Top 10 Questions You Should Ask a PPC Agency Before Hiring Them
Hiring a PPC agency can be a difficult task since, more often than not, you’re hiring one because you’re not an expert yourself. Wading through sales people and trying to understand industry specific lingo you’re not familiar with can be challenging, so we suggest focusing on finding an agency that is transparent, produces quality results, and provides excellent customer service. Here are the questions we suggest you ask to make sure you’re hiring a top quality agency.
Do I need to sign a long-term contract?
Many agencies require a 6 month or even 1 year contract so it’s important to know exactly what you’re getting into from the start.
Vertical Measures: We have no startup fee and our contracts are always month-to-month. Our goal is long-term relationships and for you to think of us as employees of your own business. If you’re not happy with your results, fire us. We’re confident in our work and our 97% renewal rate speaks for itself.
Who “owns” my PPC accounts?
Ownership of your PPC accounts is very important as, in this industry, data and knowledge are power. If your business-to-agency relationship were to turn sour, you want to make sure that your ad campaigns come with you. Be wary of agencies who would “own” your accounts as this can make ending the relationship very difficult.
Vertical Measures: We like to think of your ad campaigns as your business assets and always provide you with full access and ownership. If one of your employees were to leave would they take all of the work they’ve done with them? No, and we think this applies to your Adwords/Bing/Facebook accounts as well.
How frequently will I receive reporting and what sort of information will I be provided?
First and foremost, you should receive regular reports outlining, at a bare minimum, your measures of success. This is likely leads, sales, ROI or some other metric that can be directly tied to business success.
Vertical Measures: We provide weekly performance reports highlighting top line engine data and your measures of success. We also provide a summary of weekly activities, opportunities, and important insights gained during the week.
How much experience will my analyst have?
Your PPC ad spend is a significant investment and gathering all the necessary information about who will be responsible for this investment is imperative. Anybody can claim to be an expert but it takes years of experience to truly master the ins-and-outs of campaign optimization.
Vertical Measures: Our analysts are all senior level professionals with a minimum of 3 years of experience optimizing campaigns. We have a highly selective hiring process for our PPC analysts and have excellent on-going training processes to ensure all analysts are up-to-date experts in all things PPC.
Are your PPC analysts Adwords certified?
Adwords certification should be a baseline requirement for anybody optimizing your campaigns. While being certified certainly does not guarantee that they will do a good job, you should be apprehensive about hiring anybody who is not certified. It’s easy to do your due diligence to ensure that the agency is a certified Google Partner by searching for them here: https://www.google.com/partners/#a_search
Vertical Measures: Vertical Measures is a Google Partner and every one of our PPC analysts are certified. You can find our certification here: https://www.google.com/partners/#a_profile;idtf=04453705754277787008;
Do you have experience managing campaigns for a business similar to my own?
For obvious reasons, finding an agency with specific experience managing campaigns with comparable business goals has many advantages. If you needed a root canal you likely wouldn’t choose a dentist who’d never performed one before.
Vertical Measures: While we don’t have experience in every single industry, our highly experienced analysts have managed just about every possible business type (B-to-B, B-to-C, Ecommerce, lead gen, etc.) in a wide-array of industries. Your best bet is to ask us!
What is your strategy for my campaigns and how will I know if you’re doing a good job?
This may be the most important question of all and should never be overlooked. Any smart individual can manipulate data to tell exactly the story they want so having explicit key performance indicators in place will stop this from happening. While strategy can vary, an agency should be able to explain their strategy clearly so you understand how and why it will be successful for your campaigns.
Vertical Measures: Your optimization strategy and metrics will be 100% unique to your business and the current state of your campaigns. Once goals are determined, we will craft a strategy that makes sense for you. Your KPIs are the most important metrics to us and we understand that meeting and exceeding them is how we build long-term relationships. We will never try to fool you with unimportant “fluffy” metrics.
What engines and networks do you manage campaigns for?
Finding an agency that manages campaigns across a breadth of networks and engines will significantly expand your campaigns opportunity. Not every network is right for every business but you don’t want to be limited to just Google Adwords due to a lack of expertise. Yes, Google Adwords should be a part of the plan but it doesn’t have to be the only part of the plan.
Vertical Measures: We have expertise in Google, Bing, Yahoo, Facebook, LinkedIn, and more.
What kind of communication will I have with my account manager?
You should always be able to reach and speak with the individual optimizing your campaigns, not just a generic agency support rep. If that communication line is not open or is limited at all, a red-flag should go off.
Vertical Measures: Our clients have a dedicated analyst who is always available via phone or email. Because transparency is of the utmost importance to us, we encourage clients to reach out if they ever have a question about the work we’re doing or even advice on non-PPC topics. Customer service is our top priority and we look to exceed expectations by providing great results and excellent communication.
How many accounts do your analysts manage?
This may be the most infrequent, yet important question to ask an agency. There are agencies that have their analysts managing 100+ accounts at a time. This means that if they work 40 hours per week and every minute is dedicated to account management, they can spend 24 minutes/week on each account. What likely happens is there are a few large campaigns that most of the time is dedicated to the remainder go untouched for long periods of time.
Vertical Measures: We don’t think 24 minutes/week is appropriate and you shouldn’t either. Our analysts manage as few as 3 and as many as 15 accounts to ensure sufficient time is spent on each and every account. Our analysts are in every campaign, every day and that won’t ever change.
Vetting agencies by asking the right questions will help you make a better decision and find the agency that best fits your business’ needs. Choosing an agency that can exceed your expectations by being transparent, producing quality results, and going the extra step to provide excellent customer service will ensure a happy, long-term relationship.
About Zach Etten
Zach is a certified Google AdWords Professional with over 4 years of experience managing successful PPC campaigns. His background in statistical analysis and interest in big data led him to become an expert in bid optimization tactics and strategies. Zach has successfully managed large and small campaigns for clients spanning many industries and business models.+Zachary Etten