Hiring pay per click management services from an outsourced agency can be unnerving if you’ve never done it before. Even if you have, there can still be doubts throughout the process that make you wonder if it would have been a better idea to run the campaign with an in-house marketing team.
Most of the time, advertising agencies will do a fantastic job at running your PPC ad campaign. Unfortunately though, there are times where your worries and doubts are valid and it becomes clear that you should fire your PPC agency.
Because there are good and bad PPC companies out there that all advertise the same services, it can be difficult to tell which company will help your business and which company will just pocket your money.
Every PPC agency will promise your business a successful ad campaign, but not all agencies will give the same red flags. Let’s take a look at the top seven reasons you need to fire your PPC agency.
7 Ways To Know You Need to Fire Your PPC Agency
1. Focusing On the Wrong Metrics
There are right and wrong metrics to focus on when you run a PPC ad campaign.
The best agencies will know which metrics to watch and which to disregard, but an agency that needs to be fired won’t. That being said, it can be difficult for you to know which metrics are important and which ones are, so here’s a quick summary.
Vanity metrics are the worst to monitor. They consist of how many views, likes, or follows a certain post has received and only work to make you feel warm and fuzzy inside. In reality, vanity metrics mean nothing for your ad campaign and don’t indicate even the slightest bit how you’re doing.
What you want your PPC agency to focus on are your cost per acquisition rate, your conversion rate, and your ROAS or ROI (Return on Ad Spend or Return on Investment). These PPC metrics will let you know how many of your viewers and visitors are actually converting.
The goal of your PPC ad campaign is to gain new customers and conversions, not feel good on social media or rack up the most views. In order to ensure that your campaign is successful, ask your agency if they focus on vanity metrics or conversion rate and ROI/ROAS. If they don’t, it’s time for them to go.
2. Not Giving Access to Your Account
If you can’t access your own PPC account, this is a major red flag. Even though you hired them to run your campaign, the account is still yours and you should have control over it if you want or need to. Some agencies may even ask for full ownership of your accounts.
You have every right to confirm or deny your PPC agency permission to do something. If you don’t like where they’re taking your ad campaign, say so.
Good PPC agencies will listen and work to redirect the campaign however you want it to go. A PPC agency that needs to be avoided will argue back and insist that their way is the only way.
When agencies refuse access or own your account, they’re able to hold it against you in the future. Say the PPC agency decides you need to pay them more or upgrade your program. They have leverage over your business and can your account until you do as they say.
3. Bad Keyword and Bidding Choices
When you’re running a PPC ad campaign, you want to be certain that your keywords and bidding is all done properly. If not, you risk spending thousands of dollars on PPC ads or Google adwords that won’t reach the right audience.
One problem can be if your PPC agency bids on keywords without considering other possible queries that could be made. Making sure your keywords will only show up in the context you want them is important and good PPC agencies will ensure your keywords aren’t too general.
Here’s an example about bad keywords: you sell men’s athletic shoes and your PPC agency bids on the word “shoes”. This is a bad idea because then your ad could pop up for queries like “women’s running shoes”, “kid’s church shoes”, or even “cleaning muddy shoes”.
In the same sense, you want a clear list of negative keywords. These are words that will trigger your PPC ad for the wrong search queries and restrict Google a little more.
With negative keywords, you’ll prevent a lot of accidentals. If your PPC agency doesn’t use negative keywords though, it’s a pretty clear sign your agency needs to go.
4. Not Monitoring Your Campaign
Your PPC agency should always be keeping an eye on your campaign, even after it’s been fully launched. If there ever comes a time when you realize they don’t know what’s going on with your campaign, you should recognize it as a red flag.
Every aspect of your PPC campaign needs consistent and regular monitoring. From search reports to conversion rates to simple changes over time, your campaign can’t run itself.
No matter how long your campaign has been running or how successful it’s been so far, there are always ways to change and enhance your ads, which is why your PPC agency should always be monitoring it.
As your PPC agency monitors your campaign, they can learn how to better optimize your conversion rate and how to adjust your keywords. Since the world of PPC advertising can change so quickly, this means that regularly monitoring your account and ads are vital to your success. At the very least, you want to hear that your PPC agency is monitoring your campaign once a week.
5. Hiding Reports and Metrics
If you don’t know where to find PPC reports or you can’t see your campaign’s metrics, you should be worried. No matter how soothing or reassuring an agency is, you should always be allowed to see your own ads, no questions asked.
An agency that tries to convince you it isn’t good for your campaign or that there’s no reason for you to take a look is an agency you can’t trust. As long as you don’t click on your own ads, there is no harm in asking to see them.
In terms of metrics, it’s important that you know how your campaign is holding up. Don’t just take your agency’s word for it when it comes down to how well your ads are doing, how many conversions you have, and where your money is going.
6. No Clear Pricing Model
When working with an agency, part of what you’ll spend on your campaign will go to the agency. There’s no way around it as you’ll have to pay the agency for its services. However, you should be given a clear answer about how you’ll be charged so you won’t get any surprises.
An honest agency will be able to tell openly and upfront what percentage of your payment goes to the ads and what percentage will go to the agency.
7. Not Working on Relationships
Customer relations is an important aspect of your ad campaign. You’ll want to know which customers are new and which customers are returning as this will impact the different ads you show them. You don’t want to show an existing customer the same thing you’ll show a new customer as you’re at different stages of the relationship with them.
When a PPC agency doesn’t take care to plan out your customer relation or analyze relationships, you miss out on a lot of opportunities. Although a lot of the technology involved automatically, it should still be personalized to fit your different customers. A good PPC agency will know this already and take time to ensure it.
Here is a short list of how your customer relations might evolve over time:
- Read an article
- Click on your service page
- Download a pamphlet or inquire on your site
- Become a dedicated client
Different ads and approaches will work differently for each stage. You won’t use the same approach on every single one of the steps above, so your PPC agency should have a clear distinction between which ads to run at each stage of the relationship.
Outsourcing an ad campaign can save your in-house team a lot of work, but if it’s done poorly, it can end up in more work for you and your team. It’s important to recognize a good or bad PPC agency for what it is early on in the process so that you save both time and money. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to spot the differences.
When you do decide to choose an agency though, keep in mind the above points and you’ll find a good, honest agency that you can trust.