Yes, there are PPC management companies who don’t do a good job.
However, dear business owner, you are NOT off the hook when it comes to getting bad results on your PPC campaigns.
In 10+ years of managing AdWords campaigns, and trading war stories with others who do the same, there are plenty of situations where clients get in the way of their pay per click agency’s best efforts.
These clients are quick to blame the PPC agency or Google or anyone else. Yet, it’s really their actions (or lack of action) that sabotaged their PPC campaigns.
So if you want to hire (or already have hired) an AdWords company to manage your campaigns, the following is a list of behaviors YOU need to avoid so you can get out of the agency’s way and give them the best chance of succeeding with your campaigns…
This could be a whole article in and of itself. Companies get bored of their websites and decide they need an “upgrade” or to make it “prettier”.
My colleagues and I have dozens of stories of companies doing this only to see their sales (from PPC and other sources) absolutely crater after the “improved” website is launched.
In fact, in a recent discussion with colleagues, between 5 of us (who have collectively managed hundreds of PPC accounts and $100s of millions of ad spend over the years), we could only come up with TWO situations where a client redesigned a website and it actually improved their conversions and sales.
If you feel you need to make big changes to your website, don’t do it all at once. Instead, slowly test new designs/pages, send some PPC traffic to them and see what kind of results you get. That’s how Amazon and other large, successful websites do it and you should learn from them.
And, lastly, please, for the love of god… if you’re going to redesign your site and just launch a brand new one… make sure you have a backup of the old site you can easily upload back to your server if the new site doesn’t quite live up to the hype!
Remove tracking codes
The best pay per click companies track the snot out of their campaigns. Which means setting up Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, retargeting pixels, call tracking and other codes behind the scenes of a site.
Sometimes, whether on purpose or not, the biz owner has someone else making changes to the site code and the tracking codes get removed, altered, etc. And that can lead to some big issues for the performance of your AdWords campaigns.
So if you have anyone monkeying around with the code on your site, have your PPC agency in the loop to make sure the code that’s keeping your campaigns are humming along like a well-oiled machine don’t get touched.
Don’t Give Them Enough Time
It takes time to get an AdWords campaign optimized and profitable. Up to 2 or 3 months, especially for a brand new campaign, isn’t out of the question.
But some clients are VERY impatient and if they don’t see results immediately, they can the PPC management company way too quickly.
Don’t be that guy/gal. Give the agency you hire at least a few months of collecting data, testing different keywords/ads/landing pages/etc. and optimizing before you judge whether they’re going to work out or not.
Stink at Sales
Had a friend who ran PPC campaigns for lawyers. And one of his clients was complaining about how he wasn’t getting any leads from AdWords.
Well, my friend used a call tracking service that recorded incoming calls and he decided to listen to a few. On one of the calls, the attorney’s receptionist (his 19 year old niece) answers the phone and the person asks whether or not the attorney handled car accident cases.
Now, being a personal injury attorney, this was one of the most common types of cases he handled. But his receptionist told the caller “Let me check” and then put him on hold for over 3 minutes!
Guess who didn’t get the case?!
Listen, AdWords can lead people to your website but, unless you’re in ecommerce and the sales transaction takes place on your site, you have to close the deal. And if your receptionists/sales people are not good at sales, it doesn’t matter how good an AdWords campaign you have, it ain’t gonna work out for you.
Investing in some sales training can go a long way toward improving the results of an AdWords campaign.
Obsess over the Wrong Metrics/Vanity Metrics
Speaking of attorneys, I had a traffic ticket attorney client once who only cared about being in the #1 position for his select keywords in Google AdWords.
Didn’t care about tracking calls or form submissions or anything else that could help us optimize his campaign or demonstrate an ROI. And this guy was never happy with his results (and I wasn’t happy managing a campaign like this where he was blowing $5000 or so a month with no clue how many clients he was getting for his money).
I call an approach to AdWords like that “ego marketing”. If all you care about is being #1 for certain keywords or the amount of traffic you’re getting to your site… but don’t track the metrics that actually can tell you if you’re making money or not, you might as well just light your money on fire.
Let your PPC agency set up tracking to determine if your AdWords campaign is generating conversions, sales, and an ROI. Then let them manage to improve these things, not unimportant vanity metrics that don’t bring home the bacon.
Good PPC management involves a lot of testing and experimenting.
Landing pages. Ad copy. Offers. Traffic sources.
If you’re too afraid to let your PPC management firm test different things (within reason, of course) to see what works and what doesn’t, you’re never going to get the results you want. So give them some leeway to test the things that can make for huge improvement in your campaign’s performance.