So you want to hire a PPC agency – great! But how do you choose the right one?
If you’re like most businesses, you’ll have gone through your fair share of bad agency experiences. From holding your data hostage to terrible communication and shady practices, we’ve heard it all.
If you’ve never worked with a PPC agency before, the bombardment of information and false promises can be daunting. It’s hard to tell who is great, and who is just saying they’re great.
I’m going to take you through a list of 15 things to look for when choosing the right PPC agency so you get the best PPC agency experience!
1. Does The Agency Have Experience?
Sounds like a no-brainer, but it’s important.
There are a lot of “agencies” out there with “lots of experience”. But some of these “agencies” are actually just people who have taken a course and pretend to be experts.
You want to find an agency that actually has relevant experience. You can find this out by searching third-party reviews or checking out case studies on their website.
Or simply just ask them.
2. Do They Have Case Studies On Their Website?
Case studies are a great way to see if an agency is right for you.
Case studies will include the goals of the client, the agencies’ process and the results they achieved. Take notes on whether they have proven results and what their documented process is.
This means you have an insight into their strategy to see if it suits you and your business, and of course, you can see how well they’ve done at reaching their targets.
An agency that doesn’t include any case studies or examples of their results is a red flag.
3. Do They Have Expertise In Your Industry?
Now you know they have experience, do they have expertise in your industry?
Have a look to see whether they’ve worked with business in your industry before, if they have that means they already know a lot of important details. They will have industry-specific data that they can use to hypothesise how well your campaign will perform. Also, they already know how to speak to your audience.
Do some research and find some examples of campaigns that have been used for clients like yourself and see how they performed – don’t be afraid to ask for these. By having expertise in your industry, they should have a pretty clear idea of how your business will get results.
4. How Much Time Will They Spend On You?
You want to make sure that you are getting the right amount of attention for your campaign to thrive.
Larger agencies may forget about their smaller clients since they work with lots of clients who may be big-scale businesses. However, bigger agencies have more funding and resources at your disposal so the time they spend on you is of high quality. Some might say that smaller agencies have more time to put into you, but I think it’s down to the agency and its values, not necessarily the size of the agency.
You also may be given a junior account manager who doesn’t have the experience or who isn’t quite sure what they’re doing. It’s best to get experienced, helpful experts who know about your industry and have a wealth of knowledge across different channels.
Your agency should be an extension of your team, so they should communicate with you regularly.
5. What Will the Communication Cadence Be? How Often Will the Agency Report Back and Communicate with You?
Aside from experience, communication and reporting are the biggest factors you want to look for. Your PPC agency should be happy to share results with you – it’s your campaign and business after all!
An agency should report frequently with you and keep it transparent. For example, at Yatter, we have a structured communication cadence where clients have access to a live reporting dashboard (which is always accessible), a weekly email report about the campaign’s performance and a formal, in-depth monthly report call to discuss the next steps.
- Some key questions to ask a PPC agency are:
- How do you communicate data and results?
- How often will you report back to me?
- Will I have full access to my campaign results?
- How do you communicate campaign results?
If an agency holds information and reports from you, that’s a big red flag! You want clear, useful reports to help improve, not someone who’s keeping you in the dark.
6. How Do They Store, Analyse and Share Data?
Data is arguably the most important part of PPC advertising. Ads cost money and as soon as you start spending money on any channel, you gather data. That data will help you to improve your campaign by pinpointing what might not be working as well as what is.
The best PPC agencies know how to read and analyse data in order to adjust campaigns that drive the best results. They also know how to turn that data into something that you can easily read and understand (bad agencies will often use the data to confuse clients – so they don’t notice their poor results!).
It’s important that you own the data. When working with an agency, make sure that you own the ad account they’re running ads from. This stops them from holding your data hostage if you ever decide to end the partnership.
7. How Transparent Are They?
Following on from reports, you want an agency that is transparent with you, always.
Agencies should always keep you in the loop about what’s working and what’s not. You’ll be spending your money on these campaigns so it’s important when hiring a PPC agency that you know whether or not the money you’re investing is resulting in a positive return on investment. Your agency should be able to clearly communicate this to you. They need to be upfront with you about where your money is going!
A good PPC agency will give you all the information, access and analysis you need. Set your goals and be clear with your PPC agency on what you expect from them.
8. Do They Have a Documented Process?
Good agencies should have a proven process they can repeat – something that has proof of success.
