What to Expect From Your New PPC Agency

If you’ve never worked with a PPC agency before, you might wonder what to expect.

What questions will they ask? What will they want you to do?

And what can you do to make the relationship go more smoothly?

As the manager of a PPC agency, I like to think I have some insights into the client-agency relationship.

Here are six things you can expect from your new PPC agency.

1. They’ll Encourage You to Put Your House in Order

You might think that your newly hired PPC agency will want to talk about target markets, marketing strategy, previous ad campaigns, and your products and services. And they will.

But they will also want to talk about your website.

Issues with your website can quickly derail even the best paid search campaign.

Factors like responsiveness, page speed, and technical issues are critically important to the success of your PPC efforts. Even things like your website’s aesthetics and structure can have an impact.

So before your new agency launches your PPC program, they may strongly suggest that you get your house in order.

2. They’ll Make Tracking Mandatory

Agencies use tracking as a way to measure their success. It’s how they can tell what’s working in your campaign.

Otherwise, they can only manage by “guesstimating.” And that’s not managing at all!

So be prepared for your agency to insist that you install tracking code on some of your webpages. They may also ask for landing pages and “thank you” pages to help with this tracking.

If you have a solid web development team, this shouldn’t be a problem. But if things get complicated, a good agency will able to give you direction to help you over any bumps.

3. They’ll Need Budget for Translations

Some new PPC clients are caught off guard by the need for translations.

Yes, English is sometimes described as the “universal language” of business. And maybe that’s even true in some cases. But it isn’t true in advertising.

After all, you would never use an English-only brochure to sell to markets around the world.

If you want your campaigns to succeed, you’ll need to have your ads and landing pages translated (preferably by a knowledgeable native speaker).

4. They’ll Want You to Compare Apples to Apples

You’ll probably do some due diligence before agreeing to work with a PPC agency (as you should!).

Part of that due diligence may include estimating results.

It’s never a bad idea to see what results are standard for your industry. But at the same time, recognize that every product, service, and business is different.

It’s OK to shoot for the stars. But once your campaign launches – and you have some real data to look at – you might have to adjust your expectations.

For example, one of our clients sells a highly specialized type of medical device. The product “category” for this type of device is already very limited. And the device that they’re selling is even more specialized within this category.

When they first met with us, they set a goal of getting 100 conversions per month for a new product they were launching. (The conversion activity was downloading information about the device.)

We asked where they got that number. They based it on estimates for the “medical device” category.

As you can imagine, the medical device category is very broad. It could cover everything from standard stethoscopes to super specialized imaging devices.

As it turns out, we’re averaging about 25 downloads per month. Thankfully, the client has been realistic about this number, recognizing the not-exactly-parallel comparisons they were making at the start.

In fact, PPC has become their best performing marketing channel, in terms of cost per conversion and quality of leads. So everyone’s happy.

5. They’ll Ask You to Share

Sometimes, companies like to hold information close to the vest.

This is most often true of smaller businesses. Larger businesses are more accustomed to sharing sensitive information with other departments, partners and outside vendors. But some smaller businesses are reluctant to share sales numbers or information about their business strategy.

But the more information you share with your PPC agency, the better.

The more the agency knows about your business, the better it can serve you.

For example, we have a client that was very open about sharing their business plans, strategies, and results.

Having a broader context for the business was very helpful to us. It helped us make sure that our activities aligned with their goals.

This principle also applies to information about your other marketing channels.

What succeeds or fails in one channel can inform what you do in other channels.

So if you’re killing it with SEO, let your PPC agency know. And if your last social media campaign was a bust, let them know that, too.

6. They’ll Prefer One Point of Contact

When a business hasn’t worked with a PPC agency before, managers will sometimes want to get everyone in the room. After all, isn’t it better to get a wide range of input into your new program?

Yes and no.

Getting a diversity of opinions is a good thing. But it can also be inefficient (and confusing) to invite 10 people to a PPC meeting, especially when they have differing levels of authority and PPC knowledge.

When this happens, the agency will inevitably spend a lot of time educating some participants – while boring others.

Even worse, it can bog down decision making. Instead of getting approvals that can move things forward, you’ll spend the entire afternoon talking about a comma in your ad copy.

Therefore, it’s usually efficient to have the agency work with one point of contact in your business. And make sure this point of contact has time to meet with agency regularly.

You can still bring subject matter experts into discussions. But it should be the exception, not the norm.

For example, when we’re working on something that will impact a particular client product, we’ll invite that product manager to the discussion. But we don’t typically bring all product managers into all discussions.

Expect the Best From Your PPC Agency

By knowing what to expect from your new PPC agency, you’ll set yourself for a strong start.

And as long as you keep the lines of communication open, the relationship should continue to benefit you both over the long run.

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