• Posted on Feb 16, 2019

Legit or not?

Don’t let unqualified marketers build your business online.

Choosing the best digital marketing agency for your business is not child's play. You’re investing your hard-earned money and putting your business’s reputation into the hands of strangers.

As a business owner, you don’t need a salesperson to sell you the moon and the stars and then fail to deliver. Ultimately, you want one main thing from a digital marketing company: ROI!

There are many companies in the country that offer legitimate online services to clients. However, the bad eggs in the industry that are dishonest or make unjustifiable claims can provide bitter experiences for business owners.

But, you don’t have to worry about that. We’ll show you how to tell whether a digital marketing company is legit or not.

Is the company visible online?

If a digital marketing company does not have a substantial - or rather a GREAT - online presence, run!


Search for the company online and make sure they have a fantastic website - up-to-date with all the latest website trends. In short, their website should include:

  • A stellar design
  • Fantastic grammar
  • A list of clients they’ve or work they’ve done
  • A Google Partner badge
  • Testimonials or reviews.

Do they work fast and get real results?

“Fast” doesn’t equate to magical results. No agency can provide miraculous results in a few days.

Side note: If they claim they can offer huge results quickly, that’s a big warning to. But we’ll get to that.

A great agency will keep-up-to-date with (or ahead of) and optimise your website and campaigns to follow the ever-changing digital rules and best practices. This will ensure that your business grows online.

Do they provide a one-size-fits-all package?

Well, they should NOT. Digital marketing is complicated. There is absolutely no way a great agency will be able to offer one-size-fits-all package to their clients.

Your agency should carefully and thoughtfully assess your unique business and provide services tailored to your business needs and goals. This involves hours of strategizing and collaborating among team members to make sure your business grows online.

Do they offer long-term solutions?

A digital marketing agency should always look at your business’s bigger picture. If you’re offered “quick-quick, huge” results, beware. While there are digital marketing efforts that offer quick lead generation, such as Google Ads, the purpose of your agency should be to build your online reputation and increase your sales in the long run.

Do they offer clear, comprehensive reporting?

You need the full picture on what’s happening with the money you’re investing in digital marketing efforts.

If an agency provides limited data and insights, this may be a huge warning sign. You should be granted access to all data on request and they should constantly update you on how your campaigns are going and help you understand your campaigns’ results. If they’re using terminology you don’t understand and you feel completely overwhelmed by their service offerings, rather find a more suitable digital marketing partner for your business.

Are all their marketing efforts trustworthy?

A bad digital marketing agency can ruin your brand’s reputation and get your website penalised online.

Have you heard of “black hat” SEO tactics? This is a term used to describe outdated marketing tricks. These tricks marketers claim will help your website become more visible online can actually hurt your visibility on Google and other search engines.

Some warning signs of scammers include:

  • Building links to your website from irrelevant or low quality websites.
  • Buying mass amounts of links pointing to your website.
  • Promising a front page ranking but not explaining to you how you will get to that position.
  • Offering cheap content for your website.

If you’ve been a victim of marketing scams, don’t worry. A great agency can reverse the damage caused to your website and help your rebuild your online reputation the right way.

Are they a Google Partner?

Your digital marketing agency should have a Google Partner badge. This shows that marketers that are certified in Google Ads will be working on your Google Ads campaigns.

Do they know exactly how Google works?

Heads up! No digital marketer knows exactly how Google works. Google uses hundreds of algorithms to help searchers find the best content for their query on Google’s search engine. Most marketers are completely clued up on about 9 of the main algorithms Google uses. So, don’t get seduced by just any digital marketing agency that uses fancy terms and makes empty promises.

Digital marketing, as mentioned at the beginning of this article, is complicated. You need professionals to create a big-picture strategy especially for your business.

View our Top 30 Digital Marketing Companies in South Africa