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How To Hire For Website Design and Online Marketing

Discussion in 'Digital Marketing' started by Ben Bowen, Sep 11, 2017.

  1. Ben Bowen

    Ben Bowen LawnSite Bronze Member
    from PNW
    Messages: 1,184

    This is my short guide for choosing someone to design a website or oversee your online marketing (SEO being just one part of that). Please add your own thoughts!

    1. The first step to making a good choice here (similar to marriage) is to know yourself well. What kind of help, exactly, do you need? How much time and effort are you willing to contribute? How quickly do you think you will see results? You need to know before you look for a good fit. What is your budget? If you think you can get a good simple website for less than $1500 and basic marketing for under $500/month then you are in for a world of pain.
    2. Look local. Are there any local businesses who have an online presence that you really respect? Find out who is helping them. If you are in a large city you might join TownSquared and ask for recommendations. You want someone who understands your area, but doesn't work for competitors so there are no conflicts of interest.
    3. Look for agencies that specialize in working with contractors (maybe even landscapers specifically). Again, they shouldn't already be working for a competitor.
    4. Look for agencies that specialize in SAB (that is Service Area Businesses). Marketing a company that travels to its customers presents challenges that agencies who specialize in brick-and-mortar may not realize.
    5. Pick a couple contenders and vet them. Do research. Check their reviews. Google is your friend here.
    6. Closely examine their website. If they have spelling errors, bad grammar, odd layout, sites that look bad on mobile? Reject them. That's like hiring a landscapers with the ugliest yard on the block. This is someone who should understand how important their website is. If they can't get it right for themselves then they sure won't get it right for you.
    7. Pay special attention to communication skills. If they are going to be producing text for you then they HAVE TO BE ABLE TO WRITE WELL. And they need to be able to communicate in a way your clients would appreciate. Some agencies that cater to contractors think that if they write "tough", using profanity, it will show that they understand who you are. That's just a silly tactic that prevents them from showing with their own websites what they could do with yours.
    Ok, that's a start. Feel free to add (or disagree).
    tonygreek and hort101 like this.
  2. Mitty87

    Mitty87 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,557

    You did all your seo yourself right? Do you do anything else for marketing? Sorry off topic.

    Better question, for someone starting our would you recommend learning and doing seo work yourself or hiring right off the bat? I've read a lot of content from you and Tony/island pro here and have been happy with the results so far, though not overwhelming.
  3. islandpro

    islandpro LawnSite Member
    Messages: 226

    That's a good question... Knowing the value a good website can bring a company like a landscaping or contracting company, I wouldn't hesitate to hire it out to a reputable firm/freelancer that had a good track record.

    For us, my skill-set was part of what I brought to the table so we had no need to hire it out. The list Ben has provided is a pretty good start for vetting someone though.

    I'd say really just find someone reputable, who knows what they are talking about (local to your area or not the skills are the same), provides good value in their offering (do they charge for a simple phone call!?!), has a track record of performance (lots of happy contractors) and doesn't work with your competitors.

    Find that person and you cannot afford NOT to hire them in this day and age.
    Mitty87 and Ben Bowen like this.
  4. Ben Bowen

    Ben Bowen LawnSite Bronze Member
    from PNW
    Messages: 1,184

    Yes, I do our website and marketing. All our marketing is online.

    Hiring quality a quality SEO is not cheap ($150-$400/hr is very common), but if someone can afford it then they should. I couldn't afford it so I learned to do it and found I really enjoy it :)
  5. EverGrow Marketing

    EverGrow Marketing Sponsor
    Messages: 42

    I would like to add:

    It's also really important that whichever agency/free lancer you choose, make sure they are 100% transparent with results and their effort.

    It's too easy for a marketer to say they're going to implement an AdWords campaign and tell you it's performing well. Is that it?

    What keywords are in that campaign? Why those keywords? Was their opportunity there?

    Your marketer should be providing results on at the very least a monthly basis. Not only providing them but going over them with you in detail. They should also be suggesting new ideas to "pump those number up" (as McConaughey would put it in "Wolf of Wall Street").

    Make sure they're asking you how YOU are doing on sales. A true marketer will treat their work with you as a partnership. They know that numbers are just numbers if they're not converting into actual dollars.

    They do not succeed unless you do.
  6. greg8872

    greg8872 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 300

    5a. When looking at reviews, look for long term clients who are still with them. Someone with no site or complete crap one will rave even over something I could do for them, until they find out there are many who can do way better. Old rave reviews mean nothing if they soon went somewhere else (most people don't go back and update them when they leave), new reviews can also be the same until value is proven on the work.

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