If you are looking for help with your Google AdWords and are considering hiring an outside service firm, then one of the quickest ways to lose money is by selecting a firm that will just manage your PPC and nothing else. It’s possible the job you are currently doing is good enough if all you want is basic PPC management. Google AdWords is designed to be self-service and provides many helpful management features. Armed with a little knowledge about how search marketing works and understanding your own business sales process is beneficial. But if you can’t dedicate the time or are unhappy with the ROI you’re getting out of a one-trick provider, then hiring an integrated marketing firm with experts in PPC is a sensible idea.
Now the difficult part begins… how do you know your new PPC manager will do a great job?
Screening for a PPC Manager
The PPC services firm may wow you with their experience managing millions of dollars of PPC spend, using advanced tools for bid management, or a supposedly tight working relationship with Google. Also on the checklist are their years of experience, Google AdWords certification, and expertise in managing multiple PPC accounts. That is a good start, admittedly, but how is their track record in generating business from PPC? How do they integrate PPC with other efforts? If they can’t produce clearly documented examples of how their services will produce more sales or leads from their specific management techniques, then improving your ROI will remain out of reach.
As the cost of PPC increases, just managing the account is no longer good enough. In search advertising there are many automated features designed to manage your ROI objectives. Good PPC management firms will continually draw from an integrated “bag of tricks” to ensure PPC campaigns will deliver results. Examples include using conversion and goal tracking, refining ad groups by using Google’s Quality Score report, or automated keyword alerts. Google AdWords also provides many features such as Geo targeting and Day Parting bidding for improving ROI. Extensive experience and background into knowing what Google AdWords channel or format will work best is important when deciding what search term, content network, banner ads, or ad remarketing will produce the best results. There are many decisions in PPC that can create costly mistakes, and experience is the best preventative medicine in avoiding these surprises.
Selecting a PPC Management Firm
A great PPC firm is one that has that necessary experience and more importantly, can produce a plan to sell products/services for your business. Can you talk to them about your unique value prop and how are you getting sales/leads today and at what cost? Do they get your product? The conversation should also include your business objective, who your customers are, and why they want to do business with you. Search advertising is about selling a message, product, or service and not just about spending money with Google. If the PPC firm does not have this core principle firmly understood, then they only manage PPC.
When choosing between a good or great PPC firm, start by asking how they will use PPC to bring in more business. A great PPC firm will have conversion optimization tips, ways to align buyer/lead funnels to searcher intent, leading scoring/tracking, specialized landing pages, and website analytics for targeting quality visits in their bag of tricks. All of these are necessary skills for leveraging search marketing as a selling channel. A poorly managed PPC campaign can lead to disappointing results and expensive mistakes. Don’t even forget that PPC should be a selling tool first and an advertising channel second!
So now you tell us… who is handling YOUR PPC?