HOW TO HIRE AN AGENCY TO MANAGE YOUR GOOGLE ADVERTISING
You know your competitors are killing it with Google Ads, but you don't know how much to spend, or who to trust with your hard-earned money?
Google Advertising accounts for more than 70% of their revenue, that facts speaks for themselves. Advertising on Google is still a highly profitable medium and tactic to generate new sales for your business. Before we dive in, I want to get a couple myths that we hear about Google Advertising from potential clients out of the way, this will put your mind at ease.
First "Pay per click" doesn't mean you you pay over and over if the same person clicks your ad, which would cost Google a lot of customers and more importantly revenue. PPC advertising is not too expensive if you don't have a system in place to capture, quickly contact, and nurture the leads you get from Google Ads then you will spend way more than necessary. This is the most common issue I see companies facing when they advertise on Google.
How to select the right Google Agency
When you go to choose an advertising agency for your company, the fastest way to failure is making your choice based on price. There is always someone willing to do it cheaper and shittier to be perfectly honest, those two go hand in hand. I can't tell you how many of my client's minds I've changed over the years, they thought they had a properly built AdWords campaign, come to find out, half of the features that Google ads offers were not even setup.
Talk about BS! Imagine buying a brand new Tesla Cyber Truck and when it gets delivered it shows up and is missing tires, no steering wheel, or driver's seat. Sure, it runs but you aren't going anywhere with that truck and you'll be pretty pissed off that you spent all that money and it's not serving its purpose. You want to take it out driving and get a bunch of attention, that's the only reason anyone would even buy one, wow they're ugly!
I highly recommend that you hire an agency with experience in your specific industry. Nike wouldn't hire a construction advertising agency that's never done e-commerce ads before, I don't want you to make that mistake, it can be very costly. Ask the agency you are considering to show you some ads similar to your business or industry at the very least.
If you are spending money advertising locally which more small businesses and are tight on funds, you should strongly consider finding a local advertising agency nearby that understands your geographical area, consumer behaviors, and can strategically target consumers in your area. Every region has its own unique characteristics, Sacramento CA where we are based is heavily saturated with Government employees and state workers since it's the Capitol of California.
The right advertising agency will know details like this and be able to craft the perfect message for that audience. Sacramento and Dallas's consumers are totally different and at the core have different belief systems. A larger agency will tend to be less locally-focused, which can be cost-prohibitive for smaller home service companies, they tend to run statewide if not nationwide campaigns.
If you are going to make an educated decision, you need to know only know what questions you should ask but have a basic understanding of everything that goes into an Ad Campaign. There are 2 completely different segments to advertising on the Google Ads platform, the first being search campaigns, and the second being display. Search Ads are only on the results page for whatever keyword term you put in on the Google search tool.
Display Ads are placed on a network of Google sites like YouTube, Blogger, Gmail, and over 2 million partner websites across the Internet. They are the ads you see before your youtube video plays or the text ads you see on your Gmail dashboard. The reach of this platform is massive and the more creative your messaging is the more profitable your campaign will be.
Now that we have that out of the way, it's important for you to understand the basics of each segment. So let's go over the main sections that you need to know if you are going to find an agency that will perform above your expectations, that's where most agencies fail. They don't spend enough time with their prospects discussing realistic expectations.
8 questions to ask before hiring a Google advertising agency
• Keywords - What are the best keywords to go after? Everything from choosing the keywords to go after and what keywords to eliminate from your campaign, it's important that you know how to structure, and bid on the keywords that drive consumers with the highest intent back to your landing page or website.
• Ad Copy - What problem are you solving in the market? You need to be engaging and highly relevant to what the audience you are serving ads to. Generic boilerplate offers like "free consultation" do not give your potential client the information they want.
• Ad Design - Will you be using text, video, animated, or static graphic ads? It's important that the agency you work with knows how to create compelling ads that cut through the noise. 2020 will be the biggest year for video, done right that will be your most profitable media.
• Campaign setup - How will the agency structure your ad groups? By region, by service, or product category? Our most profitable campaigns have ad groups that are geographically targeted and each service is its own campaign.
