Incorporating paid search campaigns into your digital marketing strategy is a great way to get a quick boost in results. Unfortunately, there are a lot of companies out there that are getting the short end of the stick with their PPC marketing agency, and this post is geared towards making sure you don’t become one of them! When you’re vetting agencies to manage your pay per click campaigns, here are a few things to keep in mind so you can get the most out of your budget, and know exactly what you’re paying for.
1. Make sure you’re the boss and that you are in control of the budget
Life is too short to do business with people you don’t enjoy doing it with. Look out for agencies who are only fixated on your monthly budget. While this is obviously going to come up in the discussions you have with them, make sure they’re more focused on the goals and results you’re looking for instead of how much you’ll be spending.
While the saying goes, “It’s nothing personal, it’s just business”, if you don’t trust the people you do business with, it becomes very personal. You need to have transparency and a mutual trust with your PPC marketing agency so you can know what they’re doing, how they’re doing it, and the results they’re providing.
We’ve had clients dump thousands of dollars into their ppc budgets while others only allocate a couple hundred. Whatever your budget is, it should come second to your goals. Some goals require a larger budget than others, and that’s okay. The key to this is being realistic, and your agency should be able to lead you in the right direction based on your goals instead of your budget.
2. Be the leader of your campaigns and the owner of your accounts
The last thing you want to happen is for things to go south the agency you’re working with and not have access to your landing pages and accounts. For this reason, it’s extremely important that all accounts are set up by you, with all passwords belonging to you, and all assets belonging to you. Keep the keys to the castle.
Life happens, but making sure you have access to your paid budget and paid search accounts will keep stress levels low, and transparency high. Your agency shouldn’t hold your account over your head. It’s your budget and your ads after all. They’re simply working with you to get the most out of them.
3. Project their plans and see if you’ll gain any benefit/profit
Think 2 months into the future, your pay per click agency is driving traffic to your site and their ads are getting clicks but you haven’t seen any direct results other than a slight bump in traffic. What’s wrong? Well, with the PPC side of things, nothing really. However, your landing pages could use some conversion optimization to give users the next step.
Ask your agency, “What happens after the click?”. Depending on the agency, they may only specialize in PPC, and don’t have the means to help you with any landing page optimization you might need. On the other hand, their agency could offer a wide range of digital marketing services and could help you build out conversion driven landing pages to produce the results you’re looking for.
Many times, it’s easiest to consolidate your services to a single agency. This way, you don’t have to vet multiple agencies, and a single team will maintain consistency in user experience from impression to conversion. Think passed the click. The ultimate goal is to win these users as customers, so consolidating your efforts to a single team will allow them to deliver their best results.
4. Check their portfolio for their previous projects and hire the one who provides proofs and data of their project’s success
Before you hire anyone to manage a budget, make sure they can actually do what you need them to. Check out their portfolio and see what they’ve done for other companies. Have they worked in the industry you operate in? Ask them about the results they drove and how they helped the business achieve their goals.
Another great way to see how they perform is to ask about their retention rate. Do their clients stick around and keep them on the account? This speaks to their ability to perform as well as communicate ideas and results to keep campaigns on the up and up.
5. Trust is a must but they should prove they deserve it
I mentioned it earlier, but there needs to be 100% transparency between you and your pay per click agency. Trust is a must and without it you’ll always be wondering what they’re up to with your marketing budget. Make sure they’re professional and look for AdWords certifications. This will break down the initial wall of making sure they’re able to work the platforms they’ll be utilizing.
Also, try to avoid long term contracts. Since your account belongs to you, if you decide to split with the agency you should be able to do so with no strings attached. Don’t get yourself into a position where you feel trapped. Make sure you’re getting the communications and results you’re paying for.