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The average small to mid-sized business spends about $10,000 annually on Google Ads.
Naturally, there are a lot of agencies and experts offering their “Google Ads Management Services” right now. If you’re planning to hire someone to optimize your campaigns and are wondering what to look for, this article is for you.
When searching for a Google Ads agency or consultant to manage your advertising campaigns, you’re obviously looking for a measurable ROI on your ad spend, so you need to be careful about who you give this responsibility to.
There are several important factors to consider to ensure you’re choosing a reputable and effective partner. Over the course of my career in the pay-per-click (PPC) advertising and search engine optimization industry, I’ve learned that these are the most critical factors to consider when hiring a Google Ads agency.
1. Experience and expertise
Look for agencies or consultants with a proven track record of managing successful Google Ads campaigns. Ask about their experience working with businesses similar to yours regarding industry, size and goals. I recommend firms with no fewer than 10 years of Google Ads management experience to their name.
2. Google Partner certification
Google Partner certification indicates that the agency or consultant has demonstrated expertise in Google Ads. Google Partners have passed Google’s certification exams and meet certain performance criteria that, while imperfect, provide a good baseline standard for establishing trust.
3. Services offered
Consider your specific needs. Do you need help with campaign setup, optimization or both? Make sure the agency or consultant offers services that align with your requirements. If you don’t know where to start, ensure that your agency offers a “full service” solution to help you from end to end.
4. Customization and strategy
A good agency or consultant should take the time to understand your business goals and develop a tailored strategy for your campaigns. Avoid those that offer a one-size-fits-all approach.
Transparency is crucial. The agency or consultant should provide clear insights into campaign performance, including data on clicks, impressions, conversions and costs. Regular reporting should be part of their service, including KPI tracking.
Open and frequent communication is essential. Choose an agency or consultant that is responsive and keeps you informed about campaign updates, changes and results as they happen. Sluggish response times or waiting a day or longer for a reply is a non-starter.
7. Budget management
Ensure the agency can effectively manage your budget to achieve the best possible results. They should be capable of optimizing your campaigns to deliver the highest ROI without cost overruns. Google Ads makes it easy to assign budgets and spending targets, so there is no excuse for an agency to run over these preset figures.
8. Technological tools
Ask about the tools and software they use to manage and track campaigns. Advanced tools can help optimize campaigns more efficiently and effectively.
While the Google Ads dashboard provides some solid insights, other tools like Fluency, WordStream and SEMrush provide more advanced analytics (note: I’m not involved or associated with any of these companies).
9. Case studies and references
Request case studies or references from previous clients. This can provide insights into the agency’s or consultant’s ability to deliver results. Review the submitted materials before making any hiring decision with a Google Ads agent.
10. Ethical practices
Ensure the agency follows ethical advertising practices and adheres to Google Ads’ policies. Avoid agencies that promise unrealistic results or engage in black-hat tactics that may result in a Google penalty that harms your SEO performance.
Questions to ask potential candidates
When evaluating a Google Ads agency or consultant, asking the right questions can help you gauge their expertise, approach and suitability for your business. Here are some essential questions to ask:
1. What other services do you offer? Clarify the range of services they provide. This could include campaign setup, keyword research, ad copywriting, ongoing optimization, tracking setup and more.
2. How do you determine the appropriate budget for our campaigns? A knowledgeable agency should be able to explain how they calculate and allocate budgets for maximum ROI.
3. How do you measure and report campaign performance? Ask about the metrics they track, the reporting frequency and the level of detail you can expect in their reports.
4. Can you explain your approach to keyword research and targeting? This question helps you assess their approach to finding relevant keywords and targeting the right audience segments.
5. How do you handle ad creatives and copywriting? Their response will give you insight into their ability to create compelling ads that resonate with your audience.
6. How do you stay updated with Google Ads trends and changes? Look for agencies that emphasize continuous learning and staying up-to-date with the latest industry developments.
7. How do you optimize campaigns for better performance? Their optimization strategy should involve monitoring, adjusting bids, refining targeting and A/B testing ad variations.
8. What is your pricing structure and payment terms? Ensure that their Google Ads billing structure matches the industry standard pricing model.
9. What happens if campaign performance isn’t meeting expectations? A reliable agency should have a plan for addressing underperforming campaigns and making necessary adjustments.
10. Can you provide a clear timeline for campaign setup and launch? Having a timeline will help you understand when to expect your campaigns to go live and start generating results.
Twenty years after its initial launch, Google Ads is still the number one game in town when it comes to PPC advertising. Although used by many, it’s a difficult marketing channel to perfect. A qualified Google Ads consultant or agency can help you create or refine your Google Ads strategy so that you can make the most of your ad spend.
By following the steps I’ve outlined above, and asking the right questions, I believe you can maximize your chances of landing a top-notch Google Ads partner for the job.