- Inbound Marketing
Are you considering engaging with a pay per click agency? Maybe you already engage with one. These seven tips can help you create a better working relationship that will yield a higher return on your marketing investment.
1. Start by Seeking Out a Reputable PPC Agency
This first step might seem like common sense, but common sense isn't so common anymore. You might be wondering “where do I find a reputable pay per click agency?” Using Google Partner Search is a good starting point. If you feel more comfortable working with a local agency, narrow the results to your geographic location.
Not all agencies in the Google Partner Search results will possess the same expertise. Visit each agency’s website and take a look around.
Some things to look for:
- A Blog - Take some time to read their blog and see what they are all about.
- Case Studies – Reading about past successes is a great way to see what they can do for you.
- Client Portfolio – Do they showcase some of their clients and the outstanding work they have done?
- Testimonials – Is anyone willing to put their name and reputation on the line for this company?
2. Identify Your Goals
Driving traffic to your site is important, but driving the traffic that will help you reach your goals is even more important. Make sure your PPC agency has a clear understanding of what your goals and expectations are from the beginning.
A few common goals:
- Brand Exposure – Using paid advertising is a great way to get your name out there. There are a lot of options available to build your brand, these are just a few:
- Facebook Ads – This is a great way to create highly targeted text or image ads based on location, age, gender, interests and more.
Sample Facebook Ad
- Google Search – Target exactly what search queries you want to trigger your text ads. This could be an industry term, product name or even a competitor’s name.
- Google Display Network – Google has a plethora of options to choose from. Will you be using text ads, image ads, video ads or a combination of all three? How do you want to target your audience? Contextual targeting is where Google uses your keywords to find the most appropriate sites for your ads. Be sure your ad groups have only a few closely related keywords in them to ensure your ad is placed on the most relevant web pages. Placement targeting is where you pick your own sites. This works well if you know what sites your target audience frequently visits.
Sample Google Display Network Image Ad
- Increasing eCommerce Sales – If you are an eCommerce retailer engaging with a pay per click agency, make sure they know:
- Your most profitable products – This will help them get you the highest return on your marketing investment by aggressively targeting your most profitable product lines.
- Your average gross margin – This will help identify your ideal cost per conversion.
- Lead Generation – Pay per click is a great way to drive new visitors to your site in order to generate leads. However, leads should not be the only metric used for gauging success. This is especially true for sites offering high end services.
- A few other key performance indicators (KPI) to consider:
- Email signups
- Average time on site
- Bounce rates
- White paper downloads
If you have a lead generation site and also engage in pay per click advertising, you should be using call tracking. This is the only way you can truly track your paid advertising initiatives.
3. Don’t Keep Your PPC Agency in the Dark
You are an expert in your given industry and you know what is going on day to day at your specific organization. Sharing this information will only help! Make sure your agency understands the seasonality of your industry from the beginning.
Make sure they know about:
- Price Changes – Sometimes including the price of a specific product in ad copy is a good idea. If this is part of your strategy, make sure you send a quick email informing your point of contact when you change a product’s price.
- Removal/Addition of Products – If a product is no longer available on your site, make sure you are not paying to promote this product. If you are adding products to your site, inform your agency because this product might be worth targeting.
- Promotions – Including limited time offers or promotions in ad copy can help increase traffic to your site. Make sure your agency is aware of your advertising schedule.
4. Use the Ad Preview Tool
Want to know if your ads are appearing for a specific search query? Use the Google Ad Preview Tool. This is important because you do not want to waste impressions; Google uses your ad’s click through rate as a factor when deciding quality score. A good quality score will have your ads appear in a higher position at a lower cost per click and a poor quality score will do the opposite.
Don’t see your ads? Before that blood vessel in your head bursts, make sure you have all the information. Do you frequently reach your daily budget? Does your account manager utilize ad scheduling? Are your ads geo-targeted? These are all reason you may not see your ad, when in fact your ad is being displayed.
5. Play Nice
There should be a healthy balance between yourself and the agency you engage with. Suggesting keywords and ad copy is a great idea but don’t try and run the show. You may think you are ensuring that “things are done right”, but in reality you could be inhibiting your PPC agency from doing what you hired them to do. Trust in their ability to generate results and be patient. Not all PPC accounts “blow up” over night. Finding the right mix of keywords, ad copy, etc. takes time.
6. Tracking & Reporting
The first two things you need to make sure get done are linking your Google AdWords and Google Analytics accounts and enabling conversion tracking.
Tell your PPC agency what you would like to see in reports. This goes back to identifying your goals and KPIs. Creating reports takes time; only including the information you find useful will allow your PPC agency to operate more efficiently. Allowing them to work on what is most important, improving your paid advertising performance. Make sure they include suggestions and next steps in each report. If you seem complacent, they might not bother trying to improve your account’s performance. You don’t want them to think they can just “set it and forget it”.
7. Do Like Deming – Continuous Improvement
Be open to suggestions and continually test to improve your site’s performance. Your pay per click account manager should be able to help you identify what your site’s weaknesses are and what steps should be taken. A next step could be something as simple as a/b testing to see if changing the placement of the “add to cart” button increases your conversion rate. Some sites might need a custom landing page or even an entire site redesign.
- Inbound Marketing