Are you not sure if your PPC agency is doing a good job…?
Well, you are not alone. Many of our clients had similar problems prior to hiring us and we’ve had these questions come up so many times, we decided to write a post so you can learn ‘what to look for’ and ‘what to look out for’ when working with a PPC agency.
FIREABLE OFFENCE ONE: Not providing you access to your AdWords account.
In fact, you should always set up your own AdWords account then the agency should request access to your account via their MCC AdWords account. This is your data and your account.
We can’t tell you how many shady agencies we’ve seen hold a client’s PPC data hostage or agencies who are so naive they set up clients under their own personal account. This is even worse because it shows that they are either purposely deceitful OR have no clue on how this stuff is supposed to be set up.
If you don’t have access to your account, then you can’t get a 3rd party to audit the agency’s performance to even see if their data is true or even if they are doing any regular work to optimize your account.
If you are not sure, ask for you master logins. Then make sure you were invited by an MCC account.
You may be wondering, “What is an MCC account and why do agencies use it?”
MCC simply stands for “My Client Center” and any agency worth its salt will have one.
We can’t stress it enough: you should ALWAYS own your AdWords account. Most times, the client has an existing account, but if you don’t and the agency sets one up for you, they should still link your AdWords account to the agency’s MCC account.
By “owning” your AdWords account, you receive many benefits. You can even set different settings of access. It’s really just good security, too, because the agency and client never need to share their passwords. It also allows the client to terminate the agency at any time without needing to ask permission.
Remember, this is your business’s data and not the agency’s. If you have an agency right now that is not allowing you to have access to your AdWords, you seriously need to question that logic and maybe need to think about getting a new PPC agency.
FIREABLE OFFENCE TWO: No AdWords goals/conversions are set up.
If you have no goals set up and no values added to those goals, how are you supposed to know the ROAS (return on advertising spend) and ROI of your AdWords…?!!
We can’t tell you how many times we see companies receiving reports only on how many “clicks” they got, or even worse, an agency who still uses the word “hits.” This is the agency that focuses on vanity metrics instead of conversion metrics. This is a huge red flag!
If you are getting this kind of reporting and don’t know the exact CPA (cost per acquisition) or CPL (cost per lead), you are probably working with an agency who has no idea how to manage PPC.
Even AdWords shows you exactly what is driving sales with this video:
You can track everything today: cost per lead, cost per sales, store visits, phone calls, app downloads, etc. Everything! The days of not knowing what is working and not working are long gone. This is not Mad Men, where businesses know 50% of their advertising is working, but just don’t know which part.
If you are not sure whether your agency has goals set up, you are probably with the wrong agency. You can just ask to see what your CPLs and CPAs are. If the agency can’t answer this data, run!
FIREABLE OFFENCE THREE: Not touching your account.
Best way to tell if your agency is actively working on your account is to look at the change history. You can watch this video on how to do this:
Ideally, you want to see your PPC agency making changes weekly to further optimize your account. If there is nothing new they have done in months and months, you gotta wonder what you are paying them for…?
FIREABLE OFFENCE FOUR: They are not certified by AdWords.
You don’t have to be certified to manage or get an MCC account from AdWords, so anyone can say they are an AdWords expert and manage your account. You want to see that your agency is a Premier Partner. If you are not sure, just ask them to show you their Premier Partner page, like ours here. This doesn’t guarantee the agency is great, but it does have indicators that they have people on their team certified in the AdWords platform.
FIREABLE OFFENCE FIVE: They don’t have a clear pricing model.
Ideally, you should pay Google AdWords direct for your clicks. If you are getting just one bill from your agency and you are not sure how much traffic that is actually buying, you may have a problem. That agency is most likely marking up your actual costs much more than necessary. Just look at this image below.
FIREABLE OFFENCE SIX: Poor or no monthly reporting.
This is pretty straight-forward, but we see so many businesses tolerate no reporting or even no clarity in what the PPC management work means. If all you’re getting is data, without any insights and recommendations on how the agency intends to improve things, then you may want to start your search for a new PPC agency.
A great PPC agency will provide you data, but then they will tell you what that data means and make smart recommendations on what to do next. We use a simple start, stop and continue structure with our reporting. We also show the ROAS on investment and what improved from the previous month. Reporting should be monthly and on really large spend, even weekly. Ideally, if you are launching a new PPC strategy, you will receive a forecast and some sort of impact filter that validates the strategy will be successful. If not, then this also a red flag.
FIREABLE OFFENCE SEVEN: Poor performance.
At the end of the day, the numbers are the numbers. You know what targets you need to hit and you know exactly where you were prior to starting so you can measure success. In fact, before we begin working on any account we always get aligned with the goals and we all agree what success looks like in advance because no one should be guessing or wondering if an agency is doing a good job or not. If you are not hitting your goals, then chances are you are partnered with the wrong agency.