How to guide on: Choosing the right PPC manager

If you’re reading this then you are either concerned already about how your PPC campaign is performing in the hands of a dedicated PPC manager, or you’re just being nosey. Either way, welcome. We have some home truths to share with you about what really matters in the Adwords world and why you will need to come to terms with paying good money for good management.

To start with, let’s cut to the chase – good management is going to cost. Usually, you will see why as soon as the campaign has finished its first couple of days or weeks of running. You should be getting detailed reports on the performance and also be given suggestions you will need to approve (if you’re the business owner, and are handing out this project to be managed externally).

Whilst we are all worried about investments and their potential, you should remember you need to spend money to make money. A good campaign manager will be able to justify an increase in spend with KPI’s, historical data and cross reference these with trends that can be found within Google.

Proof is in the pudding!

Unfortunately, we are unable to show you a mugshot/detailed picture of what a good campaign manager looks like, but this does not mean that you should just choose anyone to pick up your advertising and run with it.

The questions you need to ask a qualified PPC manager should centre around your expectations.

Be open to suggestion and change as a decent PPC manager usually has their finger on the pulse of specific behaviours and user experience data to lead you to a suitable path towards success. Just don’t settle for outlandish and wild proposals.

If the person on the end of the phone sounds like a wheeler dealer then you could be right. If they have clients who have left testimonials about their work/ethic/attitude & personality, you should get a good idea if the individual you are talking to actually knows what they are talking about.

What to look for.

  1. Qualifications – Google offers a comprehensive range of qualifications that any respective PPC manager will have studied. You also have to retake tests every year to two years (this depends on the lifetime of the certificate).
    Tip: Check their LinkedIn or check to see if the company is a Partner of Google. Be careful of some agencies which show as Premier Partners as this usually hints that they have a lot of Google spend, but they don’t always necessarily give the best service – it can mean they have a lot of low spenders rather than a few high spenders.
  2. Portfolio – I’ll be frank, don’t expect to see full, uncensored data related to a competitor of yours as this just won’t happen. However, some individuals won’t be shy about discussing their success or knowledge of activity that they have observed and/or researched. Top level information like average costs and audience volume is usually a good place to start.
    Tip: someone who is honest enough not to lie to you, by making up A$$-covering stats, will usually say to you that they do not have that information available immediately but will be happy to get back to you with this.
  3. Reputation – Take a look at their reviews wherever they can be found. One of the best things about the internet right now is that you are able to see real world comments about how that company/agency has dealt through troubling situations and how they have resolved it. On the other hand, you may find a startling warning to others about the negativity their business has suffered as a result of handing their advertising to them.
    Tip: don’t always take this on face value as some customer simply do not respect that some of the things they ask for are simply not achievable – so keep it reasonable.
  4. Willingness – If your starting budget for PPC is sub £1k then consider the impact that this will have on the agency and your budget. For example, how much management time are you being allocated and does it outweigh your specific Google advertising budget (before management costs). In some instances (especially with good campaign management), you can actually find that even if your management cost does outweigh the budget for Google, they can actually get you a massive return on investment. This depends entirely on the product you’re selling and also how popular the trend already is. Some agencies will be open to discussing a trial period with a reduction in cost BUT do not expect them to do this for every customer they come into contact with. The agency has to make money and pay for their professional account managers.
  5. Honesty – Expect a certain amount of discussion over areas which can be tricky to manage. If an account manager has experienced an issue before and neither knows how to deal with it or is still on the fence about it, make your own mind up about the response. However, it would typically suggest that they are conscious of how these situations can affect your business – this may be another instance of giving them time to form an educated response to your query.

All of the points above will pretty much outline the importance behind choosing the right manager for your PPC advertising. We have a team who have worked on PPC projects in Cambridge, London, Northampton & Peterborough, and have been privy to picking up campaigns that were mismanaged previously by other agencies with the direct intention of turning that kind of performance around to compete and engage with your audience.

Incidentally, even if you need a health check on your current campaign, we have the facilities to run a comprehensive audit on what we can see is giving you negative behaviour on the campaigns. Be with an award winning agency who is results driven.

Written by Alex Ridley

Having spent the last 3 years working on over 800 PPC campaigns, I’m a Google certified PPC expert with a passion for bringing fresh ideas to the table. Im also working on expanding my SEO & Social Media knowledge. With many years working in customer service I know that 'it's not who you are that matters, it's what you do that defines you'.

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