Questions to ask before hiring a PPC agency

Thinking of hiring a PPC company? Read on for the questions you need to ask them before signing a contract.

Notably, pay-per-click (PPC) advertisements enable the company to search for customers who are searching online. Though complicated, the process sees a huge daily campaign run on multiple platforms. As in-house PPC is possible, most companies need more dedicated resources and experience than this would allow.

This is precisely where bringing in an expert PPC agency is valuable. Agencies are not created equal, and the wrong choices can torpedo budgets. Asking specific questions when vetting can help companies flush out reputable partners from unsuitable ones. A good discovery upfront can prevent the frustration of bouncing from partner to partner or otherwise wasted spending.

This article explores essential factors to evaluate any prospective PPC agency.

1) How many years of experience do you have?

Experience is everything in the highly nuanced world of PPC management. More specifically, how many years has an agency been in business, and how many between all the workers at an agency? Having 5+ years with an agency provides enough time to perfect strategies through various market conditions, algorithms, and seasonality. It also means there is at least a degree of stability with a proven business model, given the shorter-lived agencies carry higher risks.

Key personnel to ask about would be the experience levels of the account or relationship manager—one who likely is leading all day-to-day work within the PPC agency. Evolving, learning continuously: someone who’s been in it for 8-10 years has mostly been through all those trends that change industries and platform changes. 

Conversely, limited tenure could, on the other hand, be equated with unseasoned oversight. Such insight comes in handy, especially for one enlisting the services of a time-tested PPC agency in San Diego. It lets one get peace of mind from the fact that experienced gurus handle campaigns, ideally placed in steering the muddling mishmash of the industry.

2) What Is your focus?

Good agencies specialize in core competencies and keep their efforts from being watered. Therefore, ask whether the type of services and whether PPC advertising is what they specialize in are just a piece of a bigger pie. Fetching search engine results demands purely focused work on complex optimizations. Generalist agencies take the risk of shallow efforts being diverted by other channels.

Also, there should be portfolio evaluation for industry compatibility because specialized vertical experience will benefit a sector-specific strategy. Large portfolios indicate scale advantages, but compatibility with the client’s size, scale, and budget is sought because it is required to give personalized attention.

3) Do you have any certifications? 

Industry credentials validate fundamental competency and continuing education commitments. Thus, ask about certifications held individually and within the team – preferably at senior management levels. Programs like Google Ads or Microsoft Advertising certifications necessitate ongoing training to maintain accreditation, signaling dedication to professional growth. 

Moreover, multiple certifications across an agency reflect a culture that prioritizes skill development over resting on past successes. While certification does not guarantee quality work, lack of accreditation raises questions about reliance on unaccredited processes versus proven frameworks.

4) What is your reporting?

Reporting transparency will lead to the creation of meaningful partnerships that allow for decision-making while knowing the truth associated with it. Know the standard reporting formats, how often they’re generated, and the level of on-demand customization available. Reports should always have performance metrics and insights that guide how optimization should be achieved, not just raw numbers.

  • Ask how analytics tools are accessed to monitor the progress of a campaign independently.
  • Automatically and personally share your progress with clients to respect their need to govern spending and benchmark inquiries.
  • Timing of, or the fact that real-time data becomes available.
  • Helps foster collaborative optimization.

5) Do you have proof of your success?

Always ask to see measures of success when checking out an agency’s ability. Take some time to review case studies, ask for references, and have a very open conversation with one of the contacts on the reference around the ins, outs, and specifics of success metrics, ROI specifics, conversions or leads, and sales generated. Look to varied industries or varied types of results that can be considered quantifiable and attributable.

Hopefully, we will see many instances where these agencies claim they have helped optimize under-performing to below-average run campaigns or ramp up currently enough efforts with larger budgets. These are siphon claims without specifics that doubt the ability to realize these goals. Use available client-provided testimonials provided to the agency to cross-check the quality and integrity of work. The excellent agencies are proud to showcase their successes.

6) How do you undertake vetting and onboarding?

What does the process look like for vetting and authorization? A reliable organization will do due diligence for scrutiny of the business, the campaigns, and its needs, including but not limited to in-depth discovery calls,  RFP responses, and contract review, before onboarding.

Diligence sets the floor for having firm expectations and setting tangible goals from the ground up, from one’s industry and markets, yet saves you from frustrations through ambiguous assumptions or an incompatible strategic vision. Authorized partnerships are built on informed consent, clear communication, and understanding.

Find the right PPC agency for your business

Careful vetting of the most prospective PPC partners at the forefront paves the way for choosing an agency suitable for long-term success. While experience, focus, and background in accomplishment can signal so at the beginning, further inquiry proves or substantiates these claims to assertively establish collaboration expectations. 

So, inquire about the credentials, process, management, pricing, onboarding, and transparency to ensure an agency’s abilities and set priorities align with you to ensure that it results in the maximum return on investments they make for you.