For an ecommerce business, there are a lot of moving pieces to make sure everything runs and the orders get out the doors to your customers. From product development to production and accounting to marketing, many small business owners try to do it all. When your business gets to a certain point — or when you set some lofty goals — sometimes you need to bring in a little help. Agencies and consultants can support you in your goals, helping grow your revenue and expand your business.
Some areas really need an experienced professional to fully maximize the benefits. Digital advertising, also known as pay per click (PPC) marketing, can bring in a lot of traffic from people already searching for what you have to offer. This traffic can convert into sales, making more money for your business.
When you are looking for PPC consulting services, you should understand what a PPC consultant can do for you, what to look for in a consultant and what you should know before launching a PPC advertising campaign. Here’s a guide to understanding what PPC consulting services can do for your business.
What is are PPC Consultants?
A PPC consultant helps your business run digital ads on platforms like Google Ads or Microsoft Bing Ads. PPC specialists are responsible for designing and implementing paid search campaigns to increase brand awareness and generate more leads, opportunities, or sales. Their goal is to create strategic, optimized campaigns that will help you see a return on ad spend (often referred to as ROAS). A PPC consultant wants to see your business get results and grow.
What Is PPC Consulting?
A PPC consultant can do many things for your business. Your situation and contract will determine what exactly it is that your consultant does for you, but as you go into a relationship with a PPC consultant or agency, you should have a general idea of what you want or need from them over the course of your relationship.
Some PPC consultants are focused on simply setting up your account and then handing the reins over to you. This may be okay if you have someone experienced in PPC advertisements on your team, or you have a lot of time and want to be very hands-on with this aspect of your business. But hiring the best PPC consultant to set up your account will ensure that it is properly set up so that you can run the advertisements effectively.
Other consultants will help with set up, and then a PPC consultant will continue with account management. Account management may include ad copy and creative creation, keyword research, campaign implementation, monitoring results, optimizations, reporting, and more. This is what most business owners are looking for, with an expert to do the ongoing, day-to-day work that needs to be done on PPC ads.
Benefits of Working with a PPC Consultant
When you work with a PPC expert, there are several key benefits you can find. With an ad consultant, you will have someone who knows what they are doing so that your account and your advertisements are set up correctly. If your contract allows for account management, your PPC consultant should be monitoring your keyword performance and results regularly, making changes as needed to keep your ads performing at top-notch. Here are some of the benefits many ecommerce businesses have found when running PPC campaigns:
- Bring in immediate results (clicks, sales, and conversions)
- Increase traffic to your website
- Attract qualified sales leads with people searching for your product or service
- Improve brand recognition
- Increase sales
- Use PPC data to improve SEO strategies
- Retarget past customers and past visitors who may have abandoned their carts
5 Things to Look for in PPC Consulting Services
When you are searching for a PPC marketing consultant, it is important that you find the right fit for your business. Sometimes, people specialize in a certain area, so making sure what a PPC consultant has to offer aligns with what you need can help you find the right person the first time. You should be aware of exactly what they can offer you and what they will be doing as they manage your account. Be clear on your needs and expectations, so there aren’t any surprises down the road.
Here are five of the most important things you should look for when seeking out PPC consultants to run your digital marketing campaigns.
- Certifications: Google Adwords Certifications and Google Partner agencies show that the agency and its team members have taken the time to understand pay per click advertising. By taking the time to invest in a certification exam, you can know they will probably take the time to stay up to date on the latest industry news and trends as well. When you are working with a PPC marketing consultant, you want to know that a PPC consultant is invested in your success, and one of the ways they will do this is to spend time learning about their industry so they can help you with yours. Keep in mind that even if they aren’t certified, they still may be qualified — you can use this as a time to research or ask them about their experience and how they stay up to date on industry news.
- Strategy: All ads are not created equally. It doesn’t take a lot of time to throw some advertisements together. But to develop strategic ads and creative elements that will work together to create a quality ad campaign will take time and effort. You don’t simply want ads. You want ads that work. That’s where a strategic PPC consultants can come in. You are paying for the clicks with this type of marketing, but you want to make sure you’re getting the right clicks. A PPC strategy can help turn clicks into conversions by going after the right people who are searching for your product or service.
- Proven Success: Working with PPC consultants who have a history of proven success increases your chances of success with this marketing channel, too. If your consultant has a portfolio or case study to show that they have brought in traffic and revenue for other businesses through PPC advertising, then they know what they are doing and can get you similar results. They understand how to work the platforms, what type of content converts, and how to monitor the campaigns to make adjustments to maximize success. They can apply knowledge from past campaigns they’ve run to your campaign, which increases the odds that your ads will do well.
- Reporting: As much as we’d all love to have someone run marketing or advertising and never have to think about something again, for most small business owners, that’s just not a reality. Many business owners at least want to know about what’s going on in their company, even if they have handed off most of the daily tasks for certain aspects to others. You want to find a consultant who offers you regular reports on the progress of your campaign. This can help you make decisions on potential budget increases for this or future campaigns and can help you see just how many conversions the pay per click campaigns have created for your business.
- Communication: Being able to openly communicate with PPC consultants is critical to your success. You want to be able to share concerns, ask questions, and celebrate wins with them. To have a level of trust and open communication takes time and energy to develop that rapport — on both sides — but once it is established, you’ll be able to have a stronger working relationship that can lead to better results. Aside from monthly reports, you should be able to have regular calls and send an email off to your consultant if you have a question or want to know about how your ads are performing.
