One of the biggest challenges for businesses today is finding a trustworthy Pay-Per-Click (PPC) agency that delivers results. With the digital marketing landscape constantly evolving, it’s crucial to partner with a PPC agency that understands your needs and can grow and adapt alongside your business.
In this blog post, we’ll dive into how you can identify and select the perfect PPC management company to ensure a successful partnership that maximizes your online presence.
Let’s dive in to see what a PPC agency is, what you should look for when looking at top PPC agencies, and some questions to ask before hiring PPC management services.
What does a PPC agency do?
A PPC agency is a specialized firm that manages and optimizes digital paid advertising campaigns for their clients. You can outsource PPC services to this type of agency to handle various types of online ad formats, such as search ads displayed on Google, paid ads on social media like Facebook Ads, or video ads on platforms like YouTube.
As a small business owner, you’ve got a lot on your plate, and spending your time on PPC management in various campaigns can be time-consuming and complex.
That’s where hiring a PPC agency comes in. They handle everything from keyword research, ad copywriting, bid management, and campaign analytics. These experts stay on top of industry trends and best practices, ensuring your campaigns remain competitive and effective.
Outsourcing your PPC management to a trusted agency allows you to focus on what you do best – running your business. The right agency partner can offer many benefits for your business like:
- Expertise & strategy: PPC agencies bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to your campaigns, creating customized strategies that align with your business goals and target audience.
- Time-saving & efficiency: By outsourcing your PPC management, you can focus on running your business while the agency takes care of the time-consuming tasks like keyword research, ad creation, and campaign optimization.
- Budget management: A PPC agency helps you make the most of your PPC advertising budget, ensuring you get the highest ROI possible by constantly monitoring and adjusting your bids and targeting.
- Tracking & reporting: Your PPC partner will provide transparent reporting on the performance of your campaigns, giving you actionable insights to help you make data-driven decisions for your business.
- Ongoing optimization: The digital marketing landscape is ever-changing, and an agency stays up-to-date with industry trends and best practices, regularly optimizing your campaigns to ensure they remain competitive and effective.
What makes a good PPC agency partner?
As a small business owner, finding the right advertising agency can significantly impact your online marketing success. However, it can be difficult to weigh your options and trust your digital advertising to a third party.
The good news is that we put together a complete list of elements you should keep an eye out for as you choose a management company to support your advertising strategy.
Let’s take a look at some factors to consider as you look for and hire the right agency partner.
1. Years of experience in the platforms
One of the most important factors to consider when choosing a PPC management agency is to consider how many years of experience they have in various platforms like Google and Facebook.
Since you pay these platforms each time someone clicks on an ad; you need a top PPC agency that knows their way in each platform by heart. This means they know how to write great ad copy and how to adjust the settings in your account to get the most out of your campaigns.
A PPC agency with a proven track record will be better equipped to help you navigate the complexities of ad targeting, bidding strategies, and campaign optimization.
Tips on what to look for
Try to find an agency that has worked in your platforms for at least two years and understands how to support your advertising strategy with the various channels.
2. Knowledge of your industry
When it comes to choosing the right PPC management agency that knows how to run Google Ads for small businesses in your industry, finding one with experience in your specific industry is essential to provide a holistic advertising strategy for your entire business.
Industry-specific experience brings with it a deeper understanding of your target audience, their pain points, and their search patterns. This knowledge allows an agency to create tailored, effective ad campaigns that truly resonate with your potential customers.
Additionally, familiarity with your industry’s nuances, jargon, and trends enables an agency to optimize your ad spend and maximize your return on investment (ROI).
Tips on what to look for
Look for an agency that has worked with clients like you or other companies in your industry. This is a good sign that the agency understands the platforms and knows how to optimize accounts for your specific industry.
3. Builds a strategic partnership
You need a management company that wants to build a long-term relationship with you. This type of marketing company will put in more effort and spend more time on your account than an agency that is simply trying to “fill their pipeline.”
The right PPC agency will want to build a relationship with you through meetings and asking lots of questions. This type of setting is great for your business because it allows you to bring your intimate knowledge of your products and services together with the agency’s expertise.
A strategic partnership with a digital marketing agency goes beyond mere technical expertise. It involves understanding the business owner’s vision, goals, and challenges, ensuring that PPC campaigns are tailored to their unique needs.
Tips on what to look for
Look for an agency that has long-term clients in their portfolio, ideally, customers they have worked with for a year or more. This can be a good sign that the agency values their clients and invests time and resources to deliver results within the larger marketing efforts.
