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Is AdWords outsourcing the right move for your agency?
It’s common for agency owners to struggle with this decision…
You want fast growth and find reducing overheads attractive. PPC outsourcing sounds like the perfect solution, but you are also tentative to relinquish a certain amount of control. Your reputation is on the line if it all goes wrong.
The truth of the matter is that outsourcing PPC management to an external service provider is a proven method for agency growth. However, there are some basic things you must get right if it’s going to work.
Whether you decide to outsource PPC to a contractor, or you work with a white label PPC expert, the following tips will ensure your agency reputation stays intact as you scale up.
Tip #1. Pick the right partner
Picking the right AdWords outsourcing expert is without a doubt the most important part of the whole process. If you vet and choose well, then things will run like clockwork and you can start admiring the growth trajectory of your agency. If things don’t go so well, then it can be catastrophic.
At the end of the day, you need to find a solution that is a fit for you. Every agency is going to have different strengths, cultural expectations, and requirements.
Here are some things to consider when selecting your PPC outsourcing partner:
- Find someone who has experience working in the markets and industries your clients are in.
- Ensure your outsourced partner has relevant experience with the size of clients you work with. AdWords is a very different proposition for a Fortune 500 company compared to a startup!
- Double-check they are available at the time of day when you and your clients need them to be. This is particularly important if you are considering overseas solutions that may be in different time zones.
If you can tick those three boxes when looking to outsource PPC management you’ve got a strong foundation.
Tip #2. Understand their pricing structure
The second tip for outsourcing PPC management is to consider your potential partner’s pricing structure. It’s very hard to make a relationship work in the long-term if you are using a different pricing model than your PPC management provider.
A simple thing like what your payment terms are can create unnecessary cashflow headaches if it isn’t in alignment with your partner company.
You also have to price your services so that you can dedicate the resources required to serve your clients and keep them happy. While still creating a big enough margin to be profitable for your business. If your AdWords outsourcing relationship isn’t profitable, then what’s the point?
Tip #3. Avoid a systems clash
Before you bring a client into a relationship with an outsourced PPC expert, confirm you have an understanding of each other’s processes.
Everything from onboarding, the communication cadence, client reporting, and the general strategic approach. These elements have to line up so that when you bring a new client into this environment it all feels cohesive and starts without any hiccups.
Tip #4. Be timely with your requests
Once your AdWords outsourcing relationship is underway, the effectiveness of your correspondence is going to determine its success.
Be prompt when you send your outsourced associate requests and create a collaborative environment that thrives on communication, rather than urgency and firefighting.
If you have a request from a client or something you want your AdWords professional to do, tell them as early as possible. There is no point in waiting a week and then making it an urgent issue. Deal with it immediately and give them adequate time to handle the request in a professional manner.
Tip #5. Turn up physically and mentally when you say you will
When you have calls scheduled with your AdWords provider – show up, use them as an advisor, and be attentive.
Be there physically. When you set a time for a meeting, show up and make the most of that time together. For one, you are paying for it. But perhaps more importantly, your clients’ success depends on it.
Don’t just be there but also be present. Turn up to the meeting mentally and be ready to talk about strategy, results, and ideas for improvement. Make the most of these meetings by preparing in advance and leaning on your outsourced partner for guidance and advice that will improve your client relationships. Take a deep-dive on the campaign analytics prior to the meeting, and go in with a shortlist of key outcomes and milestones you believe the client will care about.
The better the communication is between you and your partner, the better the relationship will be with your client.
Tip #6. Set expectations early
The expectations you set with your PPC provider and clients will shape the prosperity of your relationships. Being clear about what is expected of everyone involved from the beginning will improve your outcomes and reduce the chance of disappointment.
One area where you will set expectations with your clients is by establishing campaign goals. As you can imagine, these goals need to be measurable and time-bound to make them meaningful. You also need to ensure that you communicate the campaign goals with your outsourcing partner. This way everyone is on the same page and pursuing a common finish line.
Responsiveness and turnaround time for requests is another important thing you need to set expectations with your client for. Allow enough time to get the message across to your white label or outsourcing provider, and for them to complete the action.
Your AdWords outsourcing ally isn’t sitting at their desk waiting for you to email so they can drop everything and work on your “urgent” issue. They work with several agencies or clients at once.
If there is an urgent issue, they will come running, of course. But if your request is run-of-the-mill, important but not urgent, then they will complete the task within an agreed time frame. Understand and respect this agreement so you can relay these expectations to your client.
Tip #7. Implement their advice in a timely manner
This tip goes back to picking the right partner. When you outsource PPC to a third-party you should determine that they are an expert.
If they give you advice on a client landing page, a product offer, audience targeting, or anything else to do with the PPC campaigns they are running – listen to that advice and if necessary, implement it as soon as possible. They are there to help you get the best possible outcomes for that client. So it’s important that you engage with that advice and adequately inform the client.
Tip #8. Understand the language
Make sure you understand the basics of Adwords. By understanding the language, the terminology, the phrases, and the metrics that are involved in an Adwords campaign, you will be able to better communicate with your partner and, as a result, your client.
So if you want to have good quality relationships, understand the language, it will make everything much much simpler.
Tip #9. Be transparent with reporting
This one is going to sound a little crazy, but you’d be surprised how often it happens! When your AdWords outsourcing professional sends you a campaign report for one of your clients, make sure you share that report with the client. They are of no value to your client relationship if they sit on your desk.
These reports have to be in your client’s hands, and you need to articulate the value contained in the report to your client. The wins, goals progress, challenges, and business outcomes are all important cogs in the long-term retention of each client.
Remember, how your client feels about the campaign outcome is just as important as the actual outcome.
Tip #10. Respect their time
Be fair and consider your outsourcing partner’s other priorities. If you have a question, don’t hit up live chat, email, phone, Slack, Asana, and any other technology you can get your hands on all at the same time!
Unless something is urgent or critical, which is rarely the case with AdWords, allow the normal communication path to progress.
If you have chosen the right AdWords outsourcing provider then all they require is one request. Let them deal with it in the manner that you have both agreed to. If you bombard them with messages across multiple channels it will create chaos and diminish the working relationship.
There you have it, our top ten tips for AdWords outsourcing and developing a sustainable approach to agency growth, without the overhead.
If you plan on outsourcing PPC, put these tips into practice. Get to know your outsourcing partner from the inside-out, align with their pricing and communication practices, and trust in them for advice and client reporting.