When it comes to advertising, many business owners feel overwhelmed. There are so many options and strategies to choose from. How can you be sure that you’re making the best decision for your business? One option is to hire a digital marketing agency. But before you do that, there are a few questions you need to ask. Today, we will discuss 50 questions that you should ask before hiring a digital marketing agency!
Ask these questions to check if your goals are aligned or not.
1. What are some companies or brands you have worked with?
This will help you understand the type of companies the agency usually works with. It will give you a better idea of whether or not the agency is a good fit for your company.
Do they have experience working with companies in your industry? If not, can they provide examples of successful campaigns they have run for other companies?
The agency should also be able to provide you with a list of references from companies they have worked within the past.
2. How was their experience working with the last company? What did they find as the biggest challenge?
It will give you an overview of what the agency is like to work with. It will also give you a sense of what challenges they may have faced with other clients and how they handled them.
The agency should be able to provide you with both positive and negative feedback about their past experiences. They should also be able to tell you how they handled any challenges that arose. If the agency cannot provide you with this type of feedback, it may signify that they are not willing to be transparent about their work. You should also ask for specific examples of the agency’s successful campaigns. This will help you gauge their ability to produce results.
3. Will they be flexible in working with your to achieve your company goals?
It is essential for you to know if the agency is willing to work with you to achieve your specific goals. The agency should be able to provide you with a detailed plan of how they will help you achieve your goals. They should also be willing to make changes to their approach if necessary.
If the agency is unwilling to be flexible, it may signify that they are not the right fit for your company.
4. What are their KPIs, and how do they measure success?
The agency should be able to provide you with a detailed explanation of their KPIs and how they measure success. Every deliverable they mention should be connected to your company’s goals. If the agency cannot provide you with this type of information, it may signify that this is not their area of expertise.
Ask these questions to check on their offerings and proficiencies.
5. What are the different disciplines that your agency covers?
You should know the agency’s areas of expertise. The agency should be able to provide you with a list of the different disciplines they cover. These disciplines should be relevant to your company’s needs. Some of the disciplines that a digital marketing agency might cover include market research, brand strategy, creative development, media planning, and web development.
You should also ask about any other services that the agency offers that could be helpful to your company. These services might include social media management, search engine optimization, or pay-per-click advertising.
Here’s a checklist of essential proficiencies to consider when you are vetting an agency
- Web Design
- Web Development
- Website Hosting
- Digital & Inbound Marketing
- Copy and content writing (thought leadership development)
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Sales Strategy
- Focus on metrics that generate revenue
6. Do they outsource their work?
It is a standard business practice to outsource some work, but it is essential to know what job the agency outsources. You need to understand what services the agency outsources as you might be looking for specific expertise. For example, if you need a new website, you might want to know if the agency outsources its web design work.
This is important because you might want to work directly with the designers or developers to ensure that they understand your vision.
Ask these questions to get to know their team better.
7. Does their marketing team resonate with your company’s personality?
The agency’s marketing team should be a good fit for your company’s personality. This is important because you want the agency to understand your company’s voice and values.
You would not want to work with an agency whose team is too serious if your company is fun and friendly. Conversely, you do not wish to work with an agency whose team is too playful if your company is more reserved.
8. How would you describe your agency’s culture?
The agency’s culture should be a good fit for your company’s culture. This is important because you want the agency to understand your company’s values. It’s beneficial to both parties if the agency’s culture is similar to your company’s culture. For example, if both parties are results-oriented, they will likely have a good working relationship.
If the agency’s culture is drastically different from your company’s culture, it might be challenging to build a rapport.
Ask these questions to find out what tools and software they use.
9. What are the different marketing software you use, and which one do you specialize in?
You need to know what software the agency uses and if they are familiar with the software you use. The agency should be able to tell you which software they specialize in and why they believe it is the best option for your company. Some of the most popular marketing software include HubSpot, Marketo, and Pardot.
