A new campaign group has launched called “The Little Digital Campaign” aimed at protecting & growing small business online.
The group initially started in February when a local web agency designer Tom Jackson noticed an odd & worrying pattern.
“When I was looking into the history these businesses had with so called leading local & national agencies, they where getting ripped off, overcharged, arbitrarily charged, paying for work that was never complete or half done,” said Jackson.
One of the biggest problems, Jackson explain, is that Web Design companies have become far too complacent, charging thousands of pounds a month for SEO & Marketing that is sloppy, lazy and sub-par.
Jackson also claims many agencies prey on their clients lack of technical understanding, often charging hefty fees for work that is not really needed.
“It’s like the Wild West out there,” Jackson said. “These companies are constantly trying to upsell their services, and most of the time, they’re not even doing the work they’re being paid for. It’s a total scam.”
As the head of a web design agency himself, Jackson is on a mission to change the industry for the better and help small businesses get the quality services they deserve.
To make matters worse when Jackson questioned and pressed the companies on the concerns, he was treated with rudeness & aggression.
“They really don’t like answering questions, especially simple ones like, ‘Can I have a report on what you’ve done?'” Jackson said.
“They don’t want to talk to you. They don’t want to return your calls. They want to hide what they’re doing, and they want to charge you as much as they possibly can.”
In one instance Jackson was able expose a company charging a non profit organisation £800 a month for SEO work that was never completed.
In another example Jackson received a cease & desist letter that was copied full of American legal references even though the company is based in the UK. “It would be funny if they weren’t actually hurting small business and individuals” Jackson said.
“This is just one example of the many cases we see on a regular basis. These companies are preying on the vulnerable, and it has to stop.”
They shut down the articles we wrote about them even with a stack of proof, the law protects them and they are masters of managing perception. It won’t stop us from educating & sharing our resources.
The Little Digital Campaign is Jackson’s way of taking a stand against the injustices of the web design industry, and he’s urging other small businesses to do the same.
“At the end of the day not all agencies are bad, there are many amazing reputable and hardworking agencies out there, unfortunately there seems to be an overabundance of bad players, who are destroying the industry. “
“If they can’t even answer a straight question or get back to you in a respectful timely manner, these are some huge red flags.”
Is Your Digital Marketing Agency A Scam?
Jackson has the following red flags:
They’re not transparent
There are no secrets when it comes to the work your agency is doing on your behalf — so if they don’t want to share what they’re doing and why, it’s likely they’re not doing much of anything.
Agencies that are on the up and up are happy to provide monthly reports on your website’s traffic, conversions, and other key metrics. And, they’ll gladly explain why they’re doing what they’re doing and what they hope to achieve with each marketing campaign. If they’re not providing you with consistent reports and analysis, they’re probably not working as hard as they should be — or they’re not doing the work they’re claiming to do.
They’re not responsive
If your agency isn’t responding to your calls or emails within 24 hours, that’s a huge red flag. A good agency will always be available to answer your questions, respond to your concerns, and keep you in the loop on the latest developments with your account.
They’re not proactive
If you’re not getting at least one email from your agency every week, they’re not doing their job. A good agency should be consistently checking in on your business, your goals, and your marketing campaigns, and they should be providing you with new ideas and suggestions to help you achieve your goals. If your agency is more interested in keeping their heads down and getting the work done, they’re probably not doing anything innovative or outside the box — and they’re probably not doing the work they’re being paid to do.
They’re not working on your website
If your agency isn’t working on your website, they’re not doing their job. If they’re not updating your content, fixing your broken links, optimizing your pages for search engines, or doing anything else to help your website rank higher in search results, they’re not doing their job. A good agency will be constantly working to improve your website and help it rank higher in search results.
They’re not helping you generate leads
If your agency isn’t helping you generate leads, they’re not doing their job. If they’re not setting up lead capture forms, optimizing your website for conversion, or doing anything else to help you generate leads, they’re not doing their job. A good agency will be constantly working to help you generate leads and convert them into customers.
“We’re sick of seeing small businesses being taken advantage of,” Jackson said. “It’s time for a change, and we’re going to be the ones to make it happen.”
If your agency is not being transparent, responsive, proactive, or helpful, they’re probably not doing their job. And, if they’re not doing their job, they’re probably not a good agency.
At the end of the day, the best way to find a good digital marketing agency is to ask around. Talk to your friends, your family, your colleagues, and your business associates, and see if they have any recommendations. And, when you talk to potential agencies, be sure to ask them about their process, their results, and their clients. If they can’t provide you with a straight answer, they’re probably not a good agency.