One thing is certain: There’s zero shortage of capable and creative marketing agencies out there – of all sizes and disciplines. When it comes to PPC specifically, knowing how to choose the best partner to support your brand is paramount. Most agencies will say they can help you to get the word out about your business, quickly and easily, at a fair price leveraging paid search. But, does that mean they are right for you and your business?
In an effort to better help guide your decision-making process, we’ve outlined the key factors below to consider when selecting an agency partner that specializes in PPC. We’ll show you how to choose the right agency, as well as filter some major red flags for you to avoid.
What is a PPC Agency?
A PPC agency is a firm that specializes primarily in PPC marketing. What does PPC stand for? PPC refers to pay-per-click, which covers any form of marketing in which payment is rendered based on how many times a particular ad is clicked. This includes old-school marketing materials like banner ads and in-text clickable links. However, PPC is more commonly used in conjunction with paid search ads, such as Google Ads and paid social media advertisements.
The difference between PPC and non-PPC marketing is significant. One major component of PPC marketing is that your ads are only exposed to individuals meeting a pre-selected set of criteria.
For instance, if your company sells clothing aimed at a younger audience, you don’t have to worry about people outside your target market seeing your ads and clicking them by accident. Because your ads will only be seen by your desired demographics, you’ll know every click you’re paying for will be a legitimate sales lead.
Of course, it’s not quite that simple. And that’s why it’s so important to partner with the right PPC agency.
The truth is, any business can log into Google or Facebook and place their own paid search ads. Why, then, use an agency?
Working with the right PPC agency can pay for itself. How? Through experience and demonstrated consistency and excellence. When you partner with a PPC agency, you’re not just getting ads. You’re getting the know-how and marketing acumen of experienced professionals who have helped businesses of all shapes and sizes.
You’re getting the expertise that comes with having managed hundreds of successful campaigns. You’re getting the guidance of a steady yet knowledgeable hand, one that knows how to push every button within the paid search industry and send traffic your way.
This experience is the most valuable part of any PPC agency you work with. Therefore, experience has to be the very first requirement of any firm on your shortlist. Ask agencies about their previous work with clients in your industry, with your size, and at your price point.
Look for figures that show just how much they’ve driven business to those brands. Don’t be afraid to hit them with specific questions about times they’ve made mistakes or gone in the wrong direction. Every business makes mistakes; only the best learn from those missteps.
Cutting-edge businesses often pride themselves on taking chances on unknown entities in an effort to try something innovative. However, PPC marketing is not the avenue in which to take such chances. Don’t let your company be a new agency’s means of gaining experience. Instead, rely on the experience the agency has attained through other clients, and leverage that knowledge for your own success.
The paid search isn’t exactly a space for breaking new ground. It’s a simple process for everyone — pick a keyword, select a demographic, cut a check. It’s within those parameters is where the best agencies shine.
As is always the case in marketing, an ad is only effective if people actually see it. That’s where a good agency can really help you. The best PPC agencies are experts at working within the parameters of any business. Whether your budget is large or small, or if your target market is large or small, a good agency will find a way to get the word out.
PPC agencies have two major aces up their sleeves that most businesses are hard-pressed to replicate on their own. The first is the ability to conduct extensive market research. You might have one target audience in mind, but the agency may show you that you’re actually better off promoting your ads to a different segment of the marketplace.
You’ll be able to see the data that reflects this approach, giving you assurance as you change course. The second benefit relates to keyword analysis. Sure, you can use online keyword research tools, but as standalone research sources, they pale in comparison to what’s at the disposal of a PPC agency.
An agency can combine those widely available tools with their own internal analyses and their experience in the marketplace, giving them a winning formula when it comes to finding the right keyword.
As we saw with experience, it’s always a good idea to ask questions directly. The more you know about how a PPC agency uses creativity and research to inform their decision-making, the better equipped you’ll be to make the right choice.
Marketing is a constantly changing industry. And just as the industry and the platforms change, so too do the companies doing the advertising. Your needs today might not even remotely resemble what the needs of your company will be six months from now.
One must-have for any PPC agency you work with is the willingness and ability to adapt to whatever your needs may be at any given time. If you decide you want to embrace a new form of PPC marketing within the metaverse the day it launches, your agency needs to be able to handle that. It should also be comfortable with you doing the same exact thing you’re doing today for years on end, provided it continues to generate results for your brand.
Part of adaptability means having an understanding of the abilities and limitations of both brand and agency. Ideally, both parties will grow together, with each group enjoying the benefits of a long and fruitful relationship.
The agency should be able to grow in terms of its ability to service whatever your company’s needs may be, adding in the technology and know-how needed to excel in any medium. If you have any doubts as to how an agency will look in the future, it might be time to take a step back and be absolutely sure this is a partnership you want to undertake.
Earlier, we said that experience was a major dealbreaker. But it’s actually not the most important part of choosing the right PPC agency.
The aspect of your ideal PPC agency that’s most critical is the fit between your company and the agency you choose. It’s the most challenging box to check because there’s no real way to quantify fit. It’s impossible to tell if you have the best fit possible with an agency. And it’s easy to go crazy trying to determine if things will really go as well as you hope.
Having said all of that, you can absolutely tell right away if the fit isn’t right. And if that’s the case, run away while you still can.
A bad fit doesn’t mean you’re a bad company, nor does it reflect poorly on the agency. Maybe they’re simply too big to give your business the attention it deserves, or maybe it’s something as simple as the agency not being in the same timezone as your corporate headquarters. If there’s something that bothers you about the arrangement now, it’s going to bother you a whole lot more six months from now, when the honeymoon period is over and you’re stuck working with people you aren’t crazy about.
The right fit can be elusive, but it’s well worth seeking out. When you’re working in step with a PPC agency, they’ll open doors for you that you didn’t even know were in your way. You’ll get the expertise and technical ability you’re paying for, but you’ll also get nice perks like industry insights and top-notch support. You’ll also get friendly people to work with. Most of all, you’ll get the peace of mind that comes with having made the right choice and knowing that your PPC marketing is in the best of hands.
The right PPC agency can take your paid search marketing to an entirely new level. But knowing what to look for is key. If you need help finding the right PPC agency for your business, contact us at Commit Agency today.