As paid search account managers, we love establishing collaborative relationships with our clients. Some client relationships can be a challenge, however.

If you want to strengthen your relationship with your PPC account team, we’ve found that these seven tips foster successful PPC client-agency relationships.

1. Communicate Continually

Open-ended communication boosts relationships and gives us what we need to support your business. Tell us the both positive and the negative so that we can diagnose any issues or capitalize on any recent successes.

Examples of important instances to communicate include when:

  • Leads or sales increase or decrease across your business.
  • Goals or tracking shift.
  • New brands or products will be released.
  • You update messaging for your brand or product lines.
  • Your site changes – content, pages, URLs – because conversion tracking and ad landing pages may need to change.

2. Set Realistic Expectations

Clients should expect paid search success, but we need to work together to make certain that performance expectations are realistic.

If you’re new to paid search, you might not know what accurate expectations should be. While predicting specific success rates for new accounts is impossible, we can help estimate some potential ranges. But please don’t assume – like one new client recently did – that every other paid search visit to your site will result in a sale. That’s not realistic.

If you already run paid search campaigns, hiring a new agency, no matter which agency it is, won’t mean that your click-through rate (CTR) will instantly skyrocket, your conversion rate will double immediately, or that you’ll have to hire five new salespeople tomorrow to keep up with the leads pouring in.

Setting joint expectations early allows us to focus on doing what we need to do to achieve your goals.

3. Request Changes Early

Consider this scenario: Black Friday is in three days. A client calls and wants to run a new campaign … now.

From a client perspective, it seems like a simple request – just create a campaign and schedule it to launch. In reality, however there are many moving parts on our end to get this done.

The more time we have to analyze the relevant data, plan the campaign and craft the new ads, the better your performance is likely to be. Ads also have to go through the editorial process, which takes time.

4. Anticipate Results Patiently

New campaigns and accounts can take weeks to “settle.” We understand that clients want their new paid search campaigns to be successful immediately, but we need enough time to accrue statistically significant data to make educated decisions about what is and isn’t performing optimally.

The settling period is important when you have huge campaigns across many different brands or products; and even more so when your existing campaigns performed well previously but needed to be expanded.

5. There Are No Shortcuts

Banish the idea that some agency somewhere possesses special privileges with Google or Microsoft that create shortcuts through the platforms’ editorial policies – for instance, approving ads flagged for trademark violations or inappropriate content.

We have great relationships with our partners at Google, Microsoft, Verizon Media, Facebook, and Amazon, and we frequently seek their direction on issues. But even they don’t have a magic wand to wave when they want to fix something. Instead, they help us tease out the reason for the issue and find a way to work within the system to resolve it.

6. Value PPC Expertise

You pay your digital advertising agency for their experience, training, and relationships with platform representatives. We consult on how paid search works and suggest site improvements to benefit your PPC performance.

Clients who mandate how to manage their PPC programs don’t perform as strongly, we’ve found, as those who rely on our expertise.

And please, when we make a suggestion to improve your site, really do consider it. Our goal is the same as yours – to improve your paid search performance.

7. Don’t Dabble in the Accounts

Please, don’t touch your accounts. It’s far too easy to inadvertently harm PPC performance, invalidate testing, and otherwise undo the work you’re paying us to do. For example, we’ve had clients turn display ads on or off, change match types and ad copy, and add or delete negative keywords.

Please, contact us instead so that we can talk through your ideas or concerns. If we agree together that they’re beneficial, we’ll be glad to manage the changes.

Bottom line: Just as you are the expert in your field, we’re digital advertising experts. Paid search management is a give and take between client and account manager, with the goal of helping your business succeed.

Let’s work together to drive your PPC performance.

This post was originally published July 7, 2008, and was substantially updated September 19, 2019.