If you’re the owner of a business, more often than not you’re loathe to delegate. Well nobody cares as much as you do about “your” business so surely you’re right? There is some logic in this of course, but then again, there is logic in the fact that there are 24 hours in a day, but nobody can work all 24. At some point you are going to have to let go, i.e. delegate. Nobody is suggesting that you have to forget about it once delegated, that would in fact be a potential business failure in the making. You will have to though at some point, as the business grows, take a step back.

Here we look at one of the areas that many choose to delegate and that is the field of digital marketing. Often those that provide SEO services and the like, are more competent, more familiar and yes, simply better at undertaking the work. So much so that you would actually be daft not to delegate on occasions. But as with everything, and all services, there are good and bad. Here we will hopefully help you understand how to pick a good one, and avoid the bad altogether, in our guide to choosing a great digital marketing agency.

Research

Digital marketing agencies are natural born sellers. So, they will be very good when it comes to self-promotion. It’s likely therefore that you’ll be faced with the prospect of selecting one from a group all lauding their own virtues and skillsets.

Like any business transaction, you need knowledge of the person with whom you are dealing. So you’ll need to do some research. Client reviews are a good starting point, but then you have to be sure they’re genuine. Ask for a portfolio of clients and whether or not you are able to speak independently with them.

Price is one factor that may draw you an agency through your research, but remember, you don’t get a bespoke suit for off the peg prices.

Experience

You’ll need somebody with the right experience. Not just in PPC or SEO services in the UK, but more so in your industry or marketplace. Do they understand your business and product and how have they helped similar businesses before you. You want experience of course, but not at the expense of a current understanding of the market place. There is a dynamic fluidity online, things change constantly and you want an agency that can and has adapted to suit. What’s good today, may be irrelevant tomorrow, so is the agency dynamic?

Commitment

If you hire for the short term, for the agency there is no vested interest in your success. The fee will be paid, and that’s it. However, setting up a longer-term relationship, with pre-determined periodical reviews, will ensure that the agency will continue to feel empowered in your business, and they’ll want to keep it going forward. This will ensure better returns for you.

At the end of the day the success and failure of your business is down to you. What decisions you make, and who you bring on board will influence the direction the business takes. What roles and to whom you delegate them will be crucial, but you must always maintain an active interest and involvement. This isn’t failing to manage it is learning to manage failure before it occurs. Picking a partner isn’t easy and picking the right one is sometimes harder still, so exercise due diligence.