In this vlog we address an FAQ by CEOs, directors, managers, solopreneurs and university students after completing a deep dive into the many facets of digital marketing.

“How do I hire an agency to help me?”

These are our top tips.

Heads up: These also work if you’re looking for a good agency to work for.

#1: Look for an industry standard stamp of approval

Moz (M-O-Z) is the authority in this space as the provider of SEO Tools (both free and paid) and creators behind Domain Authority, which is a score that predicts how well a website will rank on search engines. They’re also the creators of the Moz Recommended List, a short list of about 60 firms providing services in web marketing, recommended by Moz.

There are no listing fees, referral payments and Moz accepts no kickbacks of any kind from any of the companies mentioned on the list. They have been publishing this list since 2005 and agencies must maintain a strong record of excellent work on behalf of their clients to remain on the list year in and year out. Work with one of these agencies and you set up on the best foot possible.

#2: Ask if the marketers are Google Analytics certified

Google Analytics is the Holy Grail of all things tracked and measured online and the quickest and best way to make sure you’re getting a team that understands how to properly track and gain the right customer insights is to ask if marketers are required to be Google Analytics certified.

FYI: The certification is free and super robust and if you want to be Google Analytics certified, go here.

#3: Ask about the backgrounds of the various marketers

Are they diverse? Here at 97th Floor we have campaign managers who run a team of marketers, content managers and designers. What we like to see is a healthy mix of not just marketing and advertising backgrounds but communications, public relations, business and economics. This is the difference between an agency that is a fulfillment house and an agency that is your strategic partner with eyes focused on your bottom line.

#4: Find out about the collective mindset of the agency

Are they focused on fulfilling on a list of deliverables? i.e., links, keyword rankings. Or, are they focused on results? i.e., leads, qualified organic traffic, conversion rates. You may discuss organic traffic or paid traffic but find out if they’re talking in terms of strategy that has an impact vs. a list of itemized deliverables that could get you nothing in terms of bottom line value.

#5: Retention Rate

If it’s 100%, be concerned. If it’s non existent and not “accessible”, run. Regarding retention rates, clients will come and go for a lot of reasons. It’s not uncommon for budgets to be cut, or a new CMO or VP of Marketing to come in and cut ties. So 100% is probably never possible. A strong agency with a track record for performance will have a healthy retention rate. What is a healthy retention rate? That’s a little harder to pin down but as you vet your agencies of choice, take into consideration their history, industries of focus and services offered. Use your best judgement.

That’s it, 5 things you need to know about hiring an agency.

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