If your team has determined that it’s time to level up, be more competitive, and expand your reach, it’s probably time to get more from your digital marketing efforts. When it’s time to shake things up with a fresh perspective from digital marketing experts, we’re here to help. The best agencies not only offer powerful tools and services like general digital analytics, search engine optimization (SEO), paid online advertising (PPC), and conversion rate optimization (CRO), they also offer a results-oriented team of professionals that you’re eager to work with.
Before finalizing your decision, here are 15 key questions to ask a digital marketing agency so you know you’re making the right choice for your company.
How do you align our business goals with your agency?
This is a process question, and one of the most important questions to help you understand whether or not the agency is right for your business. If an agency cannot articulate its process, the tools it uses, or the frequency of interaction with your team ahead of and during the proposed engagement, you know something is off.
The right digital marketing agency should seek to understand both your overall company goals and your marketing goals. And it should outline the process that it uses to get to know your company, your team, your current marketing successes and challenges, and your desired outcomes. While the general process and discovery are the same, your plan should ultimately be customized and unique to your company.
For instance, when the team at (un)Common Logic begins a new engagement, we spend a significant effort getting to know the client’s business, unique selling propositions, target customers, why customers buy, competitors, etc. We spend time learning rather than assuming. This may take longer up front, but it delivers much better results down the road.
For our team to create a customized plan for each client, everyone completes our rigorous training program before they begin client work. And our team has weekly meetings in which new learnings, tools, and industry updates are shared. This means that all team members are able to take advantage of the knowledge and experience of everyone else in creating and optimizing each client’s plan.
Can you share recent case studies on digital marketing performance?
Any good company — digital marketing or otherwise — should be able to share compelling, relevant, and up-to-date success stories with you. Case studies that showcase how the digital marketing agency solve problems similar to yours can help you see the unique value proposition that the agency brings: What did they do to solve the problem(s)? How do they delight their clients? What tools do they bring to the table? What are the hard facts cited throughout the study that show positive change throughout the engagement?
This case study shows how the (un)Common Logic SEO and PPC teams came together to produce a 1,000% ROI for a B2B construction company. You’ll see that the challenge is clearly identified, our approach is outlined, and the results are transparently shared.
Read through the prospective agency’s case studies to learn about how they work with their clients, approach and solve challenges, and define success.
Will I get a dedicated point of contact?
Hiring a digital marketing agency can be a lot like onboarding an entirely new team of co-workers. This is great because you’ll be able to access a vast amount of knowledge and expertise in SEO, PPC, and CRO, among other things. But it can also be overwhelming if the agency does not have a clear process that sets you up for successful communication with them. A good agency not only has a team of approachable and helpful experts, they should also offer you a dedicated point of contact who meets with you regularly (weekly or biweekly).
At (un)Common Logic, clients are assigned an account manager who has an average of 3.5 years as a digital marketer and can hit the ground running. That person leads the charge on understanding your business goals, developing a customized digital marketing strategy, implementing tactics, conducting regular client meetings, responding to requests quickly (within 24 business hours), and spearheading updates to the plan as your business changes.
How do you measure success with so many different types of digital marketing campaigns and goals?
One of the major advantages of digital marketing is the ability to track and measure results. When screening a digital marketing agency, one of the key questions to ask is “How do you measure success for a client? For a campaign?”
Measuring the success of diverse digital marketing campaigns involves a combination of quantitative metrics. By setting clear objectives, defining key performance indicators, using analytics tools, and continuously optimizing your strategies, campaign performance can be gauged effectively.
The answer that the digital marketing agency gives you should be totally unique to your business and marketing goals. A digital agency will work closely with your team(s) to determine what your pain points are, who your target audience is, and what specific outcomes you’re looking for with each campaign. But measuring success on a campaign should not be a one-and-done deal. It should always be iterative.
Our team is relentless in our pursuit of optimization, and that means constantly and consistently monitoring progress, making improvements, conducting incremental testing and communicating results with our clients. We take a data-driven, customized approach to every campaign we work on.
What does digital marketing performance reporting look like?
You’re hiring a digital marketing agency because you’re looking for a change and want to see positive results. So, it’s important that you get really clear answers about how and how often the digital marketing agency’s team will share results with you, and how those results will be used for continuous improvement. Reports should include agreed-upon metrics, which may include click-through rates, conversions, sales, revenue, or return on investment. Continuous measurement and reporting helps all parties optimize and make informed decisions around resource allocation.
The report itself can be flexible based on your stated outcomes, but should include quantitative data, compelling visuals, insights, and actionable recommendations. And the company should always offer to have a meeting with you to go over the results. Our account managers meet regularly with clients to ensure everyone is on the same page with each campaign.
One other aspect of data and reporting to listen for is ownership: ownership of the data, at (un)Common Logic, belongs to each client, and ownership of the results belongs to the account team.
What is one SEO, PPC, or CRO tactic that generates results for all clients?
This is a question that’s designed to get the agency thinking on their feet. The real answer is this: when it comes to digital marketing, including SEO, PPC, and CRO, there’s no one-size-fits-all tactic that guarantees success for every client.
