Getting Started With a PPC Agency: A Summary

As you may have noticed, our 10-part series on getting started with a PPC agency wrapped up last month.

If you and your marketing team have ever wondered about our client onboarding process, or what kind of activities we undertake on behalf of clients, this series tells you pretty much everything you need to know.

To read the series in full, start with our introductory post.

In the meantime, we’ll use this post to briefly summarize what we covered.

PPC agency

Part 1: Learning About Your Company

While some PPC agencies simply ask for your AdWords login and get to work, we take a more considered approach.

We spend time getting to know you, your marketing team and your company— while also paying special attention to your company’s marketing, products and customers.

Part 2: The PPC Account Audit

Only once we know your business do we take a closer look at your PPC account. We start by auditing the account, looking for three things:

  1. What’s losing money
  2. What’s making money (but could be improved), and
  3. What’s unclear and needs to be monitored.

Part 3: Details of the Account Audit

Our PPC audits cover a lot of ground as we dig into the finer details of your account. Some of the things we typically look at are:

  • Account organization
  • Metrics, such as
    • Search impressions
    • Cost per conversion
    • Average ad display position
    • Cost per click
    • Click through rates
  • Ad extensions
  • Account settings, such as
    • Geo settings
    • Budget amounts
    • Search partners
  • Conversion tracking.

Part 4: The Conversion Tracking Audit

Conversion tracking audits are tedious work. It’s tempting to gloss over them and simply deal with conversion issues as they emerge.

What makes them so tedious? Essentially, they entail following each conversion path from start to finish. Which is not a big deal when you only have a handful. But when you have many, it’s like trying to untangle a knotty mess.

Our philosophy is to “eat the frog” and do the hard work up front to make sure things go smoothly later. We don’t want an unspotted conversion tracking error to throw all our PPC account data into question months down the road.

Part 5: Account Structure and Strategy

The next stage in our client onboarding process is to decide how to structure the account and what strategies to employ.

And how do we decide on PPC strategies and tactics for clients? Basically, we draw on four things:

  • Account audit findings
  • Client website structure
  • Client knowledge
  • Our own experience and expertise.

Part 6: PPC Ad Messaging

Once we’ve settled on account structure and strategies for a client (and conferred with the client, of course), we’re ready to get started on ad messaging.

Ad messaging isn’t as simple as it once was. Today, most online advertising platforms (such as AdWords) have many, many ad messaging options to choose from. Our challenge is to figure out how to deploy those options most effectively.

Part 7: Remarketing

Today, we include remarketing in most PPC campaigns from launch, because they’re so effective when done well.

And while there are several types of remarketing available to advertisers, one of our recent favorites is remarketing lists for search ads (RLSA). We started experimenting with this tactic in a big way in 2015 and, based on our results, have been strong advocates of it ever since.

Part 8: Google Display Network (GDN)

The GDN is another tactic we sometimes recommend to clients, but usually only after we’ve explored other tactics and have a good feel for the account.

Part 9: Landing Pages

One area that tends to get overlooked in PPC campaigns is landing pages—and post-click activities more generally.

But while they’re easy to overlook, they’re critically important. Without them, all of your hard won (and paid for!) clicks might come to nothing.

Unfortunately, we can’t set up landing pages for you. They require the support of your sales, marketing and IT teams. (But we’ll certainly guide you through the process as needed.)

Part 10: Ongoing Account Maintenance

When a campaign goes live, it marks the end of our client onboarding process. But it’s not the end of our account management process.

While it’s tempting to just let campaigns roll, they need to be closely monitored and adjusted through time.

Why? Because nothing is static in PPC. Your company changes, and so do your products and customers. Advertising platforms also change. And so on.

In addition, even though we have a wealth of experience and knowledge to draw on, we don’t always hit it out of the park on the first try. More often, as a campaign runs, we continue to test and refine our efforts.

Hopefully, this series has given you a good idea of how we operate, and why we’re so successful at what we do.

When it comes right down to it, we believe that what differentiates us from others is commitment and persistence. Because while some agencies might be satisfied with reasonable results, we’re always looking for new ways to take things to the next level.

For us, the sky’s the limit.