Staying ahead of the competition in online business is essential if you want to succeed, and pay-per-click advertising is one of the best marketing methods out there to help your attract visitors to your website.
Pay-per-click (PPC) is a form of advertising whereby a marketer only pays for the links that are clicked on by the user. You will have probably seen PPC ads in action at the top and to the right of your search results on Google under the ‘Ads’ banner.
PPC is heralded for producing results quickly and is a very cost-effective method of advertising when done correctly. To really benefit from pay-per-click, it is recommended that you use a management company or agency to run your campaigns. There are fees involved in doing this, but the ROI (Return on Investment) is enough to cover any money paid out to an agency, well, in theory anyway.
You see, there are a lot of pay-per-click agencies out there and as with any other type of business, some are much better than others are. A good PPC campaign can have very positive results on business, but a poor one will simply result in you throwing money down the drain. In order for your business to benefit from PPC, you need to know that you are getting the most out of your pay-per-click agency. To help you establish this, I have put together a list of things to consider:
Is the PPC agency providing measurable results?
When it comes to a PPC campaign, it is important to know that an agency is influencing your performance in the long run. Your performance indicators should always be on the up, if at any time they begin to decline, it is clear that your campaigns are not working and you should question the agency as to why.
Do you have a good business relationship?
Throughout your career in online business, you will form many business relationships, one of these will be with a PPC agency, and having a good understanding is essential.
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A good agency should always be working in your best interests and consulting with you to understand your business, campaign expectations, and goals for the future. It is tremendously important that an agency understands the market that you operate in and appreciates the competition.
You should be provided with an account manager and that person should never stop learning the finer details of your business. Some PPC companies will assign a team of workers to your account and campaigns, but this can often serve to dilute the level of expertise. To get the most from your pay-per-click agency, you should ensure that you have a single account manager or named contact, and that any new person taking over the role is fully briefed about your business.
Your agency should be flexible and able to respond to your needs over time, if you feel that the relationship is fragmented, you should question whether you are getting the most from them.
Does the agency offer enough innovation?
To ensure that your PPC campaigns are working better than those of your competitors are, your PPC agency must be innovative and abreast of the constantly changing Ads clients that are out there. The big ad networks such as Google AdWords and MSN Ad Center are ever changing, and then there are the new kids on the block such as Facebook and Twitter who are each growing in influence in the PPC sphere. Your PPC campaigns are only ever as good as the people that are working on them, and while they may be well versed in the latest tools, they must also be able to apply them with a level of creativity that works to your benefit.
If your pay-per-click agency lacks innovation, then it is pretty obvious you are not getting the most from them.
Are you provided with regular reports?
Regular reports and feedback is essential and will keep you fully up to date with how your campaigns are going. Weekly or bi-weekly calls regarding results/numbers, upcoming projects, successes, and challenges will ensure you know exactly what sort of service your agency is providing. Calls do not need to involve any friendly chitchat so long as they are delivering you the facts. If your PPC agency is local, regular face-to-face meetings should also be scheduled with your account manager. On-going reports and feedback are key to a good working relationship and campaigns are much more likely to get results.
Use the Ad Preview Tool
If you want to know whether your ads are appearing for a particular search query, you can make use of the Google Ad Preview Tool. Google will use the click-through rate of your ad to decide the quality score. If a good quality score is given, your ads will feature in a higher position at a lower cost per click; if, on the other hand, your ads are given a poor quality score then they will feature in a lowly position at a higher cost per click. Naturally, this will set alarm bells ringing and you may want to question your PPC agency.
Do they offer you value?
Whether or not you are getting the most from your PPC agency will usually come down to the value they offer. It is all about ROI and your agency’s progress against performance metrics. An agency charging high rates but producing quality results is fair enough, but if the results are affecting ROI, then campaigns clearly are not working as they should.
A good PPC agency will be worth its weight in gold in terms of marketing; just make sure you are getting the most from yours.