Choosing a PPC agency is similar to making an internal hire. You need to do your research and ask the right questions. To help you on your journey, I have listed six areas you’ll want to look into.
1. Make Sure They Have Case Studies You Can Review
Any PPC management company worth considering should have case studies for you to review. Some will show them on their website while others will require you to request them. Would it be nice to see case studies in your specific industry? Yes. But, don’t let that discourage you if the PPC agency does not have them.
Why? First, The PPC agency may have worked in your business’ industry and simply does not have a case study for it. Second (and more importantly), a really good PPC company does not need to have specific experience in your industry in order to be effective. The best PPC companies are experts in PPC and they know the ins-and-outs of various PPC platforms like Google Ads or Facebook. They all perform keyword research and competitor research. They typically have experience running PPC in many different industries and have learned quite a bit from this experience.
It is much more important that a PPC company is an expert in PPC. They can easily learn the aspects of your business that will impact PPC performance. The approach and how a company would optimize your PPC account does not necessarily change drastically from industry to industry. For example, managing Google Ads for lawyers is not all that different from managing Google Ads for accountants.
2. Understand Their Pricing Model
Cost is important. PPC pricing models tend to fall in one of three main areas: 1) percentage of ad spend, 2) fixed monthly rate or 3) hourly. There are some agencies who will also do a hybrid model with a fixed monthly rate and a percentage of spend above a certain amount. Here’s a couple articles that will give you more insight. This article will go more in-depth on pricing models – Google Ads Management Fees. This article discusses some things you really need to be aware of with respect to PPC Management Pricing.
3. Know What Kind Of Reporting They Offer
You can’t improve what you can’t measure. At a minimum, a PPC agency should be able to provide you with monthly reporting that shows you high level data such as costs, clicks, impressions, CTR, conversions (leads, sales), cost per lead, revenue, etc. If they don’t offer reporting, then pass.
For many of our busy clients, they are satisfied with getting reports that tell them how the account is doing from a high level. They don’t have time to get in the “weeds” of PPC marketing.
If they are an eCommerce company, they want to know what the monthly cost was, revenue and ROI numbers. If they are a local business looking for leads then metrics like total conversions (leads) and cost per lead will be important. For those clients we offer weekly reporting and reports that go more in-depth.
You’ll also want reporting that gives you a historical timeline of performance. It is not enough to get a monthly report that just shows you that months’ data. You will want to see progress. You will want the report to show historical data. This will allow you to compare your current months’ performance against previous months.
The main point is that the PPC company you choose should be able to provide you with the reporting you want and at the frequency you want.
4. See If They Offer A Free PPC Account Audit
Some PPC management companies offer a free Google Ads review or review of another PPC platforms. It can be a great indicator of the type of PPC company they are. If they are willing to take the time to provide you with a free analysis, then that is a good sign.
A company that pushes back on this type of offer and wants to get paid for an audit, may not be worth partnering with. It can be an indication that “getting paid” is the most important part of running their business. The most important part of running a service-oriented business is providing a high quality service at a level that makes your customers happy. If you can do that, then the money will follow.
5. Understand How They Communicate With Clients
Communication is key. It is really easy to communicate with employees who are just outside your office. Communicating with an outside business partner that is physically located someplace else can be challenging. The best PPC companies understand the importance of a client-first approach to running a business. Communication is a big part of this. You should be able to reach the appropriate person who is in charge of managing your PPC marketing during business hours.
Fortunately, technology has made it much easier to communicate with people so a PPC agency really has no excuses.
Quick Tip: See how flexible a prospective PPC company is willing to be with communication. The more client-focused companies are willing to be flexible with communication. For example, If you are among the growing number of people who use Slack for business communication, then they should be willing to use Slack as well. If a company is rigid with how and when they communicate with you, then that can be a red flag.
6. Make Sure You Have Control
Wether you are running Google Ads or Facebook ads, you should be the admin for your accounts. You simply give partners access to your accounts. This gives you the ability to review your account whenever you want. You also will haves add and remove users however you see fit.
Red Flag Alert – If a prospective PPC company does not allow you to have full admin rights to your PPC accounts, then RUN!!!!! Do NOT buy into any sales pitch they offer.
Unfortunately, there are PPC companies that will take advantage of people who don’t know any better. These unscrupulous companies will setup accounts for you and NOT give you access to them. You will pay them a management fee and your billing information will be used in the accounts to pay the ad spend.
The only thing you see with respect to performance data is whatever reporting they provide you. This lack of transparency is intentional. For some PPC agencies, they hide what they are doing and go out of their way to keep their clients in the dark.
I’ve seen this scenario way too many times and it usually has a bad ending. The big problem with this comes when you decide you want to part ways with your PPC management company. The reason being is these PPC companies typically do not give you access once you part ways. If you want to continue on with your PPC marketing, you will have to create new PPC accounts. You also lose all of that data which can be vitally important for moving forward.
How To Choose A PPC Agency Recap
- Make sure they have case studies you can review
- Understand their pricing model
- Know what kind of reporting they offer
- See if they offer a free PPC account audit
- Understand how they communicate with clients
- Make sure you have control