Being a small business owner can be quite busy and challenging job. You’re often playing with restrictive budgets and timescales, which often leads in to a fall for some of these common mistakes a small business owner must avoid.
Mistake #1: Choosing an agency that promises instant, unrealistic results.
Be wary of agencies that promise you first place rankings in search engines within a short time frame. SEO and other digital strategies can deliver big results, but this never happens overnight. Search engines such as Google take time to index websites and search results. And, as the basis of a good campaign will involve slow and steady growth through content, onsite and offsite link building, website optimisation, social media and many other strategies, no agency can promise you instant success without being dishonest.
• Mistake #2: Choosing an agency that uses shady practices to get results.
Keyword stuffing (adding multiple keywords into website pages to try and boost rankings), hidden links and text, questionable linking schemes, paid links, paid followers and other dodgy practices are not only a waste of your digital budget – they can get your website blacklisted, too. As search engines get smarter, they are quickly learning to spot the websites that are trying to sneak their way into to the results pages. Penalties can be mild, or they can lead to your website losing ranking drastically. Once a website has received penalties and is on Google’s watch list, it becomes nearly impossible to rank even for your company name. It will then take years to regain lost rankings, giving your competitors plenty of time to take your place online.
• Mistake #3: Not asking for case studies and references.
Failing to ask for case studies and references can lead to disappointment (and lost costs) down the line if the agency you choose is not able to deliver. Case studies are especially useful if you want to see what the agency did for a company in your specific industry or a similar industry. References and testimonials are also essential. This will give you a better idea of how previous and current clients view the agency. Doing a bit of homework by researching potential agencies online will help you too – when you are meeting the agency however, don’t be shy to ask for references.
• Mistake #4: Assuming that the largest agencies are the best agencies.
Another mistake that is often made is the assumption that huge agencies must be the best. Remember that there are many agencies found around the world, ranging from large scale companies to smaller firms. Many of the very large agencies have a small team of top marketers on board, with a large pool of junior marketers who actually deal with clients. This means that unless you are a big enough client to warrant assistance from the senior marketers, you will often end up being delegated to a junior exec who may not have a lot of experience. In a smaller agency, there are often fewer clients and a more consistent team of senior specialists who have the capacity to give the desired attention to each client’s needs. Moreover the smaller agency will generally have lesser overheads, which means you may be able to receive the best of both worlds, quality service at reasonable cost.
• Mistake #5: Going for the cheapest option.
A cheap freelancer or a trainee may sound a good bet at first, but more often than not, they are going to provide you with poor results, too. If you find a good agency and they happen to be the most affordable, then that is a win all round. But do not only consider costs when choosing your preferred digital partner. Ideally, what you want is someone who has a solid understanding of best practice strategies, experience in what they do, a good track record, sound ethics in the way that they operate, commitment to quality and accountability for the results. That will end up being the most cost-effective option in the long run, while also giving you the best chance of real results.
At BoostX we understand small business challenges and provide end-to-end service to help your business create a perfect digital strategy to convert those strangers to visitors to leads to customers to promoters. To find out how it works just get in touch with our team on 01133452110