If you're searching for a web marketing company to help you grow your online presence and increase profits, these are the criteria you should look for (at a minimum).
Search Engine Optimization
When interviewing Austin web marketing companies, be sure to ask what kind of search engine optimization talent they have in-house. This is critical. Because after all, even if you have excellent lead-generation tools on your site, it won't matter if nobody can find your website.
Lead Generation Strategies
Things like search engine optimization, pay-per-click and online PR can get people to your website. But what do you do with them once they're on your site? How do you convert your traffic into sales? These are lead generation questions, and your web marketing company should be able to answer them without hesitation. They should understand how to get your web visitors to respond in some way. Otherwise, your traffic will never amount to sales.
Business blogs are all the rage right now. There are many reasons for this. Blogs give publishing power to even the most unskilled of web novices. If you can type and send an email, you can publish content to a blog. For these reasons and more, ask your web marketing company if they can set you up with a blog and train you on how to use it.
Who's going to be updating and managing your website, you or the web marketing firm? This is an important question to ask before selecting a web marketing company. Here's why. Some website marketing companies build sites that only a programmer can manage. Such a website can not be updated by the average Joe or Jane -- it will take the programmer's assistance. So each time you want to update your website, you'll have to pay the web marketing company to do it for you.
If you ask me, this kind of approach is outdated. With the abundance of content-management tools available today, there's no reason you can't have an easy-to-manage website. For example, when I build websites for clients, I often use WordPress. This blog program can be configured in such a way that it serves as both a blog and a website. Best of all, the website owner can add content and make updates ... without any programming skills to speak of. If this kind of usability is important to you (and it should be), ask your web designer or web marketing company about it. If they tell you they don't offer anything like that, you may want to keep shopping around.
Web Marketing Success Stories
Any web marketing company should be able to share some success stories with you. Even if they've only been in business a short while, they should have some case studies to share. If they don't, you can consider yourself their guinea pig. Are you comfortable with that role?
These are just a few of the things you should look for in a web marketing company. These are the criteria I feel are most important, but you can probably add to my list with your own criteria. By all means do so!
* You may republish this article online if you retain the author's byline and the active hyperlinks below. Copyright 2007, Brandon Cornett.
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