4. Runs your PPC account with full transparency
Since you trust the success of your business and your marketing budget to a PPC agency, it’s crucial to find an agency that values transparency and operates with your best interests in mind. Unfortunately, many agencies can be deceptive, padding their numbers and obscuring their margins to boost their own profits.
From the amount they spend each month to their margins, you should expect full transparency in how they manage your account. This openness can foster trust and ensures that the agency is working in alignment with your business goals.
You can protect yourself from shady PPC agencies by demanding that you “own” the account, billing is done on the credit card that you put on the account, and that your PPC reports show monthly ad spend.
5. Have a learning mentality
Platforms like Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn are constantly updating their algorithms and introducing new features so you need a marketing partner that continues to learn and keep up with the latest updates.
A learning mentality is a non-negotiable attribute when selecting an agency for your small business. By partnering with an agency that embraces change and seeks out opportunities to grow, you’ll benefit from a more agile, forward-thinking approach to your advertising efforts, ultimately ensuring the long-term success of your campaigns.
It’s important to note that you should ask a potential agency about how they use ChatGPT and Bard to manage Google Ads. This question will help you understand how well the agency understands current technology and if they are willing to learn strategies to keep you ahead of the curve.
Tips on what to look for
You can find this information by asking the agency about how they keep up with changes in various platforms and what blogs or news they read. This information can help you understand how committed they are to optimizing your accounts and if they are intentional with keeping up with industry changes.
6. Excellent keyword research skills
Strong keyword research skills are essential for a digital marketing agency to help you reach the right people at the right time with the right message, driving maximum results and ROI for your business.
Keyword research forms the backbone of any successful PPC campaign. A PPC agency with a deep understanding of your target audience and industry can identify the most relevant and profitable keywords to bid on to drive qualified traffic to your website.
Tips on what to look for
You can ask a potential marketing partner about how they conduct keyword research when they create a marketing campaign and how they optimize keywords while a campaign is running.
6. A Strong understanding of analytics & data
Selecting an agency with a firm grasp of reading and interpreting data is crucial to making informed decisions for your business marketing strategy. The insights gleaned from data enable these agencies to identify what’s working in your PPC campaign quickly and, more importantly, what needs to be improved to improve your conversion rate and lower your cost per click (CPC).
Without a PPC company skilled in data interpretation, you run the risk of missing valuable opportunities, wasting precious resources, and ultimately, diminishing your return on investment. You should expect an agency to run a PPC audit on your account to find gaps and opportunities before they make any changes.
Tips on what to look for
During your initial interview, you should ask a potential agency if there are specific metrics they look at on a regular basis to optimize an account. Keep an ear out for words like “CRO”, “quality score”, and CPC. These terms indicate that the agency understands how to align your business goals with your PPC campaigns.
7. They test a ton of ad copy
When evaluating potential partners, it’s important to look for an agency that understands the value of testing a ton of ad copy. After all, what you say in your PPC ads can make all the difference in attracting the right audience and encouraging them to take action.
An effective agency will recognize the importance of ongoing testing to discover which phrases and combinations resonate most with your target market, and continuously adapt their approach to deliver the best results for your bottom line. They’ll have their finger on the pulse of ever-evolving algorithms across different PPC platforms, ensuring that your ad messaging remains relevant and impactful even as these platforms change over time.
Tips on what to look for
Ask your agency how they write ad copy. Be on the lookout for answers that talk about segmenting a message, using different types of language like pricing, emotional, or urgency. These types of answers can show you that the agency knows how to write ad copy that gets clicks and drives sales.
8. A/B tests landing pages
While working within a platform is a necessary skill for an agency, great PPC agencies go above and beyond by mastering the art of A/B testing to drive more conversions. When it comes down to it, if you aren’t making sales, then your advertising strategy is not working, and A/B testing your landing pages is one of the best ways to boost conversions.
Landing pages play a pivotal role in your customer’s decision-making process, as they ultimately determine whether a customer will purchase, download, or call you based on the content presented. It’s essential to recognize that working on aspects of a PPC campaign outside of the platform is just as important, if not more so.
Tips on what to look for
Ask your agency how they A/B test landing pages in different campaigns. You will want to hear feedback along the lines of how they look at the keywords used in the ads and the platform to align the messaging on the landing page.
You will also want to ask about what metrics they look at when A/B testing a landing page to understand if they focus on vanity metrics or if they look at CPC and conversion rates.
9. Strong communication skills
When evaluating potential partners, a key aspect to focus on is their communication skills. When you entrust an agency with your marketing budget, you’re handing them significant power and responsibility.
