July 1st, 2016 // Alison Pierre
You’ve heard some rumors about Google AdWords. Rumors like, “It’s a waste of your time, it’s way too expensive, take your ads somewhere else.” And yet Google remains the king of all search traffic. It’s its own damn verb, for Google’s sake. What is Google AdWords good for if so many businesses supposedly shouldn’t use it?
You’re sure your business would find some form of success on there, but there’s one rather significant roadblock. You have no clue how to do it. Whether the rumors are true or not, you need some AdWords help ASAP.
The rumors likely come from people who think they’re pay per click (PPC) professionals. They aren’t. It’s not completely their fault. Some believe they tried everything they could, but AdWords is a tricky platform to truly master. Others, though, are too embarrassed to admit defeat. They’d rather tarnish the advertising service’s name as something the underdog businesses can’t afford to make worthwhile. These are the AdWords “professionals” you don’t want to hire.
A true PPC expert will be able to uncover where these so-called pros went wrong. They enjoy the hunt for those hidden opportunities. They actually spend time in your account. They drive themselves to get you the best return on investment (ROI) possible. They’re honest about your campaign performance. If it sucks, they’ll tell you it sucks. If it’s performing beautifully, they’ll toast to your great success.
But how do you find and hire a Google AdWords professional like this? Here are some tips to help you distinguish a pro from a faux.
Getting the thumbs up from Google doesn’t make someone a clear winner, but being AdWords certified is a step in the right direction. It’s just simple logic. If you’re in the digital marketing industry and claim to be an expert who can help companies excel at AdWords, why wouldn’t you be certified? If someone reaches out to your call for AdWords help and doesn’t have the Google Partner badge on their website, proceed with caution. If they haven’t taken the time to become one, who says they’ll take the time to help with your account?
Luckily, it’s stupidly simple to track down a Partner on your own. Just visit the Google Partners website, select help with online advertising, enter a preferred location if you have one, and generate a list right away. Up front you can get a taste of what the agency or individual is all about. You see their minimum monthly budget, the industries and areas where they shine the most, and more. When it’s this easy to get seemingly solid leads, there’s no reason to waste time with someone who doesn’t have the badge unless their skills and experience really stand out.
Before a Google AdWords professional is handed the reins to advertise for you, they’ll have to market themselves to you. Don’t leave a stone – or previous employment – unturned. Check into their work history, even more than you would a regular employee. After all, you’ll be paying this person to manage your account ON TOP OF having them handle the budget you’re spending on advertising. That’s a lot of money for you to hand to the wrong person. You don’t want to hand that over to some guy with a long trail of failed partnerships and underperforming accounts in their past. They’ll run your budget dry, say AdWords “just wasn’t working,” take their management fees, and hightail it out of there if they see you’re catching on to them.
Signs of a promising background? A good client portfolio is a start. It’s even better if those clients leave reviews on the website or the professional’s LinkedIn page. Business owners won’t publicly endorse someone who did them wrong. Internet recommendations are golden. They’re in digital marketing, they should know this.
So they say they’re an expert. How did they get there? Did your potential professional learn the tricks of AdWords on their own dime? Did they learn while in the comfort of a secure job, working for a large agency, where bad performance didn’t personally affect them?
If they answer “yes” to the first scenario, it shows some serious promise. Sure, making expensive mistakes in general can hurt. But making expensive mistakes with your own hard-earned money is downright devastating. There’s nothing quite like spending $1,000 in your own account and then realizing it could have been put to profitable use if you had done X, Y, or Z. You’ll never make that mistake again, huh? Throwing yourself into the thick of your account is the quickest, most efficient way to learn. When someone creates their own AdWords success, they’re in a better position to help you with yours.
That’s not to say that someone answering “yes” to the second scenario is some lazy-employee-turned-con-artist trying to make a quick buck off of you. You’ll have to go off of your gut instinct and dig a little deeper into their experience, that’s all.
You’re looking into spending money on Google’s advertising space because you’re hoping to get more revenue in return, right? That’s how it should be. Some increased brand awareness from having ads appear on Google is a great benefit, but it’s probably not the cool factor that you’re aiming for. If a better ROI is your goal, make sure it’s a goal your AdWords professional shares as well.
You’d be surprised by how many PPC agencies skirt around this. They may try to brush off a poor ROI with the fact that your ads are getting a ton of clicks, as if that’s the most important metric to measure. The honest translation here is: you’re getting clicks that are costing you more money than you’re making off of this whole ordeal. It’s just one warning sign of a strategy that isn’t working. If it’s not working now, how will it work in the future? Of course they won’t tell you this, because then they’d lose the cash they’re making from managing your account.
You can always expect to pay more up front to get the ball rolling, but you’re doing this to ensure you’ll make a profit in the future. Make ROI your priority. A real professional will be able to back up their work with numbers that prove they’re helping you achieve that goal.
If you’re brand new to this area of digital marketing, have them review your website and market to evaluate what you can expect from PPC. If you’ve already made an attempt at running an AdWords campaign in the past, have them review the account. It’s beneficial for both of you. You already know that your attempts weren’t working, otherwise you wouldn’t be bringing in help. They should be able to tell you why it tanked and have suggestions on how to reverse it. It’s their time to shine and show you exactly what their plans would be for your account.
On their end of things, doing an evaluation gives them a look at whether they can do anything for you to begin with. An honest professional will tell you if they can’t help you and why. Maybe your strict budget is too low to work with. Maybe they found that your niche market won’t perform well right now because there simply isn’t enough search traffic for it. They should never take on an account that they see as a lost cause from the start.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that you’re taking a risk either way. There’s no doubt about it. You’d be insane to think that paying someone else to handle your advertising budget isn’t risky. It’s simply a risk you have to take if you realistically can’t manage PPC yourself and want to take the next step in your marketing efforts.
Keep that caution in the back of your mind, but keep your expectations optimistic all the same. This could be the best move you make for your business. Hopefully these tips will help you narrow down your selection to a reputable Google AdWords professional and not a PPC flake.
Alison Pierre is an SEO & Content Writer at Digital Position. Alison has a degree in Professional Writing. She is an experienced marketer with years of experience who is responsible for hundreds of articles spanning across all marketing channels.