10. Which tool do you use for project management?
Project management is an integral part of an agency’s workflow. It allows the agency to keep track of deadlines, deliverables, and progress reports. The tool they use should be able to give you a clear picture of the project’s progress. Some of the most popular project management tools include Asana, Jira, and Trello.
Ask these questions to understand their account management practices.
11. How often will we be meeting?
The agency’s communication style should be comprehensive and easy to understand. It is important to know how often the agency likes to meet so you can gauge their level of involvement. Some clients like to meet once a week, others like a formal meeting just once a month.
12. How will you be hosting our meetings?
With changing cultures of meetings, it’s important to know the agency’s meeting style. Do they prefer holding video conference meetings or simple calls? Which video conferencing platform do you use?
13. How much of your availability will they be needing?
The agency should be able to give you a realistic estimate of the amount of time they will need from you. This is important because you need to know how much time you will need to dedicate to the project. This will also help you decide if you need to delegate some work to someone else on your team.
Ask these questions to understand the service contract and proposal.
14. What is the project timeline?
The agency should be able to give you a realistic timeline for the project. This is important because you need to know when to expect deliverables and how long the project will take.
You need to understand that the marketing results could take a little while to show, and the project timeline should account for that.There should be milestones set for each phase of the project so you can track the progress.
15. What is included in your service contract?
The agency’s service contract should be clear and concise. It should outline the scope of work, deliverables, timeline, and payment terms. You should also receive a copy of the agency’s liability insurance policy.
16. What is their ramp-up phase, and what does it entail?
Devising marketing strategies and plans can take some time. The agency’s ramp-up phase is the amount of time it will take for them to get up to speed on your company and industry. This is important because you need to give the agency enough time to develop a well-rounded understanding of your business before they can start executing.
This also will save you from setting up any unrealistic expectations.
17. What is their proposal process?
The agency’s proposal process should be designed to give you the best possible outcome for your project. It should be tailored to your specific needs and objectives. The proposal should also include a detailed budget, milestones, and overall project timeline.
Ask these questions to understand their Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Services.
18. What are the latest SEO trends and updates?
SEO has evolved rapidly over the years, and it is important to know that the agency is keeping up with the latest trends. Google is constantly updating its algorithms, impacting your website’s ranking.
The SEO practices which were effective last year might not be effective this year. The agency should be able to give you a general idea of the latest trends and how they can impact your website.
19. How long will it take for them to bring visible results?
SEO is a long-term marketing strategy, and it can take several months, sometimes even a year, to see visible results. The agency should give you a general idea of how long it will take for them to see some results.
20. If you had to use only one SEO tactic, what would it be and why?
Like other questions, it is a bit tricky too. The answer to these questions is not straightforward. SEO is not one size fits all, and what works for one website might not work for another. It requires a customized approach for each website. But this question will give you an insight into their SEO understanding and how they would approach your website’s optimization.
21. How do you generate SEO leads?
The agency should have a process in place to generate SEO leads. This is important because you need to know how they will generate traffic to your website. The answer to this question will give you an idea of their SEO tactics and how they plan on driving traffic to your website.
At SEO Vendor, we use our marketing engine to generate niche leads for our clients. It is an efficient SEO lead generation system that uses Google search.
22. What, according to you, is the role of backlinks in campaign success?
Backlinks are an important ranking factor for SEO. They are links from other websites to your website. These links act as a vote of confidence for your website and tell search engines that your website is authoritative and trustworthy. The more backlinks you have, the higher your website will rank on search engine result pages.
But backlink strategies are complex and mainly out of the agency’s control. They are time taking and labor-intensive. Backlink outreach campaigns need to be well-planned and executed as websites with good authority will not link to just any website.
The agency should be able to give you their insights on backlinks for your website, their approach, and how they plan to execute it.
23. What distinguishes a quality backlink from the average one?
Quality backlinks are the ones that come from websites with good authority. They are also relevant to your website’s content and niche.
Quality backlinks are more difficult to get, but they have a more significant impact on your website’s ranking. The agency should be able to tell you the clearly distinguish between a quality backlink and an average one.
24. Do you have any AI in place that could assure improved results or ensure that there will be no penalties from the search engines?
