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Sagefrog’s Digital Marketing Checklist for Onboarding Clients

By: Jack Clark

A results-driven relationship with the marketing agency that handles your company’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) tactics is reliant on both trust and collaboration. At Sagefrog, we understand that providing access to your website can feel a lot like letting a stranger drive your car. However, providing your digital marketing agency with the appropriate website credentials is actually more comparable to trusting your navigation system to get you to your desired destination.

Why We Need Access to Your Online Information and Platforms for Marketing Onboarding

SEO marketing was the most implemented marketing tactic in 2022, according to our annual B2B Marketing Mix Report, and the second highest area of spend for B2B companies. Coincidentally, SEO and SEM were also the top two sources of sales marketing leads this past year, proving that these are successful marketing staples that competitive companies must leverage to succeed in today’s business landscape.

To leverage SEO and SEM and properly execute marketing onboarding for your business and brand, we need direct access to various platforms and profiles to ensure we can operate to the fullest extent. This entails accessing your website, Google platforms, social media accounts, and any other entity or account that our integrated marketing program will utilize. With this permission, we’ll have direct insight into your current analytics and additional relevant information to fine-tune our overall marketing checklist to match your needs. Without this direct connection to your business, our tactics for building your brand, primarily through digital marketing, will be executed at dial-up speed, slowing down operations and creating an unnecessary gap and lag in communication between our teams.

While this may sound daunting, we will never compromise our client’s security or trust. We will operate as an extension of your business—treating your confidential and valuable information as if it’s our own.

To lift any veil of uncertainty, the following list explains what platforms and accounts our clients can expect our team to request access to and ensures a crystal-clear process that eliminates any nerves or confusion.

Sagefrog’s Digital Marketing Team Needs Access to the Following for Marketing Onboarding

1. Content Management System Access

Your Content Management System, or CMS, is the platform your company uses to manage the digital content that appears on your website. A characteristic of most CMS software is that it allows you to customize pages on your site without having expertise in HTML coding. However, customization is a double-edged sword. While customizing your site can result in positive enhancements such as regularly updated content and improved user experience (UX), the misguided altering of content on your website can create page errors that are detrimental to your website’s functionality and appearance.

It’s valuable for novice users of CMS software to have a base knowledge of how to edit pages independently, but it’s also essential to trust the input of your marketing agency when making significant website alterations or ironing out coding errors. For instance, 404 errors can live in the content of your pages, making your site appear less reliable to search engines like Google and, thus, negatively affecting your site’s ability to rank well on the search engine results page (SERP).

2. Hosting Information

While a website is built on a CMS, files within the site live on a server owned by the host. These files store all the HTML coding that makes your site function properly and serve as the DNA of your website’s pages. Although altering the original coded files can increase site capability, realize that making effective changes to these files requires extensive knowledge in reading and writing HTML code. Making unauthorized changes to code without expert supervision can result in severe errors that will hurt the functionality and appearance of your website and negatively impact its DNA, resulting in significantly lower SERP rankings.

Furthermore, it’s vital to provide and trust your marketing agency with your hosting login information so that you can receive expert assistance with coding errors as quickly and efficiently as possible while also maximizing the capability of your site. The best marketing agencies keep tabs on your host and are responsive to potential hacks or server issues, providing the necessary technical support to keep your site running optimally and smoothly.

3. Domain Registrar

Internet domains are sold on a first-come, first-serve basis. If a domain isn’t already occupied, a company can purchase the domain name to use as the URL on their website, such as Companies pay a Domain Name Registrar to register the domain with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names (ICANN). When partnering with a digital marketing agency, you must supply them with your registrar so that experienced digital professionals can properly renew your domain. Although no direct website edits can be made through the registrar, allowing agency control mitigates the risk that comes with managing your domain internally, such as letting your domain expire or incidentally transferring your domain name to another registrar.1

4. Migration

If your company is planning a website migration, undergoing a website migration, or has recently completed a migration, a marketing agency is an important asset. With knowledge of site migrations, a marketing agency won’t allow any vital website files to fall by the wayside, maintaining the smoothest transition possible between an old site and a new one.

The experience of an agency also ensures the identification of SEO and UX issues, such as recognizing and implementing necessary 301 (permanent) redirects if your site has a new URL and employing user data transfer through a secure protocol (HTTPS). To facilitate a website migration, your agency needs access to your old host, new host, and site domain. Without an agency’s guidance, website migrations can damage domain authority and misplace essential website files.2

5. Google Ads

Google Ads is why some search results on Google say “Ad,” and the market’s top pay-per-click (PPC) platform.

Google Ads is an advertising system where companies can pay to be featured above and sometimes below all of Google’s page one organic search results. Companies and their marketing agencies research to determine which keywords their prospects are searching for, and just like an auction, the most popular search terms with the highest search traffic are sold for the highest cost.

The difference is that in Google Ads, you are paying per click rather than with a bulk fee. These PPC advertisements cost money every time someone clicks on your company’s ad, so getting the most qualified clicks is vital to avoid wasting money. That’s where a marketing agency comes in. Your marketing agency has the digital marketing intelligence to analyze Google Ads reports and conduct smart keyword research to guide your ad creation and spend, ensuring you’re maximizing the effectiveness of your Google Ads budget. For Google Ads access, your marketing agency needs your 10-digit customer number, and you must accept their request to manage Google Ads from your account.

