Are you an e-commerce craft brand looking to outsource your Google Ads? Andy and Lindsey talk about the top 5 tips they have for hiring a Google Ads or PPC agency. From measured results to honesty & transparency–they cover it all!
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Top 5 Tips for Selecting a Google Ads Agency
On this episode of E-Commerce Marketing with the Pitbulls, Andy and Lindsey compare notes. Each was tasked with – separately – making a list of the top 5 things craft brands specifically, but other brands as well should look for when making the decision to hire an agency for your Google Ads campaigns. Our focus is on businesses trying to sell really strong, valuable, passion-filled products online.
Before getting on camera, neither Andy nor Lindsey shared their list with each other. Will there be any overlap? Will they each find the same points important?
Lindsey’s Top 5
The Agency Meets You Where You Are
- This includes your knowledge of technical jargon and strategy.
- When you ask about something, do they explain it to you or do they just tell you they have it covered?
- You should be able to connect with them and understand what they are doing.
- They work with you one-on-one.
They Understand Your Industry
- They understand the tools of the trade that support your specific industry.
- They are on top of new integrations and new apps.
- Knows different industries; what works and what doesn’t.
- They can come up with recommendations when they hear specific craft brand problems.
- They should keep you updated on their strategy and what they’re actually doing.
- Weekly or bi-weekly meetings to update you.
- They could send regular reports or have a dashboard you can log into.
- They should be letting you know when things are going well, and when things aren’t working out.
- They should be upfront about when things aren’t going well.
- They should have a plan to combat or support things that aren’t working.
- If things aren’t going as they should be, your agency should be able to recognize it, call it out, and let you know about it.
- Then they propose a plan, or a few ideas, on how to rectify it.
Be Willing to Walk Away
- Not every agency will be a good fit; sometimes you have to try a couple to find the right one.
- Be on the lookout for agencies that hold your accounts hostage, talk down to you, or try to bully you into buying more hours or re-signing on a package; that’s an agency to walk away from.
- Find an agency that doesn’t mind a clean break when it’s just not working or isn’t a great fit.
- Make sure you own your own accounts.
- Your email needs to be the Admin on your Google account.
- They should want you to use your credit card for Google; don’t let them bill you for that.
- Walk away from any agency that guarantees results.
- Be wary of long-term contracts. They’re not all bad as it does take time to establish, but if it’s not a good fit, you have to have a way to have an amicable breakup. Month-to-month is best; otherwise, keep the contract as short as possible.
Andy’s Top 5
Understands You and Your Brand.
- They should want to know the special attributes of your product; what makes it unique.
- They should want to know the founder’s story.
- It’s important that the agency isn’t going to come in and give you a cookie-cutter solution.
- It’s important that they take the time to learn about your goals. Do you want a higher ROAS? Do you want more customers? Is the first-time sale more important to you or the lifetime sales from that customer? Are you trying to move stale inventory or do you want to focus on a specific product line?
RED FLAG: Not asking a ton of questions to get to know you and your brand at a deep level.
RED FLAG: The agency dictating the goals for the campaign and saying they’re going to run a brand awareness campaign.
- You should know what ads every dollar goes into.
- What is the outcome of each campaign? How many clicks to the website? How many of those clicks resulted in a purchase? How many added items to their cart and then abandoned them?
- They need to be willing and able to measure every single thing that comes out of those ads.
- ROAS is a common metric, but it doesn’t have to be the primary one. Just make sure there is a metric that is being measured.
- Make sure there’s accountability and the agency has a report for every dollar you spend.
- There are many types of Google Ads; the agency you select should know the difference and use the right ones for E-commerce.
- They should be experienced in using products-based, feed-based, and catalog-based type ads.
- They should know how to pull the data off your site and how to clean it up for optimization.
- They should be willing to use Google’s machine learning engine and use automated strategies instead of manual bidding strategies.
- They should be using broad match or phrase match keywords.
- They should be using responsive search ads.
Know How PPC Fits in the Big Picture
- Make sure they know how Google Ads fit into the big picture of your business.
- How does it fit with email strategy and with social media – both separately and in conjunction with each other?
- It goes back to that transparency piece – you want an agency that will be honest if they think Google Ads isn’t right for your business right now.
- Likewise, if they see you throwing money away in another area that’s not working, they will let you know.
At a high level, your agency needs to take the time to get to know your business, industry, and goals. Make sure they are crafting a strategy specific to what you’re trying to get done. Again, you want someone who is open, honest, and transparent about what they’re doing and what kind of results they’re getting. Lastly, make sure you own your accounts, protect yourself, and don’t sign lengthy contracts.