There are more than 200 ranking factors for SEO, and no agency can control all of them. But some tools can help agencies keep track of the changing algorithms and updates from Google.
One such tool is AI (Artificial Intelligence) for SEO. AI can help agencies monitor your website’s performance, track changes in the algorithms and even help with backlink outreach. Not every agency has access to this AI technology, but it can be a game-changer for your website’s optimization if they do.
25. Do you have any mechanism using which I can control my SEO strategy?
Agencies usually have their methods and tools to track a website’s performance and progress. But it is always good to have some transparency and control over your SEO strategy.
We at SEO Vendor have a patent-pending lever control feature that puts our clients in the captain’s seat and lets them control the aggressiveness of their SEO strategy. It is easy to use, and you can change the focus at any time to meet your SEO goals.
26. Do you provide any SEO dashboard using which I can monitor my SEO growth?
The agency should be able to provide you with an SEO dashboard where you can track your website’s progress and performance. This will help you keep track of your SEO goals and see how the agency performs. A good SEO dashboard will have essential metrics such as keyword rankings, traffic, and backlinks.
At SEO Vendor, we provide our clients with an AI-powered SEO dashboard that includes all the important metrics and data points related to their website’s SEO progress. The dashboard is updated in real-time, and you can monitor your website’s progress anytime, anywhere.
27. How do you plan to connect for approvals?
The agency should be able to provide an efficient and effective method for getting approvals from you. This can be done via email, phone, or video conferencing.
At SEO Vendor, we have a secure and easy-to-use approval system that our clients can use to approve or reject any changes made to their website. The approval system is integrated with our project management software so that all the approvals are tracked and recorded. Our clients can easily access it from their agency dashboard.
Ask these questions to understand their Content Marketing Services.
28. What services do you provide under content marketing?
Content marketing has evolved over the years and now includes various services such as content strategy, content creation, distribution, and promotion. This question will help you understand if the agency provides only one specific service, say creation, or they ace in all.
29. Will you need our assistance with content creation?
Many industries are too specific and require in-depth understanding, which an agency might not have. In such cases, the agency might need to involve you or your team in the content creation process to understand the industry better and create quality content.
30. How would you blend content with our brand strategy?
Creating engaging and relevant content for your brand is not an easy task. It requires a lot of research and planning.
The agency should be able to tell you how they would go about creating content that is in line with your brand strategy.
31. Do you have any experience in brand building?
Branding experience is significant because if the agency doesn’t understand branding, how will they be able to blend your marketing with brand tone. Agencies with an in-house branding team are better suited for the job as they can easily connect with your company’s tribe.
32. What, according to you, are three factors that make a piece of content or copy successful?
For a piece of content or copy to be successful, it needs to be engaging, relevant, and well-written. Moreover, it should be able to connect with the audience on an emotional level and prompt them to take action.
33. What do you prefer – short or long blog posts?
There has been an open debate on this topic, and there is no right or wrong answer. It depends on the purpose of the blog post and what kind of audience you are targeting.
If you want to rank for specific keywords, then a longer blog post might be better as it gives you more space to include those keywords. On the other hand, if you are trying to build a brand or establish yourself as an expert, shorter blog posts might be better as they are easier to read and digest. The agency should be able to tell you what they prefer and why.
34. Do they have in-house designers?
Marketing is incomplete without design. Everything needs design, from creating an attractive landing page to designing an infographic. Therefore, the agency must have in-house designers who can take care of all your design needs.
If they don’t have designers, they will have to outsource the work, costing you more and delaying the project.
35. How do they generate new ideas?
The agency should have a process in place for generating new ideas. This could be anything from brainstorming sessions to keeping up with the latest trends. Ideas are the foundation of any successful marketing campaign, and the agency must have a system in place for generating them.
Ask these questions to understand their PPC Services.
36. What’s your experience working in our vertical?
PPC campaigns are versatile and can be used in any industry. However, certain industries are more complex than others and require a deep understanding of the products and services. For example, running a PPC campaign for an eCommerce store is different from running a B to B company campaign.
