Written June 24, 2015

Paid search advertising is a great piece of your marketing puzzle to outsource to a professional. The paid search industry moves so fast that even without other obligations it can be difficult to keep up with your campaigns on a daily basis. When your time is already at a premium as a business owner, outsourcing your pay-per-click efforts to a qualified agency can make a world of difference for your business.

Before choosing a professional or an agency, here are few things to consider.

Is PPC the most effective way to see the results you want?

Let’s be real, you’re looking at PPC because you need to see some sort of business result, right? But, is it actually the best way to get where you need to go right now? Some things to consider before committing to a pay-per-click campaign.

  • Can your website make effective use of the traffic?
  • Is your search market large enough? Are enough people searching for your product/service?
  • Have you evaluated your competition? Can you afford to compete?

It’s important that your expectations are set realistically. Are you’re trying to make a name as a defense lawyer through PPC? You’re going to need some deep pockets and make effective use of the traffic once it gets to your website. Are you offering a brand new product or extremely niche service? Your search market may not be large enough to drive a noticeable amount of traffic.

A qualified agency or professional contractor should be able to provide you with the research right up front to help you both understand what the competitive landscape looks like and what kind of results you can expect.

What kind of professional relationship do you want?

Hiring out is never easy. Every professional and agency has collateral about what makes them the best. Sometimes it’s cheaper fees, big name clients, or a bunch of fancy buzzwords. In my opinion, finding the right cultural fit is one of the most important things to consider when hiring a PPC agency.

Is your company a large corporation focused on the bottom line, or a small and passionate startup looking to do something fun and creative? These two structures demand very different skills from an agency and if things don’t mesh right from the start, one of you is going to end up very unhappy with the relationship.

As a company, approach finding the right agency the same way you approach the hiring process. Just like in the hiring process asking behavioral questions will be your best friend. Do you need a flexible agency able to pivot at any moment to shifts in the business landscape? Do you need a very structured and data driven agency to report on KPI’s every other week? Are you looking for an agency that can spot a trend and jump on it, or do you need an agency who will stay inside the lines and stick to the plan?

These are the questions you need to address ahead of time.

Don’t forget about the full scope

One of the most common downfalls of paid search campaigns is that they tend to end with the search. You need to create a seamless user experience from the start of the funnel to the end, and this goes far beyond paying for search terms. Landing page design, conversion rate optimization, copywriting, data analysis and more all going into an effective paid search campaign. Before hiring an agency, ask these questions:

  • Who is going to write the ad copy?
  • Who is going to optimize the landing page for conversions? Who can handle site changes? How fast can changes be turned around?
  • Who will monitor the data and recommend changes?

Don’t forget to ask about SEO either

PPC and SEO go hand-in-hand. Everyone wants to see more impressions, higher page ranks, a lower cost per click and a higher click-through rate. The easiest way to see this? Have an on-site search engine optimization plan that aligns with your pay-per-click goals. Seriously, don’t under estimate how huge of a role SEO plays in PPC. Consolidating your PPC and SEO into a single creative team will have a major impact on the success of both.

Have a conversation about the future

Don’t forget to mention your long-term plans. Are you planning on bringing PPC in-house in the future? Is this a long-term commitment to this agency? What are the terms of the agreement? What happens if you did bring the PPC in-house? Does the research and collateral stay with the agency or does it transition in-house as well?

What about future growth? Are you a startup today, but have plans to scale 2x, 5x, or 10x in the future? Is the agency going to be able to maintain and manage that growth?

Finding the right agency or professional contractor to outsource your PPC to is a daunting task, but one that can have long-term impact on the success of your business. These are just a few ideas of what to look for when trying to hire out your PPC efforts.

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About The Author

Dallas McLaughlin

Dallas is a badged Google Partner, certified in both Google AdWords and Google Analytics. Dallas helps business owners understand how to succeed in a digital first world. Utilizing innovation and unparalleled strategy, Dallas has successfully executed hundreds of search engine optimization, social media marketing and pay-per-click advertising campaigns.

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