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    9 Replies Latest reply on Dec 21, 2007 4:34 AM by WEBillions

    Hiring a web marketing co. - Is it worth it?

    kidsngarden Newbie
      I have met with a reputable web marketing company and will likely begin a contract with them in January. I was sold on it, and still pretty much am, but am having doubts about it. I realize a lot of what they will do for me I can do myself. But because I manufacture all of my products I feel my time would be better spent creating than marketing. I can't effectively do both right now. I do still market locally, but would like a larger online presence.

      So for those of you who have hired someone, was it worth it? I'm starting small with them working over my homepage...

      And also did you continue on with them? Or does your site get enough hits once they got you rolling to stop?

        • Re: Hiring a web marketing co. - Is it worth it?
          LUCKIEST Guide
          Kids, You have to spend money to make money. You manufacture all of your products, so you should
          spend your time manufacturing. Leave the marketing to marketing experts.
          You will also get some great answers from reputable web marketers on this site.
          I am a Quickbooks Consultant. Do you have a Business and Marketing Plan??
          Good luck, LUCKIEST
          • Re: Hiring a web marketing co. - Is it worth it?
            Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an ongoing process, not a 'do it and it's done' task to be paid for and checked off. The real question is - are they (your marketing people) providing a return on investment to you. Are you getting sales?! (rhetorical). Traffic is nice, sales are better.

            Would you rather have 1000 visitors, and 2 sales or 100 visitors and 5 sales (just to make a point)...??

            The fact that they are starting with the home page is a little worrisome - I would target the products pages, which are more likely a source of search - are potential clients looking for you or the stuff you make? Each product page has a chance to rank for key phrases related to that product, which is a far more likely search request. Your home page is nice to optimize, or at least make look good, but people are probably not all coming in through the front door, if your product pages are set up correctly for SEO.

            If you are having doubts, then you should examine why - do you feel you are being overcharged? or they are not listening? or they're moving on the wrong things? Or you just don't understand what you've signed up for (that's OK - make them explain it until you do!) If they're obfuscating (blah blah techno blah), then I'd rethink, or reach out to a different firm, ask them for a quote and compare apples (and answers).
              • Re: Hiring a web marketing co. - Is it worth it?
                kidsngarden Newbie
                Thanks for the input thus far.

                As for them optimizing my home page first, that wasn't their suggestion at all. That was my naive assumption. We haven't talked about which page to do first. I was just thinking that because my home page had a little of everything that is where we would start. But I see your point. People who by my products generall type in "goat milk soap" or handmade soap for their search so we should probably start there.

                My doubts are not trust issues. It's just that I have this incredibly frugal do it myself battle going on. I shell out on quality ingredients to make my product, but have been trying to market, etc my self to save cash. It is too much to try and someone else can do it much better for me anyway really. I just want a good return on my investment. I trust this company, but I just wanted to be sure that it was truly worth it in general to hire someone. When I shove the cheapskate aside I know this is the right move that will bring me business in the end. It'll just REALLY hurt in the beginning.

                  • Re: Hiring a web marketing co. - Is it worth it?
                    I looked at the website (soaps etc).

                    There are many many problems I see (as a professional webdev person) with the website. (sorry).

                    Do you want me to send you a private email detailing what I am seeing, or just post here. I am trying to be respectful.

                    Let me point out one big issue (random): your soap page (all soaps) has a lot of unoptimized product photos for those small thumbnails. What should be 5K file sizes are coming in from 50K to 100K each, and the page takes some time to load, where it could be almost blink-fast if properly setup. If that's too geeky, I can break it down further.

                • Re: Hiring a web marketing co. - Is it worth it?
                  Lighthouse24 Ranger

                  Hi, Bethany -

                  As a business owner, be sure that you are setting very clear marketing objectives, and that you are getting an equally clear commitment from your web marketing firm to meet those objectives by a specific point in time.

                  Also keep in mind that web design, web development, and web marketing are not the same thing. To offer an analogy, if a girl is pretty and wears fashionable clothes, that's "design." If she is also a nice person and interesting to talk to, that's "development." If she is out with friends or on a date (as opposed to sitting at home feeling sad and lonely), that's "marketing." Design and development are rarely worth the investment if they're not wholly aligned with the marketing plan. On the other hand, good marketing can overcome a lot of design flaws and development shortcomings. Obviously, you want the whole package if possible -- good design, development, and marketing -- and the marketing plan comes first. (Just as where you're going and how you'll get there dictates what you wear and how you act, your business goals should dictate your website's design and development criteria.)

                  Best wishes!
                    • Re: Hiring a web marketing co. - Is it worth it?
                      kidsngarden Newbie

                      This company covers design, development, and marketing. While they have found many flaws in my site (which they will tell me what I can do on my end to improve what I can now even on the pages they are not working on) they think that we should focus on the marketing first like you said, so I guess that is good. They have done some of the most gorgeous of sites so I can't wait to take it a step further and move beyond marketing to development and design.


                      You guys have been so helpful! I'm glad I found this board!


                        • Re: Hiring a web marketing co. - Is it worth it?
                          instance Wayfarer
                          Hello Bethany,

                          Marketing is worth it depending on the budget you have and how good is the marketing company. Try to measure the Return on Investment (ROI), measure the sales variations over time before, while you are with them, and after you are done with them.

                          Sometime spending money to index better on search engine is not lucrative because its a long process, so here the budget is key! if you run with a low budget dont spend a dollar on SEO.. it just wont work, it takes MONTHS!! (we are a web design and marketing company)

                          So if you run on a low budget... they should focus on getting sales to reinvest in the short term.



                      • Re: Hiring a web marketing co. - Is it worth it?
                        WEBillions Adventurer
                        It's totally worth it! The trick is finding the right person for your needs.