What makes the best pay per click company? A survey carried out amongst companies ranging from small start-up businesses to multinationals showed that there are a variety of factors which business owners consider to be the key ingredients in finding the best pay per click company.
Here are a few considerations to start the ball rolling:
1. How does the agency charge you? Some will charge you a commission on what you spend on advertising, either in addition to a fee or some do it instead of a fee. Now whilst this may seem okay, if you think about it the more you spend on the advertising the higher their fee will be. Of course the work level can increase when the spend rises, but this is not always the case – this varies according to numerous factors. I guess you need to ask yourself if you feel there is any conflict of interest here? If you don’ think there is then this payment model could suit you, but if you do, well you won’t feel comfortable with it.
2. Is your campaign transparent? There’s really no reason that an agency shouldn’t be able to supply you with direct access to see the activity in the account across your campaigns. If they don’t, you should really ask them why. Transparency is very important.
There is nothing that your agency should need to hide from you and secondly some clients like to be a little more hands-on than others. Now I’m not suggesting you make campaign changes, but if you are that hands on type, by seeing the activity you may have creative suggestions to make because of your industry expertise.
Co-creation between client and agency is a good thing – you have your niche expertise and the agency have their Pay Per Click management expertise.
3. Achieving high ROI for the client – The objective for most clients when they engage in pay per click advertising is to get a good return on their investment. Some may also do it as a branding exercise. The pay per click company should address the client’s idea of this at the beginning. What does the client hope to achieve, both in terms of marketing and branding goals, and what is an acceptable cost per acquisition for the client?
Without a mutual understanding around these goals, the agency doesn’t have the direction that it should have. When a pay per click company is armed with this information, then the aims and intentions of the advertising are crystal clear and the work can be focused around them.
4. Deep analysis of the client’s industry and competitors - sometimes an agency will be very familiar with the niche of a new client, due to their experience. Other times it may be a new niche for the agency and they will need to do in-depth analysis of the industry and the players within it. Even if they have previous experience, things are always changing so a refresh will be necessary.
5. Excellent advice on landing pages to ensure the conversions are maximised – once industry analysis is complete, the pay per click consultancy can move onto a thorough analysis of the client’s website and ad landing pages. Landing pages are the pages within the site which are chosen to direct potential customers who have clicked on ads. There can be many different landing pages within a campaign.
Sometimes when working with a new client, an agency may need to delay the advertising going live as the landing pages are too weak and need work to be strengthened. These landing pages need to give the client the highest chance of conversion. If they don’t they need to be changed so that they do.
6. Setting up the campaigns – without getting into the nitty gritty of how to set up the campaigns, let’s just say that one of the most important factors is continuity of theme between keyword/s – ad creative – landing page. This should be logical, smooth and tight. Each ad group should have a set of tightly themed keywords, with ad creatives that include these keywords and when a potential customer clicks on the ad, they will then be directed to a landing page on the site which is 100% connected to the keywords and ad creative – and gives them the chance to buy, sign up or do whatever the goal is.
7. Minimising the cost per click by heightening the quality score within the campaigns – in the early days of a campaign the clicks will normally cost more, unless the account already has good history and high quality scores. The aim of the pay per click management company is to increase the quality score, which will mean that the client will pay less for his clicks. This is an ongoing project throughout the management of the account.
8. Creating ad text that makes the client stand apart from the competitors – the ad text or ad creative needs to set the client apart from his competitors. The space available is very small so their is skill involved in getting both keywords and strong messages into this tight space. There are 25 characters available on the headline and 35 characters on the other lines. The agency should experiment with various creatives and tweak these over time, as data starts coming in. Checking the CTR (click through rate) of ads is one aspect of analysis, however the most important is which ad text actually converts. Sometimes an ad can have a high CTR but doesn’t convert as often as one with a lower CTR. Even though this may seem strange it can happen from time to time.
9. Use of Analytics to eliminate wasteful keywords and introduce more profitable keywords – Google Analytics or some other form of analytics should be installed at the outset. Then once data is available it is possible to see if keywords are performing or not. Sometimes a keyword that is too generic could bring in more wastage and this will become apparent if the length of time stayed on the site is too short. If this is the case it is best to make these keywords more specific or get rid of them altogether.
On Analytics we can see both the keywords from the advertising as well as those that bring visitors from the natural listings. The data from the natural listings is very valuable, and if a client previously had Analytics on, this is a great resource for the agency to analyse.
10. Analysis and advice on optimal converting positions as history is built up in the campaigns – most keywords and therefore their related products or services tend to have an optimal converting position. Many clients want to be in position 1 or 2 but sometimes other positions actually convert more cost effectively. This can be discovered by experimenting over time and gathering the data. When we know the optimal converting position, then the job is to keep the bids on the keywords adjusted so that the client can stay in this position. Of course the client is not the only advertiser who wishes for their ad to show in this position, so the work involved in this is constant.
11. Keeping a close eye on the competition – is very important. These days most businesses will have an agency to manage their Google Adwords or someone in house who has a certain amount of time dedicated to this task. Each day as the agency checks the campaigns they should also be checking the competition. Has anything changed?
12. Introducing new keywords – although at the outset the agency should have plenty of keywords and as many variations as are obvious choices, as data starts coming in there will be fresh ideas, some of which will not do the campaign any favours and others which look like they have good potential. Within Adwords there are always plenty of suggestions, however a percentage of these will only spend the client’s budget unnecessarily, without getting results. The trick is to gather the good data and put these keywords into new ad groups, and then, as always, keep a close eye on the performance.
13. Pro-active management style which interprets trends and acts upon them quickly – is part of parcel of how the best pay per click companies operate. There comes a time when an agency has been managing an account when the account manager should almost start getting gut feelings on ideas that can work to enhance the campaign’s productivity.
14. Working with the client as closely as required, or in the style that best suits the client’s daily demands – each client is different and the pay per click company should work accordingly. Some clients want a certain amount of involvement, others just want some feedback once in a while, everyone is different and the work style should take this into account.
15. Excellent service – is integral to the best pay per click companies. It is part and parcel of the service being provided, which is a combination of hands on management and consultancy services.
When a pay per click management company is doing their job extremely, there is a huge amount of personal satisfaction for the account manager. When checking client PPC accounts on a daily basis it is possible to see rapid feedback from work done the previous day or even earlier in the day. A top quality PPC consultant knows that he or she is building up a profitable business with their client and this gives immense satisfaction.
In the early days of the pay per click industry the quest had been to achieve as many clicks as possible for the client and ideally bid on the keywords to target the first position. The industry has come a long way from there and now savvy PPC consultants are all about profitability and targeting often slightly lower positions depending on the track record of conversions.
A business seeking the best pay per click company will also want to feel comfortable with the team working on their behalf. The initial step in testing out a potential PPC management consultancy is having a review of your PPC account. This gives a taster of what can be done. If the business does not have an existing account then keyword research, cost per click estimates, competitor analysis and advice on landing pages is the first step.
The industry standard has been to charge a percentage of the spend on clicks on the search engines. Logically if you think about this it means penalizing clients whose business is doing well, as a client will increase the investment on clicks if the profit is rising accordingly. In actual fact the work for the PPC consultant remains much the same, unless a new range of products or services are introduced.
Therefore as well as searching for the other key ingredients it is wise to find the best pay per click company who are willing to charge you a set monthly fee.