Digital Marketing

How to Choose the Best Digital Marketing Agency for Your Small Business?

So, you want to choose a Digital Marketing Agency for your business, right?


A reputable digital marketing agency helps guide your company’s marketing efforts. 

Also, hiring an agency is easy.

The dilemma is deciding which digital marketing agency to select.

You feel stuck in finding an agency because you’re clueless about the right way to go about the hiring process, don’t you? 

Let me help you through this blog, which covers how to choose a  digital marketing agency for small or medium-sized businesses. 

Assess Your Needs

Assess your needs internally. Double-check what you want to achieve through digital efforts. Know the role your digital agency will play to help you.

There can be countless reasons why you need a digital marketing agency but discover a clear-cut area that requires attention.

Ask yourself:

  • Do you want to push a new product?
  • Do you want to reach a new market?
  • Do you want to achieve the #1 position on search engines?
  • Do you want to update your brand?
  • Do you want to plan for some accelerated growth?

Whatever your reasons may be, define them fully before you even begin your search.

Below are a few more questions to ask before you contact an agency:

  • How much money can you invest in digital marketing efforts?
  • How much time can you invest in the partnership?
  • Do you already have an in-house marketing team?
  • What skills does your in-house team have and in what areas are you lacking?

Answering these questions will enable you to outline the kind of help you require and give any potential partners a clear vision for what your relationship might look like. 

best digital marketing agency services

Further, identify specific requirements and match them with the specific services you desire. The services might be:

  • Content creating and blogging
  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Social media marketing
  • Email marketing and marketing automation
  • Pay-per-click advertising
  • Online reputation management
  • Graphic design, web design, logo design
  • Web analytics, web development, and much more.

Define Your Goals 

Digital marketing agencies come with expertise in one or two areas. And while many of them are “full-service” providers, choose one that works on the project like yours within their specialty. 

When choosing, understand your goals and desired outcomes so that you can communicate with the agency what you wish to get out of the digital marketing services. 

Besides, the service provider can also know what you’re looking for and ensure whether they can actually help you or not.

Let’s dive deeper!

Check Agency Work Portfolio

Smart digital marketing providers showcase their partnerships for the world to see. They are proud of what they work and who they work for. 

Knowing who the past clients are is not necessary (brownie points if you do). But if you’re unable to find a list of previous clients or examples of work, possibilities are the agency has not worked with any client before. 

It is important to note that some services like SEO (National SEO, local SEO, or Toronto SEO) and content marketing are hard to display. 

So, agencies specializing in these areas may be unable to display their work in a portfolio. Hence, find a client list on the website of the agency. It is a good indication to count the experience.

Who Will Work with You?

Make certain the agency you would like to hire has the right team members to work on your project. 

Let’s get more in-depth.

Would you like to hire a digital marketing agency for logo designs that do not have graphic designers? No.

Go through the agency’s “About Page” and check the list of their team members. 

If team members are not included on this page, LinkedIn is a better place to consider. Search on LinkedIn by the agency’s name. Then click “People” to see a list of employees working there. Check their profiles and expertise.

Keep in mind that a few of the team members may not be available on LinkedIn. 

Understand Work Process

Did you know?

No two digital marketing agencies work quite the same way. But, their work process may have a drop of some similarities.

So, you need to understand the way digital marketing agencies work with clients and the methods they apply to deliver results.  

Below is a process similar to which agencies plan their strategies:

  • They understand your business core objective
  • Immerse themselves in your brand
  • Research and understand your products, services
  • Get insights into your USP’s (Unique Selling Proposition)
  • Check, modify and optimize work to maximize impact and ROI
  • Work, track, and manage projects to meet your business goals

Check Social Proof 

Never underestimate the importance of social proof, such as client reviews, testimonials, etc. Social proof gives a complete insight into what working with that agency is like. 

Smart digital marketers display social proof on their website as they understand its importance.

If you’re unable to find any, the agency may not have worked with any client before. 

Further, read reviews to ensure whether the reviews are positive, negative, or neutral. This will work as a ‘shine light’ on areas that the agency lacks expertise in.

On a final note, 

Search for reviews on Google to dig out what others in the industry are saying about their experience with the agency.

best digital marketing services

Know Agency Strengths

While searching, you can come across  tens of thousands of digital marketing agencies to choose from, that’s no surprise.  

But, not all are created equal.

Just because they are a big name does not mean they’re the right choice for your business.

Pretend, you specialize in, say, kidswear, you wouldn’t necessarily choose a big marketing company that often caters to the brand outside your niche. 

It may behoove you to contact a firm that fits you. The benefit is that they hold expertise in your industry.  

What else, there are agencies who would be interested in getting your business despite they might not know much about your product or industry. 

Are they exceedingly creative?

