In today’s tech-fueled world the majority of many businesses’ budgets are being allocated towards digital -- and for good reason. Digital marketing allows businesses of all sizes to hyper-target their audience, track important KPI’s and prove ROI. Regardless of whether your business is big or small, making the shift from traditional to digital is a great investment. If you’re looking to outsource your this work, here are five important questions to ask before hiring a digital marketing company.

1. What KPIs will you measure?

Key Performance Indicators (also known as KPI’s) are measurable elements of any marketing campaign. They allow you to see how well the marketing strategy is performing and what you should adjust to make improvements. Reputable digital marketing companies will already have an idea of what to measure based on the unique needs of your business. Here are the top five KPI’s they should be measuring:

  • Traffic -- the amount of people visiting your website
  • Traffic Sources -- where your web traffic is coming from
  • Conversions -- the amount of people that have visited your website and become a lead
  • Cost per Lead -- the amount of money it costs to acquire a new lead by each marketing source
  • Revenue per Lead -- the amount of money you make for each lead that generated

Related: 10 Budget-Conscious Digital Marketing Strategies

2. How long have you been around?

With technology giving anyone with a computer the ability to start a business, new digital marketing “companies” are popping up every day. It’s important to vet their business and find out if they have the experience to market your business correctly. The younger a company is, the more likely they are to make mistakes and not fully think out your marketing strategy. However, these risks might be worth it if their price is low enough. This is a matter of personal and financial preference but be warned, the consequences of hiring an inexperienced agency could lead to big regret in the future. When making this decision, the key is to look at marketing as an investment in your company, rather than money you’ll never see again.

Related: Most Small-Business Owners Buy These 5 Digital Marketing Myths

3. Who will be handling our account?

This may seem like a silly question but it’s an incredibly important one to answer. Why? Many digital marketing companies tout their abilities to bring you more customers but don’t actually do the work. They bring in new clients and outsource all the work overseas. While outsourcing some things can be beneficial to save time and money for both the client and the marketing company, outsourcing too much can have dramatically negative effects on the marketing campaign as the emphasis is now on cost over quality.

Related: 10 Budget-Conscious Digital Marketing Strategies

4. “How do you report your results?”

Measuring results is crucial to any marketing campaign, especially when it comes to digital marketing. This is because the “digital” aspect of digital marketing makes it very simple to track success (or lack thereof). Ask each potential agency how they report their results and what you can expect to receive in terms of reporting. For larger campaigns, it is recommended to have a monthly report put together that tracks KPI’s, milestones, and overall growth. For smaller campaigns, communication between the digital marketing company and client on how the campaign is running may be more feasible.

Related: 6 Free Online Classes for Digital-Marketing Beginners

5. What results can you expect in six months?

This question is tricky to answer. The truth is that it’s hard to estimate results with a brand new client. This is because it takes time to understand the industry, competitive landscape and test what works. Many companies may answer by promising you the world and guaranteeing you results. However, you’ll want to make sure they aren’t trying to sell you snake oil. Companies that honestly say that they can’t guarantee results are more likely, through every step of the relationship, to tell you the truth and communicate both the positive the negative outcomes when running a marketing strategy (rather than just telling you what you want to hear).