Five Reasons To Avoid Large PPC Companies
Over the past 5 or 6 years, there's been a huge transition in the way businesses spend their advertising dollars. Business owners are quickly learning that internet advertising is the most effective and measurable means of advertising for their product or service. Businesses are moving their advertising budgets from traditional advertising methods such as TV, radio and print, over to Pay Per Click Internet Advertising.
Some business owners try to launch their own PPC campaigns without the assistance or guidance of professionals in an effort to save money. This is a huge mistake. In this scenario, the business owner will end up spending way more than if he would have used a consultant. This is due to the business owners lack of knowledge and experience in PPC. PPC ad campaigns have to be set up and structured properly in order to achieve maximum return on investment. If the campaigns are not structured and managed properly, the search engine will charge much higher rates for the traffic being purchased. It takes a lot of time and work to learn PPC marketing, which is why it only makes sense to use a PPC consultant. So it's actually much cheaper to higher a consultant when launching your PPC ad campaigns.
You must be very careful when selecting a PPC consultant or company to work with. While there are a lot of reputable companies that offer a great service, there are plenty of companies that are unscrupulous or just not offering a high value on your dollar.
You should try to find a small company or an independent consultant that will work closely with you and explain everything to you every step of the way. Very large PPC companies are probably the worst to work with. Here's 5 reason to avoid working with large PPC companies:
Overcharging - Typically, the client will pay the PPC company or consultant a monthly fee which will include the advertising cost charged by the search engines and the premium being charged by consultant. The client cannot distinguish between the advertising costs and the fee unless the consultant provides that information to the client. Most companies (especially the large ones) never reveal to the client what they are actually being charged in fees. If a client has a budget of $1000 per month, the client may be getting far less in advertising than what they think, and more of the budget could be going into the pocket of the PPC company than what was negotiated. Always keep the PPC company honest and demand to see what you are paying to the search engine and exactly how much the consulting fees are.
High Costs - Large PPC companies have large overhead. They typically pay their sales person anywhere from 7% - 15% of the clients budget. In addition to the sales person, the PPC company has to pay management, support staff (secretaries, processors, etc), office related costs (office space, equipment, etc.) and there still has to be money left over for the corporate office. It kinda makes you wonder exactly how much they charge each client in order to pay all this overhead. Even their sales people don't know how much the company charges because it's all done behind the scenes.
Poor Customer Service - Large scale PPC companies are multi-layered. The client works with a sales rep who is not hands on with the management of the clients ad campaign. The rep has to pass information on to a processor that has no relationship with the client. So when a client requests changes to be made to their ad campaign, the request has to go through several layers, which takes time to get processed (assuming it even gets processed). Clients should have the ability to call and have changes made to their ad campaign immediately. Example; auto dealers are constantly running sales and promos. An auto dealer should be able to contact his PPC consultant and request changes to their ads to reflect weekend or holiday sales. The changes must be made immediately. My clients can call me on a Friday night and make this type of request. I can process the request immediately, sometimes even while I'm still on the phone with the client. This type of service is not possible with large companies.
Lack of Transparency - When choosing a company or consultant to work with, be sure they are willing to share their keyword list with you. A lot of companies are not willing to share this information because they are afraid the client will run off with the list and try to manage their own online marketing efforts. While this is a somewhat valid concern, the client is paying for the keywords so he should be able to review them to ensure every keyword is relevant to their product or service. I believe the client's input on the keyword list is crucial. I encourage my clients to review each and every keyword to ensure relevancy. My clients know their industry much better than I do, and I use their input to develop the most effective keyword list possible. If my clients wish to run off with the keyword list, I won't try to stop them. They'll come right back once they figure out they're not going to get the same pricing I can get. The only thing I don't share with my clients, is the structure of the campaign, which is why I get better pricing.
Flexibility - Most companies will ask the client to make a long term commitment (6 months - 1 year) and pay up front fees. This says they lack confidence in their ability to perform good results. A client should NOT have to be locked in to a long term commitment. If a company cannot produce good results for the company, the client should be able to walk away. As for the up front fees, they're always negotiable. Also, be sure they are willing to allow you to adjust your budget as needed. A lot of companies will try to lock you in to a set amount every month.
Once again, you're much better off working with a smaller comapny or independant consultant that will work closely with you. Never lock into contracts and always demand to see exactly what for paying for.
And now, the shameless plug. If you have any questions or would like any additional information about PPC marketing, visit our Services page and shoot us an email.