Hiring a marketing agency can be a scary task. As a business owner, managing your business is priority #1 and keeping up on your SEO or PPC can become a chore. But how do you know the marketing company you are about to sign on with will actually do the work they say they will? Marketing and SEO can be really ambiguous concepts to someone who doesn’t understand the space. If you are deciding between a large marketing firm with a lot of resources or a smaller more cost competitive agency read this blog.
If you don’t fully grasp certain marketing concepts like search engine optimization, you should be requesting a timesheet from your marketing team so you can ask questions and hold them accountable for the work you are paying for.
Getting a timesheet from a marketing agency is a rare site but asking for one upfront will establish trust and reliability because they know they’re being watched.
Here at Mad Mango Marketing we provide you with a live link to track the hours we work on your behalf and exactly what we did.
The following outlines what you should expect to see on an hour sheet from a marketing agency for SEO, PPC, and Website Builds.
An SEO timesheet should have some of the following areas listed on it. Some agencies may do more manual work and others may outsource but the major tenants on any SEO hourly report should include:
Some things like onsite work or directory management are tasks that usually get completed and systematized by a good SEO firm in the first 1-3 months so if you have been with an agency for years there is little for them to optimize on your site every month if they have been keeping up with Google Algorithm Updates.
No matter how long you’ve worked with an agency, every month should include some sort of backlink/guest outreach and content creation as these are the main drivers of this service.
A PPC timesheet can be a little more tricky as it very much depends on how many ads you are running and your budget. Because of this we will briefly discuss the absolute minimum which you should be receiving a timesheet for. Luckily, PPC is much easier to track results with so determining value is an easier task for you as a business owner.
No matter how much you are spending in PPC ads the marketing agency you hire should at a minimum be providing you with monthly keyword analysis with the purpose of discovering new areas you can get an advantage in, monitoring the terms that trigger your ad and making useless terms negative, and updating you of any copy or link changes.
If you do not audit your PPC team it can often become that they simply turn a button on every month and let you become complacent with the results you’ve always received.
Website Build Timesheets
Did your agency custom code your site or build it off of a template? This will be the biggest factor in how the development firm uses their time.
For a website do you really even need a timesheet? As long as the product gets delivered on time and to your liking does it matter how they got there? The answer is, as always, it depends.
If you paid for a custom coded site you should request a timesheet as a way to verify no template was used. Sometimes firms will sell custom coded sites and they are, it’s just that they were custom coded years ago and now this agencies pumps out a slightly different version of this template for each new client
Another reason to get a timesheet is to be able to hold the developer accountable to any site malfunctions in the future that could end up costing you a high hourly rate.
If you have an e-commerce site where you are paying someone to upload products you will almost always get a timesheet without asking as this is typically an hourly charge.
When you work with Mad Mango Marketing, you and your team get a live link to track all the work completed on your behalf. No more wondering if your agency is actually doing any work for your site. We encourage transparency from the start and providing a way for our clients to see our work without exchanging emails or phone calls is the peace of mind you get with Mad Mango.
If you own an SEO agency or manage your own business’s organic presence online odds are you have come across a pesky email from Google Search Console saying “Text too small to read and Clickable elements too close together”.
Now as SEO’s we really don’t like this email because it is often a false flag from resource low crawlers and even worse is that it sends an email to you and your client saying there’s an error. A phone call will be coming shortly from the business owner about how we can fix this and why it is even a problem in the first place.
The fact of the matter is that almost everyone will get this error warning at one point or another and if your site can pass the eye test you should be in fine shape to rank.
The reasons for this error message:
Questions to ask yourself before you ignore this warning.
Is my page a mess?
Mobile is king. It makes up for more than 50% of world wide web traffic. Clearly Google is talking about mobile as well seeing part of this error message is clickable elements. Therefore, skip focusing on desktop. Many small business owners, and even professional web developers get way too caught up on the desktop look of a site. While it absolutely matters, you should be building your site around mobile first.
To avoid any caching issues, view your site on a mobile device from an incognito window. This will be the best way for you to see your site the way others do and be sure of it. If you have to pinch in to read the text on your site then the font is actually too small! A good rule of thumb is to not have any font under 12px.
Are my clickable elements too close?
You should be able to click an element with your thumb, without overlapping or clicking another clickable element. The rule of thumb, pun intended, is to make your clickable elements a thumbs length apart which is determined to be about 30px.
What about small buttons in the footer like social icons?
Social icons may be visually small but you can still avoid getting this error email from Google by adding more padding to increase the tap target size. If you have a list of links you may need to increase the line-height to separate them.
Ways to Confirm this Error
If your having difficulty identifying an issue then run a Chrome developer tools Lighthouse report:
You can use these two articles to forward to your web dev or use on your own:
Text too small to read: https://web.dev/font-size/
Clickable elements too close together: https://web.dev/tap-targets/
My site passed all of the tests but I still get alerts.
Receiving these alerts when your site looks fine could indicate that Google's crawlers are not able to load all of your pages. There are two main reasons for this:
Blocked by Robots.txt
Edit your robots.txt to ensure the relevant resources including /wp-admin/ are not disallowed. The bottom line is; do not block CSS and JS files.
If your site is still experiencing these issues and you’re tired of getting monthly reminders, reach out to Mad Mango Marketing today and our SEO and Web Development team will be here to help make your site compliant and rank more efficiently on all search engines from Google to DuckDuckGo. Thanks for reading.
All blogs are written by our incredible staff here at Mad Mango Marketing. Your Connecticut SEO, App Development, and Online Advertising experts.