Outsourcing PPC allows businesses to go hands-off with building successful pay-per-click campaigns. Learn the benefits of outsourcing PPC management, expert tips for finding a reliable partner, and signs its time to outsource.
Here, you’ll find:
- What is PPC outsourcing?
- Benefits of outsourcing PPC management
- Expert tips on how to outsource PPC
- Cons of outsourcing PPC management
- Signs it’s time to outsource PPC marketing
- Cost of PPC outsourcing
PPC, or pay-per-click, is the perfect offset to your organic SEO efforts. Having your website appear in search results in paid and organic search — whether you’re ranking for or bidding for a keyword — makes it easier for your target audience to find you.
However, putting together a successful PPC ad campaign takes time and skill, something your business might not have an excess of. This is where the idea of outsourcing PPC management comes in.
Read on to discover how to outsource PPC ads, the benefits vs. cons, and the costs.
What is PPC outsourcing?
PPC outsourcing is the act of hiring a third-party freelancer or agency to manage your pay-per-click advertising campaigns. Instead of performing these services in-house, you can outsource PPC marketing to a full-scale digital marketing agency, specialized PPC or SEM marketing agency (like HawkSEM), freelancer offering PPC management services, or PPC consultant.
You can choose to outsource Google ads management as a whole, or simply bring in a team of experts for a one-off campaign you’re hoping gets a lot of traction (for example, a holiday campaign).
Benefits of outsourcing PPC management
Outsourcing your PPC strategy comes with numerous benefits. Here are five pros that PPC outsourcing can offer to your business.
- Access to a team of PPC experts
- Cost-effective campaigns
- Access to better tools and resources
- Avoid mistakes on your PPC campaigns
- Better and faster results
Access to a team of PPC experts
When you hire an outside team specializing in marketing strategies like PPC, you get access to a group of experts with years of experience under their belts. You’ll likely work with an account manager, plus access to the skills of their team who will assist with your campaigns.
“PPC agencies are constantly aware of the newest tactics, algorithms, and trends; they’re experts in this field,” says Matt Little, owner of event lighting company Festoon House.
This knowledge results in better targeting, more successful advertising, and eventually a higher return on investment.
“We contracted out a campaign to an agency with invaluable specialized knowledge,” continues Little. “They pinpointed the ideal keywords, created compelling ad copy, and maximized the effectiveness of our campaigns. Their knowledge produced results we couldn’t have obtained internally, like higher click-through rates, greater conversions, and an overall increase in sales.”
Stretch your ad spend even more than you’ve previously been able to. Many companies spend nearly $10,000 per month on ads (with average costs-per-click around $2-$5). Imagine getting to the lower end of that seamlessly just by working with a team of experts.
Also, outsourcing can reduce costs for hiring and training an in-house team.
“Our company has notably outsourced PPC advertising as a cost-effective method; this allows us to avoid investing in equipment, software, or the hiring of full-time employees dedicated exclusively for this work,” explains Lisa Richards, CEO of health website The Candida Diet.
Richards continues, “We’ve seen a significant reduction in our overhead expenses because we’ve spent less on resources, tools, and employees. Paying for necessary services allows flexibility. Cost structures can be adjusted to meet specific needs, maximizing efficiency and minimizing waste.”
Plus, time equals money — and outsourcing your marketing efforts can help with that too.
Campbell Tourgis, COO at manufacturing company Wainbee, shares, “Outsourcing PPC advertising to specialized agencies accelerates campaign setup and launch. This distinctly saves businesses valuable time compared to an in-house learning curve.”
Access to better tools and resources
When you hire an external PPC team, you get access to their tools, software, and resources used to build winning campaigns for paid search ads.
PPC agencies often have teams available for keyword research, analytics, and conversion rate optimization.
Avoid mistakes on your PPC campaigns
Mistakes can happen when business owners decide to work on PPC campaigns themselves without proper experience or knowledge. The same goes when you hire a PPC manager that is new or doesn’t follow best practices. Some mistakes can be costly if not caught early enough.