In addition, you may not like to hire someone who’s been marketing the same types of products for the life of their firm. They will be fast in getting your work done, for sure, but it may look and feel much like the rest of their work portfolio.

Before making any decision, check the strengths of the service provider and ensure whether they are the right solution provider for you or not.

Determine If They Are Marketing Themselves

Work with a digital marketing agency that is actively spending their time and money successfully to market their own offers. 

“Don’t get trapped into the network of “those who couldn’t do marketing for themselves.”

Consider the following points:

  • Is the agency ranking on the top #3 positions in search engines?
  • Do they have a social media account on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.
  • If yes, are they active on their social platforms?
  • Are they appearing in search engine results?
  • Do they have a well-designed website?
  • Check the level of their content quality.

Demand Full Transparency

When choosing a digital marketing agency, look for a fully transparent service. 

“Lack of transparency is the most basic and overlooked red flag”.

Review the agency’s website. See their address, client list, bios. If you find this, then the agency is worth your time and money. If you feel like the firm is hiding something, it’s probably not the right one for your business. 

  • A good firm proves its worth over and over again by sending you work reports on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis.
  • They remain obvious about their pricing, fees, explaining costs, and specific deliverables.
  • Their invoices reflect the particular services delivered, and clear insight into their terms.
  • They are very punctual and responsive
  • They have online tools to let clients see the work progress

When choosing a digital marketing agency, consider the above points. After all, full transparency should be your first criterion.

Consider Their Promises

The kind of result a digital marketing agency promises to deliver on their website strongly conveys how well they understand the industry. 

“Good digital marketing agencies don’t make outlandish promises.”

To show you what I mean, 

Any company claiming for a short-cut way to the #1 spot on the search engine like Google is unaware that SEO is a long term and short-term marketing game. 

Or that SEO calls for ceaseless work to maintain. 

As a consequence, that’s apparently not the agency you should hire for your business. 

Be extremely careful about the promises and claims made by the agency. Make sure they line up with what you know about the industry. 

Choose an agency that sticks to transparency and genuine promises. 

seo services

Final Thoughts

Having a serious digital marketing strategy in place is unarguably pre-eminent. 

It’s also true that a solid strategy can get pretty wiggy technically.

So, choosing the right digital marketing agency for your business is the solution. Don’t make it difficult or stressful. 

Stick to the aforesaid points and simplify your decision-making process. 

However, if choosing an agency is still a cumbersome task, contact Jivaso. 

Jivaso has years of extensive experience and is equipped with all the latest digital marketing tools to offer top services, including SEO, SMM, PPC, email marketing, web design and development, online reputation management, graphic design, and more.

We help you generate millions of dollars in revenue, let you have peace of mind by handling everything. With us, you no longer need to bear the expenses of an in-house team.

What are you waiting for?

Let’s get together today to discuss your digital marketing needs and grow your business. 


What is SEO and How It Works for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses

Samuel is a small business owner in Toronto.

He is worried because COVID-19 has badly impacted his business.

Nevertheless, he is ambitious and wants to drive his business back on its feet by reaching out to local audiences through the best SEO strategies.

However, SEO is a piece of a puzzle for him.

It is complex, to say the least.

So, Samuel wants to understand “What is SEO” and “How it works” for small and medium-sized businesses.”

Does this story sound similar? If so, this blog is worth a read.

SEO is important for every type and size of the enterprise, be it a local, or small-medium sized business.

After all,

  • More than 65% of online experiences begin with a search engine. 
  • +50% of all website traffic comes from organic search. 
  • More than 90% of global traffic comes from Google search, Google Maps, and Google Images. 
  • 60% of marketers say inbound marketing (organic SEO, blog content, etc) to be the highest quality source of leads. 

What is SEO?

SEO, an acronym for Search Engine Optimization, has many definitions.

Let’s go with the easiest one –

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a digital marketing strategy. It is focused on optimizing a website to get it discovered through search engines’ organic search results. SEO enables you to know:

  • How search engines work
  • What people are searching for
  • How they are searching for something
  • Why they are searching
  • And when they are searching for

Successful implementation of SEO makes a website appealing to search engines and users.

Search Engine Land defines SEO as:

“SEO is the process of improving your site. It is implemented to enhance website visibility for relevant searches. The better visibility your website has in search results, the higher the chances of garnering attention and attracting potential and existing customers to your business.”

If we go by the Search Engine Journal, it explains SEO as:

“A combination of technical and marketing tactic; and a process of optimizing a website architecture and its content. SEO will support the website appear in prominent positions in search engine organic results”

In simple, SEO focuses on improving a website’s rankings in the organic aka non-paid search results.

If you would like to drive traffic to your website, SEO should be a part of your marketing efforts.

What goes into SEO?

In order to understand the true meaning of SEO, let’s break down the SEO definition and consider these key aspects:

Quality traffic: You may attract a lot of visitors to your website. But are you sure whether they will bring quality leads? Are you able to get conversions?

