Pay Per Click or PPC advertising is one of the most popular forms of marketing. Whereas organic online growth can take time and effort, PPC allows companies to acquire leads and an overall boost to brand recognition in a short time frame. The main technique for this is by paying for ad space on Google’s search results, which boosts your placement in these results, leading to more clicks.
Obviously, the main difference between PPC and standard marketing is that PPC requires a lot more investment. Also, the process itself can be complex and often businesses will hire an agency or outsource this service to experts within the field. Unsurprisingly, to meet this demand there are a vast amount of PPC agencies and consultants out there. Choosing between vendors can be difficult so what should you look out for in order to get the best possible service?
Although PPC advertising may seem relatively simple at first, it actually incorporates a wide range of different techniques. Prior to choosing an ad agency to work with, companies should ascertain what exactly they are looking to achieve from such a relationship. There are many factors to consider, such as keywords, copy, competition, transparency, how long you plan to work with the agency, what kind of relationship you’re looking for etc.
Will you be looking for an agency that specialises in B2C or B2B? Are you looking for a big vendor with lots of positive feedback or a smaller agency that can offer a more personalised service? Also, this is the time to decide whether the issue of a Google AdWords Certification is important as this tends to be a deal breaker for many companies. There is so much to consider before even testing the waters of PPC advertising and this is why a detailed plan of action is a necessary place to start.
The internet has created a worldwide market were customers aren’t restricted by geographical location anymore. However, when it comes to choosing a PPC Agency, location can actually be a worthwhile issue to consider. If your company is providing products and services to a local area then choosing a vendor with experience in that area could make all the difference. It may be tempting to choose the popular national agency with the great reviews but they may have a “one-size-fits-all” approach that wouldn’t benefit a localised business. Cities, towns and regions have their own unique qualities and choosing an agency that has specific knowledge or experience in that area could help to create a much more streamlined campaign.
One of the downsides to PPC advertising is that it requires investment and can often be more expensive than general content marketing. However, if done right- the cost of this service should be outweighed by the potential revenue from new leads. When choosing between vendors- the pricing structure should be considered. For example, some agencies will charge a flat monthly fee, whereas others will work on a performance basis. Although it may seem obvious to gravitate towards a quid pro quo relationship, this can sometimes lead to vendors focusing more on the quantity rather than quality of leads. Conversely, an agency who is receiving a flat fee no matter what, may not be as motivated as they could be. Some PPC agencies work with a hybrid pricing system- so there’s a flat fee but also the potential for bonuses if results are particularly good. As with many aspects of business, a multi-faceted holistic approach often works out best.
Setting up a PPC ad campaign is only the first half of the process, the only way to ensure overall success is to track results and adapt accordingly. If a PPC agency or specialist isn’t offering regular, comprehensive data on your ads- this should be a red flag for any company. When it comes to tracking, you can never have enough data to work with. Simple metrics such as clicks and conversions are useful but they will only tell you part of the story. There are so many other factors to consider, such as demographics, locations ad search terms, just to name a few.
Programs such as Google Analytics will offer a wealth of different metrics, all of which will provide a bigger picture on how the campaign is going, what’s working, what isn’t and how to improve. When you’re deciding between different PPC specialists, their approach to tracking and data should play a role in who you choose. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about their methods of tracking progress.
When you’re just starting out with a new venture, it can easy to forget about long term goals but this is the best time to decide on an endgame. For example, how long do you plan on working with the PPC specialist and what type of contract will you be signing? A long-term contract may sound appealing but it could lock you into a relationship that is working well. Consider a short-term contract with the option to extend as this could offer a compromise for both parties.
Another aspect to consider is the idea of growth. Obviously, the main goal for the majority of businesses who are starting an ad campaign is growth and this is something that should be discussed with any prospective PPC agencies prior to signing a contract. What is the end-goal of this relationship and what happens when it’s met? Conversely, what happens if this goal isn’t met and how will the vendor go about remedying this.
Companies can gain success without utilising PPC advertising but it’s a powerful tool- especially for smaller businesses who need a boost. Finding the right ad agency may require a lot of research and planning but the potential benefits are well worth it.