PPC or pay-per-click advertising is a highly effective way to market your brand. A good PPC campaign can dramatically increase your traffic, expand your reach, and boost sales. However, this space moves very quickly. Keeping up with the daily performance of your campaigns, developments in technology, and changes in the digital marketing landscape can be incredibly challenging for anyone.
PPC campaigns are not ‘set and forget’. They require monitoring, tweaking, and analysis of real-time performance results against your pre-defined success metrics. If you don’t have much experience in this field or time on your hands, Google Adwords campaigns can become financial black holes that suck your budget with little return on investment.
Employing the right PPC agency can alleviate stress, provide you with valuable insights to make the right decisions and lead you to long-term success and increased sales.
How do I choose the right agency?
A simple Google search for ‘how to choose a PPC agency’ throws up a myriad of results with hundreds of agencies promising the world with pricing and services varying wildly. So, here are some tips to help you take the guesswork out of the whole experience and ensure that you pick the right agency for your specific needs.
1. Look for Experience
It should go without saying that you should choose an experienced company with several years in the digital marketing space. Now, while this may seem like common sense, the problem is that there are lots of great salespeople out there who make it sound like their subject matter experts.
Many agencies can talk the talk using PPC buzzwords and promise massive ROI, yet, the one thing you should look for is specific examples of successful campaigns the agency has deployed. Make sure they can demonstrate a track record of successful long-term campaigns that have increased sales for previous clients and brands. They should be able to speak to what made these campaigns successful and how similar initiatives can grow your brand.
If they can’t speak to specific case studies or tell you successful data-led stories, then it should trigger warning bells. Don’t go with an agency that has a lack of substance. Look for examples of hands-on experience that has led to significant success in the recent past.
Finally, get to know who exactly will be working on your campaign and what experience they have. Some agencies use their most experienced digital marketers and strategists when making the sale and singing you onboard but then handover your campaign to inexperienced junior staff.
2. Find the right Cultural fit for the best working relationship
When looking for an agency to partner with, it’s important to ask yourself what sort of relationship you’re looking for. Often, it’s easy to be taken in by extensive menus of services offered and glossy features of a specific PPC management package.
Avoid getting distracted by shallow bells and whistles, by going in with an understanding of what sort of partnership will resonate with your brand. If you don’t know what type of relationship works, then you’ll end up with a collaboration that’s more an attempt to awkwardly bolt-on a suite of irrelevant digital marketing services than a genuine and successful partnership.
A deal may look great on paper, but if the agency’s not the right cultural fit, you’ll face challenges. Find people who are genuinely excited to work with you and people who ask all the right questions. Choose authenticity over a cheaper fee or an extensive list of services. If the digital marketers you work with are aligned with your brand goals, then it’s more likely to lead to successful campaigns because the strategists behind them understand your brand and your unique audience.
3. Look for a big picture, integrated approach.
PPC is effective in driving potential customers to your website or landing page. However, if your site or sales funnels are poorly designed or ineffective, then all the traffic in the world won’t help. You can lead customers to your brand, but you can’t force them to buy unless you have a succinct digital strategy and an optimised site. Successful campaigns are backed by a cohesive user experience end to end.
Choose an agency that understands this and one that works across SEO, landing page optimisation, digital strategy and more. Your digital marketers should be subject matter experts who can provide feedback on everything from advertising copy to on-site SEO and digital customer journeys. Your conversion rate should speak to the success of your digital user experience, and if you don’t see the expected conversions, then your agency needs to work with you on improving your overall strategy and design.
A useful indication of a successful agency with an integrated approach is how well they try to understand your product. They should be passionate about understanding the nuances of your business and be genuinely interested in what you do. If your agency isn’t making this effort, then you’ll end up with a cookie cutter approach that won’t be tailored to suit your needs.
4. Adaptability is crucial
The digital space moves at a rapid pace. Slight changes in consumer behaviour or technology can fundamentally shift the tactical execution of PPC campaigns. It’s crucial that your chosen agency take an agile approach to digital marketing and can pivot based on trends and performance. Success in this space is often defined by A/B testing and continuous tweaking so, it’s essential that your marketing specialists understand this, and don’t just provide you with an off-the-shelf product that will become stagnant after deployment.
5. Honesty and transparency
Any good relationship is based on honesty. Engaging a digital marketing agency is no different. If you find that your chosen agency is making unrealistic promises or committing to success metrics without understanding your brand, then that’s a sign that they probably employ more salespeople than strategists.
To gauge honesty and authenticity, the sort of questions you should ask are:
- What happens if we don’t hit the agreed targets?
- What reporting do you provide and at what frequency?
- Who owns the logins and what happens if I change agencies or decide to go it alone?
If you don’t have full visibility into real-time analytics and access to the Google Adwords accounts, then it may be a sign that the agency is not genuine and are creating a smoke screen, so they can massage the data to put a positive spin on their efforts.
6. Look for robust reporting and data visualisation
When it comes to any digital marketing initiatives, analytics are crucial to gauging success. If you’re able to visualise your data and understand the complexities of your user or customer journey, then you’ll be well equipped to make the right business decisions to drive improvement continually.
Understanding where your customers are coming from as well as their on-site behaviour will lead to consistent growth. If you have clear visibility into your data, it will provide you with the right knowledge to refine your marketing efforts, improve your keywords and drive consistent sales growth month on month.
Ensure that the agency you choose isn’t just big on analytics but that they’re also able to seamlessly tie data together and visualise it in a way that makes sense to you and allows you to make the right decisions.
So, what does this all mean?
Essentially, choosing the right agency for your business is about understanding what your specific needs and goals are from the beginning and then selecting an agency that naturally aligns both culturally and in terms of their strategy and execution. Ensure that you have some control over the data and that they can visualise and share results with you in a way that makes sense and provides absolute clarity into the performance of your campaigns. If your agency ticks all these boxes then it’s a recipe for success.
At OneEgg, we are digital marketing experts with extensive experience in the PPC space. We have a robust and impressive track record of helping brands meet and exceed their targets. We take the time to learn and understand your business and partner with you in a genuinely collaborative way where we all sing from the same song sheet. We are experts in analytics, SEO, and all aspects of digital marketing and can provide you with an unparalleled experience tailored to your specific marketing needs.
Contact us today to find out how we can help grow your brand tomorrow.
- Mark is a Co-founder at One Egg and Head of Paid Search