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6. Google Search Console

Compared to Google Ads, a pay-per-click service, Google Search Console is a free tool that hosts information about your website’s performance in Google search results. With this tool, your marketing agency can ensure Google is accurately crawling and indexing your site’s pages and can fix these issues if need be. Once your site is properly crawled and indexed, your performance data, including site traffic, appearances in Google SERPs, clickthrough rates, and more insights, will be readily available thanks to this platform. Search Console also alerts your business to any spam or usability issues and is ultimately a vital tool for planning and executing your marketing team’s SEO and SEM strategies.

7. Google Business Profile

Google Business Profile helps your business manage your presence on Google so you can list official contact information, hours, addresses, and photos and interact with customers who leave reviews on your profile. With this tool, your marketing team can curate what a searcher sees when they Google your business and grant valuable insights into how people prefer to contact you. When your marketing team has access to this tool, they’ll ensure all information is updated regularly and reviews are responded to quickly and appropriately, boosting clicks to your website and trust and transparency in your brand.

8. Google Tag Manager

Google Tag Manager is a tag management system (TMS) that quickly updates measurement codes and fragments, or tags, throughout your website to easily deploy changes when needed. With Tag Manager, you can create tags as well as triggers that activate tags and variables that simplify and automate configurations—all of which constitute your website’s container. Your digital marketing team and web developers will utilize this information to keep your site and its integration into Google running as intended, and is an invaluable reason to have an agency with web development expertise helping your business along the way.

9. Google Analytics

The key to mastering SEO is understanding the search engine you’re trying to optimize. Google, with 91.25% of the market share among search engines3  is the most popular search engine in the world and shows no signs of slowing down. To understand Google’s metrics, Google Analytics gathers reports to show you where your website visitors are coming from and gives insight into your website’s presence on Google. To best understand what these reports mean, an experienced user of Google Analytics who knows the best practices for improvement when your company’s SEO just isn’t bringing you the leads you want is required. It’s one thing to have a wall of data staring your company in the face with little inclination as to what it means and quite another to be able to extract the trends and patterns in that data that allow your business to make informed decisions.

Permitting your agency to view your Google Analytics is completed by granting administrative access to necessary Google profiles rather than supplying them with login information. Simply giving out login information is unsafe and logging in from a new device triggers additional authentication to be verified. When correctly used, the coupling of client input and marketing expertise allows the data collected in Google Analytics to work towards a better SEO experience and overall website experience for users and business owners alike.

10. Email Marketing Platforms

Among digital marketing tactics, email marketing offers a high level of segmentation and customization. Since marketers are always trying to stand out, email is a great way to personalize the message you send to your contacts and assert your prominence in their inbox. The additional beauty of email is the automation aspect that it provides. The days of manually hitting the send button are over; instead, automated workflows can be set up so that customized emails are automatically sent based on the response of your recipients. Your marketing agency needs access to your email marketing platform to allow them to share their guidance and expertise on your strategy and help you set up workflows.

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Also, supply your marketing agency with the credentials for your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform to associate the emails you send with the journey map of prospects and clients. With experience in the evolution of email marketing, agencies often know what works and what doesn’t, giving you the greatest chance to succeed with your campaign.

11. Social Media and Paid Social Account Information

To execute social media marketing campaigns, your digital marketing team will access the following social accounts and tools to post and interact with content and submit, run, and monitor paid ad campaigns. Real-time analytics and the ability to interact with customers or potential customers are crucial to maintaining the successful functionality businesses strive for.

LinkedIn Sponsored Content

LinkedIn Sponsored Content allows company pages to advertise their content as updates on the newsfeed of targeted users. Target audiences can be selected and filtered through various options so that Sponsored Content is put in front of the eyes that are most likely to convert to leads. A budget for LinkedIn Sponsored Content can be on a PPC basis or set by the cost per impression for a content offering. As an increasingly popular tactic in the digital marketing scene, it’s important to execute LinkedIn Sponsored Content correctly with guidance from an agency that knows the ins and outs of the tactic. In order to access and help create your Sponsored Content, an agency needs to be granted admin access to your company’s page.

LinkedIn Sponsored InMail

LinkedIn Sponsored InMail allows companies to reach targeted users in real time when they are logged into LinkedIn. Unlike Sponsored Content, InMail appears in the user’s inbox as personalized messages to recipients. To leverage LinkedIn Sponsored InMail in the best way possible, consulting an experienced marketing agency gives you knowledge of best practices and the most effective times to use InMail as an advertising tactic. To get agency help with your LinkedIn InMail, connect with the agency’s individual of choice, then accept the email allowing that individual to send InMail on your behalf.

Meta Ads

Meta (Facebook) Ads are a valuable PPC tool, like LinkedIn Sponsored Content, that can market content, events, services, products, and more to a targeted audience. Your digital marketing team will use their expertise to budget for and tailor campaigns that reach potential leads or customers and utilize insights and analytics from Facebook Ads to improve future marketing strategies.

Digital marketing is a highly involved strategy that takes time to implement successfully. Trusting and collaborating with an agency full of experts alleviates the know-how and experience that your company needs to get moving with SEO and SEM. If your company has digital marketing needs, contact Sagefrog Marketing Group today for a consultation on your current digital strategy and find out how we can help.

Looking for expert guidance to improve your digital marketing efforts? Contact us today.

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  1. Why You Need To Know Your Domain Name Registrar and Web Hosting Information, Terrostar
  2. The Website Migration Guide: SEO Strategy, Process, & Checklist, Moz
  3. Search Engine Market Share Worldwide, Statcounter Global Statistics