How to Choose the Right Digital Marketing Agency

The best digital marketing agencies avoid these four pitfalls. Make sure you know how to spot them and know what to look for in your next marketing agency.


When it comes to your business flourishing, only the best will do. Your digital marketing strategy is an important factor in your business’s overall success, so you need to be sure that any agency you work with knows what they’re doing.

With so many digital marketing agencies out there, it can be difficult to know which one is right for you! Even digital marketing agencies on top marketing agency lists may not be a good fit for your business and your specific marketing needs. If you’ve ever had a negative experience with a digital marketing agency, we know how discouraging it can be.

We’ve compiled a list of the top red and green flags to look for in digital marketing companies so that you can be sure you’re making an informed decision and setting your business up for real success.

Red Flag #1: Poor Communication and Slow Response Time

The best seo marketing companies and digital marketing agencies understand that your business’s marketing needs change quickly and so does the digital marketing industry.

When you’re in initial talks with a potential marketing partner, pay attention to how and when they respond to your inquiries. If they are slow or unprepared upfront, you can expect that same poor attention to your business’s digital marketing.

The digital marketing strategist or account manager who oversees your business’s marketing success should always be prepared to meet your needs and available to rectify any concerns and implement new strategies in a timely manner.

As with any business, over-promising and under-delivering is always a red flag and should be taken seriously. The last thing you want is an unavailable agency that can’t update your website, manage reviews or send you quarterly reports quickly. Timely and professional communication is a foundational element to forming an effective relationship for your business’s marketing success and it’s one thing you should not compromise on. 

Red Flag #2: They Only Offer Inflexible, Pre-Set Plans

The best digital marketing agencies understand that marketing plans aren’t one size fits all. Your marketing agency should talk to you about your goals and build a plan that helps you meet those specific goals.

Even if the agency has a set of plans they offer clients, they should still be willing to flex those services to give you a personalized strategy that works for your business.

If an agency is trying to lock you into a plan that offers no flexibility or customization, find an agency that will actually work with you and cares about how you want your business to grow.

Red Flag #3: You Don’t Have Access to Your Marketing Data

If an agency refuses to give you access to your business’s marketing analytics, that’s a red flag. You should work to find an agency that will let you track your marketing success alongside them. When an agency shares the results of their marketing efforts with you, it means they are confident in their strategies and transparent about both positive and negative results.

A great digital marketing agency will allow you to see your data, and they’ll help you understand the analytics as they work to improve your marketing performance. You deserve to see where your marketing dollars are being spent and how that spend is affecting your business.

When you understand how your marketing is performing, you can make adjustments so that your brand better resonates with your audience. If you don’t have insights into how your marketing dollars are being spent and the business they are generating for you, you won’t make the right adjustments and you’ll waste time and energy.

The best digital marketing companies will always be transparent with data and help educate you on the best course of action. Don’t settle for anything less! 

Red Flag #4: They Promise to Get You to the Top of Google Immediately

It’s cause for concern if an agency promises to get your business to the top of the search results. Achieving a high ranking in search results isn’t something that can be promised, even by the best seo marketing agencies. 

Improving your business’s current rankings is always possible, but it takes time and strategy. It’s worth it to find an agency that is honest about what it takes to improve your local search and organic seo results.

In general, a 3 to 6 month timeframe is realistic to see an improvement in your business’s search ranking. If an agency talks about a shorter timeframe and they talk about paid advertising, that is a legitimate strategy. However, if they neglect organic and local search engine optimization efforts and only focus on paid advertising, they aren’t setting your business up for success.

Having your business’s organic and local seo strategies in place sets your business up for long term digital marketing success. If at any time you need to cut back on paid advertising because of budget, your business will be at risk of plummeting in the search results if those foundations weren’t built and paid ads were the only thing keeping it afloat.

Final Thoughts

When shopping for a digital marketing agency: look for a partner, not a service provider.

The best digital marketing agencies will always be easy to communicate with, transparent with data and honest about what they can offer your business. That is how a partner functions and it’s what your business deserves!

Keep these red flags in mind, and make sure to find a digital marketing agency that partners with you rather than offering a one-size-fits-all solution. This will save you money and time, and you’ll see better growth with an honest, transparent agency that is dedicated to your success.

RevLocal has been working with small businesses and multi location brands for over a decade on improving their online presence and providing effective digital marketing solutions in the face of rapid change. To learn more about how we can help your business grow, contact us today for a free demo!

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