Finding the right agency to manage your Google Ads account is similar to finding the right job candidate for an internal position: it’s all about the right fit, at the right time, for the right price. It’s important that you find an agency you’re comfortable communicating with; after all, they will be spending your money, on your behalf, to generate revenue.
Before you launch into an agreement with any digital agency to handle your pay-per-click ad spend, here are some questions worth asking. We’ve outlined below what you should be looking for in any agency’s response.
1. Is Your Agency a Google Partner?
Many digital marketing agencies are recognized as distinguished “Google Partners”, a status that indicates they have satisfied benchmarks in their management of client Google Ads accounts. Among other qualifications, Google Parters have at least one individual inside the agency who has completed a range of Google Ads specialization courses, qualifying them to handle ads accounts that might contain text, video or display ads. In addition, that agency has handled at least $10,000 worth of ad spend within a 90-day period.
If the agency or specialist you’re considering is not currently a Google Partner, it’s not immediately a deal-breaker. However, it’s worth asking why they have not looked to obtain the certification, given the fact that it’s a globally recognized symbol of Google Ads proficiency in the industry.
2. How Do You Structure Your Account Management Fees?
Before beginning a partnership with a PPC agency, it’s worth asking how they structure their account management fees and retainers. Some agencies charge a per-hour rate to manage Google Ads accounts; typically, an agency will charge 10%-25% of total ad spend, plus a flat, one-time account setup fee. Feel free to ask them how their account management payment model has changed over time, and why they structure their fees in the way they do.
3. How Do You Report on Account Performance?
Account reporting is one of the most important roles that any Google Ads agency fulfills, once it begins to manage your accounts on your behalf. Make sure the agency volunteers its reporting practices, or that you make it a point to ask how it handles reporting. Make sure you know how often you can expect a report on account performance, which metrics it will include, and who you can contact if you have any questions regarding reporting or ongoing optimization of your account.
4. Can You Forecast Our Account Performance Before We Launch?
This question is one of our favorites, as it allows you to learn a great deal about the agency you’re working with before you even begin. Any agency that says it cannot provide rough numbers on estimated account performance shouldn’t be considered; Google Ads provides clear tools within its platform that allow you to forecast individual metrics – impressions, clicks, conversions, cost-per-click, etc. – for any set of keywords.
However, that same tool obviously cannot provide exact numbers, as actual account performance is entirely reliant on ongoing optimizations and human interaction on the consumers’ end.
We would also suggest that you take a second look at any agency which guarantees that your account meets certain performance thresholds, especially in the first 30 or 90 days. Many accounts simply take time to fully acclimate to their markets, and as the client, you’re entitled to an ongoing understanding of how your account is performing relative to your competition on an ongoing basis.
5. What Other Accounts Have You Successfully Managed?
It’s entirely normal that PPC agencies choose not to disclose the work they’ve done with other clients in the past, both to protect themselves and their other clients. That’s to be expected. However, don’t be afraid to ask for details, especially details that the agency should be able to provide without compromising the security of their other clients.
Ask for industries the agency has worked with in the past, approximate total spend amounts, and even for account-specific results. You’re looking for an agency that has an understanding of how your industry works, and how to help you navigate competition to achieve success.
6. How Often Do You Optimize Accounts?
The answer to this question will tell you a lot about the prospective Google Ads agency. You’ll learn their typical optimization schedule, the items they regularly optimize and how often they can afford to spend time in your account. Any agency looking to manage your pay-per-click account should spend at least one day a week inside of your account, if they can accomplish all of the required optimizations in a single period. In the days immediately following account launch, they should spend an increased amount of time optimizing and tweaking as the account acclimates. As a follow-up question, feel free to ask which items they regularly optimize. Look for optimizations that include ongoing keyword planning, negative keyword filtration, bid and device optimizations and ad content split testing.
7. What if I Have Questions About My Account’s Performance?
As the client, you never want to feel like you’re being held in the dark when it comes to your account. On the contrary, you should always be able to reach at least one individual at the Google Ads agency.
Typically, you’ll either be assigned an account manager that handles ongoing communication between client and agency, or you’ll be put in direct contact with the individual or team managing your pay-per-click account. Either way, make sure that you have a direct line to a real person – a phone number, a shared Slack channel, or an email inbox that’s closely monitored.
8. How Can You Deploy My Ads to Address My Competitors?
One distinctive advantage that Google Ads offers as a platform is its capacity to target your competition. It’s worth asking any potential pay-per-click agency how they integrate this ability into their ad management approach. Will they build individual campaigns for your competitors and allot a certain percentage of your allotted budget toward it? Will they integrate competitor ad groups into your existing campaigns? Be sure to ask how any agency plans to leverage Google Ads as a means to target your competition.
9. How Long Will It Take Before My Account Is Generating Conversions?
Each account is different in size, total ad spend, conversion actions and ad content. As such, don’t be surprised if the agency you’re communicating with cannot provide an exact answer. Instead, you’re looking for an answer that conveys the agency’s understanding of how Google Ads works as a platform. Accounts take time to fully acclimate online before your ads are showing as often as possible. Any agency that claims they can achieve 100% exposure tomorrow doesn’t understand the platform in general.
10. Do You Offer Design and/or Development Expertise?
This is an important question to ask if you think you need more personalized help with related aspects of your business. For example, if you know that you eventually want to upgrade the web pages where ads are sending users, it’s helpful to partner with an agency that already has a demonstrated history of successful website development alongside paid traffic. And if you’re looking to launch display ads in parallel with your text ads, it’s also helpful if that agency already works with a graphic designer, to help build out graphic ads created in a fraction of the time it would take you to locate, interview and commission an independent designer.
Finding a Google Ads Partner That Meets Your Vision
We’ve actually made a habit of fulfilling clients’ Google Ads goals, so we can safely say we understand how difficult it can be to find an agency well-suited to help you accomplish your aspirations. If you’re ready to take your online advertising game to the next level, we’re ready to help. today to meet with one of our in-house paid search specialists and determine the best way to achieve sustainable growth through the power of pay-per-click advertising!
Keep it simple when it comes to your search for the best pay-per-click agency: you’re only looking for a group that meets your vision, and can help you fulfill your online advertisement goals. Look for the same things you’d want to see in an in-house hire: dedication, transparency and a passion for the industry that can help guide your brand or business toward a successful digital return.