Partnering with an agency for your PPC service can get you more visibility in search results, boost your ROI, and more. Here’s what to expect from the partnership.
Here, you’ll find:
- How to prepare for a PPC agency partnership
- What questions to ask during the vetting process
- Red flags to watch for from agencies
- What qualities make up a good agency
The beginning of a new relationship is always a thrill. There are the initial back-and-forth conversations to get a feel for one another, the nervousness before the first actual meetup, and the hope that this will end up being The One.
Yes, we mean the relationship between your company and a PPC agency. (What did you think we were talking about?)
But, just like any good relationship, it takes work. That means preparation, knowing what you want out of the partnership, and open communication. Below, we’re highlighting the success secrets that’ll help you handpick the right PPC service agency for you.
Do the proper legwork before beginning your PPC agency search
While it may be tempting to hit the ground running and start requesting consultations as soon as you decide you want to partner with a PPC agency, take a pause. To set up the process for success, there are a few steps to take first.
Namely, you need to clearly define what your needs, goals, and expectations are, and make sure these things are clear across your team. Determine what KPIs will be goal focuses, figure out your PPC budget (with an agency cost in mind), and finish any tracking or site updates before hiring an agency.
It’s also wise to plan for long-term results rather than short-term fixes, which the agency will likely point out to you as quick wins. Lastly, you want to define what’s most important to you in an agency partner, whether that’s communication, size, cost, experience of managers, industry expertise, or something more.
Know what qualities to look for in a PPC service agency
No two PPC agencies are exactly alike. And while you can’t predict how a partnership will turn out, your intuition should be able to help you discern which agency reps you will and won’t mesh well with.
Knowing what qualities to look for when you’re vetting PPC agencies will help you more easily weed out who’s not a good fit. Some qualities to look for include:
- A history of meeting (and exceeding) expectations
- Frequent communication
- Industry expertise
- Proactive ideas and vision
- A long-term focus rather than buzzwords and numbers without context
Research the agencies and ask for proof points
Any PPC agency will work to put their best face forward when meeting with you. But it’s up to you to do your own independent research to see what kind of reputation the agency has online. Check out review sites and see what other customers have to say (though take reviews with a grain of salt, since you don’t know the full story behind each client experience).
It’s also worth checking out the agency’s own site to see what kind of testimonials or case studies they’ve published that could be relevant to your industry or goals. If they don’t have anything published, you can request to speak to a referral or past client for more information.
Prepare the right questions to ask potential PPC agencies
When you schedule a phone or video call with a PPC service agency, make the best use of time by having a handful of specific questions ready. The more pointed your questions, the less opportunity they’ll have to be vague or broad.
Some questions you can consider asking include:
- How would you make sure our leads are resulting in revenue for the company?
- On what level is the structure and experience of the team we’d be assigned?
- What successes have you had in our industry before?
- What is your long-term plan to drive value for us?
- How would you report on monthly or quarterly results?
These are generally good questions to ask. However, you should also ask additional questions that are focused on your company’s specific goals.
Be on the lookout for red flags
Though an agency should make you feel like you’re their No. 1 client, the facts are that they’re likely juggling dozens, hundreds, or more. But while no business is perfect, there are certain red flags you may come across during your search. Let these serve as warning signs that you may not want to continue discussions with this particular service agency.
These signs include things like going days without receiving a response to a voicemail or email, making claims not based in facts or numbers, and promising outcomes without the data or sourcing to back it up. You also want to look out for a history of unhappy clients, poor retention, and any results or rates that sound too good to be true, given the company’s size and bandwidth.
Deciding to work with a PPC service agency could do wonders to enhance your paid search efforts. When you’re entering into one of these partnerships, make sure you negotiate a deal that works for you, especially if you’re a smaller company.
For best results, don’t pick an agency swiftly or in a panic to fix your ad accounts. Rather, treat your agency as an ally. Sometimes new clients treat agency managers adversarially like they have something to prove. Go into your new venture with an open mind, defined goals, and a clear communication plan to help ensure the relationship is successful and lasting.