things to look for with a PPC agency

I spend a lot of time talking about how to choose and judge a good PPC professional, but sometimes there’s only so much we can do.  It is the job of every PPC pro to ask questions before talking about strategy for a customer – questions that, if missed, indicate that you should keep looking for a PPC vendor.  For example, have they asked questions about who your perfect customer is or how they differ from your typical customer? Have they asked about what services/products you provide, price points, locations served, and goals? Have they asked about seasonality, website functionality, and what you want to focus on? Have they asked about your competitors and why your services are superior? If they don’t ask these questions, you might want to move on because then they aren’t being proactive or focused on what makes your business unique and different.

With that said, there are things that you can do to help your PPC agency, to ensure that you work together rather than at odds with each other.  These are some best practices for the customers to keep in mind when you sign a contract with a third party AdWords reseller that you can control.

  • If you change any website URL’s, call us immediately.  If we send a potential customer to an outdated URL, Google (and Bing) will disapprove the ads causing your ads to cease running.  The reason being that the potential customer has a negative experience by landing on a non-functional page and the search engines’ primary goal is to ensure the user has a positive experience while using their site.  If you or your web developer change a page URL, it is imperative that we know in advance to make the appropriate landing page changes.
  • If you introduce a new product or change your services or focus, let us know.  We aren’t experts in your field, so we don’t always know when new products come out, when old products are phased out, when value propositions evolve.  We need to know what is going on with your products and services at all times in order to ensure that we’re effectively promoting you in the best way possible.  We try to get things like this answered ahead of time, but sometimes these things can’t be forecasted effectively.  For example, around September/October, I email all of my auto dealers and ask about new models, discontinued models, special offers, and set the accounts up to run ads on new cars and ensure the year posted matches up with a customer’s expectation of a new car.  Not every account manager is this proactive, so keep us in mind when things like that come up.
  • If you have a seasonal shift to your business, let us know. It can affect pacing of the account, ad groups we pause or un-pause, campaign budget distributions, and more. Let us know if you’re in a business that’s seasonal and prepare us for what can happen.  Otherwise, we might panic in December when our landscaping advertisers have terrible ROI.
  • If you have questions, ask.  A good PPC agency will answer your questions and should be able to easily and EFFECTIVELY explain or answer anything you might wonder about. Whether it’s about deviations in performance, recommendations on what to advertise, explanations about ad rank or quality score, etc. When in doubt, ask.
  • When something is working, let us know.  For many of us, we only get the “bad calls.”  High season when budgets don’t last as long, a five minute period of disapproved ads when the ad wasn’t running, an errant misspelled word (DO call us if you see that, though), or slow periods that would typically be slow anyway.  We almost never get calls or a notification when you get a ton of internet customers or huge numbers of conversions, especially if we’re dealing with phone calls or foot traffic.  If you see an influx that deviates from the norm, it could be from PPC and we’d love to hear about it.  Not just the bad, but the good, too!

Above all, your PPC manager is a person who is only human. We have multiple accounts to manage, so if things change with your business, ask for input, recommendations, or dial us into the conversation to ensure that your PPC marketing matches up with your other marketing channels.

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