What Does a PPC Management Company Do?
PPC management companies oversee the online paid advertising efforts of their clients. For those unfamiliar with the term, PPC stands for pay-per-click and encompasses a broad range of digital ad formats, from the search ads you see at the top of Google to video ads you see on YouTube.
It’s a PPC company’s job to manage online ad campaigns for different clients, making sure the right ads show to the right people at the right time, within a given budget.
Every PPC company will approach account management differently. For example, some agencies may specialize in one platform like Google Ads or Facebook, while others manage ads in multiple platforms. Some companies may be more hands-on with account management, while others rely more on a platform’s machine learning to take the lead on changes and optimizations.
In the end, a company’s approach depends on their capabilities and resources, plus the needs of the businesses they serve. Nevertheless, while approaches can vary, all PPC companies provide the same overall service of managing online paid advertising campaigns.
Below, take a closer look at the responsibilities of a PPC management company, which fall into three overarching categories:
The first responsibility of any PPC management company is to set up the campaign and lay the foundation for success. This involves several steps such as devising a campaign structure, creating ads and implementing conversion tracking. However, it starts with strategy.
Developing a strong strategy is essential for running an effective ad campaign, and it’s one of the first things a PPC management agency should do.
To form an effective strategy, the PPC agency will need to gain an understanding of their client’s business objectives and marketing goals. What’s the purpose of the paid advertising campaign? Does the client want to drive more phone calls? Get more newsletter sign-ups? Increase online purchases? Grow brand awareness?
Additionally, this process involves getting to know the target audience and any customer personas the client may have outlined. Furthermore, agencies will need to identify the key performance indicators (KPIs) that can help measure success, such as impression share, click-through rate (CTR), conversions, lead quality or revenue.
All of this information helps create a comprehensive strategy. Once the strategy is in place, it will inform the remainder of the campaign setup, from campaign type and location targeting to conversion tracking.
Campaign setup involves a variety of factors, many of which vary by platform and campaign type. Tasks may include setting up:
- Ad groups
- Ad extensions such as sitelinks, location extensions and callouts
- Location targeting
- Audience and demographic targeting
- Placements or topics
- Content exclusions
- Dynamic ad targets
- Bid strategies
- Landing page
- Conversion tracking
Once a PPC company has set up and launched the campaign, the next step is to build out appropriate reporting to monitor performance and guide optimization.
In addition to setting up campaigns, one of the most important things a PPC management company does is reporting. Reports should be customized to the client’s KPIs and delivered on a regular basis, such as bi-weekly, monthly, or quarterly.
Different PPC agencies use different platforms for reporting. Some may use Excel, for example, while others may use Google Data Studio. Some companies may provide static reports, while others offer dynamic reporting dashboards where the data updates in real time.
Regardless of the platform they use, PPC companies should ensure reports contain information relevant to their clients’ goals. Most reports will incorporate graphs and charts to help convey complex data in a visual and easy-to-understand manner. Many will also include benchmarks and comparisons to help put the data into context.
The level of sophistication in reporting can vary based on an agency’s resources and expertise, as well as the client’s needs. Some clients may only want to see ad-level metrics like clicks and impressions. Others may want a deeper analysis into website engagement, lead quality and ROI.
Some PPC management companies will bring in data from multiple sources to give their clients a more comprehensive picture. For example, a client may have a campaign running on Instagram, but reporting data from Google Analytics can help the client better understand the other channels through which users are coming to their website, and how they’re engaging once they’re there.
This information can be a value-add and give businesses a more holistic view of their online presence.
In the end, reports not only keep the client informed of campaign performance but also allow the PPC agency to analyze data and gain insights. This leads to data-driven decisions and tactics that can help optimize the campaign.
The third main area of responsibility for PPC management companies is optimization. This is an ongoing process of managing and tweaking the campaign to improve efficiencies and performance.
The optimization decisions a PPC company makes should derive from data and serve the goals of their clients. A client focused on lead quality, for example, will require very different tactics than a client whose goal is to grow brand awareness.
PPC optimization tactics include:
- A/B testing
- Bid strategy changes
- Budget shifts
- Ad scheduling
- Targeting adjustments
- Negative keywords
- Audience observations
- Beta features like image extensions
- Bid adjustments
In addition to the above, PPC companies need to keep up with platform changes like new ad products and policy updates. This is a crucial part of keeping a campaign optimized and avoiding costly missteps.
For example, Google Ads recently removed age, zip code and other targeting capabilities for advertisers in a handful of verticals. If a PPC agency was unaware of this change or failed to address it, an affected client’s ads could have stopped serving due to policy noncompliance.
For this and many other reasons, businesses that are interested in obtaining PPC management services should be sure the agency they choose is attentive, proactive, and knowledgeable.
Are you searching for PPC services for your business? Keep reading to learn what you should look for in a PPC management company to ensure you receive high-quality services.
What to Look For in a PPC Management Company
Businesses should be selective when choosing a PPC management company. You want to be sure your brand, your messaging and your media spend dollars are in good hands.
While searching for the right fit, it can be helpful to know what to look for as you evaluate different companies and try to make a decision.
Qualities to look for in a PPC management company include:
- Expertise. A team consisting of PPC experts can maximize your paid media investment and deliver the best results.
- Transparency. Make sure the agency is straightforward about pricing and the scope of services they can provide.
- Responsiveness. If questions or issues related to your campaign arise, you’ll want a PPC company that responds quickly and works with you to find a solution.
- Initiative. Working with a proactive PPC company that brings innovative strategies to the table can help you stay a step ahead of competitors.
For more information about paid advertising, view our Complete Guide to PPC.