Guide

Work with an advertising agency

Choosing a search marketing agency

Search marketing agencies can help you start your pay-per- click (PPC) campaign and attract quality sales traffic to your website. They can also make sure that your search marketing is integrated - improving your visibility across both paid and organic search. Before contacting an agency, consider the skills and competencies you expect and make sure that your marketing goals and objectives are clear.

When selecting an agency to work with there are certain similarities to choosing traditional advertising agencies - prospective agencies should provide testimonials and customer references or case studies. 

However, search marketing agencies must have different skills and a different mind-set. Ask prospective agencies whether they're certified as a Google Partner and/or a Microsoft Advertising Accredited Professional.

A good agency should have proven experience in the particular complexities of search marketing - and the relationship between search engine optimisation and PPC. They will often have a broader understanding of how search marketing sits within the wide online marketing mix.

Search marketing agency checklist

For managing your PPC campaign they need to be able to show:

  • an understanding of the pros and cons of the top PPC providers
  • a clear understanding of what PPC platforms will be most appropriate for your business
  • a good grasp of your market sector and competition
  • proven experience and the necessary technology to set up, manage, track and analyse PPC campaigns
  • a creative approach to PPC essentials - keyword research, bid management, daily budget management, website optimisation and advert writing
  • excellent strategic analysis and web analytic abilities
  • how they set and achieve agreed targets
  • how they plan to report to you and how often
  • how they intend to maximise and measure your return on investment
  • how they intend to charge you (eg a flat fee, a percentage of the campaign expenditure or on the basis of campaign performance)