For example, we use the Yatter Roadmap. We’ve created our roadmap over the years working with thousands of businesses across a vast amount of different industries. It follows a six-step process we’ve proven works best for results:
- Game Plan
In order to get results, an agency needs to show a repeatable process to show they have experience in delivering results and generating leads and sales.
9. Do They Promise the World?
It’s easy for an agency to tell a client the life-changing results they will see when they start advertising with them. But the reality is that nobody knows how successful a campaign will be until it starts.
We try and be brutally honest with clients on that – so we may actually stop winning business as much as a result but it’s important to us. We ask all clients if we can audit their existing campaigns and that gives us the opportunity to be much more realistic with what we think we can do.
We do a lot of research into our customer’s competitors, industry etc. and if we’ve worked with a similar company before, we can use that as a good benchmark of what results we may be able to generate.
But if an agency comes out with a “100% guarantee”, you’re in trouble. If they’ve got the proven results, a repeatable process and tick all the boxes we talk about today, fair enough. But really, they’re telling lies to rope you into a safety net that doesn’t exist.
10. Are There Any Red Flags?
It can be difficult to see the red flags when a company is promising you the world and everything seems wonderful. But if something doesn’t feel right, it’s probably not right.
Their numbers might not add up, they’re not communicating well with you or they are still guaranteeing you perfect results (which we know is impossible). Trust your instincts and keep an eye out for those pesky red flags.
11. What’s in the Contract? How Long Are You Tied in For?
It’s important to know how long you’re tied in for with your agency.
Different agencies have different notice periods ranging from monthly rolling to 3+ months.
Ideally, you don’t want to be tied into a long-term contract. A lot can change in a few months and you don’t want to be trapped in a relationship that’s not working for you.
At Yatter, we start things off with an initial 3-month agreement before moving to a rolling monthly contract. This keeps us on our toes!
12. What Do They Specialise In? What Channels Do They Use?
A good agency will consult and advise you on what channel is best for you. They will do extensive research into your business and your industry to find where is best to put your ads.
Whether decide to use Facebook ads, Google searches or multi-channel campaigns, you need to make sure your agency knows how to work that channel! you want to ensure your agency has a strong knowledge of your chosen platform, whether that’s keyword research or mobile optimisation. It’s crucial to find a PPC agency that can keep up with the ever-changing, on-the-go browsing.
13. Can They Support You In Other Parts Of Marketing?
So now you know your PPC agency has great keywords, great experience etc but what else can they offer you? They need to understand your big-picture goals and help you improve other aspects of your digital marketing system to reach those goals.
Can they offer you help on your landing page? Can they support your overall marketing function? How can they help optimise your website? A good PPC agency will offer you an abundance of suggestions and additional help so you can move past the advertising stage and see some tangible results.
14. How Do They Spend Your Money?
Now we get into the scary territory – money.
You need to be absolutely crystal clear about how much services will cost. Like I’ve mentioned before, it’s your money, you have a right to know where is going. A good PPC agency will be upfront about how much a campaign that meets your goals will cost. Every client has different needs and goals, so fees are based on each individual situation.
At Yatter, we take a simple management fee. Your payments for ads will be billed directly to Facebook or Google. Taking our separate fee and having the advertising fee go straight to the channel, makes life a whole lot easier and better for you!
You don’t want any nasty surprises!
15. How Do They Optimise Your Campaigns?
A good PPC agency will always be working to improve your campaign and use the data to inform future campaigns. They should be creating new copies and new images, finding you new audiences and creating new hooks or angles.
At Yatter, we are constantly focusing on driving down the cost per acquisition and cost per lead to the target initially set. We continuously optimise by rolling out new ad copy, new creatives, new audiences, new angles etc until we hit the desired KPIs. Once we achieve that, we help our clients scale their spending as aggressively as possible.
When you work with us, you’re in the best hands. We know what works and what doesn’t.
That’s a Wrap
The main thing to take away from this blog is, don’t be afraid to ask questions! Remember, you are paying an agency to get you the best results for your business. Do some research, contact different agencies and keep this blog to hand!
At Yatter, we tick all the boxes I’ve mentioned throughout this article. Yatter is a results-first PPC agency, specialising in generating leads and sales online. Our approach as a PPC agency is led by creative insights and data-led decisions to ensure maximum results for our clients. We’re only interested in tangible business results.
All PPC services include copywriting, design and creative support, a dedicated account manager and campaign management and optimisation- essentially, everything required to get results online. Click here to book a complimentary consultation.