In today’s world of fast-paced digital marketing, hiring a Google Ads agency can be a little tricky. So many digital marketing agencies offer PPC management these days that it can be difficult to find the ones that can deliver results worth investing in.
Some web design agencies even offer PPC as an afterthought along with building a site, despite not having much knowledge or experience in strategic Google Ads management.
Improperly managed Google Ads (Adwords) campaigns can sometimes resemble a big hole in the ground with money being thrown in. (We’ve written more about this here). So you want to make sure you choose an agency that has experience in managing results-driven campaigns.
But finding the right Google Ads agency doesn’t have to be done blindly if you know what to look for. We’ve put together this list of key things to look for when choosing an agency to manage your PPC. Let’s get started!
1 – Google Partner Certified
First things first, the ideal PPC agency should be a certified Google Ads partner. The Google Partner status signifies that an agency has delivered successful campaigns that demonstrate proficiency in advanced aspects of Google Ads. In short, if an agency has this badge, it means that Google recognises them as an expert in online advertising.
The ideal agency won’t make too big of a show about having it, but we advise you to look for it as a badge of approval from Google. This is a reliable first step in finding the right Google Ads agency. (If you were wondering, we have one).
2 – Demonstrates Deep Google Ads Agency Knowledge
The next step should be to determine their level of knowledge in Google Advertising. The agency in question should offer insight into effective methods of structuring a campaign to suit your business, alongside managing ad groups and choosing the correct targeting criteria.
Many businesses run afoul of stagnant PPC campaigns – PPC campaigns that have been set up and left to run for months, maybe years on end. A good Google Ads agency knows the dangers of this, as a campaign should be regularly assessed and optimised to offer incremental improvements based around changes in market trends and conversion data. The right agency will offer this kind of approach. They will also demonstrate insight in the best ways of adapting a campaign in the wake of changing PPC trends.
3 – Strong & Relevant Track Record
As with many aspects of digital marketing, experience is key. Take a look at some of the agency’s case studies, or ask for references from previous clients. While obtaining client names may not be possible, an agency should be able to give you relevant information about similar PPC campaigns.
Does the agency hold any awards for their PPC work? Awards demonstrate that the agency’s work has been judged by industry experts and proven to be of a high standard.
Another important thing to consider is if the agency in question has experience in delivering campaigns that are relevant to you. If you’re a company dealing in bespoke consultation services, and the agency only has experience dealing with e-commerce clients, they may not have the right expertise in the type of campaign that you’ll need. Look for references from past clients that are similar to you, or operate in the same sector. The right Google Ads agency will offer bespoke campaigns tailored to your business goals. Which brings us on to…
4 – Understands Your Business Goals
A good Google Ads agency doesn’t just plaster a blanket campaign strategy over every PPC account that they manage. A good Google Ads agency understands that marketing only succeeds when the campaign is tailored to the client’s target audience and goals.
Your ideal agency will take the time to get to know the goals of your business and the way your customers interact with you. During the initial consultation process, the agency will not only do their research into your sector, they will be actively asking about you as a business. Your services, your products, your competitors, your priority revenue streams and your market trends are all things that a respectable PPC agency will want to know before setting up a campaign.
5 – Driven By ROI
This is the crucial one. Many agencies simply measure the success of their PPC campaigns solely on clicks and impressions. But a business doesn’t survive on visibility alone. The right agency will take the time to fully understand what matters to you as a business, and will be focused on giving you a tangible return on your investment.
Following on from your business goals, a good Google Ads agency will want to know what KPI’s (key performance indicators) really matter to you. From revenue to leads to specific regional visibility, the right agency will take the time to fully understand what matters to you as a business. Understanding your KPIs will also help the agency to produce valuable and actionable insights in their reports.
6 – Runs Google Ads Campaigns For Themselves
This should tell you whether or not a Google Ads agency has faith in how effective an ad campaign can be. You will be trusting this agency to use your ads budget with the same level of diligence as they would their own.
Ask the agency what their experience is with generating successful leads for itself using Google Ads. If they can demonstrate that, take this as a strong indicator that they know how to use an ads budget correctly and manage ROI-centred campaigns, carrying customers from click to conversion.
7 – Offers Excellent Communication
Client communication is downright vital, no matter what. PPC campaigns are frequently subject to changing circumstances, so keeping an open line of communication with your agency helps to ensure the campaign stays on target.
A good agency will be flexible with their communication, and be able to be reached on a regular basis if needed. While bombarding an agency with endless queries is a bad idea, this shouldn’t be necessary if their communication is efficient, thorough and informative.
However, informative communication doesn’t mean flooding everything with marketing jargon without providing information that is directly useful to you. If an agency attempts to baffle potential clients with endless jargon, this can be a telltale sign that effective client communication is not their strong suit. The right agency will offer flexible communications framed around your priorities as a business.
8 – Exhibits Transparency & Honesty
When hiring any third party to work with your business, establishing an atmosphere of trust is absolutely essential to get the most out of the partnership. This can be difficult to achieve when working with a detached agency, so make sure to look for transparency and honesty.
But what does this actually mean? A genuinely honest agency won’t just be filled with yes-men, happy to say anything to keep the client happy. An honest agency will offer their sincere advice and objective insight, and will admit when a mistake is made. The honesty of an agency can be difficult to pin down before you actually start working with them. Ask your potential Google Ads agency what their company values are. And taking the time to find out from past clients what the agency are like as people will always help. A confident agency will be happy to offer client references. If in doubt, trust your instincts, and work with who feels right.
9 – Positive To Work With
Yes, an Google Ads agency has to have a reliable track record that is relevant to you. Yes, they should take the time to understand your goals, and of course, they should be driven by the bottom line. But even if an agency ticks all these boxes, they still may not be the right one for you.
Working with the right agency will feel like working with an extension of your team, rather than a third party. Once you think you’ve found an agency that ticks all the boxes, the final thing to consider should be whether you will enjoy working with them. While this isn’t essential for productivity, there’s no denying that we all work better with people we click with.
Final Notes when choosing a Google Ads agency
When looking for a Google Ads agency, it can be tempting to choose the cheapest campaign on offer. But taking the cheapest route way out is likely to diminish your investment and potential gains. It’s also easy to be overwhelmed by marketing jargon or colourful/slick presentations.
If you approach it with solid business goals in mind, you are more likely to know when you have found an agency that is offering a strategy that will deliver the results you want. A good agency should be able to demonstrate their understanding of your business and formulate a tailored ads campaign. Taking the time to find an agency that fulfils all the criteria we’ve talked about will always be better in the long run.
Get a Free PPC Audit
If you happen to be in the market for a Google Ads agency, get in touch with The SEO Works. As the winners of the ‘Best PPC Campaign’ at the Northern Digital Awards, we can provide a free expert audit of your Google Ads account.
The audit outlines your current PPC performance and explores the hidden potential of your account. Analysing your budget management, bid optimisation and device performance allows us to suggest optimisations that will increase conversions and cut down on wasted spend. For actionable insights on your PPC performance, take the audit now.
If you have any questions, give one of our team a call on 0800 292 2410, or get in touch to find out more.