If your company has never worked with a PPC agency before, getting started is a step into the unknown. “What information will the agency need?” “How will they make strategy decisions?” “How much of my time (and my team’s time) will it take?” are all valid questions. And even if your company HAS worked with a PPC agency before—and you think you know what to expect—you’ll soon discover every agency has its own way of doing things.
For these reasons, we’ve put together a series on getting started with a PPC agency (and our PPC agency in particular). In it, we’ll walk you through our client onboarding process, so you know what the experience will be like, from initial meetings to campaign launch to ongoing account management.
Part 1 of the series starts after the following table of contents, and you can access all the additional parts in this series here:
- Getting Started With a PPC Agency, Part 2: The PPC Account Audit
- Getting Started With a PPC Agency, Part 3: Details of the Account Audit
- Getting Started With a PPC Agency, Part 4: The Conversion Tracking Audit
- Getting Started With a PPC Agency, Part 5: Account Structure and Strategy
- Getting Started With a PPC Agency, Part 6: PPC Ad Messaging
- Getting Started With a PPC Agency, Part 7: Remarketing
- Getting Started With a PPC Agency, Part 8: Google Display Network
- Getting Started With a PPC Agency, Part 9: PPC Landing Pages
- Getting Started With a PPC Agency, Part 10: Ongoing PPC Maintenance
- Getting Started With a PPC Agency: A Summary
Let’s get started!
Our Agency-Client Relationship Doesn’t Start With Your PPC Accounts
Once we’ve signed the initial paperwork, you might expect us to immediately dive into your company’s PPC accounts. And while we WILL spend the bulk of our time analyzing and managing those accounts (trust us, we will!), that’s not where we begin. Because before we do a deep dive into your company’s ad groups, keywords, ad copy, landing pages, etc., we need to learn more about the company and its business.
Tell Us About the Company
To kick start the onboarding process, we’ll send you a written questionnaire to complete. It includes questions such as:
- What’s the target audience?
- What geographic area is the company targeting (or not targeting)?
- Does the company’s products or services have high or low seasons?
- What sets the company apart from its competitors?
At the same time, we’ll ask for any additional materials that can help us better understand the company.
Once you return the completed questionnaire, we’ll schedule a kickoff meeting to walk through it with you and your marketing team. While this may sound redundant, we ALWAYS learn more by verbally walking through the questionnaire with clients. At the same time, your written responses are important because they give us something to refer back to. Also, putting down the answers in writing can help provide clarity to your team—not all responses will be immediately self-evident and may require some discussion.
Tell Us About the Company’s Marketing Activities
We also use this process to learn about the company’s marketing activities, including past PPC campaigns and activities in other marketing channels. If the company has run PPC campaigns before, it’s helpful for us to hear, from the marketing team’s perspective, what worked and what didn’t as well as the rationale behind the strategies chosen.
Learning about your other marketing channels is also important. As you know, no marketing channel works in isolation. We want to make sure our PPC activities will optimize your team’s other marketing efforts and vice versa. So, for example, we’ll ask questions such as:
- Is the company using social media?
- Is it advertising on social media?
- Is it running any PR campaigns?
- Is it offering any special promotions or discounts?
- Is it doing any broadcast advertising?
- Is it running any direct mail marketing campaigns?
This might seem like a lot of ground to cover, but we can assure you it’s well worth the time. Detailed knowledge about the company and its other marketing activities will help us design better campaigns and avoid problems stemming from misunderstandings and lack of coordination. It also lays the foundation for good ongoing communication.
(In the past, we’ve had clients launch new products and even revamp their websites without telling us, which threw their PPC campaigns into disarray and led to missed opportunities. The more we can facilitate good ongoing communication, the better for all of us.)
Do All PPC Agencies Work This Way?
If you or your company has worked with a PPC agency before, our approach may surprise you. Clients sometimes tell us their previous PPC agency simply asked for the company’s AdWords login and then, essentially, disappeared. But we don’t work that way. If you want an agency that will simply tinker with the company’s PPC accounts or implement a strategy the company has already devised, then we’re not the agency for you.
Because our greatest strength as an agency isn’t in small tactics (although we’re good at those too). Our greatest strength is taking a big-picture view of the company to identify missed opportunities and optimize existing activities. In other words, we’ve built our business on developing campaign strategies to get companies the highest ROI possible. And the best way we can do that is with full information.
Consequently, the more time and effort you and your team put into the “getting to know you” phase of the onboarding process, the better. And if you worry you’re boring us with too much detail, let us reassure you: In all our years of doing this, we’ve never felt a client was “over sharing.”