This is why it’s essential to collaborate with an agency that prioritizes open, transparent communication.
Tips on what to look for
The best PPC agencies make it a point to respond to your emails within 24 hours, demonstrating their commitment to keeping you informed and addressing your concerns. They should also have a clear process in place for obtaining your approval on any changes, ensuring that you remain in control of your marketing strategy.
During onboarding, a reliable agency will actively seek insights about your business, as this understanding is vital for tailoring their approach to your unique needs and objectives.
15 questions to ask before hiring a PPC agency
Now that we’ve covered what to look for in a trustworthy PPC agency, it’s time to dive into the specific questions you should ask before making a hiring decision.
By asking these questions, you can better understand the agency’s approach to PPC advertising, their level of expertise, and their ability to meet your business needs. Here are 15 essential questions to ask before hiring a PPC agency.
1. What are your management practices?
The agency should clearly outline its approach to campaign setup, keyword research, ad copy creation, and ongoing optimization. Additionally, they should mention how they handle budget allocation and bidding strategies to maximize your ROI.
You’ll want to hear about their performance tracking and reporting practices, ensuring you stay informed about the progress of your campaigns.
Lastly, pay attention to how they plan to communicate with you regularly and involve you in decision-making. A strong response will reflect the agency’s dedication to a collaborative partnership and a results-driven approach tailored to your business.
2. What is your communication process like?
Look for a response that emphasizes timely updates, shows your ad spend each month, and provides detailed PPC reports each month. You may also want an agency to hold a 30-minute call with you each month to discuss strategy and review the reports.
The agency should clearly outline their preferred communication channels (e.g., email, phone, or project management tools) and mention its commitment to respond within 24 hours.
Ultimately, you should feel confident that the agency’s communication approach aligns with your expectations and fosters a strong working relationship.
3. Who manages finances and billing for my Google Ads account?
The ideal answer should indicate that you, the client, maintain direct control over your Google Ads account and billing. The agency should act as a manager, offering guidance and expertise without direct access to your financial information.
A good response should include details about their role in monitoring and optimizing your ad campaigns while ensuring you remain informed about the process. The agency should also emphasize their commitment to transparency and regular communication about campaign performance, costs, and any recommended changes.
By choosing an agency that respects your financial autonomy and fosters open communication, you can feel confident about your investment in their services.
4. How are your management fees structured?
The agency should explain whether they charge a flat fee, a percentage of your ad spend, or use a performance-based model.
Ideally, they should also provide a detailed breakdown of the services included in their fees, such as account setup, campaign management, and optimization.
Before committing to a digital marketing agency, ensure they offer a pricing structure that aligns with your business goals and budget.
5. What do you include in your PPC reports?
Look for an agency that offers comprehensive reports encompassing metrics like clicks, impressions, click-through rates (CTR), cost per click (CPC), conversions, and return on ad spend (ROAS).
Additionally, the agency should present performance trends, insights, and actionable campaign optimization recommendations.
You should expect the agency to customize reports based on your goals, aligning their reporting with your business objectives.
6. Can you tell us about some accounts you’ve managed successfully?
When asking an agency about its successfully managed accounts, business owners should expect to hear about specific case studies showcasing the agency’s expertise and results.
Look for details on industries, campaign strategies, and performance metrics, such as increased ROI, reduced CPC, or improved conversion rates.
You can also request client references or testimonials to validate their claims and gain additional insights into the agency’s reliability, professionalism, and ability to meet your outsource Google Ads management needs.
7. What is your experience with managing Google Ads campaigns for businesses similar to mine?
They should provide you with specific examples of past clients, including the industry, campaign objectives, and the strategies they employed. Pay attention to the results they achieved, such as increased conversions, reduced cost-per-click, or improved ROI.
Ideally, they should also share any challenges they faced and how they overcame them. This will give you confidence in their problem-solving abilities and adaptability.
8. How do you approach keyword research and selection?
A reputable agency will explain its methodology, which should include identifying relevant keywords based on your target audience, industry, and competitors.
They should also discuss the importance of long-tail keywords, which can drive more targeted traffic and be less competitive. Additionally, the agency should emphasize the significance of continuously monitoring and adjusting keywords based on performance data. This adaptability is crucial for maximizing your ROI.
9. How do you structure campaigns and ad groups?
Look for a response that demonstrates their expertise and strategic thinking. They should explain how they segment campaigns based on your target audience, products or services, and goals.
