10 Questions You Must Ask Before You Choose a Google Ads Agency
Hiring a Google Ads agency is not an easy decision. You should fully understand the impact on your business. From our experience, we’ve seen how this decision can affect e-commerce or lead-generation businesses both positively and negatively. There are a lot of good agencies out there, you just need to do your research and ask the right questions. So, we’ll walk you through some of the top questions you should consider when looking at an agency to help you grow your business.
As more and more businesses use Google Ads in their digital advertising plan, more agencies are needed to assist these businesses. Part of the problem is that many agencies claim to be #1, but not everyone can be in that top position, so how do you know which is the best for you?
What makes one agency better for you than another? Most companies don’t know where to start or what to ask, so we came up with ten questions that will get you going.
#1 Are They Certified?
Certification is one of the easiest things to find out if an agency is qualified to work on your account. Why is certification necessary? Being certified means they are up to standard with Google Ads; they know the rules, follow policies, and meet the minimum monthly spending threshold. Meeting these qualifications ensures that their experience isn’t lacking.
What you don’t want to do is take a company’s word for it. Many companies will just display a logo so they are perceived as being certified or qualified. You will want to go and check; it’s effortless. Search for their agency’s name in the registry, or most agencies will link from their certification directly to their online profile. If you’re not able to find a profile, you may want to ask them about it.
Beyond just being certified, you should also take the time to make sure they have qualifications in different areas. Google Ads offers several certifications, such as video advertising, display advertising, search advertising, and shopping. You can determine what kinds of campaigns you might be running and check if their certification matches your needs. Also, be sure to check how many people they have certified. Many large agencies hire inexperienced advertisers that are not certified and those individuals are the ones they assign to your account. Check if your direct account manager is certified and ask them to prove it. Any reputable agency will proudly show you their certifications directly on the certified partner website.
#2 Results, Results, Results
With everything in life, results are important. As a business deciding to work with an agency, proven results should be at the top of your list. Look at past results and any case studies they’ve published. Why are these important in making a decision? This will allow you to understand if this agency is an expert in executing and driving the right results for you or your brand. They can share case studies or direct results from similar brands or campaigns so that you can understand their experience and the possible expected results you might get if you invest a similar budget. If it’s a good agency, they will have case successes and information that they will be more than happy to share specific results and expectations with you.
Agencies should be spending as much time vetting you, as you are. An excellent digital advertising agency will want to understand your goals, past results, plans, and whether or not the fit is right for them. Don’t fall for agencies that work with anyone, that means that they don’t care about getting you results. The agency should be trying to understand what you have done in the past, what have you had success on, what have you struggled with; all these areas will provide them insights if they can in fact do a better job than you or your previous agency has done before them.
The questions they should be asking could be related to understanding your business, your industry, goals, and your target audience. If the agency isn’t asking you the right questions, chances are they don’t care if they can or will get you results you need, and chances are they want to score your business.
#4 Management System
Do they have a project management system? This is not critical to hiring a Google Ads agency, but it could be a great tool to understand how organized they are and how they work. What tools are they providing to understand what is happening in the project? Do they allow you to ‘see’ what each team member is working on and doing? A project management system will provide insights into the work being done and many times, in addition to the activities, you can house reporting, files, and content in one place, allowing you the brand and the entire team at the agency a communication platform. Which brings us to the next point.
Communication is critical to the success of your campaigns. You shouldn’t expect daily communications from a busy agency; you want them to invest their time in managing your account. However, you should know when you can expect communication and how often. More importantly, you should be provided contact information where you can contact someone in the event of an important update. Your agency should be able to clearly identify when and how they will be communicating with you so you have clear expectations set before you begin.
#6 Reporting Systems
An agency you’re looking to work with doesn’t have to have a fancy 3rd party reporting system. Still, you should understand what reporting will be available to you, and what you will regularly be receiving in regards to reporting. You also want to understand the cadence of reporting which is usually monthly. Monthly data can be compared versus the previous month and that month compared to the previous year. This information is critical to understanding how your results trending month over month against last year’s data. The agency you hire should be providing this level of reporting regularly.
Also, more importantly, the agency you consider should be discussing with you from very early stages, what statistics or key performance indicators you need to make informed business decisions. Don’t be fooled by a lot of bells and whistles with reporting; what is essential in the reporting process is that you are receiving the information you need to make the best business decisions based on data and not on opinion.
#7 Key Performance Indicators
Your agency should provide Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) as mentioned in the last section. KPIs are essential and should focus on your business goals, which may or may not include the standard data from Google Ads such as impressions, clicks, and click-through rates. They should be focused on metrics based on your business goals and what you are trying to achieve. For example, your KPIs will be different if your campaign goals are sales or branding. Sales KPIs may include ROI-focused metrics, where branding campaigns focus on reach and impressions. Understand what KPIs your agency has set up for campaigns similar to yours and don’t be afraid to ask questions and really understand what those data points mean.
A good agency will be able to provide insights into the data, the trends in that data, and what it means to your campaign.
#8 Experience In Your Industry
Does your agency have experience in your industry? It’s not a make or break question but it’s an important point to speak about with the agency you are considering. Get a full understanding of what kind of experience this agency has. If not in the same industry, how will their experience in similar verticals or campaigns correlate to what they may implement in your account? Have they run other strategies with similar or complementary type brands? What kind of results or how much experience do they have in those areas? Don’t be afraid to ask them in-depth questions and have them explain different scenarios or strategies that they think might be similar to yours. This insight will allow you to understand if this agency can handle a campaign or account similar to yours.
#9 Long-Term Contracts
The question among questions, do they want to lock you into long-term contracts? Most agencies that are comfortable with their abilities, use the latest technology, and keep up to speed on the ever-changing opportunities in the industry have a level of confidence in their ability to keep you happy and get you the results you want. If they do, chances are they don’t require a long-term contract. If an agency wants to lock you in for the long-term, you may not be able to make changes or get out of it if you are not satisfied with their abilities or results.
#10 In The End, It’s Up To You
Ask as many questions as you want when hiring an agency. You could go through each of these recommended points we’ve highlighted above. In the end, it all boils down to you so be sure you have completely and comfortably vetted the agency based on the questions we have provided and as many more as you need to help you make your decision.
Here are a few additional things you should keep in mind:
- Do they have experience with landing pages? Specifically, landing pages for your type of business (e-Commerce or Lead Generation)
- What messages and calls to action do they use in their campaigns?
- Do they perform A/B split testing? This is important to allow them to get better results.
- Who will be managing your account? Understanding the actual team that will be working with you.
Most importantly, keep in mind that you will be working with people, so you must make sure that you feel comfortable with the team you choose to work with and whether you think they care about your results. Then you can determine if working together will be a good fit.
Best of Luck….