3 Questions to Ask Someone Selling You PPC

Before I got into digital marketing, terms such as “quality score, CPC, CTR or match types” would have been foreign to me. The mentioned PPC terms are some of the simplest terms for any PPC marketer to understand. For someone not in the field, these terms make no sense at all. The lack of understanding paid search goes well beyond industry terms. Best practices, proper set up, tracking, optimization, etc. can be confusing for someone needing the services but has never bought the services before. If this scenario sounds familiar, here are a few questions you’ll want to ask to make sure you’re getting a quality marketer to run your account.

Will I Have Ownership of My Account?

If the agency pitching you PPC doesn’t give you an immediate, “yes,” then you need to do this…

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It’s unfortunate, but I’ve had to tell several potential clients throughout my career they need to create a new AdWords account. Why? Because their previous agency created the account and refused to share the login information. This is possible because an AdWords account is connected with a Google account. Google accounts cannot be transferred from one person to another unless you have the logins. I recommend creating an AdWords account first then grant the agency access to your account. This will give you the option to remove old client managers when/if the relationship ends.

Bonus Tip

Besides creating and owning your own AdWords account, you should also create and own all your other Google properties under the same login. Make sure you have control over your Google Analytics, Google My Business, Merchant Center, etc. to never lose any history or account access.

Who Will Be Working on the Account?

You might be working with a sales rep from an agency. Or maybe the agency brought in their top guy into the sales pitch. There’s nothing wrong with either of these tactics, but there’s a good chance the people mentioned in these two scenarios won’t be working on your account. Find out and ask if you’re going to get the experienced talent or the newly hired intern.

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I’m not here to rip on interns or newbies in the field. We all had to start somewhere. But does it make sense that you’d have to pay the same hourly rate for someone who has five years of experience versus someone who has none? No. It doesn’t make any sense at all. If interns or trainees are going to be learning on your dime, negotiate a discount or demand a more experienced specialist. If the agency can’t offer you that, walk away and find someone who can.

Where Will All My Hours Go?

This question is tough to answer. Why? Because, speaking for myself, I’m not performing the same tasks every single month. Strategies change. Alternate plans come up. Also, new features get added to Google or Bing all the time. There are typical constants like reporting, meetings, performance reviews, etc. If half of the management fee is going to reporting, we’re probably looking at a big, red flag for wasting your time. It’s important to get clarification on what you’re getting.

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Asking where the hours go could also give you an understanding of the agency’s depth of knowledge in the industry. If the agency only talks about one or two things, are they really experts in the field? Do they ever bring up strategy? Will they ever take the time to better understand your industry? How often do they test new features? These are just some examples of questions that should be answered. Strategies between different accounts and clients could be totally different, but your potential account manager should be able to give you (at least) a basic explanation of how they typically use hours. You may find out pretty quick if they’re pros at coming up with a plan or just want your money.

Final Point

If you’ve never been immersed in the PPC industry, use these questions to get a better understanding of what type of agency or account manager you might hire. While there are many more questions you could ask, take the time to better educate yourself on the world of paid search. If you’re paying for a service, it’s always going to be beneficial to have as much understanding of what you’re getting into as possible. The more you educate yourself, the easier it will be to find the right fit for your business.

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About the Author

Joe Martinez

Joe Martinez is the Director of Paid Media and Community for Granular in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He is also the current and founding President of MKEsearch. His focus on marketing psychology and user experience helps his clients achieve record growths and lifetime customers. While he is hands-on in all aspects of PPC, his true passions lie in Display, Remarketing, and YouTube. In addition to being the main blogger for Granular, he is a regular contributor to Search Engine Land and has also written for PPC Hero, SEMrush, Leadpages, Optmyzr, Unbounce, WordStream and AdStage. He has hosted webinars for SEMrush, Unbounce, and Bing Ads. He regularly speaks at conferences such as SMX Advanced, SMX West, SMX East, HeroConf, Confluence Conference, Digital Olympus and more. He was named a Top 25 Influential PPC Expert by PPC Hero in 2017 and 2018.