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What to Look for in a Pay Per Click Marketing Agency

Pay Per Click (PPC) marketing, also known as Search Engine Marketing (SEM), can be an extremely effective advertising channel.  It gives you one of the top spots in search when people are actively looking for the products and services you provide.

It can also be complex.  There is a multitude of options to choose from (text ads, click-to-call ads, responsive text ads).  While Google has a 90 percent share of the search market, there are still people searching online using Bing, Yahoo, AOL, Dogpile, DuckDuckGo, and others.  Which ads and which search engines should you use to market your business?  Should you worry about click-through rate (CTR), cost per acquisition (CPA), cost per click (CPC), cost per conversion (CPC), or return on advertising spend (ROAS)?

It’s easy to waste a lot of time, spend a lot of money, and still not meet your goals.  That’s why most organizations, both big and small, are working with a PPC marketing agency to optimize their campaigns and maximize their marketing spend.

Choosing a Pay Per Click Advertising Agency

Picking a PPC marketing agency is an important decision.  There needs to be a high level of trust since you’re handing them your hard-earned money.  You need to make sure they deserve that trust and fit your culture.

Although there are similarities, no two businesses will operate exactly alike. No two agencies will either. You want to make sure you are comfortable with the people you will work with and the way they do business.

You want an agency that:

Understands Your Business Needs

You need a pay per click advertising agency that will take the time to understand your business and will design a custom marketing strategy that fits your budget and meets your goals. This means an assessment of your target market, research on relevant keywords, and an optimized advertising plan to direct highly-targeted visitors to your website.  It means a relentless focus on achieving the results you want.

Handles The Entire Process For You

The most effective PPC campaigns are not “one and done” deals. From campaign setup to testing to auditing, and managing, you want a PPC marketing agency that will handle all phases of the marketing process.

Has The Credentials

Google is the undisputed leader in search. You want to work with people that are well-versed in managing successful campaigns. Google provides certifications for those that can master search advertising, platforms, and strategies to optimize campaigns. A Google certification won’t guarantee results, but it will demonstrate competency in search.

Does Consistent Optimization

Digital campaigns can generate a lot of information.  In the hands of experienced marketers, this can be used to optimize campaigns and increase results. A/B testing can try different copy points and scenarios to determine which works best with target customers. This data can increase campaign efficiency the longer it runs.

Optimization can also surface negative keywords you can employ to stop your ad from being shown when similar, but unrelated terms are used. If you sell eyeglasses, you don’t want your ad showing up when people search for wine glasses.

Has Experienced Creative Marketers

It takes experience to create content that converts.  Just about anybody can go on Google’s platform and buy ads. It doesn’t mean they will work. Even outspending your competitors won’t work if the creative content isn’t compelling.

While technology can automate much of the process, it takes an experienced eye to design and apply the strategy. The data can tell you whether one set of text ads performs better than another, but it can’t tell you what words will increase the effectiveness. That takes experience.

Can Demonstrate Their Success

The pay per click advertising you choose needs to be able to demonstrate their expertise by showing you examples of how their work met previous client’s goals. Ask for referrals so you can hear the story directly from other business owners.

Monitors And Measures The Right Things

This takes us right back to the first item on the list. The right PPC marketing agency will take the time to understand your goals and measure the right metrics for success. Because of all the data available, it’s easy to get caught up in the metrics and lose focus. You want someone that can demonstrate clearly that your marketing campaign is working.  If your goal is sales (conversions), most of the metrics are irrelevant if your cash register isn’t ringing.

PPC means you pay for every click but clicks themselves are just one small part of judging success. It’s really about the ROI of your advertising dollars and your profitability.

Key Questions To Ask A PPC Marketing Agency

Here are some of the questions to ask when talking to pay per click advertising agencies.

  • Do you handle the entire process?
  • Are you Google certified?
  • How do you actively optimize campaigns?
  • Are you techies or strategists?
  • Can you show me specific examples of results?
  • How do you measure success?

Interested? Request a complimentary PPC marketing audit.

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With more than 25 years of hands on marketing strategy and operations experience, Sheila Kloefkorn is dedicated to developing marketing strategies and plans that help clients succeed. Some of the world's largest brands have depended on Sheila for marketing programs that delivered tangible and substantial results. Specialties: B2B marketing, lead generation, lead nurturing, sales strategy, marketing strategy, competitive marketing strategy, social media, search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), mobile marketing, email marketing, website design, marketing plans.