Of course, making blanket investments in each area will likely yield moderate results. However, that type of implementation is not user-focused, making it very likely that your results will plateau and the dollars you continue to invest will have less of an impact over time.
Our emphasis on user-focused digital marketing makes all the difference for our clients. For example, (un)Common SEO services revolve around the fact that if searchers’ needs and intentions are put first, organic traffic can be a high-potential revenue stream. Our highly trained SEO analysts design a custom plan with strategies, goals, objectives, and metrics focused on meeting or exceeding the expectations of site visitors, and thus converting them to customers. For an e-commerce client that was experiencing a decrease in revenue, we used strategic content, made holistic site improvements, and implemented structured data to increase organic revenue growth by 171% year-over-year,
With paid media, we treat our clients’ money as if it’s our own, pursuing growth opportunities while remaining accountable and transparent. Our staff use their paid media marketing expertise to find easily-overlooked information that can have major performance impacts and deliver impressive results. For a client who had very little data or insights into the competitive landscape, we designed a PPC campaign that increased quality leads by 22x in just one year. The campaign included custom messaging, audience targeting, and continuous expansion using ongoing research and testing. Through our dedicated PPC advertising services we’ve been able to re-allocate thousands of client dollars away from low-value, non-converting traffic to the traffic that actually increases returns on their investment.
And our unique approach to CRO can sometimes take people by surprise. We take a deep dive into a client’s site data and conduct research of our own before determining what tests should be run and which tactics to implement. Our work with a B2B player in the auto industry included an analysis of user behavior across the website which allowed for prioritizing high-value CRO testing opportunities, conducting five A/B tests, redesigning four webpages, and creating a new mega menu on the website. Within seven months, demo form conversions increased by 84%.
There are a lot of digital marketing strategies out there, and you want to find an agency that has the skill level to implement them while taking a thoughtful, data-driven approach that makes the most sense for your unique challenge.
How are you different from other digital marketing agencies?
What are some of the most important factors to your team when considering partnering with a digital marketing agency? Breadth of experience or expertise? Location? Team size? Innovative methodology? Understanding the true value-add of a digital marketing agency helps you build your case to make the hire and helps your team understand what they can expect out of the engagement. Prospective agencies should be able to quickly articulate what sets them apart from the rest.
As a multi-award-winning agency, (un)Common Logic relentlessly investigates digital marketing data to find the surprising facts that can solve a company’s toughest problems. We have found that pairing human expertise from our highly trained team with the right level of automation drives (un)Common performance that keeps us focused on results for our clients.
We care deeply about the careful management of paid media accounts, the back-end content improvements that can increase a site’s authority and visibility, the incremental testing that maximizes conversion rates, and data reporting that produces real insights. We ensure that our clients do not get left behind in a rapidly changing digital space.
“Our team embraces our values because we live by them every day. Our mission and values are not simply a series of platitudes inscribed on a plaque somewhere. They are a prescription for how we treat our clients and each other on a daily basis.”
Annie Duke, Director of Client Operations, (un)Common Logic
What exactly do you do for SEO?
Any number of tactics can be strewn together to help boost search engine optimization results. Ask the agency to outline the strategic and technical activities they engage in that will improve your website’s visibility and user experience.
Because our team operates with the goal of exceeding user expectations and converting them to customers, our approach is comprehensive, yet nuanced. At a high level, we offer the following services:
- SEO audits
- Visibility research
- Technical and architectural SEO
- Content strategy
- Backlinks strategy
- Continuing optimization
- SEO for site relaunches
But there’s more to our work than the services listed above.
“When it’s done right, SEO doesn’t stand for search engine optimization; it stands for search experience optimization. Yes, that starts with bots crawling and indexing, but the real magic happens once a searcher enters a query. Sites that are optimized for search experience (not just search engines) will deliver value to the searcher from the search results page through the on-site experience and into conversion.” — Jim McKinley, Co-Founder & Principal, (un)Common Logic
What exactly do you do for PPC?
Paid advertising is a rapidly changing landscape, and you want to be sure that the agency you decide to work with is staying on the cutting edge of new paid media developments. Automated bidding tools and a standard best-practices-based approach can usually get some positive results from paid media campaigns. But that type of paid media management can quickly become ineffective because the tools are easily outdated. Many agencies depend on automation to help their own profitability, often to the detriment of the client’s profitability, as large amounts of spend can be wasted when the basics get overlooked.
Rather than automated strategies, (un)Common paid media services are high touch, meticulous, and transparent. They involve lots of human intelligence, expertise, insight, and responsiveness to keep improving paid media performance year over year. Our suite includes:
- Paid media audits
- Paid search ads
- Product listing ads
- Mobile ads
- International campaigns
- Display advertising
- Programmatic advertising
- Ads on social media platforms
- Video ads
What exactly do you do for CRO?
Did you know that nearly 30% of large companies use CRO? But that doesn’t mean that all CRO solutions are created equal. CRO is an iterative process, and an agency should show you how they can continuously monitor strategies through data analysis while making adjustments to agreed-upon approaches based on the insights its team gathers. Your website and goals are unique, so your CRO plan should be, too.
