What to Look for in a PPC Agency
There are almost as many PPC agencies as there are keywords to choose from. Finding the one that is the right fit for your small business can be very time consuming and confusing. There is a lot to consider when choosing a PPC agency to manage your campaign. Making the wrong decision can end up costing you time and money – both of short supply when you’re a small business.
To help prevent you from spending unnecessary time and budget on the wrong agency, following are some key factors to look for in a PPC agency to help you make the right decision.
Does the agency have a knowledgeable staff? It is perfectly acceptable to request to speak to your potential campaign manager on the person on the phone or even to have a face-to-face meeting if the logistics work for both sides before you make your decision. You want to feel comfortable with the person who will be managing how your money is spent, so taking a few extra minutes to set your concerns to rest can be the difference between a failed campaign and a successful campaign.
What bid management tools does the agency use? Find out if the agency you are considering has its own proprietary tools to manage your campaign. Make sure they can “speak” to search engines such as Google and Bing via API access. If they don’t have their own tools, ensure that they are well-versed in the tools provided by these search engines. Knowing what bid management tools your potential agency has will give you the confidence to make an informed decision.
What reporting will be available to you? Every agency provides standard reporting to their clients. Ask to see a sample. If it doesn’t contain all the metrics you require, ask if customized reporting is available. Also, find out how often this reporting will be provided. Some agencies will provide reporting on a monthly basis, however, you may need more frequent reports. This may help you determine the flexibility of the agency.
How attentive is the agency to your needs? It is perfectly normal for you to have questions about your campaign’s performance as the days and weeks go by. If you get the impression that your emails and phone calls are not welcomed, this is a strong indicator of the level of client service you will receive. You want to know that if you see something you don’t understand in the latest performance report provided, you can pick up the phone and receive a clear and detailed explanation.
However, do bear in mind that every phone call and email that must be answered takes your campaign manager away from actively managing your campaign. So, while it is very important that you know this person is just a phone call away, it is in your best interest to take stock of the urgency of your questions. If they can wait, consider scheduling a thirty-minute weekly phone call to have them all answered at one time rather than calling every time you have a question about your campaign.
What value-added extras does the agency provide? There are a number of marketing strategies that when combined with PPC, makes PPC even stronger and more successful. Ask your potential agency what other strategies related to PPC they provide. Learning about other potential strategies that complement your PPC campaign may give you even better ROI.
You might not find a PPC management agency that meets 100% of your criteria. However, if you’ve done your homework and found an agency that meets the most important ones, you can feel better about moving forward and begin discussing your budget and their management fees.
Solomon Thimothy is the Co-founder of Clickx. Solomon began his career in marketing over ten years ago with a focus on helping businesses gain better visibility online by focusing on more exposure, more traffic and more leads. Follow him on twitter @sthimothy