Nathan is a PPC specialist with in-house and digital ad agency experience. As a competitor at work and off the clock, he strives to find ways to help clients win. In his free time, Nathan enjoys playing tennis, ping pong, and attending Houston sports games.
Leveraging PPC in your marketing strategy can be a great way to drive conversions and increase brand visibility. It can result in an immediate boost in conversions when done right. However, as beneficial as your paid campaign could be, it needs to be managed correctly. Here are four red flags you should be aware of when partnering with an agency for your PPC program.
1. Not giving you account access or letting you own your paid accounts
Whether you are a novice or paid advertising pro, having access to the paid account is important. It is one step that builds trust among the agency and business and allows for accountability on the agency side.
A business should always be able to leave with their advertising accounts once their contract is completed. Accounts have equity built up and historical performance that they have paid to acquire. For example, features like customer match targeting are only available to advertisers who have more than $50,000 total lifetime spend. On top of that, an account with a good historical quality score can be worth reusing even if you are rebuilding campaigns from scratch.
2. Your agency reports focus on vanity metrics
While clicks and impressions are the lifeblood of an account, for most businesses traffic to the website should not be a KPI of the ad campaign. An agency should have a strong familiarity with the business they are advertising, the website, and key actions on that website.
Key actions are what drive business goals, not clicks. You can have hundreds of clicks to your website every day, but if the traffic is not relevant you are wasting money. The quality of traffic is more important than the quantity.
Some agencies will put too much emphasis on front-end metrics, like click-through rates. This is not a good measure of how an account is performing, since it varies based on many factors and there is no standard for a “good” click-through rate. There is below average, average, and above average for different industries due to competition, ad position, and ad copy.
3. Your agency doesn’t ask about your business data
Most agencies are good about tracking key goals on your website, which are often referred to as conversions. These conversions are important to track progress in the account from month to month and are key to optimizing the account.
What does this mean for your business though? How many conversions do you need to break even or generate a profit? To get to this next step, it is important to look at key metrics in your business. Factors like the close rate percentage, profit margin, and lifetime value are important to look at when determining the ROI of the channel. If you do not have access to these or an estimate, your business could be suffering.
The ultimate goal should be for agencies and businesses to work together as partners. An agency can use the business data to determine actual profitability estimates which allow real business goals to be established. This strengthens the relationship because both sides are working together towards a clear goal.
4. The agency is not educating the business
Understanding trends and new features in the advertising industry is a powerful tool. You may be in trouble if your agency is not discussing them with you. For example, the growing shift to smart bidding and artificial intelligence can mean the difference between doubling your ROI or losing money.
Communication and education are also a good way to grow the partnership between an agency and a business. Strategizing and the open flow of ideas and concepts can be beneficial in many ways. It is important to combine the expertise from each side to gain the best results.