4 Steps to Hiring an Inbound Marketing Agency
Choosing the right inbound marketing agency can make or break your marketing initiatives. You need to hire an inbound marketing agency that is a good fit with your business goals and culture. And great inbound marketing experts will adopt your company’s vision and align their marketing strategies with your goals.
Before you execute an agreement, make sure you know and understand the inbound marketing agency’s leadership. Meet those leading your inbound campaigns and who will be your direct contact at the company. Getting to know these individuals will help you create a more solid relationship on a go-forward basis.
Here are four steps to hiring an inbound marketing agency that will lead to a long and successful partnership.
1. Analyze Their Website
Is their website easy to navigate, does it make sense, and can you find everything you need? How many times do you click to find their services or “about” page? If they are focused on providing the best user experience, their website will reflect their expertise.
Does their website use a multi-channel approach such as content, video, images, and photos? A full-service inbound marketing agency will show their creative chops in all these areas. You should also look at how responsive the website is and if they use clear, obvious conversion points. A great website encourages you to provide your contact information for something of equal or greater value.
2. Check Out Their Content Marketing
Content marketing should position an inbound marketing agency as a thought leader and industry expert. Look to see if they blog regularly and how often. A good content marketing program runs on consistent, quality content. You should see regularly posted blogs. And they should give you an option to sign up to receive their blogs as well.
Are their blogs well-designed? You should be able to spot their author bylines, calls-to-action, and other tags. Look for simply designed blogs that are strategically organized. It should be easy to locate well-written, unique posts based on your keyword selections. Look for a balance of evergreen content with new and relevant insights.
Finally, well-optimized blog posts will have internal links to help you find other information on their website. An inbound marketing expert understands how links keep customers engaged and prevent them from clicking away.
3. Measure Their Inbound Marketing Tactics
Inbound marketing tactics like strong calls-to-action and effective landing pages help move prospects and leads through a website and engage them where they are in their buying process. Make sure any inbound agency you consider offers a wide variety of white papers, case studies, e-books, and other assets, targeted at each stage in the customer’s buying cycle. A key point in inbound marketing is capturing personal information to continue nurturing leads after they leave the website, so pay attention to opt-in forms, etc.
Determine their process after you download content. Do they send you to a thank-you page and offer a thank-you email with a link to the content? Inbound best practices usually require both efforts.
Look for other inbound tactics like progressive profiling on forms where questions appear based on information already collected about the lead. You also want to determine what marketing automation software they use and if they have certifications in any automation tools.
4. Analyze Their SEO Practices
Search engine optimization (SEO) best practices make websites easier to find on the web, thereby increasing your organic search rankings. Make sure any inbound marketing agency you consider follows SEO best practices such as creating unique, relevant meta titles and descriptions for each page on their website.
Do they use a variety of internal links to move visitors around their website? Is the content optimized for SEO such that it delivers the right content results for searches? You should be able to find plenty of relevant content that is SEO friendly.
Look to see if the URLs of individual pages contain keywords and that each page is unique. You want keywords in the URLs to help search engines match queries to page results. You do not want to see URLs with a string of numbers or special characters.
Finally, make sure they tagged all images with alt tags. Since search engines cannot classify pictures without alt tags, any inbound marketing agency worth its weight will use keyword dense alt tags. To check, hover your cursor over any photo. Examine how concise and relevant their alt tags are. Do they include phrases and keywords to describe the photo?
Partner With the Right Agency
Partnering with a full-service, top-quality inbound marketing agency can help you create digital marketing campaigns that boost your online presence and generate more traffic to capture more leads. Look for one with the above four sets and know you are choosing wisely.
KEO Marketing has nearly two decades of experience providing top-notch inbound and outbound marketing services to B2B companies looking to generate leads and drive sales.
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With more than 25 years of hands on marketing strategy and operations experience, Sheila Kloefkorn is dedicated to developing marketing strategies and plans that help clients succeed. Some of the world's largest brands have depended on Sheila for marketing programs that delivered tangible and substantial results. Specialties: B2B marketing, lead generation, lead nurturing, sales strategy, marketing strategy, competitive marketing strategy, social media, search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), mobile marketing, email marketing, website design, marketing plans.