Pay per Click

Tips For Hiring a PPC Service Provider

Four years ago a couple of my clients asked for help in managing their pay per click campaigns. At that time I had experience managing my own PPC campaign and having an independent service provider manage one for me. When I set up my own campaign I was very proud of myself for being able to navigate the process in Adwords and had my campaign up in running in less than an hour. “Wow, this is a piece of cake,” I thought to myself. Well, the results weren’t stellar so I decided to start over and hired an independent PPC Specialist. This guy built a proxy landing page which I didn’t understand but he seemed to know what he was doing. His results weren’t any better than mine.

So when my clients asked for my help I knew a bit about what hadn’t worked. I also had a glowing recommendation from a business acquaintance on a ppc sales person with a ppc service company. This provider was a fast growing national company and the sales person was very knowledgeable and articulate. His company’s service included a real cool easy to navigate dashboard where you could monitor your campaign’s results. And if you gave them permission they recorded the phone calls that came from the ppc campaign. I felt confident in hiring this company to mange my clients campaigns so I did.

The results were better and reviewing the phone calls that were recorded were instructive and revealing. So everything was groovy right? Not quite. Here are the issues that arose:

1. This PPC service provider didn’t charge a monthly fee for managing the account. Instead they marked up the clicks. I couldn’t calculate exactly how much each click was marked but over all it was close to 100%. So if Adwords was charging $1.50 for a particular click this provider charged $3. Therefore the more clicks the more money they made. Also they placed ads on display networks where the clicks are cheap but the clicks on display networks aren’t the result of somebody searching with the intent to buy a specific product or service. So a large percentage of the money spent on display network clicks is wasted but if the provider is marking up clicks they’re making money with this strategy regardless of whether or not it’s good for the client.

Lesson #1: Don’t hire a PPC provider who marks up clicks. Hire a provider who charges a set management fee.

2. Part of my sales person’s pitch was that his company constantly monitored and optimized the campaign so the results would improve as time went on. But when one of the campaigns they were managing for me was under performing I asked my sales person what adjustments had been made to improve results. After a few rounds of emails and telephone calls with he and his assistant I came to understand that they couldn’t give me specifics on the on-going optimization. It turns out that whatever optimization was taking place was being done by their automated platform.

Lesson #2: Don’t hire a PPC provider that uses an automated platform to manage the campaign.

3. When I wanted to replace ppc ads with new copy for a campaign it took the service provider 3-5 days to make the changes. This seemed archaic in the internet/digital age. It turns out that this provider was just too big and had too many customers to be able to implement changes any faster than in 3-5 days.

Lesson #3: Before you hire a PPC Service Provider ask them how quickly they can make changes to the campaign. This is related to lesson #2: Don’t hire a PPC provider that uses an automated platform.

Slightly bloodied but educated I searched for and found independent hands on ppc service providers who:
1.Charge a monthly management fee instead of marking up clicks.
2. Make changes in ad copy and keyword strategies within one business day.
3. Personally monitor their clients’ ppc campaigns and make adjustments that they detail in monthly campaign reports.

If you’re interested in a more efficient, hands on and accountable approach to pay per click advertising call oremail me. I’ll point you in the right direction.