Does my relationship with my Online Marketing suppliers impact my results?

For sure, pro-active clients who fully involve their partners will outperform others.

We’ve worked with hundreds of clients of all shapes and sizes over the years. Even amongst those in the same industry or marketplace its fair to say that no two businesses have the same precise strategy or even identical targets, for the simple reason that no two companies’ goals will be identical, they probably won’t be the same size businesses or have started trading at the same time.

As we’ve often been heard to comment, in either the decade in Seriously Helpful Online Marketing or five prior years as Netcallidus, despite these differences we have never had a client campaign penalised or a website banned. But what we have noticed is that even amongst a raft of well-performing campaigns, some do slightly better than others. That leads us to consider what factors influence the best results.

Regular readers will know that at Seriously Helpful, unlike most agencies, we don’t just guess at budgets and pluck figures out of hot air. We have built several algorithms (actually just fancy excel spreadsheets) that can pull in various sources of data to arrive at what we consider to be the sweet spot from a financial perspective of how much budget each month to create an optimum effective Online Marketing campaign. So skimping on budget, or spending too much too soon, is certainly a factor in success.

One of the other main factors we unearthed that really does make a difference is the client approach. You really can be an ideal client who will help get the best from your agency.

As the comments above regarding algorithms hopefully suggest, spending the most doesn’t necessarily make you the best client or deliver the best results, In fact, our biggest ever client (spending over £10,000 a month a decade ago) was one of the worst we’ve ever had and that’s nothing whatsoever to do with the sector they were in – they had the wrong attitude, approach and were trying to spend too much too quickly, despite advice to the contrary.

Being friendly and approachable obviously helps too but that alone won’t always win through to make your website perform optimally.

So what can you do as a client to get the best from your Online Marketing agency?

  • Get them involved as early as possible – even if you don’t yet have a website or even a fully-fledged strategy worked out it’s a good idea to get your agency onside. They can help you research market sectors and untapped opportunities. Once the target is clear they can help define the kind of website that’s best and also how it should be structured to get picked up by the Search engines such as Google.
  • Involve your agency as often as possible in strategic decisions about the future of your business, your goals and aspirations, and if possible share sales data. Most won’t mind signing a Non-Disclosure Agreement and it’s a lot easier to work together when you can see results and have a known clear goal. And this can be as complex or as tough as you like – either option is preferable to invisibility and moving goal posts. Don’t assume that as your agency is outside your sector they have no relevant specialist knowledge or contacts – you’d be surprised at how often synergies cross boundaries, so you can benefit by being open.
  • Don’t make wholesale changes to your content without a prior discussion. Most everything you do online will eventually be noted by the search engines and stored to guide future browsing enquiries, so when you make a change of any kind chances are it will impact what happens when a future visitor finds your site. If they bounce back out quickly as the content wasn’t as expected, the engines notice and quickly mark you down so you lose future prospects. Conversely, handled properly, changes to content can boost your future traffic if you correctly signpost things and archive old data.
  • An absolute no-no is altering things like the hosting or platform on which the site is built without advising your Online Marketing agency well in advance. These simple tasks can be easily messed up by even the most accomplished web design agency. The same applies if you are planning changes to your URL.
  • Keep your agency in the loop, in advance, about any other kind of Marketing or Advertising you are planning or articles you intend to publish. This will firstly help monitor any uplift in the web stats and track things back correctly, more importantly, there can be huge synergies and cost efficiencies to be gained if you leverage said events through multiple channels simultaneously.
  • Work with your agency to develop a forward plan about things you want to happen, such as Press Releases, at certain key times throughout the year. By working to an agreed plan and both adding to the content, your overall success will be much quicker.
  • Last but not least you can be a great client by working together when you decide to go mad and splash out on additional web addresses, misspellings, or create secondary pages to “capture more eyeballs” from your competitors. These are complex strategies that can get you banned and again there is a right and wrong way of doing things.

These are all mostly easy things to add to your campaign with no major additional cost or time factors yet can probably double the effectiveness of a campaign and make your business one agencies love working with day after day.