As soon as the dragon saw him it rushed from its cave, roaring with a sound louder than thunder. Its head was immense and its tail fifty feet long. But St. George was not afraid. He struck the monster with his spear, hoping he would wound it.

In honour of St. George’s Day, we’ve got some top tips in how you can protect yourself against bad digital marketing dragons (also known as bad agencies)


1. The (Cloudy) World of Link Building

Once upon a time, link building was a faraway dangerous territory That’s because Google used to say that links could not hurt your site ranking, which led to a large amount of SEO practitioners abusing and manipulating Google’s system.

Let this be a warning that to slay this dragon, make sure you are very careful when hiring an external agency. Make sure to: use anchor text and ask very specific questions – if they intend to use exact-match anchor text, slay immediately; also proactively use social media – this is because social media can be hard to gage, and if you’re told social media is meaningless to organic rankings, prepare to slay that dragon again.


2. Be Wary of Fire
Being wary of agencies is vital, as too often the wool is pulled over customers eyes, masking deceitful tactics until it’s too late and your payment has already gone through

Alas, the spear-throwing days of Google and Churnalism are officially over: as long as you find a reputable agency that treats you well and offers fantastic Customer Service, you won’t have to go on your marketing journey alone.


3. Be Content With Your Content…

Content marketing is a key layer to producing a successful online marketing campaign, giving you the opportunity to build a strong reputation. Ultimately, your social media presence will be strengthened and will prove to Google you deserve a high ranking.

You need to be cautious with online marketing scams that require an immediate payment, as not only will you be out of pocket, but Google will penalise you. Utilising effective content marketing will both make you an industry leader as well as widening your organic digital footprint. Why not start a blog? This will allow your marketing to grow and blossom!


4. Be A Monster About Mobile

Make sure to check an agency’s site build portfolio over a variety of devices (particularly on your phone). The site shouldn’t look like a smaller version of the desktop website, and needs to be mobile responsive. Google wants your site to be responsive and is less likely to show your search results on mobile if it isn’t, especially when there is a large majority of local mobile searches.


5. Go On A (Search) Quest For Reviews

Read up reviews on the agency you’ve got in mind. A handy tip is if they’re a small agency, look them up on Google as opposed to a directory such as Yelp as you will most likely find more comments about the company – both good and bad.

However, if you continuously see negative reviews, it’s probably best to avoid that agency regardless of their good rates. Equally, be skeptical of an agency with too many good reviews – this could be indicative of paid for fake reviews.

We hope this has been helpful in arming you against any dragons you may come up against, and wish you well on your journey!