15 Questions to Ask When Hiring a PPC Agency

Shopping for the right PPC management agency can be just as tough as managing PPC campaigns themselves. In an industry that is becoming increasingly flooded by PPC “agencies,” how do you find the right one for you? I’m the SEM manager at Bruce Clay, Inc., and over the years I’ve worked with dozens of companies, many with horror stories of prior experiences with sub-par PPC agencies.

Photo by Marco Bellucci (CC BY 2.0).
Photo by Marco Bellucci (CC BY 2.0).

Clients who have worked with other PPC agencies have shared tales of wasted spend due to poor quality keywords, poor campaign setup, failure to track to conversions and more — choosing an unqualified PPC agency is a costly mistake. The awesome thing is you can save a lot of time, headache and money by thoroughly vetting PPC agencies. Read on to discover the questions you should be asking in order to find the right PPC agency.

The Track Record

Research the PPC agency. Ask questions and do your own research to determine the PPC agency’s strengths and weaknesses. Find out how long they’ve been around and what reputation they’ve earned. Get answers to the following questions:

  • When was the PPC agency established?
  • Are they recognized as a thought leader?
  • Do they attend conferences? Speak at conferences?
  • What books or articles have they written?
  • Who are their key players, and are they quoted and referenced in outside publications?

The Client Roster

In order to be an industry leader in PPC management, you must have a wide array of experience, across industries and business functions. It’s a good sign if an agency has work examples of various types of PPC programs.

  • Does the PPC agency’s experience align with your business type?
  • Do they have a solid track record of working with e-commerce and lead generation clients? B2B, B2C?
  • What types of budgets do they manage? Small, local clients with monthly ad budgets in the low thousands? Fortune 100’s with millions of dollars of ad spend? Most importantly, have they managed budgets similar to yours?

The Project Resources

Understanding how the PPC management agency is able to adequately support your account is vital to understanding whether or not they can deliver what you need. From personnel to tools, you need to determine if their resources cater to your needs.

  • Does their internal team structure make sense to you?
  • Do they use any industry-leading, or proprietary tools?
  • Do they have one person, or multiple people trained and working on your account?
  • What types of resources are available to you?

At BCI, each PPC client receives a project manager and a dedicated team of at least two analysts that are cross-trained on accounts. We find this allows for optimal client communication and account management, which leads to results.

The Client Retention Rate

It’s one thing to be able to acquire new business, but does the prospective agency retain their clients? A high client retention rate is indicative of an agency that is able to continuously meet their clients’ PPC goals. Hint: The higher the CRR, the better! The best PPC management agencies usually have at least a 90% CRR.

  • What is their CRR?
  • What’s the average client length of engagement?
  • What percentage of their client base have been with the agency for 2+ years?

The Proof

Last but not least, don’t just take a PPC agency at their word. Case studies can be extremely helpful in providing insight into how prospective agencies are able to move the needle. Not all agencies have these materials readily available, but they should at least be able to provide examples of successful PPC projects.

Are you interested in learning more about the PPC services offered at Bruce Clay, Inc.? Contact us — we’ll be happy to answer any of your questions (including the ones listed above!).

Michael Shore was Bruce Clay Inc.'s SEM Manager. He has managed PPC programs for dozens of clients ranging from small business to national retailers. He specializes in Google Ads, Microsoft Advertising, Google Analytics, Kenshoo, Acquisio, comparison shopping engine management and Google shopping. When he's not geeking out on everything SEM, he's usually hiking, at the beach or playing guitar.

See Michael's author page for links to connect on social media.

Comments (4)
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4 Replies to “15 Questions to Ask When Hiring a PPC Agency”

Take up references on them as if you were actually employing someone. You are planning to spend/invest a lot of money with them so you’re right – do your research about them first. Even if you know nothing about ppc, Google it – they know everything!

It is very important to check and clarify all the details before finalizing PPC services by a professional agency so that a proper purpose will served by your campaign for your business profit with good lead generation

Great one Micheal! I do not do some PPC (I should do more!!) Your post not only teaches clients how to choose the right PPC Agency, but educates PPC agencies about what they should do and shouldn’t do to be a real or better PPC Agency. Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us!

Absolutely. Thanks for the read and kind reply, Rafael!


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Serving North America based in the Los Angeles Metropolitan Area
Bruce Clay, Inc. | PO Box 1338 | Moorpark CA, 93020
Voice: 1-805-517-1900 | Toll Free: 1-866-517-1900 | Fax: 1-805-517-1919