How to find the best ppc (Adwords) management company

Before setting up my own agency, I had first-hand experience with a variety of Adwords (PPC or Pay Per Click) Management Companies.  My experiences were varied – some would take a monthly fee and do virtually nothing, others were quite savvy and could offer real savings in Google advertising costs and/or increased enquiry levels.   At the time, I didn’t know enough about what makes a good PPC campaign to know how to select the best company to manage Adwords, so this article is designed to help you do just that.

11 Things to ask your potential or existing Google Adwords Management partner:

  1. Are Broad Match keywords being used?  Broad Match is the quick and easy way to get set up with just a few keywords, but it will waste your advertising spend.  The only exception is in the early stages of a campaign, if carefully monitored, broad-match can sometimes be useful for testing purposes, but it will always bring a certain proportion of non-relevant traffic and as you’re paying for every click, this is not a smart long-term strategy.  Broad match should be used for the first month only, if at all.
  2. A good campaign will normally have more negative keywords than standard search terms.  How many negative keywords are being used?  Negative keywords again prevent costly clicks from people looking for something that you don’t offer.
  3. What locations are you targeting and are you sure your ads are not being shown outside this geographical area?  If you don’t sell to companies in North Korea, why display your ads to people living in North Korea?
  4. Are your ads being shown at the most optimal times of day?  Having your ads displayed at the wrong times of day (or night) can result in higher proportions of wasted clicks.  If your advertising budget is limited, this will limit the amount your advertisements are shown when your target clients are most active!
  5. How often is the Search Term Report being checked?  This report shows you what words people are using to search, and is essential for refining the campaign over time.  When used intelligently, the Search Term Report will tell you what new keywords need to be added, and what negative keywords need to be added to prevent wasted click budget.
  6. What keyword quality scores are you getting?  A well set up campaign will generate quality scores of 8, 9, or 10 out of 10 for all keywords, and this will reduce your cost per click significantly, and also ensure that your ads appear at the top of the 1st page not at the bottom or on the 2nd or 3rd pages of google.
  7. How many different ad extensions are being used?  Ad extensions are quick links to commonly requested information such as your contact details, opening hours, etc.  Having a good number of ad extensions increases the size of your ad, pushing competitors ads out the way down the page, and also can improve click-through rates.
  8. Are conversions being measured, and are they relevant to the purpose of your business or your ad?  Measuring and reporting on conversion rates can give good indications of the health of a campaign if set up correctly from the start, in fact, Google will use the conversion rate information to determine the success and relevancy of your campaign.
  9. Do you have carefully design landing pages on your website optimised to be relevant to your ads, and also optimised to convert into enquiries once you’ve paid for someone to click through to your site?
  10. Has remarketing been considered?  If you have a long buying cycle, remarketing may be a good move for you, re-displaying your ads again later to those who have shown interest.  Or if your product is an instant impulse purchase, remarketing may not be for you, but it is important to have that conversation as you could be missing out on a powerful follow-up tool.
  11. How many Ad Groups are there? There should be a seperate Ad Group for every single product or service, allowing highly-specific ads to be shown for the search terms in that Ad Group, boosting the relevancy score, Click Through Rate (CTR), and last but not least, boosting your conversion rate, i.e. getting more enquiries.

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