Effective Client Expectation Management for Google Ads Advertising

Our top 5 common issues clients present us when it comes to Google Ads Management & the best way for managing client expectations.

Greatest hits

Separating the Realistic from the Impossible.

Managing clients involves working with a lot of personalities and levels of experience. Whether you’re a veteran or a newbie to client management, you’re always going to find you have clients that might have unrealistic expectations.

As an Agency Owner, Account Manager, Project Manager or any individual who deals with an agency’s clients, do you feel pressured into promising them exactly what they are asking? Do you find yourself agreeing to all of their requests and promising you can deliver exactly what they want, or think they want? If this rings true, I have one word for you, STOP.

Stop, thinking that your client is in control. Yes of course, they are to a certain extent. They hired you, so they can fire you. They control how much budget they allocate to their PPC campaign and what products or services will be promoted, but despite all of that they have come to you to manage their AdWords; because they need someone who knows what they are doing. You won’t be doing yourself or your client any favors by paying them lip service. In fact, it is likely lead to a bad client relationship and eventually they will move on.

After years of experience working with PPC, I’ve had clients with some fairly unrealistic expectations of what they want from their AdWords Campaign.

Here are my top 5 ways to help you when it comes to managing client expectations in AdWords.

Scenario 1: Lack of Advertising Focus and Instant Implementation

Their Expectation: “I’ve signed on the dotted line, let’s begin.”

They want to focus on one hundred and one different things about their business in their first PPC campaign and have it started immediately.

How to Manage Their Expectation

Don’t let your client get carried away. Sit down with them and look at the what, where and how of their strategy. Focus your campaign by starting with one area of their business. Find out what services bring the client the most return. Many new clients won’t want to spend a large amount of money on their first campaign, but might want to promote several areas of their business. Doing this will create a very diluted campaign that is unlikely to yield results.

Look at how their PPC Campaign is going to fit in around the other areas of marketing they are doing. Are they launching a new product or service? Are they having any sales?

It’s important to be firm with them, explain that their budget would only be suitable to promote certain areas of their business. In time, if they want to promote additional areas, you can sit down with them and discuss increasing their budget in order to accommodate this.

Give yourself some wiggle room to get the campaign built and to the live stage after tracking has been implemented. Three days is usually ample time. Many clients might not understand the importance of tracking their campaign; however, you can’t make sound decisions on the performance if you don’t know truly how it is performing. Having tracking set up from the beginning also allows you to have access to correct and realistic data. Often, your clients may claim nothing has come from PPC in the past. However, there is no way to know this without tracking.

Don’t be afraid to tell them that it will take a couple of days to build a campaign and that won’t start until they have tracking installed correctly on their site. Trust me, they won’t thank you after a few weeks when tracking hasn’t been installed correctly or at all and the campaign build was rushed due to setting a to short a time frame.

Scenario 2: Expecting Immediate Results

Their Expectation: “My AdWords isn’t performing well.”

Many clients expect to see an immediate return on their investment, most likely within a few days or weeks of the campaign going live.

How To Manage Their Expectation:

PPC isn’t an overnight fix! Make sure they understand this from the beginning. There is no such thing as a quick fix. Time leads to a refined campaign; in order for the campaign to mature, testing to be carried out and sales or inquiries to come in, it needs to be running longer than a few days or weeks.

Make sure that during your onboarding with the client that they understand that they should be prepared to commit to a minimum of three months of advertising before anyone can start to think about PPC not working for them as a form of marketing.

Scenario 3: Dictating Which Keywords are Used

Their Expectation: “I want all these keywords, this is exactly what my clients will search”

How To Manage Their Expectation

They know their customers and the products or services that they provide, therefore, they feel that they know exactly all the search terms their customers will use.

The Fact: Although some keywords they provide will be relevant, it is unlikely that your client has ever conducted meaningful keyword research. What they think people are searching, because they are industry terms, turns out not to be the case sometimes. Take the time to explain to them the importance of keyword research and show them the data. Sometimes they can be pleasantly surprised at the terms their customers are using. It’s also a great way to find new terms. Going through this exercise with your client will also better help you to understand their business, and exactly what they want to achieve. It’s also a great opportunity to start building their negative keyword list.

Scenario 4: Questioning Cost per Click Values

Their Expectation: “Oh, the CPC is very expensive”

You may find that your client thought that they would pay next to nothing for their clicks or leads. They may feel that you must be doing something wrong because the CPC is the price it is.

How To Manage Their Expectation

In my experience, there are so many clients in all types of business that are surprised by the CPC, which is something that always surprises me. Considering people do marketing to build their brand, gain business and ultimately to ensure clients come to them over their competitors, it shouldn’t be a shock that their competitors are doing the same.

Some keywords, by nature are expensive; mortgages, loans, lawyers to name a few. Other areas where there is high competition can also lead to expensive CPCs. It’s important that your client understands from the beginning what they can expect to pay per click. You should also explain this isn’t set in stone and only is acting as a guideline.

This concern inadvertently ties in with one of the previous expectations, which is when the client wants to target lots of areas of their business with their current budget. If a client’s keywords are averaging $10 a click, and their budget is only $500, it isn’t going to go very far during the month. Their ads will hardly be shown and they will receive very few clicks. Therefore, with high costing clicks, having a smaller very targeted campaign will only benefit them.

Last but not least on my list of top 5 common client expectations, is probably my favorite.

Scenario 5: Googling Keywords and Not Seeing Ads

Their Expectation: “My ad isn’t showing for my keywords.”

So many clients think that if they type their keywords into Google their ads will appear every time, so they need to sit on their computers and type in every keyword they can think of to see their ad appear. For some reason they feel that doing this will prove or disprove the fact that AdWords is working, or that you are doing that you said you would. Some firms will even have their staff do the same thing.

How To Manage Their Expectation

This does not work. Google is smart enough to know that the same searches are carried out on the same keywords from the same people. Explain that Google filters IPs when users don’t show intention to buy or suspect fraud and consistent searching is likely to prevent them from seeing their ads at all. If your clients need to see that they are showing, assure them you will send a few screenshots from the Ad Preview Tool. Providing clients with monthly reports will keep them informed, and help them see their ads are effective.

As you can see, managing client expectations leads to a better, more productive relationship.

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Picture of Justin Rondeau
Justin Rondeau
Justin has been doing this whole “Marketing” thing since 2010, when he was mildly […okay maybe more than mildly] obsessed with all things, data, email, optimization, and split testing. He’s trained thousands of marketers, spoken on hundreds of stages, runs a delightful team of marketers, has dozens of shirts louder than his voice, and loves one hockey team: the Boston Bruins.