28/02/2013 Sean

5 Questions To Ask A Digital Marketing Agency Before You Hire Them

questions to ask a digital marketing agencyIt’s hard to know exactly what to look for in a digital marketing agency and it can be quite overwhelming at times. Every digital marketing agency seems to be saying the same thing and coming at you with lots of technical jargon.

All you hear is link building this and optimisation that and it can be difficult to sort the good digital marketing agencies from the bad. However there are a few questions that you should consider to help you find the right digital marketing agency to meet your goals and budgets.

What sets you apart from any other digital marketing agency?

This is a vital question to ask and can be one that could knock out 50% of the potential digital marketing agencies. This question will find out what agencies can provide your brand with unique value and help your business grow online. The answer you should look for is not the one that rambles on about their strengths but is honest about both strengths and weaknesses. You want to see how that agency is constantly evolving and upgrading their digital marketing services to stick with the constant changes of the digital marketing industry.

Every digital marketing agency has different strengths and weaknesses so make sure you try to find an agency with strengths that can benefit your brand. One thing you need to remember is that the company that you hire will be in charge of your online brand. If this agency will not be transparent about their own brand you need to seriously consider hiring them.

What Will My Money Get Me?

Again this question is crucial, as most companies who invest in SEO don’t understand what they are actually paying for. Everyone has heard horror stories about companies getting ripped off by a digital marketing agency but the truth is to survive in business today you need to be honest with clients. Don’t let these few agencies spoil your outlook on SEO because the truth is that SEO works and most digital marketing agencies are great and want to help your brand achieve greatness.

Something that you need to look out for is to ensure that all of your money is not being spent on just link building. Pure link building was great years ago but the world is changing everyday and content is becoming the new form link building. Make sure you find out exactly how many blog posts will be written for your website per month, and also how many hours of link building and social media you will get for the retainer.

In terms of link building try to steer clear of digital marketing agencies that mention paid links. Google are cracking down on these types of links and if the agency mentions hundreds or thousands of links, jump up and walk away otherwise you could be facing huge Google penalties.

What you want to hear is the agency talking about branded links, long tail keywords and natural link building. If the agency talks about natural link building you are on the right track. You do no want dodgy digital marketing or you’ll find yourself in hot water down the line.

How Will The Digital Marketing Agency’s Campaign Be Measured?

This is one of the most important questions to ask because it helps establish goals and lets you know if your investment will pay off. The agency cannot promise anything but they should have a clear vision of how long it should take to see results. If you’re an e-commerce website they might measure your results in terms of sales or leads. You want a digital marketing agency that will not only generate traffic but also help that traffic to convert.

Be sure to ask about monthly reports and find out exactly what will be in these reports. Things you should be looking for are:

  • Rankings
  • Backlinks
  • Blog Titles
  • Traffic
  • Conversions
  • Work Done
  • Hours
  • Next Month’s Plan

As a digital marketing agency, we are very open and honest with our clients and try to include as much information as possible in our reports because we know that it’s the primary method of visibility for the client.

Do I Own The Links & Content I Pay For?

Again I have heard stories about digital marketing agencies taking down links and blog posts after contracts have ended. This is outrageous because you have paid good money for these services so you should own every bit of work they have done for your business. Be upfront with the agency and ask, “If the contract is terminated will I still own the links and content which I paid for?” If they say yes then you need to get it added into the contract and if not you need to cross them off the list.

Can I Speak With Current Customers?

At the end of the day the agency is applying for a job. No person would go into a job interview without any references. The agency should be the same and should be open and honest about their clients. They should provide a current client or two at the drop of a hat, if not you can cross them off the list.

The great thing about talking to current clients is that you will get a feel for the quality of the work being done. This question should be one of the last questions that you ask because at this stage you should be left with very few potential digital marketing agencies and the ‘current customers question’ should help you sway more towards one agency.

Hiring a digital marketing agency should be exciting for your business as you are trying to achieve new goals online. However don’t let this be ruined by the few bad agencies out there. By asking these questions it should help you reach a conclusion about which agency is best suited for your brand.

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About the Author

Sean I am a savvy Inbound Marketing Consultant at Brave Media. My Roles include Earning Links , Writing Content, Blog Writing, Setting up & Running Social Media campaigns and most things to do with Inbound Marketing.

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