So when choosing a PPC agency, check their credentials, testimonials, and case studies.
Better and faster results
When you bring in an agency or consultant, you’re working with someone who knows search engine and social media PPC ads like the back of their hands. They can improve your campaign performance to improve results faster.
“After 5 years of managing our own PPC campaigns, we recently decided to outsource the management of our account to an agency,” says Alison Lancaster, CEO of press release distribution platform Pressat.
Lancaster continues, “It was mind boggling trying to navigate multiple campaigns, ad groups, keywords, and so on within a dashboard that seemed to change how it works every few weeks.
She adds that they only have their own campaigns to generate feedback on, whereas an agency can work with hundreds of clients at once, giving them an insight to what’s working and what’s not. She says they’ve seen a huge conversion boost since outsourcing their campaigns.
Andrew Cussens, owner of videography company FilmFolk, shares another success story.
He says, “Through outsourcing, we witnessed a remarkable 150% surge in website traffic; notably, three-quarters of these were new visitors — clear evidence of successful reach to potential customers. In addition, bookings for our drone photography service experienced an uptick: they escalated by 30%.”
When you outsource, you can all but guarantee a lower cost-per-click (CPC), lower cost-per-action (CPA), and higher conversion rate, whether that’s lead generation, purchases, signups, or even just brand awareness.
Expert tips on how to outsource PPC
So, is it time to outsource? Let’s make sure you get set up with the right agency that can get you results. These three tips can help.
1. Find the right PPC agency
Finding the right agency to work with can be the difference between campaign failure and success. And while many agencies may be great at what they do, not every agency will be the right partner for your business.
“Find an agency that knows your industry and has a proven history of delivering results,” says James Smith, founder of travel company Travel-Lingual. “Look at client testimonials, case studies, and industry certifications. Also, consider transparency — agencies transparent about their strategies and results are worth considering.”
Little adds more insight, saying, “Seek experience, a proven track record, and in-depth knowledge of your sector. Credentials for Google Ads or Bing Ads might serve as a reliable gauge of their expertise. To assess their success with comparable businesses, request case studies or references.”
You’ll want to interview the agency in your initial sales call to see if they’re a good fit. Marketing broker Behdad Jamshidi shares a list of questions he recommends asking:
- What kinds of tools do you use when running campaigns? How do you use these tools to collect and analyze data?
- What processes and testing will you do to continually improve your ads?
- How do you select KPIs?
- Are you familiar with your industry? Do you have any case studies related to your goals and industry?
- How often will you communicate results?
- How will you ensure mobile optimization for your PPC campaigns?
- What platforms do you specialize in? (i.e., Facebook, Google, Instagram, LinkedIn)
- How will you analyze your competitors’ PPC strategies and use the insights to your advantage?
- How will you identify and target the most relevant audiences for our campaigns?
- Can you provide examples of ad extensions or formats that have yielded positive results for other clients?
- How will you allocate budget across different campaigns and ad sets?
2. Ensure consistent communication
We’ve talked about transparency and how it can build trust with an agency. But this is only possible when communication is open. Check the agency’s preferred communication method and determine the frequency they’ll provide updates and speed of responses to your queries.
Smith shares, “Communication is the foundation of any successful relationship. We use tools like Slack and PPM (project portfolio management) platforms to keep our team and outsourced PPC agency in the loop. Meetings and status updates are held regularly to keep everyone on track and aligned with our business objectives.”
3. Be clear on your objectives
As long as you know what you’re looking to achieve through your PPC and you convey this to your agency, you should be satisfied with the results.
Smith explains, “We always link desired results to our business goals. The best PPC agency should match your overall strategy and focus on the most important metrics of your business. With regular performance reviews and open communication channels, adjustments are quick, keeping the partnership going strong.”
Cons of outsourcing PPC management
Outsourcing to a PPC management agency isn’t always all butterflies and rainbows — especially if you hire the wrong person or team for campaign management.
