If you’re currently advertising on Google, there’s a good chance you have a pay-per-click management agency that oversees your account and performance. When you enter into a relationship with an agency, there are certain expectations that need to be met in order to have a successful long-term partnership. How can you assess your current marketing relationship and ensure you’re in the best situation for your business? We’ve put together the questions you should be asking yourself at this moment that will reveal if your current provider is operating in a way that benefits you and promotes transparency and trust.
What is your billing relationship to Google?
This may seem like an odd question to ask- you pay Google in order to run your ads, right? But not all billing relationships are the same. You should be paying Google directly for your ad spend, not going through your pay-per-click management company. If you pay a flat fee each month that includes your ad spend upfront and a variable management fee from your PPC manager, then that’s a red flag. With this type of agreement, your provider usually makes more money when you increase your budget, which can result in you spending more than what’s necessary for your market or what your business can handle. This can lead to poor performance and constant pressure to spend more even if it’s not in your best interest.
And some companies aren’t exactly transparent when it comes to what this management fee is. For most companies that use this approach, it’s a percentage based on how much you spend in Google each month. But the percentage of your ad spend that they take for themselves can be much higher than you think. Anytime you enter into a pay-per-click advertising agreement, the company should set you up with a direct relationship with Google and then have their management fees separate. This promotes transparency and keeps them accountable each month to work hard for your business.
Is your account being actively managed or is it on autopilot?
If you’ve tried to run pay-per-click campaigns for your business in the past, you know they take a lot of time and effort to get into a consistent rhythm for success. Most business owners don’t have the time to spend each day working an account the way it needs in order to be a top performer, which is why they turn to PPC marketing professionals. And when you’re busy managing your own business, it may not always be obvious when a company has left your account on autopilot.
The next time you meet with your PPC manager, ask them these questions to see if your account is getting the attention it deserves:
- Are you performing daily keyword optimizations including adding negative keywords, optimizing top performers, and removing non-serving keywords?
- Are my keyword bids being updated regularly to adjust to market volume?
- Is my budget checked daily in order to meet my marketing goals?
- Are you monitoring performance and proactively adjusting settings for campaigns to achieve desired results?
- How often are you reviewing search terms and modifying our strategy based on this information?
What type of keyword bidding strategy are you currently running?
Another question we recommend asking your pay-per-click management company is whether they use Google’s automatic bidding features or if they manually manage bids. When a company relies solely on automatic bidding strategies, that’s a recipe for set and forget when it comes to an account. Google can jack up your keyword costs and basically has a blank check to spend what they want. When there is manual bidding in place, a set of eyes is looking at each keyword seeing what is the best decision at that moment depending on your individual market. It gives total control over how much you pay for a click and allows for keyword-level optimization.
This list of questions isn’t exhaustive, but it’s a good place to start digging into what your current pay-per-click management team is doing for you. If they don’t provide transparent information regarding your performance and are hiding behind complicated dashboards while charging you based on ad spend, it’s time to reevaluate your current relationship.