You know you need to increase sales, and pay-per-click marketing through Google AdWords is a great way to do that. Since you don’t have the time to do it yourself, it is likely you’ve stumbled upon or been contacted by an agency that can handle your Google AdWords account. But not all advertising agencies are created equal.
By doing a little research, you are more likely to find the right partner for your Internet marketing needs. Here is what you need to know about every ad agency you work with that offers to manage your Google AdWords campaign.
1. MAKE SURE THE AGENCY YOU ARE WORKING WITH IS A GOOGLE PARTNER
If an agency is offering to manage your pay-per-click campaigns, there is one quick way to determine if they have experience in managing Google AdWords campaigns: are they a Google Partner?
Agencies qualifying as “Google Partners” must comply with stringent transparency regulations that include disclosing management fees and advertising costs to clients. While agencies have been able to apply for the new Google Partner certification since 2013 (which also requires agencies to have at least one Google AdWords Certified employee on staff), these new transparency policies will ensure that agencies spend enough to get results for their clients.
2. ADWORDS IS NOT A SELF-DRIVING CAR
Many agencies run their clients’ campaigns on autopilot. While Google is known for its self-driving cars, the same does not apply to the ads you run through Google AdWords. While AdWords does let you automate campaigns, the agency you work with should be actively managing your account. This means regularly reviewing keyword matches, performance metrics such as click-thru rate, and making sure that your account is well organized.
3. KEEP TRACK OF HOW YOUR MONEY IS SPENT
Some agencies will charge you a monthly fee (such as $300) with just a fraction of the fee going toward your Google listing (maybe 10 percent, or $30). Once you search Google for your name, it is likely you would see the ad and be happy — though you were unlikely to get any business from it. The only growth limitation for these agencies depended solely on how many salespeople they could hire and how many phone calls they could make.
Make sure the agency you choose to go with is completely transparent about its pricing. If a percentage of your monthly fee goes towards ad spend, verify the amount, and confirm the percentage dedicated to ad spend is sufficient enough to get you results.
4. DOES THE AGENCY YOU ARE WORKING WITH HAVE TECHNICAL EXPERIENCE
If an agency you are working is not comfortable with the peripheral technology requirements mentioned, warning bells should be going off. Much of what makes a Google AdWords campaign work proficiently is the ability to work with you on or help you create your overall web strategy. And it should know the tools of the trade.
5. IF IT FEELS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE, IT PROBABLY IS
If an agency contacts you with wild increases in sales numbers, conversion rates, or any other metric, make sure you ask for the proof. It’s easy to talk about numbers. It takes experience to back up those numbers.
Ask an agency you plan to work with for detailed case studies. It’s easy to cherry pick great performers, but it is hard to make sure all clients perform.
While a good ad agency will never guarantee you results, they will feel comfortable giving you numbers to back up its claims.
Choosing the right agency can improve your sales by leaps and bounds. Choosing the wrong one could potentially be a money pit. And as a small business, you know that spending money on what doesn’t perform is the difference between staying in business and going under. Avoid making the wrong decision by following our advice above.