7 Warning Signs Of a Shady PPC Management Company

Every industry has its share of charlatans and ne’er-do-wells, and the PPC Management industry is no exception.

In this article we look at 7 warning signs that the PPC agency you’re looking to hire to help you with your AdWords management may be peddling more snake-oil than honest-to-goodness PPC help that’ll benefit your biz.

Without further ado, let’s jump into the 7 warning signs of a shady pay per click management company…

1. Really Low Fees

Good PPC management takes time, effort and a unique set of skills. If you’re looking to hire a pay per click agency to manage things for you, price can’t be your determining factor of who to hire.

Something is fishy about an AdWords agency that charges way less than the competition. Maybe they outsource PPC management overseas. Maybe they rely on automation to do most of the work (which is not necessarily a bad thing, if they do things right). Maybe they really don’t do much at all on the AdWords accounts they manage.

Whatever the case, bad PPC management will end up costing way more than what you may save in fees by going with the advertising agency offering bargain basement prices. So don’t skimp here and be very wary of any really low bids.

2. They Don’t/Won’t Give You Direct Access To Your Account

I’ll make this as clear as possible… you should ALWAYS have full access to, and control over, your Google AdWords account.

If an AdWords company tells you they have to manage things under an account they control and you don’t have access to, that is NOT in your best interest. Too many shady things can happen when you have to rely on their reports to know what’s going on with your pay per click campaign and you can’t log in directly to see what’s going on.

The best PPC agencies have full transparency and will use an AdWords account that you own and control.

3. They Require a Long Term Contract

There’s no good reason an AdWords management company should lock you into a long term contract. Some may ask for a 3 month commitment to give them time to set things up and optimize your pay per click campaigns. That’s legit.

Anything more than that is not. So if an AdWords agency tries to lock you into anything more than 3 months, find another AdWords agency.

4. They Don’t Bother With/Care About PPC Landing Pages

Yes, your AdWords account with its keywords, bid prices, ad copy, etc. is very important. But the PPC landing pages you send that traffic to is highly important too. A pay per click agency that doesn’t address the landing page side of the equation is either lazy, woefully incompetent or both. Better to avoid working with agencies like that!

5. They Talk About Traffic, Not Conversions

If all they talk about is how much traffic they’re going to send to your site, but pay no lip service to converting those visitors into leads and sales, run!

Traffic is great, but it’s not what keeps the lights on. Conversions and sales is where you make your nut.

Hire a PPC company that manages things accordingly.

6. You Don’t Meet/Talk To The People Managing Your Campaigns

Salespeople are fun, impressive folks that make you feel good about yourself and the company they represent (at least the good ones do!). But it’s likely that the person selling you on PPC management services isn’t going to be the person actually managing your account.

So before you hire a pay per click agency, you should ask to meet, or at least talk to, the person/people who will be managing your account. If the agency won’t let you do that, that should raise some serious red flags.

7. They Don’t Ask About Your Goals

What is it that you actually want your pay per click campaign to accomplish for your business?

Do you want to build an email list? Do you want to get the phone ringing? Do you want to generate direct sales on your website?


How much can you afford to pay for each new subscriber to your email list? How many calls do you want and what is a call worth to your biz? How many sales do you want and how much can you afford to pay to get a sale?

If you don’t know what you’re aiming for, how do you know when/if you get there?

Right, you don’t!

Shady PPC management firms don’t ask questions like this. Because, they really don’t want you to understand what they’re doing or have a way to measure their success (or lack thereof).

If an AdWords agency isn’t interested in what your goals for your AdWords campaign is, then you shouldn’t be interested in having them manage things for you.

Share this article
Adam K
Adam K

Adam has been fascinated with online marketing, particularly PPC, since 2004 and opened his own PPC management company in 2006. Over the years he's written extensively about Google AdWords and online marketing on his own sites as well as partnered with/written for Perry Marshall, Ryan Deiss of DigitalMarketer.com and Neil Patel.