We find ourselves having similar conversations with Calgary business owners each week. The conversation begins with a discovery session to understand our client’s or prospective client’s needs. During these conversations; it is usually uncovered that businesses have gone the cheaper route in the past with their websites and digital marketing strategies. Because of their decision to go down that path in the past; it has cost these businesses customers, dollars, time, lack of visibility and headache. It also creates concern that digital marketing will ever work for them again. As online search increases, so does the need for a properly executed digital marketing strategy. Earlier in the year, our team visited a large Search Engine Marketing conference where Google VP’s announced that over 86% of all transactions involve a Google search. The real estate on Google has become more coveted than ever. Digital Marketing Agency Study Our agency took part in a study just over 2 years ago that polled close to 20,000 agencies across North America. We were shocked to see that over 90% of these agencies sent their work overseas! Many agencies tend to go this route as it becomes more cost effective for them vs hiring local talent. Many though, unfortunately, hide the fact they do this. Grave Consequences We find that going “the cheap route” has grave consequences; For example, a prominent client of ours in the health industry had disclosed some of their marketing reporting from their previous agency prior to working with our team. The client was happy as they were receiving over 100 calls to their business each month and had grown their overall website visitors over the previous year. However, when we reviewed their reporting, we had determined that over 85% of all traffic and calls came from branded searches. A branded search consists of someone searching for your business name or variation of your business name on Google. Their marketing dollars were not utilized how they should have been. Branded Searches Now branded searches are important, especially for companies in competitive industries where competitors bid on their business name, however, these should only represent a very small fraction of paid search traffic. Our client was spending over 85% of all their budget on searches that would have found them regardless and very little on new ready-to-buy customers. Unfortunately, we come across these horror stories each and every week, so much so that our Lead Developer has advised that our mantra should change from being a “Lead Generation Agency” to “cleaning up the internet….one site at a time.” Choose an Experienced Digital Marketing Agency When selecting a digital marketing agency in Calgary, you should ensure the company is experienced. Not experienced as in a couple of years, or I built a website for my father’s neighbour’s friend’s company; we’re talking REAL experience. It takes decades of experience in order to execute digital marketing solutions properly. We see clients every single week who have poured thousands into monthly marketing solutions, which are merely sent overseas and set up and forgotten about. Companies who offer “The Cheap Route” tend to have little to no understanding of any of the 1500+ Googles Algorithms. We see clients who are paying thousands for SEO that was merely a free plugin that was set up when their website was built. Believe it or not, there are close to, if not more than 1500 factors that Google uses to rank your site. Before you hire an agency make sure they are proficient with most or all of these factors. Place Your Trust in Honest, Transparent Agencies To sum it up, going “The Cheap Route” doesn’t work in today’s online age. With the increasing competition and limited available SERP positions, businesses need to place their trust in agencies that are experienced and proficient in their execution. Our agency has been involved in digital marketing in Calgary and the UK since the mid 90’s and we are still learning tactics each day. In-House and Local Hiring an agency with an in-house, local team, with decades of experience like iNet Media, is essential to online success. Going the more cost-effective route ends up being costlier due to lack of business/visibility, technical issues and the cost to repair or outright rebuild.