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Six Signs of A Bad Digital Marketing Agency

In today’s world, digital marketing plays a crucial role in putting your business on the map. Our tech-driven world constitutes people spending more time on the internet than anywhere else, and that is why a robust digital presence is imperative for businesses today.

However, there’s a limit to how much you can digitally boost your business alone and without professional help. To gain improved website ranking, profits, high lead conversion rates, and an interactive social media presence, you require a reputed digital marketing agency to take the load off your back.

You may likely run into agencies that promise to deliver the moon and a few stars in your palms but put little to no effort into it. Therefore, before you sign on the dotted line, here are six warning signs of a bad digital marketing agency you need to look out for.  If you’re currently outsourcing and you still see these signs in your agency’s efforts, consider switching ASAP.

1. Making Everything About SEO:

There is no doubt that SEO is a crucial part of a sound digital marketing strategy, but it is not the only component. Many incompetent digital marketing agencies would focus their entire marketing strategy on SEO and how your business can’t survive without it. In reality, they just lack the necessary knowledge. For instance, what if your business niche is something that Google’s algorithm does not actively index? In that case, a strategy based solely on SEO will yield insignificant results.

Any individual with a firm grip on SEO basics will know that it is a great way to increase organic revenue, but only when combined with other digital marketing tips and tricks. Digital marketing entails much more than just optimizing content and webpages for search engine visibility.

The truth is that SEO does not work in isolation as it is intertwined with other attributes such as PR, customer usability, website design, social media interaction, etc. Therefore, any agency offering SEO in a vacuum is a big no-no because a successful digital marketing strategy is an all-rounder.

2. No Authentic Customer Testimonials:

Customer reviews can make or break a person’s decision to use that particular company and its services. That is why companies are very pushy and persistent with customers to give them honest feedback. To hire a company for a crucial task such as handing over your business’s digital future calls for thorough investigation and verification. You can quickly gauge an agency’s success rate through client testimonials and references.

It would be best to skip over “verifiable” testimonials and reach down to feedback and reviews posted on the agency’s website. You should take inside information from former clients and their experience about the agency’s services. If there are few to no reviews on the agency’s website, consider this a red flag. It means that either their business is a scam, or their services are dissatisfactory.

3. Making False Promises:

Digital marketing agencies are pro at up-selling their services and potential. Naturally, that is what marketing is all about! However, this can go either way depending on how good or bad the agency is. Who wouldn’t want to work with an agency that promises XYZ and delivers a W along with the three? On the other hand, if the agency cannot even provide one of the three, it won’t be very reassuring.

However, any quality digital marketing agency will never say that they absolutely “guarantee” the number one spot on SERPs. Algorithms driven by AI for SEO purposes continuously evolve. Agencies bluntly putting out such claims will always fail to elaborate on exactly how they will improve your website’s ranking. Hence, it is better to give a thumbs up to agencies that present you with a realistic strategy to spread the marketing efforts on different digital platforms.

4. Taking Control Out of Your Hands

Hiring an agency to help with your business’s digital marketing strategy doesn’t mean that they get complete control over logins, data, and reporting. It is a mutual relationship where the agency works alongside your business’s relevant personnel to accommodate you with a strategy that coincides with your business’s goals. An agency with a shoddy background will insist on gaining your sensitive data and login credentials. They can leverage this information into keeping the contract going.

It is not advisable because a bad agency can hold this information hostage should the time come when a decision has to be made to change providers. Therefore, keep an eye on control-freak marketing agencies.

5. Outsourcing Their Services

Quality results are driven when a marketing agency develops a specific strategy for your business’s objectives. Agencies who outsource their services, such as link building and content creation, to other companies primarily don’t generate quality results. For instance, outsourcing link building to a cheaper company means that they will be building links fast by compromising the quality, and the same goes for content creation. Such agencies go through all this trouble just to save money.

Therefore, it is essential to choose an agency that provides all its services in-house. Besides, if the agency you choose to work with, in turn, outsources your work to another agency, why work with it in the first place?

6. Pitching Untailored Business Proposals:

A digital marketing agency that claims to cater to all your digital marketing needs without bothering to develop a personalized strategy is a complete waste of time. Every business works on a unique structure and functions to achieve different goals. If your digital marketing agency does not have the time and effort to pitch you a personalized proposal, how can it even ‘guarantee’ favorable results?

A good agency will always provide the necessary information and identify the problems in your current marketing strategy. It would be best if you steered clear of agencies coming up with a generic approach and offering only results rather than a solution.

Don’t Ignore the Signs

Your business deserves and requires the best strategy and optimum results. You’ll miss plenty of opportunities to expand your business if you neglect the importance of digital marketing. However, that does not mean that you handover this mission to just any agency that says ‘number one ranking.’ When choosing a digital marketing agency, you should be thorough with your research on the potential agencies you find fit for your business. You should follow this list of warning signs before committing to a plan.  Ensure the agency understands what your business needs in terms of digital visibility, targeted audience, and increased profits.

Shehbaz Malik
Shehbaz Malik
A computer science graduate. Interested in emerging technological wonders that are making mankind more approachable to explore the universe. I truly believe that blockchain advancements will bring long-lasting revolutions in people’s lives. Being a blogger, I occasionally share my point of views regarding the user experience of digital products.


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