An ideal response would mention organizing ad groups around tightly themed keywords, creating targeted ad copy and landing pages, and setting appropriate bid strategies.
The agency should also emphasize the importance of regular testing and optimization to improve performance. By ensuring the agency has a well-thought-out approach, you can feel confident that they’ll effectively manage your PPC campaigns.
10. What is your approach to creating compelling ad copy?
The agency should demonstrate a deep understanding of your target audience and emphasize the importance of crafting personalized, persuasive messages.
They should also explain their research process, which includes analyzing competitors’ PPC ads and identifying high-performing keywords.
You will want to keep an ear out for answers that talk about specific tactics to optimize responsive search ads on Google, Facebook posts, or other platforms that you plan to advertise on.
11. How do you handle bid management and budget allocation?
The agency should be able to explain how they use advanced bidding strategies and optimization techniques to achieve the desired results while staying within the allocated budget. Look for an agency that mentions:
- Ongoing bid adjustments based on performance metrics and industry trends.
- Customized strategies tailored to your business objectives and target audience.
- Budget allocation that prioritizes high-performing keywords and campaigns, maximizing your ROI.
- Regular monitoring and uses of a PPC reporting tool to show data and to ensure transparency and accountability.
These elements indicate a competent agency that can help your business thrive in the competitive digital landscape.
12. What types of ad extensions do you recommend for my business?
A good agency will first seek to understand your specific goals, target audience, and industry. Based on this information, they’ll suggest relevant ad extensions, such as call extensions for businesses that rely on phone leads or location extensions for those with a physical presence.
Listen for a clear explanation of how each recommended extension benefits your business and aligns with your objectives. The agency should also discuss any potential drawbacks or limitations.
A good response should also include how they’ll provide regular reports, ensuring you have access to relevant data and insights to make informed decisions. By seeking these specific elements, you’ll be better equipped to choose an agency that’s truly invested in your success.
13. How often will you provide reports and updates on the performance of my campaigns?
You should expect a detailed response that aligns with your needs. A full-service agency will offer regular reporting – typically at least once a month – to keep you informed about the performance of your campaigns. They should also be willing to provide more frequent updates upon request, especially during the initial stages of your campaign.
Look for an agency that not only commits to a reporting schedule but also outlines the key performance indicators (KPIs) they’ll track and analyze. The agency should pull data like your Google Ads Auction Insights report to show your performance compared to your competitors in the market.
These may include metrics like click-through rates, conversion rates, and return on ad spend. By providing you with clear, actionable insights, the agency demonstrates its commitment to helping your business succeed through data-driven PPC strategies.
14. How do you stay up-to-date with the latest Google Ads features & best practices?
When you ask an agency about staying up-to-date with Google Ads features, updates, and industry best practices, pay attention to the following elements in their response:
- Regular training: They should mention ongoing team training, including Google Ads certifications, webinars, and workshops to ensure their knowledge remains current.
- Industry connections: A good agency will actively participate in industry forums, conferences, and networking events to stay informed about emerging trends and strategies.
- Proactive adaptation: You want an agency that proactively adapts to changes and incorporates new features, demonstrating their commitment to staying ahead of the curve.
- Thought leadership: Look for agencies that publish blogs, podcasts, or videos, showcasing their industry expertise and insights.
An agency that emphasizes these elements demonstrates their dedication to providing you with the most effective and up-to-date PPC services, ensuring your marketing investment yields the best possible results.
15. What does your onboarding process look like?
You should expect the agency to mention a detailed discovery phase, where they learn about your business, objectives, and target audience.
They should outline clear steps for setting up and optimizing your PPC accounts, including keyword research and ad copy creation. The agency should also highlight the importance of communication and collaboration, ensuring you have an opportunity to provide input and approve decisions.
A well-defined onboarding process indicates the agency’s commitment to understanding your unique needs and delivering results aligned with your business goals.
Choosing the right PPC agency can be a daunting task, but by focusing on the right qualities and asking the right questions, you can ensure that you find the best partner for your business.
Remember, it’s essential to find an agency with experience in your specific channel, relevant industry experience, and a solid track record of success. Additionally, asking questions about their approach, strategy, and reporting can give you a better understanding of how they work and how they can help your business grow.
If you’re ready to take your business to the next level with the best PPC agency in the business, look no further than StrategyBeam. Our team of experts has years of experience in PPC advertising across multiple channels, and we’re dedicated to helping your business succeed.
Don’t settle for anything less than the best when it comes to your digital marketing needs. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you achieve your goals and take your business to new heights!
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