7 Questions to Ask When Choosing a PPC Agency
1. Are they a Google Partner or Bing Partner?
The benefits of working with a Google/Bing Partner agency are unrivalled. Google and Bing Partners are well versed in all things PPC and have to achieve certifications to meet each platform’s standards to maintain Partner status. They also get a leg up on the competition with access to beta features. This means that if Google or Bing has a new feature, Partners can test it for up to a year before the general public has access.
This may not be a deal breaker for you, but choosing a PPC agency that is an official Google Partner or Bing Partner can make your decision a lot easier and it is definitely something you should really think about. Choosing a Google or Bing partner is just a solid place to start as you’ll know that they have some experience, knowledge, and follow the standard best practices. It’ll definitely give you peace of mind and reassure you that your money and campaigns are in capable hands.
2. Do they know the care niche?
If a PPC agency has experience running campaigns within the care industry, they have a wealth of information that will speed up the optimisation process. They will know which high converting keywords to use, what negatives to add and what ad copy works best for you. They won’t have to learn this on your time.
In fact, they will also know what unique platforms and strategies work for care. Take our blog about Bing as an example, the platform wouldn’t work in some sectors but its user demographic matches perfectly with the sons and daughters searching for care. Knowing the care niche also will give that agency certain advantages and nuances that other PPC agencies may not have, for example, knowing how to cater for the fact that a lot of the time families live in different areas to their loved ones needing care and, therefore, fall out of your target radius. This is actually one of the many reasons why most digital marketing agencies from outside of the sector fail to deliver.
3. What is the process?
You want to choose a PPC agency that will get to know your individual business needs, struggles and goals. An agency that will put in time to hear what your problems are, what you want to achieve, what your budgets are and really try to see if you are a right fit for each other.
Every care business is unique and it is as important for them to ask you questions about you and the business as well as receiving questions from you about who they are and what their USPs are.
4. How do they measure success?
The ideal response you are looking for here would be something along the lines of using tangible benchmarks; improving cost per click, ad positions, click through rate; reducing excess spend and cost per conversion; ability to track both keywords and ads; monitor bounce rate and conversion rate of keywords and landing pages. Ideally, they would be covering all of these bases! That’s how you know you’ll have a GREAT one.
5. What type of management is included with their management fee?
This is regarding how much time the agency allocates to optimising your campaigns which is crucial. Any agency can throw money at Google and get results, but the best thing for your bottom line is an agency that will spend time in the depths of your account optimising your campaign. You need to choose an agency that can do this and do it WELL to get the best return of investment and the best results on your campaigns. You may also want to check if you’ll have a dedicated account manager, what they are like, what sorts of things they will be talking to you about etc.
6. How do they report results?
Not all offerings are created equally. What you will want to know is if your PPC agency will offer full reporting with their services as this allows you to understand what your results actually mean. Make sure to find out if reporting is included or if this will require an additional fee! You really should have visibility over your data and ideally you won’t have to pay more for this to be the case.
7. How and where are you seeing your overall data?
Being able to see your data, even on ‘read only’ allows for visibility and transparency over the performance of your campaigns. When choosing a PPC agency you haven’t worked with before you’ll want to have peace of mind. A great PPC agency will give you access to their analytics platform so you can see a breakdown of all your data.
This will mean that you won’t need to have your calculator out or spend time sifting through multiple reports to work out what you are spending and where enquiries are coming from. A great agency will make tracking marketing campaigns easy for their clients. You should be able to instantly see exactly how much you’ve spent, how many people have clicked on your ads, visited your website and contacted your business. This is to reassure you that the agency is doing a thorough job and also means you can then allocate more time, energy and resources to the things that are getting you the most conversions and highest ROI.
We know that choosing any kind of marketing agency is nerve-racking and outsourcing your PPC efforts can be particularly stressful. After all, you’re putting hard earned money into paid search and you just have to trust an agency you’ve potentially never worked with before to spend your budget and get the best return on investment.
However, the questions above will help you choose an agency with confidence. Even so, you’re not restricted to this list by any means; ask whatever questions you feel necessary and compare answers between agencies. You want an agency that knows the care sector inside out, that is excited to work with you, that is great at what they do and that will be transparent in the journey.