30 Questions to Ask Before Hiring an Online Advertising Agency

Online advertising agencies are a dime in a dozen.
As a client-side digital marketing strategist, I engage online advertising agencies for my PPC campaigns so that I can have time to focus on the broad spectrum that is digital marketing.
And while there are many other benefits of outsourcing your online advertising campaigns, sometimes it can be a pain to filter out the good agencies from the bad ones.
This is especially so because of how easy it is to set up an online advertising agency these days. To be frank, anyone and their moms can set up a website, register a company, call it something banal like “Rahul Digital Marketing” and plaster on a Google Partner badge.
Depending on your campaign, it may sometimes take a village to execute a major online advertising campaign, and it’s important to understand who you’re about to hire before you decide to commit.
Here are some questions to ask the online advertising agency during their pitch to you:

The Online Advertising Agency & Account Manager(s’) Profile

  1. How many years has the agency been around doing specifically online advertising campaigns that are similar to the one in question?
  2. What is the structure of the agency?

The Online Advertising Agency’s Portfolio and Relevant Experience

  1. Have you managed online advertising campaigns for clients in a similar industry/ niche?
  2. If so, what were the KPIs for those campaigns? Are there KPIs similar with our current ones?
  3. How well did you perform? Were the objectives met?

Due Diligence

  1. Have you done research on my business and brand story? What do you think our USPs are?
  2. What do you think our main challenges are pertaining to online advertising?
  3. Who do you think our competitors are?
  4. How have our competitors, in terms of online advertising, performed well? How can we learn from them?

Ad Creation, Optimisation & Maintenance

  1. What is the turnaround time new ad copy and changes?
  2. Will a new landing page be created?
  3. What kind of input will you be giving for the landing page designs? Will you be optimising the landing pages?
  4. On average, how often will you conduct A/B testing in search of opportunities to reduce CPA?
  5. What tools would you use for our campaigns?
  6. Will you be using heat maps, landing page builder/ optimisation software and analytics?
  7. What types of resources are available to us as a client?
  8. How often will you rejuvenate the campaign in terms of changing creatives and copies?

Client Servicing

  1. Typically, who makes up the online advertising team when servicing a client? How many team members would you have servicing a client in the optimisation, creative and developer teams?
  2. If we are not satisfied with the account manager, are we able to change him/ her?
  3. What if our KPIs are not met per month basis?
  4. How often will we get to communicate/ review the campaign?
  5. What are your office’s working hours?
  6. What if we spot a mistake on a live campaign that needs to be rectified over the weekend or on a public holiday?
  7. What is your usual mode of communication?


  1. What is the reporting like? Can we have a sample of your report for a client with a similar campaign? How transparent is your agency?
  2. How would you measure the conversions of our lead generation campaign?


  1. What’s your pricing model like? What does the management fee include?
  2. What if our media budget increases? Would the management fee increase?

Service Agreement Between You & the Online Advertising Agency

  1. Who owns the ad accounts and assets such as the working files of the creatives and landing pages?
  2. In the event that the digital advertising campaign does not meet the KPIs in the midst of the term, are we able to discontinue the working relationship without a penalty?

Asking these questions can help you avoid any blind spots, especially when you’re about to go into a new working relationship with an agency you’re not familiar with.
Do you have any other considerations before you hire an online advertising agency? Let me know in the comments below!

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