How To Vet An Internet Marketing Company

How To Vet An Internet Marketing Company

Posted on December 13, 2016 Mary Merritt

Right now, the world of digital marketing is exploding with possibilities. Finding the right company to help you create and manage a solid internet marketing plan is not an easy task. Here at NerdyMind, we have heard a lot of client horror stories that are peppered with tales of data hoarding, confusing monthly charges, bad response times and no results. As you are moving through your selection process, we hope the following article helps you in your search for the right internet marketing company.


Free isn't another word for nothing left to lose. When someone uses the term "FREE WEBSITE," I urge you to proceed with extreme caution. First of all, the website is not free. More times than not, they will only give you a free website if you decide to sign up for one of their "marketing packages" or "internet promotion packages." These packages are not only very expensive, but they are locked down! These companies won't let you have access to your Google Analytics, nor will they let you have access to your AdWords account (or any other online marketing account that you could have started on your own for free). If you decide to opt out of their services, they take everything away from you - including your "free" website. There will be a cost associated with getting the website files so you can bring it over to your own web host, and you will never have access to the year (or more) of data that you've paid so much to build up. So the legacy data that would be very helpful to the next company you hire is gone, and you are literally starting from scratch again. Ask the following questions:

  • If I opt out of the ongoing marketing, what are the costs to get my website?
  • Do I have ownership over my Google Analytics and Google AdWords accounts?
  • Do I have ownership over my business' online data?
  • Is there a time-limit on the contract? What if I need to opt out early? What are the early-termination fees?


This is the worst thing to happen to the internet since the dancing baby. These companies will tell you that they will get you X number of reviews per month for your products or services...but guess what? These reviews are FAKE. They are written by someone internal at the company. Not only does this potentially make your business look dishonest, but it is ruining the entire point of reviews in general. For everyone. When a company offers you reviews as a service, you should drill them about how they deliver that kind of thing. Make them admit that they write the reviews themselves, internally. Also, did you know that the government is starting to hand out FINES for engaging in this kind of behavior? Read this article and heed the lesson. Here are some questions:

  • Where do these reviews come from?
  • Are the reviews fake?
  • Do you have an honest policy/strategy around getting reviews?
  • Did you know that you can get fined for posting fake reviews?


Any company that doesn't give you access to your digital marketing accounts (Google AdWords, Google Analytics, AdRoll, Microsoft AdCenter, etc.) is a bad company to work with. Good companies will encourage you to own your own accounts (Google AdWords Certified companies will have a "My Client Center" -- they should encourage you to start your own Google AdWords account with your credit card, and then they can request access to that account via their MCC. You can remove them from your account at any time).

Here is a real-life scenario for you: Someone came to NerdyMind looking for help with pay per click marketing. They told me that they were previously working with another company for over 1 year - and they had been running the company's SEO campaigns, PPC accounts and Google Analytics for the entire time. Yes, this company was in one of those marketing package deals...paying nearly $700/month and getting practically nothing in return. When I asked them what the click-through rates were like and how their ads performed while the other company was managing their programs, they said they didn't know! Where did their entire year of data go? It was gone. The company in question never gave them any access, and when they opted out of the marketing package, the company wouldn't give them any of their valuable data. That data is like gold to people who know how to use it. To avoid this situation, ask some questions like this:

  • Can you break down what part of the budget is used for spend and what part of the fee is used for management?
  • If I decide to move on, can I take my accounts and data with me?
  • Do you charge a fee if I opt out of further services?
  • What is the time commitment on our contract? Are there early termination fees?

So, as you can see, there are a lot of things to consider when moving through this selection process. All in all, you want dedicated, honest people who take an active interest in your business' mission. Companies like NerdyMind exist to help you succeed.

A collaborative approach is what makes great businesses like yours even better. Plus, a succeeding business creates more jobs, and that stimulates the economy. Business, in and of itself, is a great cause.

On behalf of all the NERDS, we wish you the best of luck in your selection process!