How To Choose A PPC Management Company
Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising has grown in popularity over the past several years, and for great reasons. It's an excellent digital marketing tool that helps to enhance brand recognition, attract more traffic, increase leads, and boost the chances of driving sales. However, since each click costs money, you should partner with a PPC management company that knows how to do everything right; your agency of choice should know how to optimize your ad campaigns in all possible ways to help you achieve the best return on investment (ROI).
With all the PPC agencies out there, which one should you choose? Your choice can make a difference between a successful ad campaign that brings you the best ROI, and a terribly failed one. Therefore, you should take your time to make the wisest choice. We're going to look at a brief DIY vs professional PPC comparison, and pointers to help you choose the right PPC management company.
DIY vs Professional PPC Management
Many of us believe that by acquiring the right information, we can complete projects ourselves instead of hiring professionals and save money. However, before you take on a PPC campaign, take a step back and think: Is it a project I can handle right from the start to the end? DIY PPC management has several drawbacks which may hinder your efforts to put your business on the right track. Here are two of them.
- There are lots of things to learn about managing a PPC campaign, which means DIY may take a lot of time to get it right. You'll need to know how to set everything up and unlike traditional banner ads and classified ads, it calls for continuous work even after setting up. Keyword binds are ever-changing, and particular keywords can change from high-ranking to obsolete in a very short time. Even if you do it right, it can mean neglecting other parts of your business.
- Pay per click advertising is associated with a lot of data, which means sorting through can be extensive. The list of keywords may be over 400 words long, and each keyword may have different properties. Some properties may be conversions per click, searches per day, or competing bids. There are other things to consider such as "buying words" on the ads; words such as "buy one get one free," "limited time offer," etc. The amount of expertise needed to sort through all this data is extensive, and you may not be able to do it effectively.
When you hire for pay per click management, you take advantage of a highly-skilled team that eats, sleeps, and breathes PPC. They know how to set up an efficient campaign and optimize it as necessary. You won't need to worry about perfecting the process, which can make you neglect other parts of your business. The management will handle everything concerning your ads, track to know how well they're doing and adjust where necessary.
Hiring a great management company eliminates trial and error; the experts in these agencies are always on the lookout for changes in the marketplace and improve your ad campaign to suit these changes.
How to Choose a PPC Management Company
1. Identify Your Goals
The first and most important step when looking for an agency to manage your PPC campaign is identifying your goals and objectives. What exactly do you want PPC advertising to do for you? Don't set general goals such as, "I want to get clicks to increase traffic to my site and drive sales." If done right, the campaign will achieve those sales in the end. Strive to make your goals as specific as possible. For instance, if you make 500 sales in a month, your goal may be increasing them to 700 within a specified time period. Another example of a goal may be increasing your leads by 20%.
Why is goal setting crucial when selecting a PPC company? It helps you land at an agency that can fulfill those objectives. Since you'll be communicating your goals in the beginning, your agency can figure out whether they have the resources to achieve them. The goals can also serve as a roadmap to direct your chosen company where to aim and keep things on track.
2. Make a List of Potential PPC Companies
After identifying your key objectives, the next step is making a list of PPC agencies for comparison. There are hundreds of pay per click management companies available; to make your work easier, you can filter by the top-ranking ones in your area. You can also ask for recommendations from your friends and professional colleagues. However, even with recommendations, evaluate whether the agency suits your needs. What works for one person may not work for another and therefore, do your own digging. Other excellent places to conduct your search are databases like Google Certified Partners.
With a list in hand, you're now prepared to compare them and choose one that best suits your requirements.
3. Look for Experience and Expertise
How long has the company been offering PPC management services? An agency that has been in the industry for many years is usually knowledgeable and professional. The question on your mind right now may be why experience is vital. Experience means they have worked on lots of ad campaigns for the years they've been in service and gained crucial knowledge. An experienced PPC expert can look at an ad, identify what's wrong with it, and optimize it so that it delivers the best results.
Other than experience, it's also crucial to check a company's expertise. A lot of things play a part in successful pay per click advertising, keyword selection is one of them. Your agency should know how to choose the right keywords for online users to find your landing page. They should also understand negative keywords so that your ad doesn't appear for irrelevant searches. Knowledge about these and other things is important to produce the desired results.
If you want to know if an agency is really qualified, ask them to provide examples of projects they've handled previously. If most of the projects they've handled have emerged successful, the agency may be right for you. But if they can't provide proof of past successes, be cautious.
