If you’re reading this blog post, either you currently HAVE a PPC management company working for you, or you’re looking at hire a digital advertising company. I think you’ll find some value here, so please read on. But first…how much do you really know about how PPC “works”? If you’re doing your homework right not and trying to make a good decision about who you hire, first know the basics. The following video is dry and can move slowly, but it will absolutely arm you to understand the basics of PPC management concepts:
Now that you have a baseline understanding, you can start asking meaningful questions. Anyone that says they’ll manage your PPC campaigns should be able to explain to you, just as the video does, a number of things. Things such as how the auction system works, how quality score works, what levers can be pulled to improve average ad position/rank, etc. This is a baseline. If there’s even a HINT of uncertainty during this explanation, do yourself a favor and move on.
Here’s a few other terms & concepts that you’ll want to be on the lookout for. If you’re researching companies right now, ask about these items. If you’re currently engaged with a PPC management firm, look for mentions of these items with your performance reports or activity logs.
Negative Keywords: The list of terms that you don’t want to bid on is actually just as important as the list of terms that you do want to bid on. This list should start out strong and grow each month. Previous reports show that as much as 40% of click activity is wasted activity. Don’t be a statistic! Make sure whoever is touching your accounts is managing negative keywords aggressively.
Remarketing: We covered the difference between remarketing and retargeting in this post. Regardless, if you aren’t using this fantastic tool for both branding AND as a sales driver or conversion generator, you’re missing out. This is the most important development in the past few years for advertisers…the ability to track your prospects for 30, 45 or even 60 days with reminders about your company, or a compelling second-chance offer if they abandoned their shopping cart. PPC management companies that don’t bring this to the table probably lack the big-picture view to really grow your business.
Ad Copy Testing: If budget doesn’t exist to do A/B testing for your landing pages or to engage in other landing page optimization efforts, as a baseline your ad copy should be tested constantly. Slight tweaks in phrases or wording can impact both click-through rates and conversions. A word of caution here though…make sure your sample size is large enough to be statistically valid before making global decisions about ad performance. Speaking of ad copy, make sure anyone involved with your paid advertising understands dynamic keyword insertion. Especially for shorter phrases, this is a great tool to match user intent with your specific ad.
There’s a lot more that you should be on the lookout for when you’re evaluating PPC management companies. However, the items below are baselines. If you aren’t getting this now, it’s time to move. If you’re doing your homework before hiring help, make sure these are all covered.
*Additional Note* Unfortunately, many pay per click management outfits have tunnel vision. They only want to focus on this one channel. If your real goal is generating more leads, you may want to look for a partner that also understands organic search, display advertising, email marketing and social channels such as Facebook and Twitter. The end result isn’t a cool paid advertising campaign…it’s generating profitable leads and sales.
As always, happy marketing, and we’ll see you again soon!