3 Questions to Ask PPC Consultants
Once you have narrowed down your paid search, it is time to start interviewing potential PPC ad consultants. In addition to company and campaign-specific questions, there are a few things you should find out about how they operate and how they will run your campaigns. Each of these questions will give you insight into how they plan to work with you and manage your advertising campaigns, so your business gets the most out of them.
- Who owns the account and assets? You want to be sure that you will own the account and all the materials created for your company. Some agencies create a new account within their own Google Ads or Microsoft Bing Ads account and won’t relinquish access to you if you ask. If you and your consultant ever part ways for whatever reason, you should be able to maintain ownership of your advertising account, bid management, ad copy, and all creative elements that went along with your ads. By owning your own account, you will be able to continue running ads even if you decide to hire someone to manage your ads in-house in a few years.
- How proactive will you be about negative keywords for my campaigns? This question might not make a ton of sense if you aren’t experienced in PPC advertising. So to start, let’s help you understand what a negative keyword is: this type of keyword prevents your ad from being triggered by a certain word or phrase, which means you won’t be shown for keywords that don’t matter to you. Sometimes search terms come through that just won’t do anything for you, so making sure your PPC manager will be proactive in adding those negative keywords and filtering them out is important for optimized ad spend.
- How will you track conversions? This is an important one. If conversions are set up the wrong way, it could impact the way you are viewing your results and the success of the campaign. Without having the right tracking in place for phone calls, sales, or other conversion metrics, you and the consultant won’t be able to make the right decisions on keywords, budget, or ads. A knowledgeable PPC pro will be able to set up conversions the right way, so you know exactly how well your ads are working so you can make the important decisions you need to make for your business.
Considerations for PPC Consulting Campaigns
Once you have selected a PPC consulting agency, you need to be prepared to have some conversations so you can get an advertising campaign ready to go. Most consultants will have some sort of onboarding process that will involve discussions and possibly even forms for you to fill out that can help guide your thoughts and plans. The key elements you provide to your consultant will help them to create a PPC strategy and develop campaigns and ads that will help your business grow. Here are the key things you need to be ready to articulate in these conversations so your consultant can create a successful PPC campaign:
- Budget for monthly ad spend (total and per platform). PPC consultants can help guide you if you have questions on what might be a good budget for your goals. Your budget should be aligned with those goals because if the budget is too low, you won’t be able to hit those goals.
- Goals for your PPC campaign. Your goals are going to be unique to your company. If you have sales goals or traffic goals you want to see to consider your campaign a success, share those with PPC consultants so they can effectively drive sales. If you don’t have solid goals yet, you can discuss with your consultant what might be good goals to set and use their expertise to help set those goals.
- What sets you apart from your competition. When you can explain what makes your product or service unique, PPC consultants can use these elements in the ad copy. This can attract attention (and clicks) to your ads when people search for keywords related to what you have to offer.
- The landing page(s) you want to direct people to. If you have a specific product or landing page on your website you want people to go to, give those to PPC consultants. They may have recommendations for that page, or they may recommend making a specific page for your ads. They can help you optimize the page so you can get the full benefits of your PPC campaign.
- Highlight any buyer’s personas or target audience you have. This type of information can help PPC consultants determine the right platforms and targeting for your ads. If most of your customers are of a certain age range, that might point to one platform over another. If you are targeting mostly women, certain language might be more appealing. Whatever information you have on your customers can help your PPC team get your ads in front of the right people.
Measuring the ROI of Your PPC Consulting Services
Once you’ve hired someone for PPC consulting services and they have gotten your ads up and running, it is important to be able to monitor and measure the return on your investment of these marketing services. If you’re planning to continue investing in your business this way, it is key to know that it’s working and you have the right people on your team working on this for your business. Measuring the ROI of your ads via google analytics will let you know how to continue or if you need to have any conversations about changes to your campaign strategy.
So, how exactly can you measure the ROI of your PPC services and PPC consulting?
Your PPC specialist should be sharing metrics with you in your monthly reports. You should be able to have open and honest conversations on regularly scheduled phone calls or meetings. You should be able to access some of the data yourself if you’re curious. There are a few things that can show you how your ads are performing, and your PPC consultant can help you understand all of the information being presented to you.
Here are a few metrics you can look at to determine if your ads are meeting your expectations, accomplishing your goals, and performing well for your business:
- Average click-through rate (CTR)
- Ad quality score
- Impression share (how many people have seen your ad)
- Average cost-per-click (CPC)
- Conversion rate
- Cost per conversion
- Average ad position
Each of those can tell you how your ads are performing and how much return on your investment you are getting. If something isn’t meeting your expectations or you don’t understand something about one of the metrics you look at, ask your PPC consultant. They are there to answer your questions about PPC consulting and help you bring in new business for your company. Your PPC consultant might be able to shed some light on what you’re confused about so that you can better understand the ROI your digital ads are bringing your company.
PPC Campaign Management Services
PPC management services can take a huge time commitment off of business owners while bringing in an expert who truly understands this space. It can be confusing and challenging for someone to set up a PPC account and campaign without having some background knowledge in how these platforms work. That’s why there are so many PPC management services out there that can bring the expertise to your company so you can work on other aspects of your business while your PPC consultant grows your digital ads and conversions.
If you’re looking for a PPC expert to help set up your accounts, create ads, and manage your digital advertising presence, ELK’s PPC Team is ready to help! With full-service PPC management as well as fully managed digital services, ELK can bring together all of your marketing under one roof. From PPC ads to SEO to content to website development, we can help your business grow its digital presence. Whether you are strictly an ecommerce store or you offer professional or legal services to local clients, ELK’s teams have the knowledge and expertise to take your business to the next level. Get in touch today to learn about our PPC services, PPC consulting, or all of our digital services.