(un)Common CRO follows a rigorous model using the scientific method to test hypotheses that can deliver the greatest revenue from increased conversion rates. High level services include:
- CRO audit
- Ongoing optimization
“In CRO, every site has its own unique challenges. Even if it may look the same as another, the audience behavior is different on each thus making them different. Learning about what works for one and not another keeps it interesting as no day is the same and no site really is the same.” — Josh Cuttill, Director of Website Strategy & Optimization
What exactly do you do for Social Media?
Social Media Management is an important part in building a full funnel marketing strategy and cannot be ignored. Most digital marketing agencies offer some sort of social media management services, and they should be leveraged to help you outmaneuver your competition.
(un)Common Logic offers data-driven social media services through our search engine marketing (SEM) and PPC teams. Through strategic targeting, audience and creative testing, and delivery optimizations, we work with clients to leave their mark on the highly competitive social media space.
Our data-obsessed SEM experts analyze a company’s goals, existing campaigns, and ad performance as well as the details of social channels to find the best places for paid media advertising. We also guide the creative team on what messages and offers bring the highest returns on social platforms, so the marketing team can speak directly to customers on the platforms they use regularly.
We optimize social ads to ensure:
- Strong offers and calls to action
- Consistent messaging aligned with marketing strategy
- Strategic usage of all relevant placements, platforms, and ad types
- Regular testing and optimizing of ad creative
- Mobile optimization and performance
What tools do you use for developing your strategy?
We’re big fans of tools and technology to make us more efficient and effective. We’re even bigger fans of having highly trained, hands-on experts regularly evaluating and managing those tools while staying focused on the results that our clients care most about. At (un)Common Logic, we have a dedicated team of experts whose responsibilities include staying current with available tools, evaluating them for efficacy, and training our team on how best to implement the ones deemed most impactful.
Below is a list of just some of the platforms, partners, and tools in our digital marketing toolbox:
- Microsoft Advertising
- Google Analytics
- Google Search Console
- Google Ads
- Screaming frog
- SEO Minion
- Answer the Public
- Looker Studio
- Adobe Target
- Search Ads 360
- Visual Website Optimizer
- Campaign Manager
- Optimize 360
- Display & Video 360
Who will be responsible for creating content?
Content creation can easily become the hot potato within the marketing team. Your team likely knows that good content does more than just get words onto the website or in ads; it builds relationships with visitors, promotes interaction, and attracts customers. But how? What’s the science behind it all?
Our (un)Common team shows clients how to develop content that is targeted, relevant, interesting, valuable, and follows a strategy aligned with their business goals. (un)Common content strategy includes:
- Building “content clusters” that add value to site visitors while compounding the site’s authority for search engines.
- Finding “content gaps” where content can fill a need within the search landscape for relevant topics.
- Developing a “content machine” that guides team members in creating content that’s valuable from a visitor standpoint and an SEO standpoint.
As always, our team focuses on data, detail, innovation, and bold thinking to help clients develop content that answers questions searchers might not even realize they have.
How do you leverage analytics to drive strategy?
Every digital marketing agency will tell you that they use analytics to drive strategy. And they probably do, most of the time. But you should spend a little more time on this topic to really get a feel for how invested the agency is in being data-driven.
Analytics and reporting don’t always get the respect they deserve, even though they’re the primary way to measure and evaluate the impact of digital marketing campaigns. But analytics drive everything we do at (un)Common Logic.
(un)Common analytics solutions ensure our clients’ marketing data is accurate and consistent, their marketing metrics are aligned with their strategic goals, and their reports guide them in making data-driven decisions. While analytics is built into all of our services, we offer the following to help extract deeper insights:
- Analytics audits
- Custom analytics setup
Have you worked in my industry before?
While your first instinct might be to choose an agency that has a lot of experience in your industry — they’d be familiar with the vocabulary, know who your customers are, and could likely get you up and running quickly — there’s another angle to take here.
There are some significant disadvantages to working with an industry-specific agency, the main one being that those agencies do not bring a breadth of knowledge around the larger digital marketplace that can help you solve the problems that are unique to your business.
At (un)Common Logic, we maintain that hiring the right digital marketing agency requires much more than finding an agency with industry-specific experience. Our deep experience across many industries means we bring strategic insights and a fresh perspective not only to digital marketing but also to other related marketing efforts. Our focus is always on how we can best integrate our work into your overall business goals and we lean heavily on our values to make that happen.
We believe that exposure to different industries, marketing challenges, and tactics is one of the most potent weapons (un)Common Logic can bring to our clients. We’ve worked with hundreds of clients across a variety of verticals (ecommerce, B2B, SaaS, and manufacturing, just to name a few), which means we have extensive experience solving difficult marketing problems. This makes us better marketers and allows us to bring unique ideas to different challenges, positioning our clients to have a leg-up in their industry.
Have more questions about hiring a digital marketing agency that you think we should cover? Reach out to our team so we can discuss in person or over the phone!