Six things to ask about before you hire a PPC agency

Pay-per-click advertising, or PPC, can be a very effective way to advertise, whether you’re spending a little or a lot. It can get fast results, it’s very measurable, and you can start and stop advertising campaigns anytime. Plus, of course, you only pay for ads when people click on them.

If you have a large PPC campaign with lots of products or offerings, things can get complicated pretty fast, and that’s when many companies choose to call in PPC experts. To get the best return on your advertising spend, you need really good advice on designing the campaign, segmentation, budgeting, geo-targeting and a host of other considerations. Without thorough planning and good execution, you run the risk of spending a lot, but not getting a lot in return.

We run lots of PPC campaigns and talk to lots of customers about their PPC needs. Based on the many conversations we’ve had with marketers about PPC, we’ve created this list of 6 key areas you could ask about when you’re looking at hiring a PPC agency.

Ask about experience

• Obviously you will want to know about the agency’s experience, so ask them about clients they have worked with where they had great success, and why they were successful. Ask for examples that match your vertical or industry, or the size of your media spend, to get an idea of how well they know your kind of business.
• Ask them about client campaigns that did not work out too well. How did they handle it? What was the resolution? If the agency claims they’ve never had a difficult account, you might wonder just how much experience they have really had.
• Ask for references.

Ask about services

• Ask if they can you help you with PPC strategy, tactics, and management. How comprehensive is their service? How much do they expect you to do? If you have a current PPC account, or had one in the past, be willing to let the agency look at your account to see what changes they would recommend and how they would approach it.
• Can they integrate PPC with your SEO and offline marketing activities? What about cross-channel, display, mobile, and other advertising?
• Make sure you understand what is not included, too.

Ask about reporting

• What kind of reporting will they provide, and how often?
• Ask what they would measure. How does their answer align with your company’s marketing objectives? Will they measure results all the way through from initial clicks to business conversions?
• Ask to see examples of the kinds of dashboards and reports they would produce for you.

Ask about technology

• What are their capabilities to integrate reporting with other platforms you use? This could be critical for e-commerce sites.
• Do they use bid management tools or other relevant technologies?

Ask about people

• Ask who, exactly, will be working on your account, and what is their experience.
• Can the agency work with your design agency, or in-house design team?
• Ask them to explain the value you will get for the price they charge. How will they help you spend your budget effectively?

Ask about process

• Ask them to explain their approach to redesigning your existing PPC ad campaign, if you have one.
• Ask them to describe their day-to-day approach to managing PPC campaigns.
• How quickly do they respond to phone calls or emails?
• How long will it take to see the results you want?

What questions should the agency ask YOU?