I have had conversations with multiple businesses about their online marketing strategies, specifically pay-per click (PPC). Through all of the good and bad experiences many have had, I have come to find that one underlying theme stretches across them all. That theme being, determining whether a PPC agency is the right fit for your company. In the last 3 years, pay-per click agencies have flooded onto the scene, all gunning for Google-hungry businesses. What was once an under-served industry is now at the point of over saturation, putting quality in jeopardy. So how does a business find a worthwhile agency in a market with such over-supply? Let a PPC expert give you his perspective using 10 ideas every business should consider when deciding.
1. Previous Experience & Performance
What better way to know if an agency is for you but by seeing who they currently work with and how they have performed. When looking at an agency’s current clientele, try and find companies that are similar to yours in business model or industry. Furthermore, it’s well worth your time to receive permission to contact these companies. They will be able to relate their experience and paint a clear picture of their experience with the agency in question.
2. Competitive Pricing
Like many industries, you have your high, premium PPC agencies, your medium model, and your low-ballers. There is definitely something to be said of each. However, make sure, that whichever model you select, you are getting a little more service than you are paying for. With such a large supply of PPC agencies to choose from, there should be no reason you are not getting your money’s worth. The best way to gauge this is by comparing apples to apples — keeping in mind that value should take precedence over price.
A PPC agency should have nothing to hide when it comes to your company’s money and where it’s going. Typical PPC billings fall into two categories: a flat monthly fee for everything or a detailed break down of services. Ultimately, you need to decide what matters to you. I prefer to know where my money is going and what exactly I am paying for, though some would rather not have to think about it.
4. Analytics & Reporting
There are so many powerful tools to track your progress and growth through marketing. Make sure that the agency chosen is at least using Google Analytics and is sharing with you how your marketing dollars are making a difference. Along the same lines of using Analytics, make sure the PPC agency is showing you, at least every month, the given results. Google actually requests that their partners give a report every month. This will be essential when considering ROI (Return on Investment) and if the agency’s efforts are working — not to mention if your industry is still thriving.
Make sure that the agency chosen is at least using Google Analytics and is sharing with you how your marketing dollars are making a difference.
5. Customer Service
Every business needs to consider if they want to be a commodity to their PPC management company or to have a real professional, business to client relationship. From my observation, some PPC agencies will act as more of a service commodity and perform customer service to their clients as such. On the flip side, you have your other agencies that will assign a personal account representative to build a relationship with you and attend to your needs, answer questions quickly, and know you by name. Both have their merit and you need to really consider which you prefer.
Is your PPC agency hungry? Obviously not in the food sense, but in the sense that they want your business and will work hard to keep it. Typically, agencies that are hungry are fresh and inexperienced. You then, will need to consider if you prefer years of experience or the drive to succeed. Hopefully, you can find an agency with both drive and experience and then its a no-brainer.
7. ROI Minded
Make sure the PPC agency chosen is considering your product or service margins. Every good marketer will base their decisions on whether it is making your company money. Remember to ask yourself, “Is this agency concerned about my return on investment?”
8. Google Certified?
Google Certification can be great because it shows Google’s stamp of approval on a PPC agency’s practices. However, this is by no means a sure fire way to ensure legitimacy, especially with Google’s recent changes to their Google Certification test; it is even easier to pass. To this point, I encourage you to value Google Certification but also take it with a grain of salt.
Google Certification can be great because it shows Google’s stamp of approval on a PPC agency’s practices.
9. Pushing & Building The Account
Many companies fall prey to the trend of a great PPC start followed by stagnant management. Make sure whichever agency you choose is implementing the newest features and is constantly looking for ways to grow your business. As the saying goes, “If you’re not increasing, you’re decreasing.”
10. Taking a Personal Interest
Try and gauge the agency’s interest in you. No business wants to be just another fish in a giant pool. Consider all of the things I have mentioned. Each of them will help determine if the PPC agency is in it for you or for your money.
Remember these 10 points are ideas to simply consider when evaluating your current PPC agency or when searching for a new one. If nothing else, at least make sure you give it some real thought and shop around to see what’s out there. If you have more questions about finding the right agency or would like to see what Orange Octopus can do for you, please reach out. We would love to help in any way we can. Thanks for reading!