5 Tips On Finding A Good Digital Marketing Agency

Recently, our CEO Kevin Neilson was a guest on Aaron Basil’s podcast “SEO On-Air”. You can listen to the whole episode here, but among the takeaways are what your company should look for when starting out with digital marketing. 

Here are 5 of Kevin’s answers on what new business owners should look at with digital marketing, including why signing on with a digital marketing agency is the most financially responsible thing you can do. (Note: text has been edited for clarity.)


I’m the owner of a new auto repair business, and I want to get things off the ground as fast as possible. But I don’t know anything about marketing my business online. Do I really need a website?

First off, YES, you HAVE to have a website, because this is how people are going to find you in this day and age. Yes, there’s relationship building and word of mouth–and these are still important parts of marketing your business.

But your new customers are going to find you on Google. They’ll have an emergency or need a repair, and they’ll type in “auto repair near me”. And if that search is going to find your shop, you need to have a website for Google to find.


All right, I’ll build a website. What are the main elements I should focus on with it?

When it comes to building your website, it needs to look good. You’re going to be taking money from these people, and so you want to set up a certain air of professionalism. The best way to do that is to have:

  • A good looking design, including your logo
  • A call-to-action at the top of the page
  • A list of your services
  • A trackable phone number to measure conversions


I have my website set up, but now people are telling me that I’m not properly utilizing SEO. To do that, would it be better to get an in-house team for my digital marketing and SEO, or should I reach out to an agency?

What I tell Master AutoTech–one of our clients–is, “I need to make it fiscally irresponsible for you to bring people in-house.” It’s WAY more cost-effective to outsource SEO to a vendor like Gravitate One. You end up paying a fraction of what you would pay an in-house specialist, plus you get access to an entire digital marketing team.

I understand the idea of wanting to have full control of what you put out by having an in-house team, but it just is not financially responsible to do it that way. With an agency, we have people who are trained to do this day-in and day-out and stay on top of this stuff constantly. You don’t just get a couple people, you get access to:

  • Designers
  • Developers
  • Content writers
  • Search engine optimization specialists

Along with these, you’ll get access to the tools we use for our digital marketing–tools you would have to purchase yourself if you wanted to do your marketing in-house. We can track metrics and generate reports to monitor your company’s performance, and you still come out ahead financially.


All right, you’ve convinced me. I’ve decided to go with an agency for my digital marketing. What are three red flags I should watch out for?

  1. Don’t sign on with the cheapest option – Cheap agencies operate on a churn-and-burn basis, and don’t care about the relationships with their clients–just their money. And in the end, you get what you pay for.
  2.  Don’t sign on without referrals and references – You’ll want to hear from the agency’s other clients before you agree to anything. I’m very comfortable handing our client list to new clients and telling them to call them.
  3. Don’t sign on with a company that’s brand new – Check how long the agency you’re looking at has been around. If someone’s been around for a long time, there’s a reason they’ve been around for a long time. You don’t have the same security with an agency that just launched this year.


One last question: So I’ve done everything you’ve suggested for my auto repair company and found a good agency to take care of my marketing. But they keep talking about “backlinks” and saying they’ll improve my website. What are they, and how do you use them to help with SEO?

Link building is something I say is the difference between a mediocre or subpar search engine optimization company and a good one. What you do is you make sure there are other websites out there that link back to your website to improve your SEO. A lot of people say, “Oh, I don’t bother with that because it’s too difficult.” And it IS difficult–it takes time and it takes effort. But the rewards are immense.

The way we do it, it’s content-based. You’ve heard the phrase “content is king,” and we believe that. That’s why we write content for other websites to use as backlinks. It’s not branded for the client–it’s using very generic topics in very well-written articles. And in these articles, we include links to our clients’ websites–they’re natural, they flow well, and they represent the client in a way that lifts up their business.

Then, we put those articles on other websites. We’ve actually built up relationships with a few different websites, and with our tools, we have access to databases and other networks. Since our content is well-written, it gets posted on the sites we submit them to, and our client gets a bit of free advertising along with an SEO boost. 

Of course, this method takes time, it can be difficult and expensive. But you get a double reward: improved SEO due to the backlink to your site, and a little bit of free advertising to anyone who reads the article.

Want to hear more about what Kevin has to say about digital marketing, including hot topics like client relations, advertising budgets, and AI? Check out the full podcast! And if you’re interested in having a marketing team behind you that matches all his criteria, give us a call today.