There are many different companies that provide online marketing services, but not all of them are created equal. It’s not uncommon for companies to use big data to track the success of their campaigns, but a lot of the tactics they use to get there are questionable. To learn more about the various players in the online marketing sphere, I spoke with Michael Hyatt, founder of Online Marketing Bureau and author of The HubSpot Guide to PR and Marketing, who shared some of his wisdom about online marketing agencies.
The Growth of Online Marketing Agencies
If you’re interested in getting into the online marketing world, you’ll undoubtedly encounter different players that promise to get you ahead of the competition, but nothing about the way they operate in reality lives up to that hype.
According to HubSpot, online marketing agencies typically grow by 20% each year, and the industry as a whole saw annual revenue reach $16.43 billion by 2022.
One of the reasons why online marketing agencies grow so rapidly is because many smaller companies lack the inbound marketing methods and technology that allow larger agencies to scale their operations. As a result, smaller agencies are often forced to specialize in a narrow marketing area (e.g., SEO) or to rely on expensive subcontractors to provide some of the services that they need. This can leave a bad taste in the mouths of customers, and it’s a large contributing factor to the growing boycott trend on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook.
Differences Between Agencies
You may be wondering what sets one agency apart from another, and it comes down to a few key differences. First, the pricing models vary from company to company, so be sure to check out their respective packages before making a decision. Next, make sure that the company you’re considering using has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. This ensures that they’re a legitimate company that can be trusted with your brand’s reputation.
The final differentiator between agencies is what their services entail. Some agencies only provide SEO or social media marketing, while others can provide a full suite of inbound marketing, content creation, and delivery solutions.
Key Differences Between SEO and Inbound Marketing
As we’ve established, not all agencies are created equal, and one of the biggest differences between an SEO agency and an inbound marketing agency is the services that they provide. An SEO agency focuses on getting your website listed on the organic results page of search engines like Google, while an inbound marketing agency creates a steady stream of engaging content that builds trust and credibility.
There are four clear differences between SEO and inbound marketing. First, SEO agencies come up with keywords and keyphrases for you to optimize your content around. While you might have a general idea of what keywords and keyphrases are used to find your website, it’s likely that you’re not going to be particularly knowledgeable about them and how to apply them to your own content.
An inbound marketing agency will conduct keyword research with you to determine which words and phrases to prioritize for growth, and they will help you build a strategy to reach those words and phrases through content.
Second, SEO and inbound marketing both have a focus on keywords, however, SEO focuses on gaining a ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs) and inbound marketing focuses on content marketing.
A third difference between agencies is that SEO agencies focus on the short-term gains of getting a high ranking on the search engines, while inbound marketing agencies establish long-term gains through building a trustworthy and credible brand.
The last difference is that SEO agencies measure their results in terms of website traffic, while inbound marketing agencies focus on interaction and engagement metrics like click-through rates, dwell time, and conversions.
How to Choose a Good Agency
If you’re looking to take the plunge into the world of online marketing, you might be wondering how to find the right agency to help you achieve your goals. Keep in mind that not all agencies are created equal, so it’s important to do your research before signing on the dotted line.
It would be best to work with an agency that is a member of the Online Marketing Society (OMS), the Institute of Digital Marketing and Technology (iDMT), or the Australian Digital Marketing Association (ADMA). These are all legitimate organizations that provide organizations that you can contact for more information.
To determine whether an agency is up to par, you can check out their customer reviews on websites like Yelp or Google, and be sure to ask for references if you call their office to get more information. You can also contact the Better Business Bureau to see whether they’ve received any complaints against the agency, and the Better Business Bureau provides you with the contact information for the agency in case you have a problem.
To learn more about the differences between good and bad agencies, as well as tips on choosing a reputable agency, be sure to read Michael Hyatt’s blog post, “How to Choose a Good Digital Marketing Agency.”
What to Look Forward To
Having a good digital marketing agency on your side is a huge step toward moving forward with your inbound marketing efforts. Having a team of professionals helping you identify keywords and develop content, analyze traffic, and set up marketing automation – that’s what you’re looking forward to, right?
If you’re looking for a team of experts to help you improve your SEO and inbound marketing efforts, then look no further because here’s a list of the top 10 things you should know about SEO and inbound marketing.
SEO is short for “Search Engine Optimization,” and it entails adjusting your website’s content and architecture to improve your odds of appearing on a relevant search results page (aka, the organic results page) when a user performs a search with your keyphrase or keyword.
The primary goal of SEO is to increase the number of visitors to your site, and although that may seem like an easy enough task, it takes a good strategy to pull it off successfully.
The first step in the SEO process is to get found on the search engines by doing the following:
- Keyword research – this entails coming up with a list of keyphrases or keywords that you think are relevant to your niche, products, or services.
- Title tags – this is the text that appears in the small box (or title) above a website’s content.
- Meta descriptions – this is the text that appears under the title in the search results page.
- Content – creating original, valuable content that will attract, educate, and entertain the target audience is key to gaining SEO. Remember, people find content through search engines, so having high-quality content is a must.
- Links – backlinks are important because they’re another way for websites to appear on the search engines’ pages. When someone clicks on your link, they’re taken to another website. So, if you’ve got a blog or website with valuable content, you’ll want to create backlinks to that content, especially if you want to gain some SEO.
- Robots.txt – this file may be found at the root of your website and instructs the search engine robots (also known as spiders) on your site’s structure and which areas to crawl and index. If you’ve got a WordPress website, you can use the built-in robots.txt generator to create this file quickly and easily, or you can use a dedicated free tool like Screaming Frog to generate a robots.txt file for you.
Inbound Marketing is an approach to marketing that focuses on engaging the target audience through content creation that is fueled by an interest to solve a problem rather than simply sell a product. This type of marketing is based on the idea that customers should be able to find the information they need within your website and that your website should be clearly written and logically organized. Inbound Marketing is all about establishing a trust between you and your customers through transparent and frequent communication, and it can be considered a form of customer relationship management (CRM).
To get started, you need to ask yourself the following questions: