very different – skill sets, including: the ability to create successful online branding campaigns, the ability to optimize websites for conversions, and the ability to drive traffic to a website. When interviewing partners, make sure that they can show evidence of strong skills in each of these areas.
2. Find a company who has access to the full range of optimization and metrics tools:
Strong Internet marketing and advertising companies are not only staffed with smart, experienced Web marketing people, but they need to have access to the right tools as well. Their Web marketing toolbox should include optimization tools to help your site perform better, as well as metrics tools to help track and report on their progress in supporting your site.
3. They should have a solid understanding of driving traffic through both natural search (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM):
To drive traffic effectively and to have all of the available options at their disposal, your partner should have a solid understanding of how to achieve results with both natural search (SEO or search engine optimization) and with paid and non-paid means (SEM or search engine marketing).
4. Make sure they have content experts on their team:
Another important tool for their consultant toolbox should be the ability to generate good content. This means having someone on the team who knows how to write content that site visitors actually want to read – and that attracts the attention of search engines at the same time.
5. Ensure you will have access to their top persons after the engagement starts:
The final component to success has to do with the business relationship you have with them, as well as your level of ongoing access to their top talent. Make sure that, after the engagement begins, you do not get shunted over to a midlevel or inexperienced person who know about 10% of what the founder knows.
Follow these 5 tips as you evaluate Internet marketing and advertising companies to work with.