I think pretty much all dentists and doctors know they need to have a strong online presence. The funny thing is all marketing agencies that provide medical marketing know the same thing. That’s why every day you are getting bombarded with email about the latest and greatest SEO agency.

With so many companies claiming to be able to provide a great online marketing service, how are you supposed to find the right provider. Below are 3 easy ways to separate the experts from the imitators. If you follow these recommendations, you’ll be one step closer to working with a marketing agency that can actually produce results.

1. What Are They Doing for Themself?

I’ve always said the best example of what a marketing agency will do for their clients is what they do for themself. Everyone knows the old saying “talk is cheap”. This has never been more true than when it comes to marketing agencies. Rather than listening to a long sale pitch, take a good look at how they manage their brand.

See, it’s very easy for a company to talk about the importance of content. They may even sound like they have a ton of experience and really believe in the concept. However, it’s much more difficult to actually implement a successful inbound strategy.

If you want to put the medical marketing outfit to the test, take a look at their website. Below are the 3 easies things to evaluate when seeing if a marketing agency really practices what they preach.

  • Frequency of New Blog Posts – The amount of new content is a great indicator of if a company truly believes in content marketing. If they are only adding new posts on a monthly or bimonthly basis, thats a strong sign the company is junk. The truth of the matter is adding new, quality content to your website is the most important thing you can do to improve you website’s rankings. If a marketing agency isn’t producing at lease weekly posts, they have absolutely no understanding of Google.
  • Quality of Social Updates – Social media has not only become a way to connect with your customers, but an actual variable in Google’s ranking algorithm. The search engines use social signals to help determine what companies are truly engaging users. If the marketing outfit you’re evaluating is only posting updates about employee birthdays and other meaningless information, thats a sure sign, they¬† don’t understand quality inbound tactics.
  • Ugly Website –¬†We understand it takes a little bit of experience to understand what makes a good or bad website. However there are a few easy things to evaluate. Be critical when you look at the amount of information on a site. Does it fully explain each topic with great content and images. Are the pages robust and formatted correctly. Are there spelling or grammar errors. These little things will help you determine the quality of work you can expect from a company.

2. Length of Required Contracts

Long contracts are the the hallmark of low quality medical marketing agencies. They will always try to lay out a smokescreen that rationalizes the engagement. The truth of the matter is they know a binding agreement is the only thing that will keep their clients from finding a different marketing provider.

If you really think about it, long contracts remove the incentive for a medical marketing agency to actually perform. They know that no matter what they do, you will be stuck paying the monthly bill.

Most marketing agencies that have long contracts actually know their product is garbage. That’s the whole reason they require the thing. If you’ve been in the medical inbound marketing industry for a long time you will know, the longer the contract, the lower the quality of work.

3. Quality & Detail of Reporting

When selecting a marketing agency, be sure to ask about the reporting. Low quality medical marketing agencies all do the same thing. They will send a monthly report that lacks details on fulfillment and do a phone call every now and then.

Here’s the thing, most marketing outfits that know their work is junk will never provide details in their reporting. They don’t want to show exactly what was completed because they know it will confirm their incompetence. Instead, they will throw out a generalized, confusing update that tries to justify their business. Most of the time this will include stats about performance, but never show the actual work that was produced.

Don’t be tricked by low quality medical marketing agencies that try to take advantage of medical practices. Before selecting your next medical SEO company be sure to put them to the test. If you see what they are doing for themselves, analyze their website, and look at the reporting, you’ll be able to decide if they’re the right fit for your medical or dental practice.