What are the Most Important Questions to Ask Before Hiring a PPC Agency?
Hiring the right PPC agency for your business or organisation can be daunting, especially if you have little prior knowledge or experience with paid search. You will come to depend on your PPC agency to manage your campaign, offer sage advice on the most effective methods to reach your target demographic, and ultimately help your business generate more revenue.
Choosing an agency that just isn’t the best for your specific needs can be a costly, frustrating waste of money. You need to do your research, explore the different PPC agencies operating in your area, and ask some crucial questions.
Question #1: What Results have they Achieved for Previous Clients?
This is pivotal. You absolutely have to ask any PPC agency you’re considering working with what results they have managed to achieve for previous clients – this will help you gauge how much they deserve your money. They should be able to provide a wealth of evidence to prove their credentials, such as testimonials and case studies from satisfied clients. Many high-quality agencies will actually carry these on their website, placed strategically in the visitor’s journey to capture leads, so be sure to check there first.
Even so, once you’ve done a little research on the agency yourself, ask them for more details on positive campaign results. They may be able to show statistical data and key information from AdWords or alternative platforms as further proof.
Question #2: Will they add Negative Keywords to your Campaign?
Negative keywords are an essential aspect of any well-managed, effective PPC campaign. Negative keywords are those which act against you and could lead visitors to your site under false pretenses. Google’s definition is extremely simple and clear: if you were to add ‘free’ as one of your negative keywords, this would notify AdWords to never display your PPC ad for any searches containing that word. You can apply this to any term that would be irrelevant to your products and services, such as ‘worldwide shipping’ or ‘USA’. Ask your prospective agency if they will incorporate negative keywords into your campaign, and what advantages they expect these to bring.
Question #3: How much do they Expect you to Spend?
When you ask your potential PPC agency how much you will need to spend in order to get the results you need, be wary if they offer an exact price straight away. There isn’t a one-size-for-all solution for paid search. They will need to get to grips with your business, your target demographic, your mission, your ideal keywords, and other market factors before they can quote a rate to suit your exact needs. If your business is operating in a highly-competitive sector, you’ll likely have to pay more than one in a more niche market.
If they give you a price before you’ve even had a real discussion with them, they may be trying to sell you the standard package they offer everyone – whether it’s right for you or not. You also need to ascertain how much of the money you give them each month is going on your ad bids, and how much is lining their own pockets.
Question #4: How Dedicated are they to Researching your Business and Goals?
Your PPC agency has to develop a thorough understanding of your business, your mission, your products, your services, and your ideal customer, all to ensure your paid search campaign is as effective as it can be. A good agency will dedicate good time and resources to build a comprehensive file on your company, your needs, and your expectations before they launch your campaign. You should both be on the same page from start to finish, so they’re going after the right demographic with the right terms.
They should ask a lot of questions early on in the campaign, to offer the most bespoke service they can. Otherwise, they may well handle every client with the same bland, generic approach.
Question #5: What is their Process to Achieve top Results?
When you ask this question, you aren’t necessarily looking to learn more about the platforms and tools they use to manage your campaign (though this is important). Rather, you want to explore how they approach the task of boosting your visibility, improving conversion rates, and increasing your revenue. They should have a set process for each new client that comes on-board, and it should involve exploring your business, understanding your target customers’ pain points, identifying the solutions you provide, and working out how best to reach the biggest audience possible.
Companies shouldn’t just depend on tools and platforms to do all their work, nor should they simply automate the process wherever possible. Instead, they have to really make sure they’re doing all they can to build your audience and boost conversions. That’s what you’re paying them for, after all.
Question #6: What Commitment do they Expect from you?
If a PPC agency stipulates that you need to sign a one-year contract with them, or even a six-month one, try to negotiate something shorter, even if it’s just a trial period. While you may get fantastic results within that first year, there’s a distinct possibility you might not too. Once they have you locked into a solid fixed-term contract, less ethical PPC agencies may rest on their laurels and fail to invest the time and energy into your campaign as they should.
Agencies working on shorter-term contracts, though, will consistently have to prove they’re worth your cash. Negotiate lengths until you feel comfortable and confident.
Question #7: How many People will be Working on your Campaign?
If your potential PPC agency has only, say, five people but 50 clients, there’s a good chance your campaign isn’t going to get as much time as it deserves. The team could be spreading itself too thin, leaving them unable to generate the results their clients expect and pay for.
However, if it’s a larger agency, they may be able to have multiple people tending to your campaign on a daily basis, earning their money in a more honest way while bringing in the strongest results for your business. Even if they are a small agency, though, they may still be able to achieve solid outcomes. Again, this is where testimonials and case studies are so critical, as are word of mouth recommendations.
Do you have any tips to make finding the right PPC agency easier? Share them below!