Businesses around the world are allocating additional funds to their paid search results. This is an excellent way to to drive additional traffic to a site, control what page the user sees, and influence them to make a purchase. In many cases businesses will hire an outside agency to manage their pay per click(PPC) accounts. PPC management agencies vary in professionalism and results will vary based on the agency. Many people determine if an agency is doing a decent job based on their return on investment. Basically are we making more than we are spending. Although this is very important, there’s much much more that goes into a proper paid advertising campaign. Does your agency meet the criteria?
Have you noticed your agency doing any of the following?
- No mention of quality score – Too often you will hear an agency say something along the lines of “quality score isn’t important, ranking is what matters”, and this isn’t accurate. Curious what exactly is quality score? In a nutshell, it’s the grade Google gives an account which determines your ad position, impressions, and cost per click. These are based on different factors such as your keyword relevancy, landing page, ad’s performance, etc. If your agency isn’t focusing on your quality score, it’s time to look into other alternatives. Now keep in mind quality score is not the primary focus of an AdWords account, has Sean Quadlin of Google points out in his video ‘Settling the (Quality) Score’. He mentions it should be used as a diagnostic tool that can help find issues with a campaign.
- Lack of activity – Your agency should be working in your account at the very least once a week, in many cases, once a day. Typically, once an account is setup and operating it will only need to be adjusted weekly. This also depends on the size of the account, larger, higher budget accounts need more attention. However, if your agency isn’t making changes often you may want to consider another option. How can you tell if they are making changes? With AdWords each change that is made is registered and users can access the change log. On the main campaign screen click the “View Change History” to see what activity has been done to the campaign.
- No focus on landing pages – If all your traffic is being sent to the home page, that’s a red flag, If a campaign has a focused landing page users are much more likely to convert. The reason for this comes down to relevancy, a landing page is much more relevant to specific keywords, where your homepage can vary. This will also help improve your quality score, which in the end will help reduce the cost per click. Changes to your landing pages should be done periodically to test what is happening on the page. Changes to the call to action is a great example. This should be moved around, size altered, and even the color can influence conversions. Make sure your agency is testing these to see where the best results happen.
- Lack of reporting – Does your agency consistently provide updates on your account? Agencies should be providing their clients with weekly reports that provide information on what is happening. These reports should show an assortment of metrics that include conversion rates, impressions, and additional negative keywords, to mention a few. A high quality agency will stay in contact with their clients, not just email, to ensure the client is happy with the result and to show positive gains.