You Get What You Pay ForThere’s a great little mp3 player by SanDisk; 4gig capacity, ultra small, perfect for the gym, and it costs around $50. A bunch of tech reviewers put it on their top choice lists. There’s one small snag, it slightly distorts the music. There’s an ever-so-slight pitch change, nearly impossible to hear with the naked ear, but pretty noticeable when you hook it up to sensitive audio equipment.
So a hand full of buyers complained on the SanDisk forums. “How dare they release a shoddy product!” “When are you going to fix this?” SanDisk responded to this small crowd of dissent – and I’m paraphrasing here – “uh, what did you expect, it’s 50 bucks?”
It’s not often that a major company comes out and says “you get what you pay for,” in fact, it’s unique enough to be a semi-inflammatory news story. But the phrase goes unsaid in almost all marketing. Buy a set of luggage at Wal-Mart and it falls apart in 6 months. Buy tools in the supermarket checkout lane and they snap when you’re trying to force that lug nut tight. Buy some discount chicken on special, and surprise, smells rotten the next day. Part of being an informed consumer is reading between the lines and making smart decisions.
A similar thing happens when you go shopping for services on the internet. Building custom websites, or exercising a Social Media Marketing program is very time consuming. It takes careful planning, and good systems in the background to make everything run smoothly. There are a handful of shortcuts, but at the end of the day, you’re trading your hard-earned money for someone else’s expertise and work.
Here’s a great list to use when you’re interviewing agencies:
– Ask for Results
Ask every Internet Marketing Agency you are evaluating for a list of top 3 Google rankings. They should be able to provide you with at least 50 top 3 rankings for competitive keywords. If they show you that they took a client to the first position for “red and blue table supplier in Denver, CO”, you know what to do.
– Ask for References
The best SEO agencies will be happy to give you the contact information of at least 3 clients. Call them and ask them about their experience with the agency. Ask for specifics. “They are really cool” means nothing. Ask them how much their traffic increased, about their rankings and how responsive the agency is when they have problems.
– Ask About Their Tactics
All SEOs have different tactics and do things in different order. Ask them if they are going to be creating content for you and what link building tactics they are going to use. Ask these questions in person or over the phone because if you send an email, they have time to do some research. You don’t want them to experiment new tactics with you; you want them to know exactly what they’re going to do for you.
– Do They Speak “Geeky Language” or Business Language?
Do they talk about organic traffic and rankings only or do they also talk about revenues, profit and sales? The best SEOs are business people and understand that it’s all about business, not rankings.
Questions like this help you be an informed consumer when shopping for internet marketing services. The more you understand the process, the better choices you can make. Don’t get stuck on the receiving end of “uh, you get what you pay for!”