So this is a message really to our Clients more than anyone else, but it is also highly relevant to anyone that Advertises using Google Adwords.
In the beginning – right – Google Adwords was nice and simple – you choose the keywords, you wrote the Adverts and you paid on a pretty straight-forward auction based system. If you paid a bit more than someone else – your advert showed up a little bit higher than theirs. It was straight-forward and easy to understand and of course flawed. The people with the deepest pockets regularly pushed other advertisers off the system.
Where are we today… well Google Adwords has developed into a mammoth product, highly optimisable, fully featured, and with a ton of gadgets and gizmos to advertise all over the place and a myriad of ways to allow advertisers to spend money whether they know what they are doing or not.
Now my whinge – we’ve seen a spate of clients disappearing on the promise of some other expert being better than us. Apart of the unscrupulous nature of competitors stealing business (no real harm there), their promises are so often complete off this world it has us really worried. Where is the integrity, where’s the research and where’s the realism. So I’ll take some real life examples and mention no names:
- Client 1
Approached by another dedicated PPC Management company – this client was told for a one off fee they would be able to set up their Google Adwords to run for ever, with a check up in 6 months time.
Result: The campaign is now running at nearly 6 times the CPA – where we were getting Cost-per-Acquisition down to around £10 Adwords spend per sale, the client and the new PPC provider is getting Sales for around £60 of Adwords spend.
Lesson 1: Do I need to tell clients Adwords need constant and daily management for it to work effectively.
- Client 2
Approached by an American PPC Manager who outsourced to India – this client has been promised no-result/no-fee to bring their Advertising to Revenue Ratio down from £28 in £100 which we were getting to £20 in hundred… It’s a desirable target – there’s no question and one we’d be delighted to achieve.
Result: The campaign will run and what will happen will happen and I’m hoping for the very best I really am… but the client is now in significant risk… All it takes is for the PPC Manager to realise he can’t make the target and he’ll give up – leaving a mess at a critical time. There is no incentive for the PPC Manager to make this work if the target is even remotely hard to achieve. This is an Adwords account that we believe is fully optimised already – thus to make it a third better – is surely a very tough task.
Lesson 2: Running Adwords based on unrealistic targets for a no-result/no-fee is a high risk strategy that can easily back fire.
- Client 3
Approached by another Web Design Agency that runs PPC Campaigns – well we do this – so I shouldn’t complain, but we do not actively take clients from other Agencies, that’s a no no for us. Of course we accept that a client might not be happy with our services and then of course they have the prerogative to choose another supplier of the service in question.
Result: In this case nothing… – no word from the new supplier – and I’m not sure if we’ll get one… but if they have just gone ahead and set up all new Adwords accounts for the client – then there is a huge risk they have compromised that client’s website – there will be no historical data, no examples of what has happened before and no economies in making the campaigns better.
Lesson 3: Really is for our clients here – make sure a proper hand over takes place – put us in touch with the new people and make it happen – we’re happy to do that.
State of PPC Management Companies
Frankly – I worry – Yes the Google Adwords, as a product has grown hugely in the last few years and Yes there is a real need for website owners to understand and manage Google Adwords themselves. But be aware and very careful about who you choose to provide PPC Management services for you.
Having myself recently need to a Google Event for ‘teaching’ Adwords management – the room was full… in fact Google always fills the room every day, in many locations up and down the country, there are simply hundreds of people wanting to learn Google Adwords and 90% of them are PPC Management companies (a warning within itself).
A slick salesman – with an average team behind him will usually charge 20% of Adspend these days… So for every £500 you spend they will take £100… And you may well have nothing to show for it.
I don’t normally write about this sort of thing… I’m not being a sore loser, but I am deeply worries, accounts that we have managed for years to the very best of our ability for good or bad are being taken over by in most cases far shadier people than ourselves. Our ability to manage Adwords at the prices we charge under the pressures we put under is huge. It’s basically not worth it for us.
We’ve been managing Adwords Accounts here for 15 years – when it first came out, we’ve taken Clients to some incredible returns, we’ve suffered the set backs that happen and we’ve experienced the products that don’t work on Adwords as much as we’ve seen them work and we’ve consistently run Adwords in a completely ethical and uncompromising way – giving our clients the very best chance to succeed.
I’ll stop now… but really come on Clients of ours – be aware – yes there are lots of PPC Management companies out there – but really can then do a better job than us?