A year or so ago, I read an article about being a good PPC advertising client, and I loved it. One of the best part of being a PPC advertising account manager is dealing with my clients, but it also can be one of the worst parts, and it truly depends on the person on the other end of the phone. So here’s my take on ways to be a good PPC client…
1. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate: let your account manager know how things are going, the bad AND the good (I have several wonderful clients who are just as apt to call and say hey, business is great, as they are to say business is down). If phone calls are up or down, let them know. If business has improved or decreased, let them know. It may be because of normal fluctuations in the market or it could be because of something your account manager did. If they get feedback from you, they may be able to capitalize on the success or fix any problems.
2. Have Realistic Expectations: clients should have the expectation that we’ll be successful with their PPC accounts, but there is some realistic expectations necessary. If you’ve never had PPC before, you really have no idea if your website will convert well or what the expectations should be (we’ve had clients who assumed every other visitor to their site would convert into a sale – NOT realistic). And if you currently have PPC, just because we’re now managing your account doesn’t mean that your CTR will skyrocket, your conversion rate will double or that you’ll have to higher five new salespeople to keep up with the leads.
3. Listen: you’re paying us for our experience in managing PPC accounts and part of that is consulting with you on how PPC works, what’s realistic for your campaigns and suggestions for improvement. We’ve viewed a huge number of websites, and have a lot of experience in seeing what works and what doesn’t. If we make a suggestion to improve your website don’t dismiss it out of hand. We’re only trying to improve the results that your PPC accounts can get. I’ve found that those clients who TELL me what to do with their accounts don’t do nearly as well as those who rely on my expertise to do what is best for the account.
4. Give Us Enough Time: new campaigns and accounts can take weeks to “settle.” We understand that our clients want PPC to be successful right off the bat, because we want them to as well. But we have to have enough to time and accrue enough data to make educated decisions about what’s working and what’s not. This is especially true when clients have huge campaigns across a lot of different brands or products. This is even more true for clients who have existing campaigns that were already doing okay, but weren’t covering nearly the keywords or products that the new campaign is.
5. Don’t Expect Miracles: this is related to number 2, but it bears repeating. We don’t have a magic wand that we can wave to “make” your PPC campaigns work. We don’t have a special hotline to Google or Yahoo that lets us get things through their editorial that are against policy (like trademarks, advertising they deem inappropriate) or that will allow us to reduce your bids “just because” though we do have a great relationship with Google, Yahoo and MSN where we have dedicated reps that we can contact when there is a problem with our clients accounts.
6. Know That There Are Other Factors at Work: I’ve had a slew of clients calling me that their June 2008 numbers are down compared to June 2007. Not to be blunt, but join the club. The economy in June 2008 is vastly different than it was in June 2007, and PPC is not immune. This is especially true for high-end and luxury items, like designer clothing, jewelry and accessories, and other non-essential products or services. Plus in today’s market, consumers are extremely price conscious. They’re shopping for the best price, the cheapest service, free shipping, you name it, and they are just one click away from one of your competitors.
7. Notify Us of Changes: if your website is changing, please give us a heads up. There’s nothing more frustrating than finding out that someone’s site has changed after the fact (or even a month after the fact). We can also remind you to implement conversion tracking and analytics tracking on the new site. And we can keep track of the fact that your site changed, so if your conversion rate declines or improves, we know why.
8. Value Our Time and Expertise: we hear the comment “Why should we pay you to manage something that we can do ourselves?” My answer is that you’re right, you could do it yourself, but what is the value of your time? Is it worth $400 or so a month to have someone else take care of this for you? All we do here at JumpFly is PPC, so we keep up with the changes that happen, we know the ins and outs of the search engines and we have dedicated reps at the big three so when there is an issue, we can get it rectified quickly – all of which has huge value for our clients.
9. And finally, Don’t Mess: yes, your account belongs to you (at least here at JumpFly) and you can go into your accounts whenever you want, but please, please, please, don’t touch anything. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had clients do things in their accounts that have really (and I mean REALLY) hurt them – turning content on or off, changing match types, changing ads (so CTR is lost), adding or deleting negative keywords and much more. Plus we may be testing landing pages, keywords, ads or positions that you have no clue about. By all means, contact your account manager and ask about something or request that something be changed, but don’t make the changes yourself.
Bottom line, respect your account manager as an experienced professional and we’ll respect you as an expert in your field. PPC management is a give and take between client and account manager, witht the goal of helping your business be successful.