Whether you’re a large corporation or a small business, if you’re buying PPC services from a provider or agency, there are some fundamental things you should know to get the most of your service.
1 – Keywords list versus search terms report
Your agency and/or specialist should be
able to export the keywords they are going to be bidding on for you. Most PPC agencies will provide a keywords list for your review prior to launching the campaign. If they don’t ask you to review keywords before they start bidding on them, ask them to provide the list. Ask the agency to provide a keywords list
showing match types, campaigns, and ad groups.
Ensure the keywords you bid on appear on your site. These will have the best quality scores, and the best user experience. Also, in most cases, these will yield the most conversions. If you want to advertise a new service you’re offering, make sure to put some text on your site first, or create a landing page specifically for it.
Once your agency or PPC provider has been running your keywords and ads for a while, you can occasionally ask for a “search terms report.” This will show search queries which users have searched, and your ads have come up for. This may be a long list, so sort this by impressions and/or clicks. Make sure you’re spending the majority of your money on clicks that are relevant to your business. Understand that this list may consider a fair amount of junk and inconsistency, users can search for some off-the-wall things.
Make sure you provide your agency or specialist with information to include in negative keywords. For example, if your a dentist and you do not work with certain insurance companies, provide the names to your agency.
2 – Campaign and Ad Group Structure
When reviewing the keyword list we mentioned above, the list should show campaigns and ad groups. Looking at the structure of the campaigns and ad groups will give you a good idea of how well organized the agency is, and a good idea of how well your campaign will perform. A well-constructed campaign will mature and grow to show much better results than a broadly constructed campaign. Make sure the campaigns aren’t named “Campaign #1” and ad groups aren’t named “ad group #1” or anything generic. If your ad groups are not narrow, your ads will be general and perform less effectively.
It’s most important to understand that ad groups should be separated based on services you provide, and should be as narrow as possible. So if you’re a car dealer, you should have ad groups for individual top-selling car models, with ads that relate to that specific model.
3 – Keyword To Ad Relevancy
This goes hand-in-hand with the Campaign and Ad Group structure. Make sure the ad text reflects the keywords you’re bidding on. For example, if you’re a Ford car dealer bidding on “Ford Focus” keywords, make sure the ads are specific to the Ford Focus, and not general Ford ads. This would most likely be in a “Ford Focus” ad group.
4 – PPC Specialists Can’t Create Search Volume
Understand what your search volume is. The PPC agency can provide this for you, using the Keyword Planner tool. This will show you what the average search volume is in a specific area. Note that the results from the Keyword Planner tool show the search volume for exact match only. If there are certain search queries you are interested in seeing volume data for, simply ask your agency and they should be able to provide it for you.
5 – Establish Realistic Goals Prior to Launch
Know what you’re key performance indicators (KPIs) are, and make them clear to the agency. If you’re looking for calls, clicks, or impressions (branding) from your PPC ads, make sure you clearly establish this with your agency. Also, make sure your website is structured to facilitate these conversions. For example, if you are hoping for phone calls, make sure your site is mobile-friendly, with a clickable phone number in plain sight for a user.
If you’ve worked with an agency in the past, provide reporting if possible. Tell your agency why you were dissatisfied with your previous experience and what you’re hoping for. Do not be ambiguous here, and do not “hide” reporting, so as to force your new agency to fight an uphill battle.
Make sure your goals are realistic. If you’re only spending a small amount in a competitive industry, it will be hard for your agency to provide results. In most cases, the Keyword Planner tool (mentioned in #4 here) can provide suggested bids. Although this is just an estimate, it should give you an idea as to what to expect with your budget.