I’ve been spending some time looking into PPC and PPC Agencies. I’m a marketer who tends to avoid PPC as I’ll admit, despite training with Google, I really don’t think I’ve the skills for it.
It takes a lot of precision and there are very few companies out there who won’t use a client’s account to “test the market” resulting in a lot of trial and error, some unexpected good luck and a lot of money down the drain for the client.
We hear of so many stories at The Consumer Voice of PPC Agencies draining the cash from a marketing budget without any return. For the sake of this article, I reached out to one who has a very good reputation in order to discover a little more about the value of PPC and the customers a client can expect from it, once it’s done well.
The PPC Agency I chose is called Keel-Over Marketing. Unlike other marketing companies, they specialize in PPC and it’s what they live and breathe every single day. These guys believe that PPC can make you money and will pay for itself, while bringing a tidy profit. Google tells me that’s how PPC is supposed to work but with so many agencies popping up, pretending to be specialists, it’s hard to sort the wheat from the chaff.
For the sake of this experiment I also put out an ad on a popular marketplace for freelancers, asking for a reputable PPC agency to get in touch and to quote me for some work. I had a benchmark to compare these against, with Keel-Over Marketing, and after 20 proposals and lots of follow on discussions, I came to realize the difference between a real PPC Agency and one that would burn your money.
Here’s what I found:
A great PPC company will:
Have a History
They will have a history that they’re proud to share. They will want to show you the results they’ve created for other clients. They’ll be happy for you to find out more and they’ll have a portfolio to share
Have Google Accreditation
This is tricky, as to be a Google Partner, you not only have to pass all of the exams, you also have to have clients spending more than £10000 per annum on adwords. I passed the exams, but obviously don’t sell it as a service so I’ll never earn my partner badge, just the certification. Although it’s best to choose someone who is a Google partner (as it proves others are trusting the agency with thousands of pounds), it could be that the agency manages very small, start up accounts. Either way, they will have evidence of passing the exams, and you need to see this before they start work on your campaign. If they haven’t passed the exams, walk away, as without this knowledge there is no way they will ever run a successful adwords campaign.
Have Repeat Custom
Clients will only return if they are receiving a profit from the Adwords campaigns. Repeat custom is a good indicator of a good PPC management agency.
A Form of Guarantee
Good PPC Agencies will be confident in their own ability and so will offer some form of incentive. Whether that’s a Return on Adwords Spend Service that Keel-Over offer (a unique service you can learn more about) or guarantees of profit, they will be happy to put their neck on the line as they will have seen the results, again and again.
Advice about Advertising
There are many ways to use Adwords, from video advertising to Google shopping to general search marketing. There are lots of nuances, from targeting people by location to negative keywords and broad match terms. You shouldn’t need to know all this, that’s what your PPC agency is for and they will be happy to explain it all in simple terms so you know exactly what is going on and what is best for your business.
It sounds so simple. With this in mind what red flags should you look out for when you come across a PPC agency that isn’t entirely above board?
- No Internet Presence (This accounts for every internet service you buy online, if they don’t have a presence how on earth can they ensure yours is tip top?)
- No website
- No portfolio
- No projections
- No free offerings (keel-Over offer a free marketing review so you know what’s happening before you commit to buy)
- No other clients
- No Google Certification
- No bespoke proposal (I received so many copy and paste applications that didn’t take into consideration my product or my target market).
If you’ve ticked one or more of these boxes, walk away!
The internet is brilliant and it’s enabled many skilled people to make a living online but it’s also brought out the scam artists and those who see a quick way to make money through lies. Please don’t fall for it.
Keel-Over Marketing have very generously offered to answer any questions you have about PPC agencies, so if you’re unsure about hiring an Adwords manager, please shoot them an email, and they’ll let you know if the PPC agency should be trusted. (They may even ask some questions of their own).