As a business owner you wear many hats. One of them is marketer and while you know PPC/SEM will help your business you don’t have the time or energy to learn it yourself. You’ve convinced yourself it’s time to hire an agency. Before you start paying a monthly fee and that initial setup fee, ask yourself why you are hiring them. If it is for any of the following reasons, then you aren’t ready yet.
You Haven’t Tried It Yourself
If you only follow one piece of advice from me, make it be this one. Try running your own PPC campaign just once. Pick a product or service that’s not your most important. (It’s the one that if somehow you screw up royally and tank your organic listing for life your kids won’t miss any meals as a result.) Spend a $1000 and build your own campaign. Why is this important? You need to be humbled and appreciative of the art and science that goes into being successful on PPC. One of the hardest things I’ve ever done is write 70 characters of copy that compels the right people to click on my ad and the wrong people to avoid it. Until you appreciate this skill, you won’t know why you are paying 15% of your spend to an agency.
You Are Not Prepared For Success
Do you know what success looks like on your website? Is your website set up to convert traffic into leads or paid customers? Have a clear idea of what success means for your website. You need to know conversion goals, tie them to your PPC and place a value on those goals so you can measure PPC performance. Think about how much the value of a conversion means to your business. That way you will be able to determine if a keyword that costs high but converts better is valued over a keyword that costs low but converts low. You won’t know either way until you define the value of a conversion.
You Want To Improve Your SEO rankings
Your organic SEO needs to stand on it’s own, without interference from your PPC/SEM. You could hurt yourself in the short term by tanking your SEO rankings with PPC if you aren’t getting quality scores for words that cause people to bounce off your page at a high rate. Plus you could be paying for words you don’t need and wasting your money. Yes, a great PPC agency will help you with organic SEO, but only b/c they have had the time to perfect your ads, increase your quality score, and drive great converting traffic. Think of PPC as an SEO booster like syrup on pancakes, you’d better be happy to eat those pancakes with just butter for a while.
You Are Only Looking For A Short Term Fix
Don’t be in the PPC game for the short term, this is a long term bet. It takes time to find the right combination of words, copy, landing page, and how all three work together to produce conversions. An agency hired by someone with a short term need will smell them out and not deliver the best if they think you are a short time payer. Let them learn your business, your audience and what makes a successful conversion over time.
You Want To Wash Your Hands Of Any PPC Responsibility
This isn’t easy. It’s also very expensive. You need to know what you are getting into and what you will get out of it. You need to be an active participant if you want to get the most out of what Adwords offers. It can be a great tool to help you expand your reach. If you don’t stay involved in the process both technically and strategically you could end up blaming an agency for a failure that’s not theirs, but yours for not staying involved. Your agency rep needs feedback on words, phrases, and call’s to action that fit well with your target audience.
If you try building a campaign yourself, define what success looks like, and ask questions throughout you will find success using an agency. That agency in turn will provide more value for your business than going it alone. Below are some helpful resources in building your first PPC campaign. In the comments below, leave an article you found helpful as well, or a question. Good luck!
Setting up PPC Campaigns
Landing pages for PPC
Beginner’s Guide to Landing Pages
10 Easy Ways To Write Awesome Adwords Ad Copy
How Google Adwords Can Impact Your SEO