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  • Writer's picturedavepeyton

When to Hire – or Fire – Your Digital Marketing Service

Every business cares about their bottom line. As an entrepreneur, I don’t spend a dime on anything for my business unless I’m confident that it will bring more sales in than it costs. Digital marketing partners are no different.

You might feel a bit lost when you tackle the question of whether somebody’s fee is actually going to result in a net increase for your bottom line. With online advertising, it’s easier if you already have a history of ad campaigns and can compare the results. But what about content marketing, the core of SEO?

The Big SEO Lie

First things first: let’s dispel an SEO myth. About 90% of SEO involves content marketing, which requires a lot of time and expertise. That kind of SEO isn’t cheap, and it’s not a commodity. You can do your own content marketing, of course, but your time can probably be used to make more money for your business by doing other things. This is the main reason that digital marketing services exist.

The remaining 10% of SEO is what many companies try to sell as a low-budget commodity. They’ll charge a recurring fee to submit your website to Google, Yahoo, and Bing, and will make sure that it remains in good standing. Not surprisingly, this is far from enough to get your site listed on the first page of Google, and when you don’t make the first page, you get almost no traffic from your SEO service. Even if it’s a small amount of money, it’s still money that you’re wasting.

Measuring the Bottom Line

Fortunately, there is a logical way to check the numbers and decide whether a content marketing service is worth the expense. You need to look at:

1. The specific keyword phrases your site wants to dominate

2. How many monthly searches each of these keyword phrases is getting

3. The total amount of new traffic (45% of the volume) for reaching the top spot for all of these phrases

4. What percentage of new traffic has normally resulted in new sales for your business

If the digital marketing service is effective in getting your site to the top spots for these particular keyword phrases after 3 to 4 months, they are doing their job well. It’s unrealistic to expect to reach the top spot any faster. Now all you have to do is weigh the cost over 3 or 4 months and compare it to the projected revenue that you calculated from the four steps above. You can work with your prospective digital marketers to determine what the best keyword phrases for your business are. This type of research should take them only a few hours at most.

With online ads, the process of calculating return on investment is simpler. In general, all you need to worry about is the total amount of new traffic that the ads bring in within a specific time frame. That’s the reason it’s so crucial to clearly define your advertising goals before you hire your digital marketing service. They will have the level of knowledge in this space to tell you whether your goals are realistic, based on the required time and costs. Often you’ll need to negotiate and make adjustments to your plans.

Now that you know how to hire, the same metrics apply to figure out whether your digital marketing service is performing according to the objectives agreed to at the beginning of the campaign. There can certainly be dips on a rare basis, but a service that underperforms month after month is probably not worth keeping.


I hope that this approach helps you use online marketing agencies to enhance your bottom line and not just to drain your budget. If you have any thoughts about other ways to get more profit out of your digital marketing, I’m always interested in hearing your thoughts in the comments.

See you next time!

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