Hiring a professional search engine marketing agency can make a big difference in the success of your paid search strategies. But how can you tell if you’re hiring the right one? Now that online search plays such a key role in purchasing decisions, it seems that practically every Internet marketing agency has added search engine marketing to the list of services they provide. Weeding out the agencies that merely claim they know paid search from the genuine search engine marketing professionals can be difficult, especially if you’ve always relied on in-house staff to manage your paid search strategies in the past. We’ve put together a list of questions that can help. While these are certainly not all the questions you should ask a professional search marketing agency, they will help you determine if you are hiring the right SEM agency to handle your paid search needs.
Who will manage our PPC campaigns?
A professional PPC agency should be willing to identify the specific personnel who will be responsible for your paid search campaigns. Ideally, the agency will have a dedicated SEM professional in charge of your account who will handle all the work related to your paid search campaigns. Some of the larger agencies will have a team that splits the work; that may be acceptable provided there is a single manager who is responsible for overseeing the team and ensuring the success of your paid search strategies.
Are you a virtual agency or do you have a physical office location?
Don’t judge an agency solely on how their website looks or what their marketing content claims. An agency that appears to be a fully staffed, well-established firm from their website material may actually be a single person working out of their basement.
This is one area where working with a local agency is a huge advantage.
When you hire a local SEM firm, you can go to the agency’s actual mortar and bricks location to determine how established the firm is. You can gain first-hand knowledge of the firm’s professionalism and meet the actual staff members who will be working on your account.
Do you provide your customers with right of access to all PPC data?
Look for an SEM agency that will give you full access to all data related to your company’s paid marketing efforts. Insist that the agency set up your Google AdWords and Analytics account in your company’s name, so you have complete access and rights to all of your PPC account information. This allows you to monitor your sales numbers and verify the costs of your campaigns. This also gives you the freedom to switch to a different SEM company if you wish, without losing vital access to your company’s marketing data.
How do you charge for your services?
There are a variety of ways that internet marketing agencies can charge for search engine marketing services. Some agencies simply charge a percentage of your overall PPC spend; be aware that this pricing model incentivizes agencies to continually push for the highest possible spend. Some agencies charge a flat rate for their SEM services, and others use a combination of the two. Make sure you fully understand how charges will be calculated and insist on having the specific terms written into your contract.
Can you ensure a set specific PPC cost every month?
You should be suspicious of any professional SEM agency that claims that they will have the same specific PPC budget costs every month, because the cost of pay per click campaigns will vary depending on the popularity of keywords and other factors. The best SEM companies instead will set specified PPC budget parameters, agreeing to ensure that your PPC spend will fall within a set budgetary range each month.
What is the time length of your contracts and rights of termination?
Some agencies insist their clients sign a 12-month contract for SEM services, and only permit termination of contract if both parties agree. Signing a contract with these terms can seriously jeopardize the health of your company, since it can leave you stuck paying for sub-standard SEM services for a full year, with no recourse. Search engine marketing professionals that are confident of the quality of their services don’t have to trap their clients; look for an agency that is willing to sign a month to month contract that either party can terminate.
As you search for a professional SEM agency to handle your paid search needs, consider Blue Interactive Agency. We’re a leading provider of professional search engine marketing services with a dedicated staff that has the necessary skills and experience to expertly guide your paid search campaigns. Stop by and visit our office in Fort Lauderdale or call to set up an appointment to discuss what our SEM professionals can do to help ensure the success of your company.
Contact us at Blue Interactive Agency today at 954-613-2347 to hire the right search engine marketing professionals to help ensure your company’s success!