Shopping for PPC Management? Watchout for these Pitfalls.

January 22nd, 2010 • By:  • PPC Advertising

snakeoil

 

1Low cost for set up and management-
If you have been shopping for PPC management , you have seen the ads for $199 (or lower) pay per click ad management. They seem like a bargain, especially for businesses that have relatively small ad budgets (say under $2000/month). But are they really a bargain? We have had several customers come to us this year that have tried those services, so I have firsthand experience with the work.   From what I have seen, they pretty much throw every keyword they can think of and hope for the best. The result is that the customer wastes the majority of their advertising budget on keywords that do not convert. The bargain quickly disappears with the wasted spend.  
 
It’s like the auto paint jobs for $79….they might look good for a month, but is that really what you want?  
 
Remember, a bad campaign really does cost you money…both in wasted ads and the time and effort lost in dealing with poor leads.  Shop carefully.
 
2. No ownership of your account -
Again, we have had customers come to us with these issues, so this is fairly common. This issue usually appears in two different forms.
 
The most common way this happens is that the customer agrees to let the PPC Management firm buy the ads and then bill them later.   This is bad for the customer for at several reasons:
 
  • First, the management firm is most likely marking up the ad costs by at least 20%…any maybe as high as 100%. As a consumer, how will you know?   And despite what they might tell you, they can’t buy ads any cheaper than anyone else. Including you.   So you are just paying more for clicks than you should.

  • You don’t actually have a PPC account…the management company does. So you are only getting the benefit of advertising, not marketing knowledge. More on that later.

  • You are limited to the reports and info they want to show you.

  • If the company fails, so does your ad campaign. Again, the ad campaign is not your asset, its theirs, you just pay for it. But if they don’t pay their bills, or go out of business you have nothing.
 
The other situation that we have seen lately is similar, but the outcome is basically the same. In this situation, the customer is uses their credit card to pay the advertising costs, but the PPC management company still treats the account and campaign as theirs. Here the pitfalls are similar, but slightly different:
 
  •  Again, you don’t own the PPC account, the management company does. 

  •  You don’t even get the benefit of using the management companies money for a few days, since the advertising is being charge to your credit card.

  • You are limited to the reports and info they want to show you.

  • And again if the management company fails…you have nothing. 
 
Why is this important? A pay per click campaign is your company or personal asset. You are paying a lot of money for these ads and they are providing you with both leads and data. The data you are collecting is valuable and should be yours.   By data I mean things like: which keywords work, which ads work best, etc.
 
These firms don’t want you to control the data because that makes it much tougher for you to leave…you essentially have to start from scratch again. That usually is very expensive, so often you just stay and put up with mediocre (or worse) results.
 
So a crucial question that you want to ask before signing up with any PPC Management company is this:
 
if we decide to change firms or run the account ourselves, do I have access to the PPC data for the account and campaigns?
 
 If the answer is no, I would keep shopping.

 

 

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This entry was posted on Friday, January 22nd, 2010 at 10:41 am and is filed under PPC Advertising. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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