There are several pay per click agencies out there—some good and some not so good. With Google constantly rolling out new updates to their organic search results algorithm, more companies are being pushed to pay too much for search marketing. If you are considering diving into PPC advertising here are some things to look for in a potential pay per click management partner.
Focused on what truly matters—ROI.
Metrics such as impressions, click through rates, and ad positions are great, but they should not be the focus of your campaign. If a PPC management company is focusing on these metrics there is a problem. The main focus should be on cost per conversions, leads, sales, and ROI. These are the metrics that really matter and determine whether or not the campaign is successful.
All accounts handled in-house—no outsourcing.
Make sure that any company you consider hiring doesn’t outsource its work. Many are just glorified sales reps that sell you on a service and pass your account off to a company overseas. The lack of direct communication is a huge disadvantage. Also, if you ask a questions or request a change, the company has to pass off your request to the outsource company. There are just too many things that can go wrong. Only work with a management agency that handles its clients in-house.
Full understanding of SEO.
PPC and SEO go hand-in-hand, and you will benefit by working with an agency that offers both services. Now, this doesn’t mean that the same people should be handling your PPC that are working on your SEO campaign. They are two entirely different departments. But the agency can use information gathered from each campaign to improve your overall online marketing strategy. The PPC data can be used to identify keywords that convert highly and the SEO data can be used to uncover new keywords to target via PPC that are low competition and low cost.
Fully transparent with account access and billing.
You should never work with an agency that doesn’t allow you to access your pay per click accounts. That is a major red flag. You should be able to login and view your account and access your billing information at any time. Legitimate PPC agencies will simply gain access to your account through their master account, giving you both access. A legitimate agency will never bill you for your PPC spend directly. You should always be paying your ad spend directly to Google, Bing, or whatever platform you are advertising on. The only charge from the agency will be the management fee.
Offers free consultation and audit.
If an agency doesn’t offer you a consultation or audit prior to asking for your credit card number or sending you an invoice, that is a major red flag. No two PPC campaigns are the same and often times there needs to be some custom landing pages created before even launching a pay per click campaign. My company offers business owners a PPC consultation and strategy session before we even discuss moving forward.
Certified Google Partner.
Look for a company that is AdWords certified and part of the Google Partner program. It requires passing Google’s PPC tests and maintaining a small $10,000 monthly ad spend in order to maintain this status. Since it is fairly simple to obtain this status, any PPC company that is not should be considered amateurs and not worth your time.
Frequent reporting and constantly discussing strategy.
Look for a pay per click agency that is going to provide you with frequent updates on the performance of your campaign. If they promise reports every Friday then make sure that schedule is followed. Casual or infrequent reporting is an indication of trouble. At the very minimum you should receive detailed campaign performance reports once a month along with a conference call to discuss strategy and progress.
Offers industry and market exclusivity.
If you own a dental practice in San Diego you don’t want to work with an agency that is also managing the PPC account of your competitor, right? Make sure that you only engage with a company that offers exclusivity. You want to make sure that they have your best interest in mind, and that won’t be the case if they don’t offer you some exclusivity in regards to your industry and geographical location.
PPC is an extremely measurable form of online marketing that can quickly be scaled. When done correctly it can provide very rapid growth. Make sure that you work with an agency that is focused on developing a long-lasting relationship and is ROI focused.
What other tips can you share with businesses looking to sign-on with a PPC management company?
Originally published Nov 24, 2014, updated Aug 07, 2020