The agency should have experience working in your industry to understand your products and services.
37. What’s the biggest PPC account you’ve managed?
The size of the PPC account is not as important as the quality of the traffic. However, it is still an excellent question to ask to get an idea of their experience.
38. Do you provide real-time reporting?
As a business owner, you need to keep a real-time track of much money has been spent, the cost per conversion, and clicks generated. You can sit back and wait for the weekly or monthly report to check the progress. The agency should be able to provide you with a real-time tracking dashboard.
At SEO Vendor, we provide our clients with a real-time tracking dashboard where they can see all the important metrics.
39. How do you monitor budgets and conversion trends?
The agency should have a system to monitor budgets and conversion trends. They should be able to tell you how they track the campaign’s progress and what measures they take to ensure that the budget is not exceeded.
Ask these questions to understand their Web Design Services.
40. What types of design do you do: Custom or template?
There are two types of design – custom and template. Custom design is created from scratch according to the client’s specifications. The template design is based on a pre-existing template customized to the client’s needs. The agency should be able to do both types of design to create a perfect website for your business.
41. What’s the process for designing a custom website?
The agency should have a process in place for designing a custom website. This could involve anything from brainstorming sessions to creating mockups to get feedback from the client. The agency should be able to walk you through the process so that you know what to expect.
42. How will the website keep pace with your business?
The agency should have a plan for how the website will keep pace with your business. This could involve adding new pages to the website to update the content regularly. The agency should be able to explain its process so that you can be sure that the website will always be up-to-date.
43. What is your experience with responsive design?
Responsive design is a must in today’s mobile world. It means that the website will automatically adjust to the device’s screen size on which it is being viewed. The agency should have experience with responsive design to create a website that looks great on all devices.
44. What content management system do you use?
The content management system (CMS) is the software used to create and manage the content on a website. The agency should be able to use any CMS that you require.
However, if they have experience with a particular CMS, they may be able to provide you with additional features or a better price.
45. What are the tools you use to design?
The agency should have various tools that they use to design websites. Some of the most popular tools include Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. The agency should be able to explain how they use each tool so that you can be sure that they will be able to create the website that you want.
46. Will you use Google Analytics or other tools for website analytics?
The agency should be able to use Google Analytics or other tools for website analytics. This will allow you to track the website’s progress and see how it is performing. The agency should be able to explain how they use these tools so that you can be sure that they will be able to track the progress of the website.
47. How do you plan to offer maintenance for the site?
The website requires maintenance to keep them running smoothly. This could involve anything from providing updates to the website to fixing any errors that may occur. The agency should be able to explain its process so that you can be sure that the website will always be up and running.
48. What kind of security features do you plan to use?
Website security is vital to protect the website from hackers, especially if the website will be storing any sensitive information.
The agency should be able to explain the security features that they use so that you can be sure that your website will be safe. These features could include a firewall, SSL encryption, and passwords. The agency should be able to explain how they use these security features so that you can be sure that your website will be safe.
Ask these questions to understand to make final decisions.
49. Are they working with any of your competitors or other business in the same niche?
It is imperative to know that the agency you consider is not working with any of your competitors. You want to ensure that they focus on your business and not divide between multiple businesses. The agency should be able to explain why they are not working with any of your competitors so that you can be sure that they are focused on your business.
50. Can you illustrate your past successes?
Lastly, it is crucial to ass for examples of the agency’s past successes. If they cannot show you any examples, then it is likely that they have not had much success in the past.
When considering hiring a digital marketing agency, these questions will help you make a more informed decision. Asking questions will also help you understand the agency’s process and what to expect from working with them.
An experienced and successful digital marketing agency will be able to answer all of these questions easily and provide you with the peace of mind that you need to make an informed decision. So don’t hesitate to ask questions. It could be the most crucial part of hiring a digital marketing agency!
Do you have any questions that you would add to this list? Let us know in the comments below! And if you’re looking for an agency that can provide you with all digital marketing services under one roof, contact us today! We would love to chat with you about your needs.