Red Flags When Looking for a Digital Marketing Agency in Rochester, NY

by | Mar 30, 2021 | Search Engine Marketing

You’ve decided that you’re ready to enlist the help of a professional digital marketing agency in Rochester, NY, but you want to consider your options before making a decision. Unfortunately, not all agencies have their client’s best interests in mind and may engage in dishonest tactics. Consider the following red flags to look for when reviewing prospective digital marketing firms to entrust with your business.

They Found You Through Cold Outreach

Let’s face it, a digital marketer who boasts the ability to help you attract customers through ads or excellent SEO skills should not have to cold call to get clients. Cold outreach is a huge red flag. It proves that the expert services they’re offering you don’t even work for their own company. Don’t walk away—run. This person or group has likely sent out hundreds of generic emails to small businesses in the hopes of getting a few bites.

Instead, a successful digital marketing agency should be easily discoverable and trusted within the community. Look to other small businesses for referrals. Knowing first-hand that an agency has truly helped other companies with their marketing speaks volumes. If you don’t have any small business owners within your network, reach out to prospective agencies for testimonials or case studies.

They Won’t Give You Client References

While evaluating prospective digital marketing agencies, it can be valuable to hear about current or past client experiences. If you ask the agency for testimonials or a list of customer references but they decline, they likely have something to hide—a big red flag. Don’t hesitate to ask why. It may be that they are a newer firm without many previous clients. Alternatively, if they are unwilling to give you client information, it could be that customers were not happy with their work. The best reflection of a company is through their clients.

Your Website Ownership is Vague

If you’re ever unclear regarding who owns the website, consider it a red flag. If an agency creates a website for you, you should maintain full ownership. You should hold the codebase, rights to the site, and the design. Sure, the marketing agency will build it into a conversion powerhouse, but you should retain full control. Be sure to inquire about ownership up-front. If an agency gives you a vague response along the lines of “you will own it eventually,” you should seriously reconsider. Carefully examine any contract that they present you with to determine whether you’ll fully own the website.

They Offer Unreasonable Guarantees

Don’t forget that SEO doesn’t happen overnight. Anyone who claims they can improve your SEO ranking or get you thousands of new leads within a short period won’t be able to deliver. And if they can, it won’t be authentic. When it comes to SEO, there are the good guys (known as “white hat” agencies, like Full Circle SEM, who abide by the rules to create lasting success for their clients) and those who use deceptive strategies for which you ultimately get penalized (“black hat”). And that’s the thing— you get punished as the website owner. You and your business are the ones who suffer for anything unethical. Examples of “black hat” techniques include keyword spamming, hidden links, cloaking, or doorway pages. Avoid these tactics as they’ll significantly drop your ranking or get you banned from SERP (search engine results pages).[1]


A quality digital marketing agency will run routine analytics on your webpage. Anyone who won’t reveal that information may be engaging in questionable strategies which is a big red flag. Any trusted digital marketing firm will honor transparency by providing you with detailed reports of marketing efforts. Rather than wanting to take your money, they will want you to get the most out of it. An agency should use analytic information to help you customize your site for optimized conversion. If things are not working at any point, they’ll say so and modify the strategy to see improved results.

Choose an Honorable Digital Marketing Agency in Rochester, NY

Your business deserves a marketing firm that is free of red flags—one that works with integrity. Full Circle SEM is the digital marketing agency Rochester, NY businesses and those around the world trust. We strive to get you metrics-driven results authentically. Read our testimonials to see what others are saying, then contact us today.





Justin Ober

Justin built his first website and eBay store while in high school (circa 1999) and has had a hand in internet marketing ever since. After graduating from Penn State University he headed for warmer weather in sunny South Florida, where he worked on both the client and agency side of digital marketing. Yada, yada, yada, he's since managed over $30 million in digital ad spend and is an expert in all things PPC.

If you’re ready to take your brand to the next level, call 888-757-2714 or contact us here today.