To give you an example, suppose you are a retail store. But, millions of visitors coming to your website are in search of buying or selling properties. So, this should not be considered quality traffic. This happens due to poor content quality. In your case, search engines are unable to know about pages and tell visitors that you are a real estate firm, not a retail store.

Typically, quality traffic is a result of effective SEO tactics, which contain clearly defining business, marketing goals, high-quality content, and telling search engines about your service pages, business offering. Thus, search engines will drive visitors who are genuinely interested in your business.

Quantity of traffic: Once you have the right audience on your site clicking through from SERPs (search engine results pages), more traffic will always be better for you.

Organic results: Organic traffic that you earn is any traffic you don’t have to pay for. In contrast to paid search results (pay-per-click advertising), organic traffic is unpaid traffic that comes from SERPs.

How SEO Works for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses

After you understand ‘what is SEO’ let’s discuss how SEO works.

Typically, SEO works by enhancing user experience, providing audiences with relevant information, navigating web pages for a mobile-friendly website configuration. SEO also works by –

  • Ranking you on #1 position in search engines
  • Bringing a primary source of leads
  • Ensuring higher close rates
  • Boosting conversion rates
  • Prompting better cost management
  • Building brand credibility
  • Helping establish brand awareness
  • Increasing followers on social media
  • Encouraging local users to visit the physical store after searching online
  • And taking you ahead of the competition

In simple words, SEO demonstrates to search engines that your content is the best and most suitable result for searches.

This happens because all search engines have common goals – to give the best, most relevant results to users.

How search engines determine the ‘BEST’ result is based on an algorithm that considers website authority, relevancy to that query, loading speed, and more. It’s important to note that search engines come with spiders — the automated robot kind.

These spiders collect every piece of information about the pages that make up your website. For this, they consider things, like:

Your website page speed – Remember, for every second faster your website loads, you increase conversions by 7%. Surprised? That’s true.

Ideally, your website should load in 3 seconds or less. 2 to 3 second mark is the turning point where bounce rates skyrocket. Also, 40% of consumers wait no longer than 3 seconds before abandoning a site.

Title tags – Title tags are HTML elements, specifying a web page title. They are displayed on SERPs as the clickable headline for a particular result. Title tags are important because they help search engines understand what your page is all about. Besides, the tags carry out the first impression on people on who you are.

It is advisable to keep title tags under 60 characters to expect about 90% of your titles to display properly.

Social signals – Social signals are human interaction metrics on social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. Key examples of social signals are likes, dislikes, shares, votes, pins, views, etc. Search engines consider social signals to rank your website.

Internal linking – Internal links are links from one page to another page on the same domain. They improve usability, boost page views, reduce bounce rates, allow visitors to navigate a website, and more. So, remain focused on internal linking.

Backlinks – Also called ‘incoming links’ or ‘inbound links’ backlinks are the type of links that create one website links to another. Backlinks improve organic ranking, let search engine bots discover new webpages, and index the page fast. Besides, backlinks help you get referral traffic.

Besides these factors, Google uses more than 200 other ranking factors in its algorithm to consider to rank web pages. Therefore, when optimizing your page, you need to consider things, related to both on-page and off-page ranking factors. These determine how well your site is optimized and therefore how well it ranks.

The key on-page factors that search engines consider include:

  • Content quality
  • Keywords research and use
  • Title tags
  • Site speed
  • Page URLs
  • Internal linking
  • Website responsiveness
  • Crawlability
  • Image alt tags, and more.

Off-page are almost entirely based on links to your site from other sites. The key off-page factors that search engines consider include:

  • Domain authority
  • Page authority
  • Bounce rates
  • Domain age
  • Anchor text
  • Number of links
  • Quality of backlinks from authoritative sites

Optimizing your site and content with these factors in mind will let SEO work better for your business and help pages rank higher in the search results.

Now, you know what SEO is, how it works. Let’s make it work for you –

Search engine algorithms change all the time. There is no surety of what’s effective today will remain effective tomorrow. But you don’t need to panic. Be ambitious like Samuel. Optimizing your website for search engines isn’t an unconquerable task. Chances are you may find it challenging if you’re a little less technically inclined. The solution is to reach out to a digital marketing agency where you can find SEO experts.

How Jivaso Can Help Samuel and Other Businesses

Jivaso is a trusted Toronto SEO company, holding expertise in optimizing client websites to make them more relevant to search engines. Our services include Organic SEO (National SEO, Local SEO), PPC Advertising, Social Media Marketing, Email/Marketing Automation, Online Reputation Management.

Get in touch if you are looking out for complete digital marketing solutions for small and medium-sized enterprises. Or, leave a message if you have any queries about SEO services or you want to discuss how we can optimize your website with a custom SEO plan.