Why you definitely need a PPC consultant

It all seems so easy at first – grab a free Adwords voucher, follow the simple Google instructions to have your ads up and running, generating traffic to your website in minutes…

Then your voucher runs out and you haven’t made any sales. What do you do next? Abandon PPC altogether? Run to an SEO agency who promise to get you on page 1 for ‘my company’s vaguest product in Kentucky?’ Waste some more money on Facebook Ads or Twitter cards – it didn’t work the first or second time but hey, third time’s a charm?

I know where you are because I have been there. You don’t want to spend more money on ads that are not producing sales. But you don’t have the time to delve into this yourself and learn the tricks and tips you need to make Adwords and other PPC avenues a success.

So what do you do?

You need to hire a PPC consultant.

 

A PPC consultant worth their salt is going to save you vastly more than they cost, regardless of their fee. Generally the higher the fee, the more experience and expertise they have, and the more money they are going to save for you.

It’s not just about saving money of course. A good PPC consultant will identify areas of your Adwords campaign where money is being lost, and usually transfer that money across to keywords which produce sales or enquiries for less than your ‘cost per sale’ budget. This is done using a variety of methods, all based on the fact that Google Adwords is not an auction where the highest bidder necessarily takes all the spoils. There is far more to it than that.

An ad with a high quality score can trump one with a higher maximum cost per click (CPC). Relevance is more important to Google than how much money an advertiser has. If you don’t believe me, try bidding $50 per click on a brand in a different niche to yours, with an ad which has no relevance – see where that gets you.

Who says that first place is best anyway? Not many PPC consultants advise their clients to grab the number one spot for every keyword, because they understand that ROI is usually much better from clicks in lower positions. There’s usually a trade-off between traffic and ROI with any kind of internet marketing and Adwords is no exception. That’s not to say you can’t get excellent ROI from high traffic keywords, but there’s a skill to it. If you don’t have the skills required, you should hire a good PPC consultant.

What about the cost? Usually a PPC consultant will charge by the hour for their time, like a lot of freelancers. I like to think of PPC consultants like gardeners – hire them for a few hours and they will have your garden looking immaculate, transformed from what it once was. Leave it a few weeks, and the weeds will grow back. A good gardener will show you how to keep the garden maintained with minimal effort. A good PPC consultant will advise you on how to keep your PPC campaigns profitable with minimal effort.

Another reason to hire a PPC consultant is flexibility. Most will offer a selection of ways in which they can help, and it’s dependent on your own personal business requirements. Maybe you want a written report outlining a step by step plan of things you must do to ensure your PPC campaigns succeed. Perhaps you would prefer a series of Skype consultancy calls where everything can be explained over the phone, and questions can be asked as they arise. Or maybe you don’t have time to deal with your PPC campaigns because you’re so busy making the things your business sells. In which case you may want your PPC consultant to manage your campaigns for you, based on a budget and a cost-per-sale you specify. Most PPC consultants offer full campaign management, and if they are freelance then you’re not going to pay over the odds for the service.

How much does a PPC consultant cost? 

This can vary considerably depending on the skill of the consultant, their experience and past record. You could be looking at $20 per hour, or $1000 per hour. Think carefully about what you expect to receive for $20 per hour – how thorough will they be, how much experience do they have, how likely are they to get your Adwords campaigns profitable, how much better will they be than you? For full campaign management you should be looking at a fee of roughly 10-15% of your monthly spend – this is reasonable, but I advise that you go with a fixed fee rather than a fee that is directly tied to your monthly spend. The latter creates a conflict of interest where an unethical PPC consultant could potentially try to raise your spend to increase their monthly fee.

Other PPC channels

Google Adwords takes a long time to master. Success is borne out of trial and error. A PPC consultant has gone through this process so that you don’t have to, which makes them an attractive route to Adwords success. But it’s not just about Adwords. PPC covers the full range of paid search channels such as BingAds. Bing is a great alternative to Google as the clicks are generally cheaper. However the volume is lower. It’s more attractive in the US where Bing market share is around 30% – in the UK it’s more like 10%. Still, Bing converts for businesses, their customer service is excellent and it’s fairly easy to import campaigns straight from Adwords. In short it’s worth doing.

What about other PPC channels? Have you thought about mobile PPC? Results from smartphones can be phenomenal – conversion rate can eclipse desktop/tablet. Have you thought about the mobile PPC networks. Even Facebook and Twitter can be profitable when campaigns are placed in the hands of an experienced PPC consultant who has learnt the secrets of success via trial and error with the platforms.

 

Conclusion

In 2000, a crack commando unit was set up to consult on PPC campaigns they didn’t create. These men (and women) promptly escaped from auto maximum cost per click campaigns to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by small businesses, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no-one else can help, and you can find them…maybe you can hire, The PPC Consultants.

 

Ok, that doesn’t work and made me cringe when writing it. But I loved The A-Team, so what the hell.

 

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About The Author

Michael Madew

PPC expert with over 10 years' experience in creating and managing highly profitable PPC campaigns on Google Adwords, Bing Ads and other paid search platforms.

10 Comments

  • Steve Cameron

    Reply Reply June 12, 2014

    This resonates so much with a post I wrote a little while back – goo.gl/XJbk4B – I come across so many SME’s that are spending (read, wasting) money on Adwords. For many companies spending, say, $5000 a month, they could give $1,000 to a professional consultant and get more return from the remaining $4,000 than they were getting themselves from the full $5,000.
    AdWords management is not rocket science, but it deserves more respect than it gets from most quarters.

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