Here are some of the issues you may run into when searching for a PPC management agency.
Difficulty finding a reputable PPC agency
There are a number of PPC management providers available, including agencies, freelancers, and consultants. However, not every option will be right for your business; and choosing the wrong one can have detrimental results, like missed goals, wasted budget, and a lot of stress.
Choosing the right PPC agency for your business involves key steps. A few of them include:
- Reading reviews
- Scoping out case studies
- Looking to see if they’ve worked with businesses similar to yours
- Asking about their process and communication style
- Understanding how they prefer to work with clients
Choose an agency that aligns with the way your business works, and that has a reputation for success.
Potential for communication issues
Communication with a third-party company is different from having someone right down the hall or on Slack. You’re now at your account manager’s mercy, waiting until they respond to emails or calls.
There’s also the risk of misaligned goals, inconsistent brand messaging, and inadequate reporting.
Make sure you and the person/agency are on the same page about communication — method, frequency, and time frame for replies. Finding a partner that you can easily communicate with is going to be the best alternative to in-house PPC management.
They might not understand your business
Just because an agency excels at digital marketing for one company doesn’t mean they’ll do the same for yours — especially if the never worked with a business like yours. An agency specializing in PPC for law firms and has generated stellar results may not know the first thing about PPC for ecommerce.
Work with an agency with extensive experience in your industry and type/size of business. This way, you’ll know they understand the nuances of your company and can manage your online advertising.
You lose a granular level of control
When you outsource, you’re trusting another company to run your PPC ads for you. And in many instances, you become completely hands off. This can be unnerving for some marketers and business owners.
However, if you work with the right agency, you won’t have anything to worry about. Decide how much say you want to have, like setting specific goals and KPIs or reviewing ad copy, and run these by the agency.
Ask the agency how transparent they’ll be during a PPC campaign, how often you’re able to do reviews and updates, and how often you should expect to hear results. Regular check-ins and a collaborative environment will be the best case scenario if you’re worried about giving up control.
Signs it’s time to outsource PPC marketing
Not sure if outsourcing marketing services to a PPC agency is right for your business? Let’s cover a few signs that you might be ready to outsource.
“Take into account variables such as your campaign’s complexity, team members’ levels of experience, and budget,” shares Little.
“Outsourcing makes sense if you need to grow quickly or don’t have the necessary inside skills. You get professional assistance without making a long-term commitment, which makes it especially useful for short-term initiatives or while you’re investigating new markets.”
Other signs include:
- You don’t have the time or resources to properly train someone
- A full-time specialist is outside of your current budget
- You’re not seeing the results you want
- PPC marketing is outside the scope of your current team
- You want to test new campaigns and strategies
Cost of PPC outsourcing
Typically, it costs anywhere from $1,500 – $10,000 each month, here is an in-depth guide on how much does PPC management costs. And can it be cheaper than hiring a full-time employee to handle your PPC management?
We mentioned earlier that the average PPC ad spend is around $9,000-10,000 per month. And that’s just on ad spend. Depending on the size of your business and your industry, this can fluctuate based on the results you’re looking for.
There are three main pricing structures you’ll come across:
- Flat fee: Agencies charge a flat management rate
- Percentage of ad spend: Agencies charge a percentage of your overall ad spend (usually between 10-20%)
- Performance-based fee: Agencies charge based on the number of leads or conversions they generate for you
All in all, you can expect costs anywhere from $1,500-10,000 per month — on top of your ad spend. Another aspect of finding the right agency will, of course, be finding one that fits your budget on top of your other needs.
There are pros and cons to hiring an agency or freelancer to run your PPC ads. However, it’s up to you to decide whether the benefits outweigh potential cons. Keep in mind that finding the right fit can negate a number of those cons, as well.
Considering outsourcing your PPC management? HawkSEM can help. With case studies across a large variety of businesses and a portfolio full of proven results, we’d love to talk to you about your next campaign. Get in touch with an expert today.