Paying for PPC Marketing
What to Expect When You Outsource AdWords Management
The easiest way to get to #1 on Google for literally any phrase is to toss some money at AdWords and outbid the highest bidder. Still, though that method may be the simplest, it is not the smartest, nor is it the most cost-effective. Setting up an AdWords account on your own and spending money is a breeze – but is that quick campaign really paying off? Or are you just hemorrhaging advertising dollars?
After a Few Tries, Most Companies Will Go Down One of Two Paths:
- Dismiss AdWords as a hocus-pokus, get-rich-quick scheme
- Outsource AdWords duties to someone else
ForeFront Web is here to reassure you that there’s a ton of money to be made from an effective PPC campaign. And, if you’re in the market for digital marketing, we’ll show you what to expect out of your next Digital Marketing Company when it comes to Google AdWords management.
AdWords Reporting: Find Out What They’re Actually Doing
When new (but established) clients come our way, the complaint we hear most is, “Well, we didn’t know what they were doing for us.” All too often companies sign up for these “Local SEO” packages that are just set-it and forget-it AdWords campaigns – that means an agency will just set up a PPC account, run your credit card to meet the established budget, collect its overheard each month and let it go until you say stop.
That’s NOT how this partnership should work.
Every month, you should receive an in-depth report regarding your campaign:
- How is it performing?
- Can you see the relationship between website leads and this specific campaign?
- How many clicks-to-call can be attributed to the campaign?
It’s not enough to just send over an automated one-sheet PDF that says “We spent all of your money on these keywords.” What are they doing next to improve the campaign, avoid wasteful spending and get better conversions? How are they handling spam traffic and low value keywords? There’s a reason you pay a monthly overhead/administrative fee. You’re paying a team to monitor, revise and perfect your paid search efforts, not to just click “on” every month.
If your prospective Digital Marketing partner won’t let you see an example report, get ready to walk away.
Some Failures: Being Proactive & Reactive, Not Passive
No campaign is perfect, especially if it’s just starting out. There’s going to be a few wasted dollars and some bad leads. It’s in these failures that we learn to grow and better the campaign. Sure, there are ways to set a campaign up for success (more on that later), but there will always be some stuff no one could have seen coming.
For example: While working for a custom bicycle builder, we found that there was a strong correlation between high bounce rates and Paid-For traffic that hit the website for the phrase “Custom Bike Builder.” Turns out, these clicks came from motorcycle enthusiasts. So, we modified the account to use “bicycle” instead of “bike” and used that information to improve our on-page SEO efforts.
AdWords is a constantly evolving marketing machine that can sell for your company – even when you’re sleeping! Not every day is going to be a winner. Not every click is going to be the dream customer. However, being proactive and routinely modifying each Ad Group will help you get the most for your money. Don’t let your agency partners sit on their hands!
Ask about “negative keywords” and how the Digital Marketing Agency routinely modifies campaigns to address potential failures/shortcomings.
The Kitchen Sink, Too: Using All of the Tools In the AdWords Toolbox
Google likes it when you use the tools they created. Why? Because most people like them! They get better engagement. They inform users more effectively and result in higher conversion traffic. If your agency takes advantage of each tool and trick, you’ll get more of the market share and top spot placement for your ads.
Each Campaign Should Use The Following:
- Call extensions
- 3-4 ads per Ad Group/campaign
- Full ad descriptions (at least two lines of text under the ad)
- At least two sitelink callouts
- “Download from Ad” Call-to-Action (if you’re promoting an app)
- Custom geo-specific targeting
- Custom URL strings
- Negative keywords (to weed out terms like “Free,” “DIY,” “Cheap,” etc.)
Red Flags: What to Look Out For When Hiring a Paid-Search Specialist
“Proprietary Analytics Platforms”
Every agency should be able to deliver accurate information using the gold standard reporting platforms (Google Analytics, AdWords, Tag Manager & Search Console).
Make like the Monty Python’s Knights of the Round Table and run away fast if someone tries to lock you down for more than four months at a time, especially if they don’t offer proof that they optimize campaigns throughout each month. That’s how they get ya. Sure, campaigns take a minute to start out (as mentioned in the “Failures” section above). But if the agency doesn’t have their act together by month four, it’s time for them to hit the stage, Jack.
“Having AdWords Helps Your SEO”
This myth has been debunked for quite some time and should be considered a straight-up lie at this point. Folks from Google have directly said that no website will benefit SEO-wise from running an AdWords campaign, nor will any site be dinged if they don’t have one going. We’ll personally tussle with anyone who still peddles that hogwash.
This platform makes spending a lot of money very easy for newcomers. Setting it up takes mere minutes, but the result is often devoid of meaningful success. This is the training wheels of AdWords, meaning you basically cannot take advantage of ANY of the tools and tricks we mentioned above. Honestly, we don’t know why this platform exists and, if your agency is using it to manage your AdWords, then it’s time to take off the training wheels and ride free.
“Broad Match” Search Phrases
Sure, you can show up in 1,000 searches a month and get a ton of clicks but if you’re a dog groomer and you’re showing up for “dog movies,” what the hell is the point? Broad Match phrases are the lazy way out and often result in overspending on low value clicks. The real money is in “phrase match” and “exact phrase match” keywords!
While we’re on the topic of low value clicks, we need to talk about Display AdWords campaigns – also known as the fastest way to burn through a budget and get nothing in return. Throughout our tenure, we’ve never seen an effective Display campaign – these are the ads that sit in the spaces and margins of a Google search, not at the top where most people look and click (on purpose). In most cases, these ads bring in traffic, but the bounce rate averages around 97.4%. Wasted money.
Ask the agency what their AdWords Display policy is. There are only two acceptable answers here:
- We use them ONLY if someone wants to blanket an area with their brand name
- We never use them because we’re not fools
Have additional questions about what to ask your Digital Marketing Firm when it comes to Google AdWords and PPC? Get in touch with us today – we’ll give you all the ammunition you need to make the best business decision.