• Tracking - How do you track the visitor's behavior coming to my website or landing page? You need an agency that isn't guessing but can prove the landing page is working and people are getting the best information they are looking for. Google Analytics alone is not enough, you need to be able to track, page scrolls, page clicks, and actions, there are great tools agencies use to track visitor behavior.
• Reporting - How often will you get updated on how the campaign is performing? If you're dealing with anyone like us they are working on the campaign at least a few times a week. You should get a performance report at once a month, it's also important that the report includes the total ad spend for the month, how many clicks, and how many conversions (inquiries) came from those clicks, this is how you will determine your customer acquisition cost.
• Landing page - Are you sending traffic to a page designed specifically for the campaign or a page on the website? I always recommend creating a specific landing page for each ad group, that will increase the relevancy of the content the visitor is looking for which in turn gives you a higher quality score that lowers your overall cost per click.
• Updates & Changes - How often will you be working on the campaign, and how often do you create new ads? If the agency your considering is like us they will be working on your campaign 3-5 days a week, monitoring your ad position, click costs, and quality scores. It's a never-ending process. We are always making improvements, refining our campaigns to increase performance and lower your customer acquisition cost.
I think another important consideration in choosing a great agency, is that they will be 100% transparent with you, share specific detailed reports and data. An Agency who tries to control the performance data that you see or have access to is most likely not looking out for you.
Elements of a great Google Ads report
Every good agency has developed or found its own way to explain the performance of its client's advertising campaigns. There are 3 critical components that should be in every report and they should be easy to understand for the client, the best ad agencies have a dashboard that translates all the technical jargon into a visual dashboard their client can understand.
1. Campaign performance report - This report includes basic information such as clicks, click-through rate (CTR), average ad positions, conversions, conversion rates, and conversion value. We monitor each campaign and ad group for search terms with a low cost per conversion, the goal should be to increase the quality score and lead volume over an extended period of time.
2. Search term report - This report allows you to see what search terms people are entering that are leading to your ad. The more relevant the search term is to your business the lower the cost will be and the cheaper your cost becomes to acquire a customer
3. Demographics & Geographics report - To better understand your audience and create content that is more relevant to them you have to know who they are and Google provides some valuable data on who is clicking your ads. What device they're on like desktop or mobile, also their location, gender, age, and household income.
Understanding the terms of working with an Ad Agency
The best advertising agencies that have proven success charge a setup fee to onboard you as a client, do a consultation, develop your strategy, and execute all of the copywriting and creatives involved in setting up the campaign.
After the initial setup is completed, the agency will charge a monthly premium on top of your monthly ad spend ranging from 25-40%. Let's say you are committed to investing $5,000 on advertising spend per month, you can estimate a total management fee of about $2,500 to run your monthly ad campaigns. Another common structure is a flat fee (e.g., a retainer model) that may also be available. 10-15% is a red flag management fee, beware of discount providers.
The best agencies are not cheap but they get results and in turn, the money you pay as a management fee is completely covered by the returns you are getting compared to an agency that just glances at your campaign a couple of times per month. You need to be realistic about your results from the beginning.
If you are just starting with a small budget in a competitive region, then be aware you’ll likely have some serious competition with an established digital footprint and lots of organic search results. Initially, you're going to have to spend more to secure a top rank in search.
Remember you need a place to log all of the data you are collecting from the campaign, such as calls, chats, and form entries. A customer relationship management system will help you go the most out of your campaigns and maximize the customer lifetime value of each new customer.
Investing in Google Advertising, and letting experts that know how to maximize your returns is a smart way to go, but you need an agency that is proven, specializes in your industry. Be straight forward and realistic about your expectations when you're communicating your goals to an agency. Don’t be afraid to ask the 8 important questions above, if they dodge them or can't give you a direct answer walk away, you deserve to get the best team for the job.
I recommend starting with a month-to-month deal initially and stay in regular communication with your agency in the beginning, make sure they deliver reports you’re expecting, on-time, every time. If you are not clear about something ask for clarity on exactly what they are doing and ask them to show you their work logs and correlate efforts to improved results.
Google Ads may be the agency’s expertise, but this is your business on the line, you deserve honesty. Stay firm to your terms and be open-minded to the data you collect and you will set the business up for long term success.