Many digital marketing firms flourish, even though they don't rank well in the search results. If you know how SEO works, you might be wary of hiring a firm off page three of the SERPs. There are many digital marketing firms that get very little traffic from Google and they don't care.
The reason is that they get the vast majority of clients from referrals. Previous or current clients recommend others, eliminating the need for inbound marketing techniques such as SEO. It does not mean the firm does not understand SEO, they may just have as many clients as they can handle at the moment. It makes more sense to concentrate on their client's needs as opposed to working on their own website. Past and present clients can bring more lucrative leads than Google can.
Additionally, many digital marketing firms get their business from appearing at events and on podcasts. The CEO can show his or her expertise and showcase the agency's successes to attract clients. Business owners often prefer to spend money with a person they trust and feel like they know as some campaigns can cost 10k or more. Business cards are also still useful at conferences and events.
Digital marketers often excel at social media. They attract clients who wish their own social media presence to be as engaging. LinkedIn and Facebook groups are especially popular places for digital marketers to obtain clients.
You'll also see web designers who have horrible looking sites. Either they have no skills or they are so busy from word-of-mouth advertising that they don't have time to update their own site. It may look outdated. A savvy business owners will look at the sites they have built for other businesses and decide if they are talented web designers or poor web designers. For more information click here https://www.reddit.com/r/SEO/comments/gf8b3e/howdodigitalmarketingfirmswithnear_0/.