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31st October 2016

A Guide to Choosing an SEM Agency For Google Ads

minute read

Search engine marketing, or SEM, is very important for businesses of all sizes. 89% of customers begin the buying process by using a search engine like Google, and then regularly check search engines on their journey to buying from a business. This means making sure your business is easy for them to find is essential; if you don’t appear in search results, you could quickly lose out to one of your competitors who does. One of the quickest and most effective ways to appear in those results is by using Google Ads.

Appearing in front of people actively searching for businesses like yours is key, but it can be confusing getting there – using an agency’s expertise in Google Ads can be invaluable in getting you on the right track. Choosing an SEM agency to do your search engine marketing for you can save time and stress, and generate greater sales in the long run.

What is Google AdWords?

If you’re unfamiliar with Google Ads, we'd strongly recommend reading our introductory article to it here first, and then returning to this article once you've brushed up.

Choosing the right SEM agency

An SEM agency can be very helpful in managing your Google Ads efforts, taking time and stress away from you for what can be a complex process. The agency will use their existing knowledge around how best to execute Google Ads campaigns, to help your business perform the best it can, within a set budget.

Hiring an agency that’s right for you isn’t always straightforward. Consider these questions when you’re looking to hire, so you can be confident that you’ll be in safe hands and ensure you’re getting the best return on your investment.

1. Does the agency have a good reputation?

Before choosing an agency, you should be confident in their ability and trust that they will do the best work for you. Check their website for testimonials, check for recommendations on sites such as LinkedIn and see if the agency is approved as a Premier Google Partner. These are all good indicators of a business that can be trusted.

You could also ask the agency to provide examples of previous success stories and campaigns that have worked well to ensure you’re happy with the kind of work that agency does.

2. Is the agency transparent?

When you start working with an agency, it’s important to be aware of the work that is being done and have an understanding of the outcomes and benefits of this - after all, you’re paying the agency to get you results, so it’s important you know what these are. Agencies can often bombard clients with buzzwords and jargon that may sound impressive to a novice, but to an expert doesn’t actually carry much substance. Be sure to ask the agency to explain things in layman’s terms so that you fully understand what they’re doing.

3. Does the agency share your goals?

Just as you make your own customers feel valued; it’s important that an agency makes you feel the same, as you are their customer. For an agency to work effectively with your business, you need to ensure that they’re able to understand what you require and what your goals are from the outset. Ask the agency if there are any kick-off meetings to get things started and if they’ll be undertaking any in-depth research to find out more about your company and what you do.

4. Does the agency offer maintenance?

A proactive and successful agency won’t just set up your SEM and leave it to run. They understand that maintaining successful Google Ads campaigns requires continual work. They will also know that it’s likely that over time your campaign requirements will change whether that’s due to the season, or as you develop new products that require promotion.

When hiring an agency it’s important that they’re able to acknowledge this and can adapt accordingly to your needs and requirements. Finding out if an agency can develop your campaigns as your goals change should be a key part of your questioning.

5. How will you be charged?

Different agencies have varying models for pricing and payment so you need to ensure that you get the one that’s right for you and your business. Some agencies will charge per click based upon the total number of clicks that your advert earns while some may just charge a standard monthly fee.

You should take care with agencies that offer a charge per click model. While you may get a lot of visitors to your website, they may not be interested in buying from you. This is because the agency have an incentive to drive more people to your site to earn more money, regardless of whether those people are interested in your products and services.

6. Can you monitor performance?

Although you’re putting your marketing into the hands of experts, it’s still important that you’re able to see how it’s performing. An agency should be able to provide you with a dashboard or regular reporting that shows you various useful measurements and statistics. A good agency should be able to explain performance for you and things you should be looking out for.

Ultimately, the better you understand what your business needs and the goals of your Google Ads campaigns, the more likely you are to pick the right agency. Take the time to determine exactly what you need and use this knowledge to find the best agency to match your unique business needs.

For more help on getting your business noticed on Google, check out these articles next:

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