Any company that wants to raise their sales online will investigate Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising. It’s a complicated field, so they often turn to PPC management companies to handle the specifics. But how do you know if you’re getting a good deal or not? You need to find a company that does two things:
- Has current knowledge and skill at running PPC campaigns.
- Cares enough about your company that they’ll perform at the level promised.
There are unscrupulous companies out there that will try to take advantage of your ignorance and take your ad spend. But if you ask PPC management companies the following questions, you can find a company that not only knows how to do PPC, but also cares about doing the job right.
“Can I Talk With The Person Who Will Manage My Account?”
This question alone will weed out a lot of bad companies. Many of the cheaper companies will outsource their PPC management to a third party that works for cheap rates. Sometimes they don’t even hire that third party until after they have your business. Don’t fall for this. Ask to speak with the one who will have their fingers in your account. Salespersons will promise the moon trying to get a sale, but it is the account manager that will be doing the work. If they refuse to put you in touch with them, walk away.
“What Do You Need To Know About My Company?”
A good PPC manager will have many questions about your company. It is impossible to do good PPC without knowing details. Some of the things they’ll want to know include:
- What business goals do you want to achieve through PPC, and how are you measuring that? (e.g. leads vs. sales)
- Are you a new to PPC, or do you have an existing campaign? How is your current campaign performing?
- What is your USP? How do you differentiate yourself from your competitors?
- Are there keywords you know you wish to target?
In order for them to accurately gauge price and conversion rates, they will need this information and more. If they fail to ask for it, that’s a danger sign of inexperience or a lack of care.
“Have You Worked In My Industry Or A Similar One?”
Ideally, you want someone who knows your industry. This will give them the background necessary to come back with a good rate. If they don’t, that’s a problem – though not a dealbreaker. Ask if they’ve worked in a similar niche, or can provide names of previous customers and their contact information. Don’t feel shy about calling up other companies to ask about their experience before hiring a particular PPC management company. It’s your business on the line.
“What Is Your Plan For My PPC Account?”
This should be specific, not just tossing out a conversion rate number. Even if they don’t know your industry, they should have a plan of attack for how to increase your conversion rate. If they cannot come back with a plan and a timeline for how long it will take to reach your goals, that’s a danger sign. They should also have monthly reporting that measures the metrics you need to know your ROI. You should also ask them when they know that a particular campaign, ad, or landing page isn’t working and how they deal with it.
“Can We Work Through The Math Together?”
You and your potential PPC management company have to figure out if hiring them will break your business. Let’s take the following scenario. You need 200 clicks to get 10 leads, of which only one will convert to a sale. If the PPC cost for that ad is $10, that’s $2000 for every sale. Depending on how much you get from each sale, that may not be worthwhile. If you only make $1000 off each sale, you’ll go bankrupt quickly. If you make $10,000 per sale, that’s not so bad.
The PPC manager should be able to generate a keyword list and calculate out the cost per click for the ones you want to use. That will help you determine whether hiring the company will make you money or not. You’ll also need to add any fees taken by the company into your calculations.
A lot of this depends on the conversion rate. A good estimate for a brand new company doing PPC is 5% to start. Most ads and landing pages that are any good will convert 10-20% of clicks into leads. In some cases, the conversion rate can be higher.
A company that really cares about your business won’t want to take your money and run. They will take the time to go through this basic math and see if you can afford their services. If they’re unwilling to go through the math, avoid them. However, you may need to give them some time to do keyword research first before they can do these calculations with you.
Hiring a PPC management company is a lot like hiring a vacation guide. They have to know what they’re doing, and they have to care enough to make sure you have a positive experience. If you ask the questions you’ve just read upfront, you’ll be able to choose a strong candidate as your PPC manager.