If you get good PPC management on your side, you’re going to make some serious money online. The difference between a rock star PPC manager and a Jr. level person is so vast, it is pretty much like night and day. It is really the same for SEO as well. In this post, I talk about what to look for in PPC management for your own individual business.
Does the PPC manager have experience in your vertical?
Take this one with a grain of salt. Because it’s my feeling that if someone is really good, they will excel in any vertical. Also, in some cases, it can be beneficial to bring other work experience into a new industry, especially if they have worked in more competitive industries than yours. That being said, it is nice if your PPC management company and point of contact have experience in your vertical. This allows them to get a jump start on keywords, landing pages, ads and account structure, because they already have done the research. It is a good idea to ask about this during the interview process. If they don’t have direct experience, at least ask them how they would approach this new industry.
Have they managed PPC for your online model?
Now this one I feel is important. Websites can be generally categorized into a few different goal-oriented buckets. When it comes to PPC management, it really helps if the company has some direct experience in that goal type. Let me explain, the website types are branding sites, informational sites, eCommerce sites, lead generation sites and news sites. Each of these online models has different micro and macro conversions. For eCommerce, its goal are direct sales. For lead generation, the goal are leads. While informational sites are all about providing information quickly. When running pay per click, it is nice if the manager has worked in these models.
Have they run ads in your ad medium?
Pay per click has grown far beyond search ads in Google AdWords and Bing. In today’s landscape, there is Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and LinkedIn. There is search remarketing, display remarketing, we can target people by email address, we can target them by what companies have emailed them and by the collection of website properties they have visited. There are so many different places and ways to run pay per clicks ads and media purchases online. If you have a specific idea in mind on how you would like to spend that money, it is a good idea to ask the PPC team about the experience in this area.
What level of spend have they managed?
This to me is a really big one. In a way, it is a strong defining factor. PPC specialist that have managed hundreds of thousands of dollars a month for multiple clients are very different than a manager who has managed $2,000 a month for 5 to 15 clients. They’re really different worlds that demand different skill sets, different software, different communication levels, tracking, etc. It is a good idea to ask this question. Has the person who will be managing your PPC worked on a significant amount of accounts in your spend level?
How many years have they been doing PPC?
Just like any job, experience is very important in pay per click. A manager can be the smartest person, the hardest worker and have a great attitude, but when they don’t have the right experience that can be very dangerous. In the world of pay per click, experience really does matter. Both in years and the type of work they have done in those years.
How do they stay up on the latest trends?
For those who say that SEM doesn’t change as much as SEO, they are dead wrong. Every day there are innovations that people need to be paying close attention to. I do think people talk about the changes less, when compared to SEO, due to the nature of the industries. Regardless, ask how your PPC manager stays up to date on the latest industry changes.
Do they have bandwidth?
How many clients do they currently manage? How large are their clients? How much time do they have to work on your account? These things can really matter when hiring an agency. We have deliberately kept a very low client to PPC manager ratio. This allows us to grow with the client. But many other companies look at it the other way, in an attempt to maximize profits. It is a good idea to ask about bandwidth.
How strong is the PPC management department’s understanding of analytics?
I am a literally an analytics nut. It is the most important thing any online marketing professional can know in my opinion. It translated into everything we do and every decision we make. The manager should be Google Analytics Certified, Google AdWords Certified and really know their reports. This to me is so important.
Are they strategic in their approach?
When it comes to online marketing, there are million things you can do, but what is most important is what brings the highest return the fastest, not what is the latest and greatest trend. That is generally an issue in marketing. Sometimes people sell based on ideas that have a buzz, when what will really drive sales are the tried and true methods. At the end of the day, you cannot put a value on a sound strategic mind. I recommend you try to get a feel for it in the interview process.
How often do they report and how do they report?
Every online business is different, and therefore, every report needs to be custom. When looking at PPC management for your company, ask how the reporting is done and what it would look like for your particular business. Your business is unique, your model is unique and your goals are unique, so make sure the reports reflect that.
Does the management know landing pages and CRO?
I really think CRO is undervalued. I can spend $10,000 driving more clicks to your site through pay per click, move a button above the fold, put in a better picture and call to action for $100 in developer costs and get you even more sales than the current level of traffic. If you are business person, which of these options makes more sense to you? This concept should play into your PPC selection process. Is there someone at the company who can help with conversion rate optimization? Are they good?
Do they know local, multilingual and multinational PPC?
One of the major factors in the online marketing space is location. That can play into the language of the ads/keywords, the marketing message and the targeting. It can also play into the landing pages and so much more. If your PPC manager has experience in international PPC that can mean big bucks for you, as they can expand your accounts globally. In addition, if they don’t understand location implications that can really waste a lot of your money.
Do they have a software that sets them apart?
At the end of the day, a human can only do so much. If they are working on little PPC campaigns, then they might be able to handle most of the spend through the interface of the site they are buying ads on. But when it comes to more sophisticated PPC, having an enterprise level management platform is a must. We have one here and I don’t know what we would do without it. It greatly maximizes ROI.
Do they enjoy math and working on complex problems?
At the end of the day, your PPC management team needs to be excellent at math, enjoy working on complex issues for long periods of time and generally enjoy intricate problem-solving.
When you are looking to hire someone internally or through an agency, look for these traits and the others I mentioned above.