We’ve written previously about why paid search marketing, or PPC, can benefit your business. We refer you to that post if you want to learn more about PPC. This post is for those who know they will include PPC in their marketing efforts, and are looking for outside help in getting started and maintaining a paid search program.
So, how do you, with little or no paid search marketing knowledge, go about finding the right firm to lead your PPC efforts for your products and/or services?
Develop a plan and keep your eyes open
The last thing you want to do is just compile a list of firms, call each of them and ask for a quote. This will do you little good as you will probably get very little detail as to what you will get for your money. And those firms that do respond with a cookie cutter quote may not have your best interests in mind. Without discussing your business, paid search goals, and other variables that would go into a successful PPC campaign, their strategy for you will likely entail a one-size-fits-all approach.
Who should I turn to?
Get started by talking to people you trust. Ask your colleagues, vendors, clients, fellow Chamber members, and associations you belong to if there are any marketing firms they work with that they would trust with a PPC program. Rarely will a quality solution to your paid marketing firm search begin and end with a company sending you an email out of the blue. Or cold calling you. Or sending you a flyer. Or showing up unannounced at your doorstep without a prearranged meeting.
Meeting with PPC Firms
Once you have a list of potential firms to set up and/or manage your PPC program, what next? You’ll want to set up an appointment to talk to them, either on the phone, through an online conference or in person. Keep in mind that it will not be just a 5 minute talk. A good conversation covering goals, ideas and processes could take anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours. But don’t let that turn you off! A good running, well maintained paid search marketing program could become a very profitable channel for your business for years to come.
What should you listen for when you talk with potential firms?
- They should ask you in depth questions about your business. What other channels you use. Is the campaign for all products or just some. How does paid search fit in with the entire marketing plan. Who are the competitors (both online and offline).
- Do they ask you what are your goals for the campaign? They should discuss at some level if your goals are realistic. They won’t have all the information needed to confirm your goals are realistic, but if you say you want to make a million dollars on the penny, they should talk about the likelihood of that happening.
- They should let you know that it will take research to find out what keywords to target. You may have a set list of phrases in mind, but research may uncover more phrases that could drive additional traffic to the site, or even better phrases.
- They should walk you through the process that will take place, from research to ad copy writing to determining bids to developing landing pages.
- They should inform you that although you can just ‘set and forget’ a campaign, to maximize the ROI there will always be monitoring and adjustments happening.
- They should talk about how ads get the positions they are in (a balance of quality and cost). It’s more than just bidding the most.
- They should talk about how your website itself fits into the program. The website/landing page plays an important role in turning visitors into customers or leads.
- They should ask you what you believe a successful visit will look like. What’s the conversion you are shooting for when someone clicks on an ad?
- They should confirm that you will have access to the account (s). Some firms set up accounts where they are the only ones that can access the stats and ads. This is a red flag. It is your money that is being spent, so you should have access to the account, both during the time the firm is maintaining the program and after.
- If you are a local company, they should definitely talk about geo-targeting. This makes sure you don’t waste money on ads outside of your target market.
- They should offer you information on previous and current clients. Although they may not be in your industry, the process for developing and maintaining PPC campaigns would be similar. This includes references.
- They should provide any recognition or certification they may have in Internet marketing and / or paid search marketing (i.e., Google AdWords Certified Partner).
In the end, you want to feel confident that you made the right decision. By asking good questions, feeling comfortable with who you will be working with and checking references, you will feel confident when it comes time to start your paid search program. Begin your search for a PPC firm by contact Mannix Marketing. Give us a call at 800-928-9154 or send us a note and let us know more about you.