9 Hallmarks of a Top Rate PPC Management Company

How can you tell if the pay per click management agency you’re thinking of hiring is any good or not?

While there’s no foolproof way to separate the wheat from the chaff here, there are some good indicators to look out for. And, it just so happens that I’ve compiled a list of 9 biggies I’ve noticed in my almost 15 years playing in the PPC agency world.

Here they are in no particular order…

No Long Term Contracts

It can take a 2-3 months to get a new Google AdWords campaign to the point where you know whether it’s going to work well or not. So a PPC management agency that makes you commit to an initial 3 month contract is justified.

Anything more than that is garbage. A PPC company should not lock you in for 6 months or a year of paying them. That’s usually a sign that they’re bad at what they do and want to force clients to pay for crummy AdWords management services.

So if you’re considering an AdWords agency that wants to lock you in to a long term contract, look elsewhere.

You Own and Control Your Google AdWords Account

There are a number of Google AdWords management companies that set up AdWords accounts behind a “secret curtain”. What this means is you don’t have direct access to your account. You can’t see the keywords, ad copy, what you’re actually paying for clicks, etc. and have to rely on their reporting for any information about your account.

This is a dangerous situation to be in and one you should avoid. For one, it allows agencies to fudge the numbers on what you’re paying for clicks and how much goes directly into their pockets.

There’s also no transparency here so you really have no idea what’s going on in your account.

Much better is for your Google AdWords account to be set up under a Google account you own and control. Then you give your PPC agency access to that account so they can do their job while you can keep track of what they’re doing (and can hire another AdWords company to take over if the first one doesn’t perform up to your expectations).

Their “A-Team” Manages Your PPC Account(s)

In PPC agencies (as well as many advertising firms), there’s an unfortunate process that often takes place. It’s where their “A-Team” sells you on their services and then, once they get your money, immediately hands things over to their “C-Team” of fresh-behind-the-ears newbies/interns/foreign outsource team.

The top agencies have their top people managing (or at the very least heavily supervising) the management of your PPC account.

Understand PPC Management Ain’t Just About the Clicks

Clicks and traffic don’t make your company money. Conversions and sales do… and that’s exactly what the best AdWords companies focus on.

So if a PPC agency just talks about clicks and how much traffic they can send you but not how much money they can make you, walk away.

They Track/Report on What Really Matters

Related to the previous item, your success from PPC comes down to the sales it generates and ROI. Yes, clicks are one part of the equation. But, at the end of the day, it’s about the moolah. So if your AdWords agency isn’t reporting on ROI and sales, again, walk away.

Understand It’s More Than Just About Google AdWords

There’s no shortage of ways to buy traffic online. Google AdWords is a huge potential source of traffic to be sure. But it’s not the only one and it may not be the best.

I’ve had situations where Bing Ads outperforms Google AdWords. Oh, and you can also run profitable paid advertising campaigns on Yahoo Gemini, Facebook Ads, Twitter Ads, Pinterest Ads, Outbrain, Taboola, Quora Ads and a whole host of other platforms.

A truly top rate PPC agency will have the expertise to know which platforms have the best potential of working for your business and know how to use them.

PPC Management Fees on the Higher Side  

Yeah, I know. None of us want to overpay for things. We all are after a bargain. Yada yada yada.

But, when it comes to PPC agencies that charge too little, you almost always get what you pay for.

They Are PPC Specialists

Listen, it’s hard enough staying on top of all you need to know to stay sharp at PPC management. Trying to do that AND stay up on SEO (search engine optimization), web design, social media management, etc. is nearly impossible.

If you want PPC, hire folks who live, breathe and eat PPC.

They Are Google AdWords Certified

Meh. I debated including this one.

To be honest, taking and passing the Google AdWords certification ain’t that hard. And there are many important skills a PPC manager needs to have that aren’t reflected on the certification test.

However, that the PPC agency (or some individuals at the agency) took the time to study for, take and pass it does mean a little something. So you can look for this, but I wouldn’t base your decision on hiring an AdWords management agency or not on this one.

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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.