5 Questions To Ask A PPC Agency Before Signing Up
So you’re ready to take that next move with your business’ digital marketing and hand the reigns over to a team or person who specialises in Google Ads and other Pay-Per-Click Platforms. Here are 5 important questions to ask a PPC agency to make sure you are getting complete transparency and the best possible value.
“Am I in a lock-in contract?”
Some agencies and other marketing companies will like to lock you in for a minimum of three, six or twelve-month contracts. Being locked-in isn’t necessarily a bad thing, especially if your Google Ads performance is going well and you are receiving good service. Some companies prefer the commitment because campaigns can need a few months before they start running smoothly. Or, perhaps the campaigns are very large and require longer time frames to gain performance data and see results. On the other hand, if you’re unhappy with the communication, the campaign results, or are generally dissatisfied with the whole service, then you’re stuck!
Vine Street Digital doesn’t have lock-in contracts because we believe it keeps us accountable to the best possible service and results. It also allows flexibility to our clients.
“Do I have ownership of the PPC account?”
It’s very important to find out if you have ownership of your Google Ads, Facebook Ads, or any other PPC account.
I’ve had a few clients coming out of 6–12-month contracts with very mediocre experiences, looking for a better agency to manage their ads. We aim to build over their existing campaigns and work with prior historical data. So, the client asks their old agency for access to their account. But sometimes the answer is “no”, because the previous agency claims they own the account. As a result, the client loses 6–12 months of data, and they have to start again. Or in other scenarios, people have been too scared to leave their current agency after investing so much money. They fear going backwards.
At Vine Street Digital, our clients have full ownership of their accounts. Their own email addresses are connected to the account as the administrative owner. This includes other programs like Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager. We want to be as transparent as possible with the work we are doing. You have the right to view your own accounts!
“How many clients does my PPC specialist take care of?”
It is common for some agencies to overload their PPC specialists (sometimes referred to as client/account managers) with over 100 clients. When you divide a 40-hour workweek (take off a few hours for meetings and training) by at least 100 clients, how much love do your campaigns really get? Agencies managing this many clients per specialist will probably try to deflect the question, but it’s important to get a feel for it.
That being said, there are automation programs like Optymzer. They are designed to take many manual work hours away from the client manager to save time. This allows for higher client loads and more time to focus on other strategies. In some companies, you may not have one dedicated specialist – you may have a client manager who you communicate with, while they report to a technical team who carry out the work.
PPC Specialists at Vine Street Digital manage an average of 10–20 (at a maximum of 40) clients each, depending on the amount of work required. This allows more hands-on management and a higher level of awareness of what’s happening in the accounts. Our PPC Specialists prefer this more personalised approach, and it is one of the reasons for moving on from larger agencies.
“How often are changes made in my account?”
Agencies with higher client bases per person may only look at your account once per week, sometimes even once per fortnight in order to manage the workloads. They may have scripts in place to ensure they are alerted if Google payments fail, or campaigns stop running suddenly. However, these aren’t fool-proof, and it’s difficult to be alert of all changes.
At Vine Street Digital, we check our campaigns every day, Monday to Friday. It may not be necessary to make changes and adjustments every day, but we find it important to at least be present and proactive for any major issues or successes that occur. Account work is carried out once per week as an absolute minimum.
“Does the management fee include payment of the PPC platform?”
Some companies will offer an irresistible all-inclusive monthly package of not only management fees, but also your Google Ads, with unlimited clicks! If you ever hear ‘unlimited clicks’, run for the hills. They don’t exist, and even Google themselves say that guaranteeing unlimited clicks is a misleading claim. If management and platform payments are inclusive, ask about how much of that fee will be spent on your actual advertising.
Our management fee is separate from the platform payments. The management fee covers the cost of implementing strategies, optimising campaigns, providing recommendations and reporting. Our clients are responsible for paying for their actual advertising and have control over their payment methods. We’ll work together to establish an appropriative advertising budget for your business goals and oversee this spend.
If you are on the hunt for a PPC specialist agency, please reach out to us with any questions. We’d love to hear from you.
Written by Courtney Wilkinson