PPC management has been around for years, back in the day the role of a PPC manager was to take care of all the technical elements that were too complex or time consuming for a business owner or a head of department to take care of themselves. Over the last 2-3 years Google have moved more and more towards “smart” campaigns, simplifying the process and making it super-easy to create quick campaigns and get your business on Google. We even have handy “optimisation scores” to give less advanced users a guide to how well set up their campaigns are, so the question becomes “do you need a PPC manager/expert at all?”. In the grand scheme of things the single biggest reason to take on PPC management is to act as a buffer between Google’s advice (instruction) and what is genuinely best practice for their business.
There is absolutely no doubt that Google has a role to play in a successful marketing mix but as Google has evolved from its early mantra of “don’t do evil” they have become more concerned with the bottom line at the expense of putting users needs first (in this case business owners). It always surprises me just how many really clever and switched on business owners come into a relationship with a PPC company with the mindset of utterly obeying Google without it ever crossing their mind whether this was the right course of action, Google have become so omnipotent and opaque that the solution to them being the “only game in town” is to totally follow their “guidelines” (Instruction). A few years back I was freelancing a few days on PPC for a well know high street retailer, my role grew bigger and bigger till I was virtually running their online marketing. The business got to the turn of the year and asked me to write their marketing budget for the year (which ran into Millions). I always thought this was crazy as it included my own costs, which I could set myself. Any sensible business knows that you need to keep control of your costs and decision making, to put the decision on how much to spend in the hands of the people (or person) where the money is going is madness, and yet business owners happily sit and click the various pieces of advice Google Ads offers them and never once question why Google wants you to incessantly add keywords or make everything as automated and “out of your control” as possible.
I’m not anti-Google, far from it, I’m a fan to be honest. But business owners should be more switched on and understand the difference between dealing with Google the advertiser and Google the tech company. Google’s got some of the best talent in the world in a whole variety of fields, but their standard “account manager” doesn’t have any sway, influence or even a comprehensive knowledge of Google Ads in my experience (if you’re lucky enough to have an account manager who’s first language is the same as yours). The role of a good PPC company is to put your business first and ensure what’s happening within your paid search marketing is the best for your business, its expertise outside of Google that of course can advise on all the great things that Google do but also warn against where there may be PPC budget wasted. In my experience a good PPC company will pay for itself on an existing account within the first month, and you can tell from the first conversation that they will provide expertise, honesty and value for your business; which is exactly what they should do.