How to Pick a PPC Agency

Picking an agency for your pay-per-click (PPC) marketing needs can be a daunting task. You are putting a lot of trust in a team of what is often complete strangers. Count on them to generate the revenue you need to keep your business running smoothly, help you expand into new areas, launch new products or any number of other goals you want to reach.

So how do you pick where you will spend your money and who you will put your trust in? Here are a few tips and suggestions for things you can ask and look for in a PPC agency.

Reach Out to Multiple PPC Agencies

Ask basic questions to get an idea of where they fall in the PPC world. Find out what industries they have experience in. Not having previously worked in your industry should not instantly disqualify anybody, but having more experience can certainly help you reach your goals. Learn about the experience of the team members.

For example, I have been working in the paid search industry for 14 years now. I have worked on campaigns as simple as getting people to sign up for daily horoscope emails to getting people to apply for home loans, full applications filled out and all. I have worked across just about every search engine that can run ads and have run campaigns for search, display, video, social media, email, you name it and I have probably run campaigns through it.  This has all added up to a large pool of knowledge about the many different aspects of digital advertising as a whole.

A new potential client who comes around this pool of knowledge is very valuable in presenting great ideas and different options for what can be done.  With more experience, it’s easier to look at the broader picture and not just focus on one or two basic elements of a digital strategy.

Ask About Pricing Structures

Look for agencies that will charge you only for what you need.  Not every agency prices the same way, so try to find one that prices things in a way that is beneficial for both parties.  A flat monthly fee may be just right and provide all the work, reporting, and results you need or a flat fee might not include everything and adding services a la carte could get pricey very quickly.

Ask About Campaign Management Style

Do they use bid management software?  Any online, real-time reporting solutions or is it all manual? How do they research and setup campaigns?

Every single client and campaign is unique in its own way.  Try to avoid cookie-cutter solutions as those are just not as likely to perform well.  What is good for client A may be awful for client B.  Find an agency that takes a much more individualized approach to your needs.  There just is no one-size-fits-all solution, even with fancy bid management software.

Ask About Tracking and Reporting Your KPI

What steps are taken to reach goals? What is the overall strategy for making sure KPI’s are met?

Again, there is no good solution that will work for everything, make sure there is a good plan up front for reaching goals. After reviewing potential agencies decide what will work best for your specific needs. Don’t get caught up in simply finding the lowest fees, lower fees can cost you more in the long run if the agency is not a good fit and does not have a good plan for your needs. The highest fees also do not guarantee higher performance.

Don’t stress about the fanciest sounding bid management, automation solutions or other buzzwords. Bid management is nice but it does not work on its own, it needs a competent team to set it up and create rules and strategies that actually work and to manage it to specific goals. Nothing will work to its highest potential when a “set it and forget it” approach is taken, and the overuse of bid management tools can lead down that road. It can be tempting to try and let automated solutions do all of the work but it’s often not the best way to go.

In Summary

Pick an agency with people you feel you can trust, like The frank Agency. For a paid search team to truly do its job, you need to trust them and allow them to make decisions throughout the process. You need to trust them enough to hand over the keys to the car and trust they will return with it washed and waxed, better than when they took it over. Without that trust, things get second-guessed. Ideas and strategies don’t get fully or properly implemented or simply take far too long.  It is definitely in an agency’s best interest to do the absolute best work we can for a client, there has to be that trust there that the agency is doing that every day.