How to Choose an AdWords Agency
Finding the right agency to manage your AdWords or PPC account is in some ways like hiring a new member of your staff. Apart from evaluating the agency’s experience and reputation there are a few key points to remember when selecting an agency.
1. Campaign Managers Experience
The complexity involved in the advanced management of an AdWords or PPC account means that years in the field tend to directly equate the rate of performance improvement your agency can provide. Stick to companies that have a minimum of two full time PPC managers who solely focus on search, you should also be allowed direct access to these people for questions about your campaign.
If you want to gauge the efficiency of an AdWords agency ring them up and ask this question to the first person that answers the phone:
“I recently noticed my conversion rate has taken a huge dive. No changes have been made to my landing page, keyword list or adverts but I have noticed my impression volume increase significantly. What could be the cause?”
A) Answered correctly immediately over the phone
B) Transferred to someone who can give you the correct answer
C) Answered correctly by return phone call
D) Answered incorrectly but close over the phone
E) Answered incorrectly over the phone or return call
F) No answer, no communication
Answer is: If conversion rates are dropping with no changes being made to landing pages, keywords or adverts, then a rise in impressions would indicate that a new search query is triggering your ads, and this new search query may not be relevant to the service or product, hence the drop in conversion rate.
- For example, your campaign might be advertising “voice to text dictation equipment”. With the sudden spike in searches for “the voice” suddenly occurring due to the TV show gaining popularity, Google might be delivering your ads for this irrelevant search as it’s similar to your keywords, resulting in an overall increase in impressions and a drop in conversion rate. This type of issue can be avoided up by regularly monitoring your “search query” reports.
2. Contracts & Pricing
Minimum term contracts have been for too long an unnecessary part of AdWords management. Seek out month to month agreements or performance based agreements. This will ensure you have the flexibility to trial an agency without being held down by a legal contract. This flexibility should also allow you to pause and resume campaigns, amend budgets to meet seasonal or market demands and (if you are a small business) go on holidays.
Remember that agency fees vary but these will pale in comparison to the costs of a poorly run campaign; seek out percentage based fees as these will allow your agency appropriate resources for your budget. Stay away from flat rates as these are usually outsourced.
3. Intellectual Property
Is the work done on your behalf actually yours? Ensuring that you can take your campaign with you when you go is essential to maintain your campaign history and quality. If you are forced to start again from scratch because things haven’t worked out between you and your agency it can be detrimental to your campaigns performance and it could be weeks until you get the same or better results from a fresh campaign (presuming the agency you leave hasn’t royally messed things up).
Ultimately you have paid for the work, it is yours by right and this is even backed up by Google. However there are still agencies around that baulk at, or flat our refuse transferring you back the campaign.
Seek out AdWords agencies that actually let you speak to the campaign managers, not just sales and call centre staff. Make sure you understand what action has been taken, but don’t let yourself be overcome by jargon, find an agency that is willing to patiently work through with you what they are doing and explain it in plain English.
A good agency should also be able to offer you support services for all your web assets. Look for companies with Analytics Experts, Coders, SEO Programmers and can offer more than one PPC channel. This shows the company is dedicated to your business succeeding and in online marketing technology in general, not just computer literate.
5. Is your Agency is leading by example?
Stay away from agencies that get their business by cold calling. These agencies are normally working on selling on ‘fear’ and ‘unrealistic expectations’ with misrepresentations and unqualified analysis’s made by offshore call centre staff. Remember,
A) It’s not possible to analyse a campaign properly without access to the account, any statements about campaign quality are usually wild speculation.
B) Google will not call you directly to offer their services.
C) Your business is YOUR business. Chances are you know what your business is about and have had years of experience trialling many different channels and can provide insights that will significantly help any potential Agency – Don’t be talked down to by someone on $14.00 an hour.
If you are getting approached using 30 year old ‘boiler room’ lead generation techniques then how can that company honestly say it is an expert in Internet Marketing?
As I said earlier, find someone you would be happy to employ, search your local networks and seek out advice from other businesses that are successful, hunt down people on LinkedIn or simply search Google.
I hope you have found this article interesting or helpful; there are many good quality agencies in Australia that are very reputable and have a great history of delivering excellent, successful campaigns, Simply Google ‘AdWords’ or ‘Google AdWords’ for a list of Australian AdWords Agencies.
Have any questions or comments? Please leave them below!