11 Questions to Ask Your Digital Marketing Agency

Selecting the right digital marketing agency for your business can be a daunting process. It takes careful consideration to evaluate a potential partner, as the agency will play a substantial role in shaping your brand’s online presence and driving growth. 

Remember that choosing a digital marketing agency isn’t just about the agency, it’s also about your business’s needs and objectives. Asking the right questions is the first step towards hiring wisely and achieving your goals. It’s essential to assess their expertise, communication style, track record, and ethics to ensure a long-term, results-driven partnership.

These 11 questions can help you evaluate a digital marketing agency.

Understand Their Expertise

A digital marketing agency with certified employees can better help you achieve your goals. Look for an agency that has both agency-wide certifications as well as employees with individual certifications. 

Ask: What qualifications do you have?

The most reputable and valued certifying organization is Google, which provides analytics and paid search certifications.

Setting Expectations

No digital marketing agency can predict the future, but they should be able to estimate expected results and describe their reporting processes. Digital marketing magic doesn’t happen overnight.

Ask: What type of results can I expect?

Quality results require patience. Among the first questions to ask a digital agency is when you can expect to see results. Both parties should agree to a reasonable timeline, but remember that all business needs and goals are different.

Service and Communication

Quality digital marketing agencies will provide a dedicated account manager who acts as a direct contact and promptly answers calls and emails. Larger agencies can stretch account managers thin, potentially allowing poor communication and bad service. Typically, having fewer accounts means more time to manage yours.

Ask: How often will I be hearing from you?

When thinking about follow-up questions to ask your SEO or PPC agency, try to learn what level of communication you’ll receive.

Set Measurable Goals

Does the digital marketing agency have measurable goals that offer your business tangible results on a timeline, accompanied by a clear plan specific to your business?

Ask: What specific, measurable goals do you envision for my site?

A reputable agency should always start out using analytics to establish a baseline of your current traffic and then create an appropriate plan for your company and website. 

If they’re unable to discuss what success looks like, they may not be an agency you want to work with.

Reporting Process

A digital marketing agency’s reporting process is crucial for gauging the success of your campaigns and engagement with the agency. Their reports also help you make informed decisions about your marketing strategy.

Ask: What is your reporting process?

Make sure to ask about the frequency of reports, what metrics are tracked (KPIs), what the reporting format is, if it can be customized to suit your business’s needs, how accessible the reports will be, and how the agency will communicate key findings or insights.

Handling Campaign Challenges

To learn a digital marketing agency’s problem-solving approach and adaptability, you can ask how it addresses challenges or setbacks in campaigns.

Ask: What is your process for handling challenges or setbacks in campaigns?

A good agency will likely have a process in place to identify issues, as well as ways to analyze root causes and come up with strategic solutions. Effective communication between you and the agency can also be essential during times of challenges or setbacks.

Assess Agency Ethics

You need an agency that practices ethical behavior towards its clients and its operation as a whole. This can be especially important if you ever have to end your partnership.

Ask: Who keeps the marketing materials?

A digital marketing agency that requires you to relinquish ownership of your accounts and hides your data from you should raise red flags.

Evaluate their Reputation

Research what others are saying about a potential agency partner through reviews, testimonials and case studies. When evaluating a potential agency partner, be sure to avoid fly-by-night operations.

Ask: Do you have case studies or accreditations?

The best way to investigate whether an agency has a good track record with strong references and minimal complaints is through websites like Clutch.

Level of Transparency

Digital marketing agencies should be transparent with campaign performance and analytics. These elements allow clients to make informed decisions about their digital marketing strategies.

Ask: What level of transparency can I expect regarding campaign performance and analytics?

A trustworthy agency should provide regular updates on campaign progress, including key performance indicators (KPIs), such as website traffic, conversion rates, and return on investment (ROI).

Visibility and Rankings

A digital marketing agency should rank for its keywords. Search to see if the firm ranks for online marketing terms in its service areas.

Ask: How does your website rank?

Remember, competition to make the first page of results is fierce, and small agencies can’t always beat large firms. That doesn’t make them a bad choice, so get the full picture before selecting an agency to work with.

Staying Updated with Industry Trends and Changes

A digital marketing agency should be actively staying on top of industry trends and changes, as this demonstrates the agency’s commitment to adaptability and expertise in the industry.

Ask: How do you stay updated with the latest trends and changes in digital marketing?

Good agencies will monitor changes in algorithms (especially Google updates), consumer behavior, and technology to proactively adapt their strategies.

Selecting a Digital Marketing Agency

Choosing an agency partner to help with your SEO, PPC (or both) can be an intimidating task, but you can use these questions to make the process easier. 

Choosing a digital marketing agency isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. It’s about finding a partner that understands your business’s unique needs and aligns with your specific goals. Asking the right questions is the first step toward a strategic partnership that propels your business forward.

Frequently Asked Questions

What to consider before hiring a digital marketing agency?

Before hiring a digital marketing agency, take time to define your business goals (increased traffic, lead generation, etc.) and set a realistic budget for your desired marketing services. Try to see if the agency is a cultural fit with your business, and that they understand your industry and target audience.

Look for agencies with a proven track record, relevant experience, and clear communication processes. 

How do I prepare for a marketing agency meeting?

Before the meeting with the agency, solidify your goals and be prepared to talk about your challenges and opportunities.  Prepare questions for the marketing company about its process, pricing, and experience with businesses similar to yours. Have your budget information and any relevant data (website analytics, target audience information) ready to share.

How do you value a digital marketing agency?

The value of an agency goes beyond its service cost, you should be considering the ROI the agency delivers. The ROI could include increased website traffic, leads generated, or sales growth. Additionally, consider the improved brand awareness and online reputation the agency brings, as well as the expertise they contribute to your marketing efforts. You should also consider the value of their guidance and industry knowledge. 

Is it worth it to hire a digital marketing agency?

Yes, hiring a digital marketing agency can be worth it if you lack the time, resources, or in-house expertise to manage your digital marketing effectively. Digital marketing agencies offer specialized skills, industry knowledge, and the ability to execute effective marketing campaigns. 

However, it’s crucial to choose the right agency that aligns with your specific needs and budget.

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Lyndsey Maddox

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