In 2017, PPC advertisers invested a whopping $10 billion, and this number continues to grow each year as businesses compete to have their products and services in front of the eyes of their target customers.
With that in mind, many PPC agencies exist and will all promise the same thing: being the best choice for running your ads. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, and I’ve spoken to too many business owners who lost time and money working with agencies that couldn’t live up to their promises.
I started CJAM Marketing with one goal: to find the best agencies and contractors in marketing those with the skills and expertise to back up their claims. In doing so, I have vetted 625+ agencies to find those that are top-notch and capable of taking your business to the next level.
What is PPC?
Pay-per-click, also known as PPC, is a model of advertising that charges you for each click that comes to your website or desired link. When done correctly, the fee is nominal compared to what you earn from the clicks. For example, the click may cost you $2, but the link may take the customer to your website, where they make a purchase of $75. However, this can only work if your offer is good enough and your ads attract the right audience and customers. If you’re working with an unqualified PPC agency, you risk losing money as your clicks won’t convert to sales. PPC ads are creatively made using text, images, or video.
A popular form of PPC is search engine advertising, which entails bidding for ad placement on a search engine’s sponsored link. A successful bid may lead to your search or product appearing as the top result when someone searches for the product on a platform like Bing or Google. However, the competition for these keywords is fierce, as you’ll be up against other companies selling similar products and services.
A survey of marketers showed that 89% primarily advertised on Google and Facebook, making them the two most popular advertising platforms used today. Other platforms growing in popularity are Instagram and TikTok. The platform you choose to advertise on will be dependant on a number of factors including the following:
- Audience size and segments
- Ad objective and format
- Placement of your ads
Types of PPC Ads
Here is a brief description of some of the popular types of PPC ads and strategies being used by prominent businesses and brands today.
- Paid Search Advertising: The most prevalent form of PPC ads occurs on search engines, notably Google. These ads are linked to specific search terms, and when users enter relevant queries, the associated link may appear among the top Ad results.
- Display Advertising: Display ads, typically presented as vibrant banners or boxes within website pages and blog posts, are meant to help grow brand awareness and re-engage users who have previously visited your website.
- Social Media Advertising: Many brands leverage social media ads on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok and Twitter. By capitalizing on users’ information, brands can precisely target potential leads through social PPC ads.
- YouTube Advertising: YouTube offers a substantial platform for reaching audiences, with billions of people visiting the platform monthly. YouTube PPC ads can be placed with industry-related content or customized according to viewers’ behaviours.
- Amazon Marketing: Effective Amazon marketing strategies involve optimizing storefronts and targeting audiences within the platform. Product sponsorships, brand promotions, and store optimization are just a few of the PPC options available.
Tips to Finding The Best PPC Agency
In this next section, I’m going to outline three important tips I recommend you follow when searching for a PPC agency or looking to outsource work. Let’s get started!
Clearly Outline Your Goals & Objectives
There are a plethora of different types of PPC campaigns and they all target a different audience, industry, and objective. It’s vital to have an idea of what outcomes you expect to reach when working with a PPC agency. Therefore, I recommend sitting down with your team before hiring an agency and drafting out some goals you want to reach. Some common goals you might shoot for include:
- Adding more qualified leads to your roster
- Selling more of a product on your store
- Building brand awareness and getting more eyes on your website
The details of these goals can be hashed out when you sit down to discuss with your PPC agency but it’s best to have a good sense of what you’re hoping to accomplish from your partnership.
Qualities to Look For in Good PPC Agencies
As previously mentioned, advertisers are spending billions of ads, therefore there are many PPC agencies that exist, hoping to get a piece of this large pie. It can be difficult to sort between an experienced and efficient agency versus one that might be less desirable. I’ve put together a list of some of the things to look out for when vetting agencies:
The best PPC agencies are obsessed with numbers and analyzing data to find new ways of optimizing your eyes to increase ROI. They will be using tools and techniques to collect and manage data based on the results of your ad spend. A good agency will provide frequent reports outlining the data tracked and the success of your campaigns.
Mobile accounts for 64% of ad spend as more people are using Google, Facebook, Instagram and other platforms from their phone. Therefore, it’s crucial that your ads are optimized for mobile devices. There can be nothing worse than a poorly done ad that has half the copy cut off because it’s poorly-sized to the mobile screen. I recommend asking the agency if it’s not listed on their website whether they are able to optimize ads for mobile devices and if they can share results in how they’ve done it before.
Keywords are everything when it comes to PPC and finding the right keywords can be a challenging task. The type of keywords used will once again depend on the goal of your campaign. For example, if you’re wanting to build brand awareness, then the keywords used will be different from a business wanting to make direct sales. If your PPC agency understands your campaign’s purpose, then they will be able to help with selecting keywords that achieve those desired results.
PPC is only a piece of your digital strategy but it works alongside functions like design or copywriting. Therefore, when choosing a PPC agency, look for teams that have a broader understanding of the many aspects of digital marketing with some level of expertise in digital strategy and the other functions necessary to craft a successful campaign.
What to Ask When Interviewing PPC Agencies
After you’ve compiled a list of potential PPC agencies based on the services offered, predicted costs, and other information found on their website. You will want to conduct an interview and ask them some questions about how they would help your business to achieve its goals. Here are a few questions we recommend asking during this stage:
- What kinds of tools do they use when running campaigns? How do they use these tools to collect and analyze data?
- What processes and testing will they do to continually improve your ads?
- How do they select KPIs?
- Are they familiar with your industry? Do they have any case studies related to your goals and industry?
- What platforms do they specialize in? (Facebook, Google, Instagram)
- How often will they communicate results?
- How do you ensure that our PPC campaigns are optimized for mobile users?
- Can you provide examples of ad extensions or formats that have yielded positive results for other clients?
- How do you analyze our competitors’ PPC strategies and use the insights to our advantage?
- How do you identify and target the most relevant audiences for our campaigns?
- How do you allocate budget across different campaigns and ad sets?
This list is far from exhaustive, but depending on your business model and goals, you will want to ask more detailed questions about how the agency functions and the processes it uses to achieve results. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, book a free call with CJAM to discuss your business goals and let us find you the right partner from our vast network of agencies and contractors.
Get Started With CJAM
CJAM Marketing is committed to providing our clients with the best partnership possible, which means thoroughly discussing your business and its structure to ensure we find the partners best suited to accomplishing your goals. Don’t waste money working with a PPC agency that doesn’t understand your industry or goals, but work with highly-trained and effective specialists with the experience to take your brand to the next level.
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