4. Check the Company's Reputation
The agency's reputation can determine whether you can trust them with your money or not. To know whether an agency is reputable, conduct a search online using the company name. Read online reviews and get to know what other people are saying about them. If most of the reviews are positive, it indicates the agency has a good reputation and you can go ahead and work with them. However, if most of the reviews are bad/negative, that's a red flag. While all the reviews can't be positive, a larger percentage of negative reviews and complaints mean that the company can't be trusted to produce the required outcome. Don't risk it.
5. Are They Certified?
Since you're spending your hard-earned money and want the best, another thing you can do is check if the agency is Google Adwords certified. Your company of choice may display confidence indicating they can do the job right; however, having the Google Adwords certification is a plus. Certifications show dedication to PPC marketing because specialists have to take exams advertising and answer hundreds of questions. The process also costs a significant amount of money. Even though the certifications do not assure competence, they are a sign indicating the company is professional.
6. Transparency is Vital
Your company of choice should be honest with you at all times. Honesty builds trust and great relations. You can know if a company is honest by scheduling a consultation and asking them how well they can handle your PPC project. If they promise unrealistically great results within a very short time, that's a red flag. You should proceed with caution. But if an agency is transparent with you every step of the way, it shows everything they're doing is ethical. That way, you can know what to expect and prepare yourself. Don't fall for a company that gives you false unrealistic hopes and delivers nothing in the end.
7. Does the PPC Agency Keep Itself Updated With New Features?
This is another question you should ask your potential company. How well do they keep themselves with new features and search engine algorithm changes? To provide better ad experience for advertisers, a search engine like Google constantly updates its algorithm. If your chosen PPC specialists are not aware of these changes, they may end up creating ineffective ads. Their strategies may not work with the new changes. A professional PPC company stays up to date with any improvements in the search engine algorithm and adapts to those changes to produce effective ads.
Other than search engine algorithm updates, your chosen agency should stay on the lookout for newer features that will ensure your ad campaign is always ahead.
8. Does the Company Track, Measure, and Report
When you hire a PPC management company, their responsibility is not only to choose the right keywords, create ads, and implement them, they should also track, measure, and report. Tracking and measuring help to know if the campaign is running as necessary or there are obstacles hindering success. If there are any problems along the way, the campaign can be adjusted so that it runs efficiently.
A good agency should also prepare and give you a report detailing how the campaign is running. The report should include metrics such as costs and conversions, clicks, leads, number of impressions, ad performance, etc. If your chosen company wants to work behind a curtain without any kind of reporting, they may not be right for you. You're spending your money and deserve to know how everything is running.
9. Consider the Cost of the PPC Management Service
A good management service doesn't mean it has to be extremely expensive. Therefore, you should look for a company that has cost-effective prices that suit your budget. And when paying, be sure to read everything and understand what you are paying for, and what you aren't. There are various pricing models different companies use.
One model is the separate ad spend plus a monthly fee. In this option, you pay for your ads directly and pay the company a flat monthly fee to manage them for you.
The second one is the fixed price model. Here, you pay a fixed cost that will cater for both the ads and the company's management fee.
The third model is where the agency charges a flat fee plus a percentage of your total ad spend. There are other agencies whose charges are percentage-based.
Choosing a PPC company isn't easy because of all the factors you need to consider. When you find one that meets all your requirements, you may want to be quick to finalize everything so that the actual work can start. However, there are some other things you need to know:
- Start with short-term contracts (or no contracts at all)- Before committing yourself into a long-term contract, start with a short-term one. That way, you'll be able to evaluate the agency along the way and determine whether they're still the right ones for you going forward. If the company doesn't live up to its promises, you'll be free to switch to another one. If they have exceeded your expectations, you can go ahead and sign a long term contract.
- You should have complete ownership of your AdWords account - Right from the word go, the administrative ownership rights should be yours. Having full ownership is advantageous for two reasons. One, you can track how the campaign is running. Second, should you fall out with your current agency, you won't need to start from square one.
If you want to get into pay per click advertising, and you are wondering the best ways on how to choose a PPC management company, I hope now you have an idea. Evaluate your potential agency thoroughly and make sure everything checks out. Remember, PPC management is the work of professionals. A pay per click company is best suited to handle ad campaigns because they have the expertise, experience, resources, and time to do everything right.