Healthy relationships are built on trust. Client-agency relationships are no different. As a business owner, you need to surround yourself with individuals and organizations that want you to succeed.
At our agency, we repeatedly tell clients that when they succeed, we succeed. This philosophy is central to our corporate identity, which is why we value transparency and focus on the results of our efforts.
Unfortunately, most agencies do not internalize this way of thinking. In fact, most agencies spend a majority of their time convincing their clients of the value that they provide rather than actually providing it. As you can imagine, demonstrating value that is not present requires dishonesty.
The rest of this article seeks to explain three red flags to be cautious of when working with a digital marketing agency.
1. Black hat SEO tactics
Website traffic is a key metric that business owners and marketers alike use to determine the performance of a webpage or site. Due to the pressure on agencies to deliver results, some may buy clicks and traffic for their clients.
If this is done under an agreement with the client, then alright. Using bought traffic to improve domain authority is an option for business owners. However, I do not advise it as a viable option as it can lead to penalties from Google, netting a loss for domain authority.
Nevertheless, some agencies will buy traffic for a client without them knowing, which is neither transparent or ethical.
Although it is difficult to detect ‘bought’ traffic, you should have regular discussions with your agency about your traffic and traffic sources. In addition, you should see conversion rate as a key performance indicator.
2. Unauthentic reviews on agency’s website
This second red flag is more commonplace than you think. Fabricating customer reviews is a common practice for most business. However, it gives business owners unrealistic expectations. In addition, some agencies will only have reviews on their own website. The reason for doing so is having control over the reviews that consumers can see. If you only allow reviews on your website, you can manually delete the ones that are not favorable.
As a business owner, you may not want to partner with a company that does not value the authentic opinion of their customers as a primary component of their image. On the contrary, you should look for a company that values authenticity. Furthermore, the way an agency conducts their own marketing & branding efforts is a key indicator of how they will conduct yours.
All of our reviews are posted by real customers in public forums. Therefore, you can see them for yourself right now if you’d like. The testimonials posted on our website are directly sourced from those public forums.
We implement the same reputation management practices on which we coach our clients.
Some agencies make guarantees that they cannot deliver. If you have read our blog, you may recall our explanation of how digital marketing success requires time. The amount of time effective digital marketing requires depends on a variety of factors, including the industry’s competitiveness. Therefore, you are setting yourself up for disappointment when buying into guarantees.
On the contrary, what an agency should commit to in their client-agency relationships are transparency, dedication, and the implementation of best practices, which are the promises that we make to our clients.
To see more information about our services and how we can help your business grow through local marketing efforts, visit our homepage.