When it comes to online marketing, I see and hear about way too many companies that don't take the paid traffic channel seriously enough. They either don't do it (huge mistake), or they do a less-than-professional job of it. Maybe they do it in-house. Or, they have an agency do it, but one that doesn't have a dedicated paid traffic specialist. While Google, Bing and others continuously refine their systems to make campaign management "easier" than ever, many changes that are made to make management "easier" come at the sacrifice of ROI.  Also, there are strategies that professionals use that others simply won't know because of lack of knowledge and experience.

From my experience, that all adds up to it being very close to 100% of the time that the money wasted from shoddy account management more than exceeds any management fees that a professional account manager would charge.

Wasted PPC Traffic

Not only that, but if you let a pro handle it, you save time and energy and can focus on improving other aspects of your business.  So, how do you know if you've set the bar high enough for choosing a PPC manager?  Well, you should have a sense if someone is living and breathing PPC, but here are some things you never want to hear a PPC manager say.

Bad PPC Thoughts...

"I check it every few months to make sure things are still running ok."

"No, I don't have brand keyword campaigns.  You already rank #1 organically for them."

"So, what keywords do you like?"

"I just send everyone to the homepage. That way they can shop for whatever they want on the site when they get there."

"I control the daily budget with the budget tool."

"I only bid on terms that cost under 50 cents."

"What are match types?"

"What are negative keywords?"

"I bid so I can be #1 for your main keywords.  Being #1 is the best, right?"

"I bid what you can afford."

"I use automatic bidding because Google says it's the best option and I'll get the most clicks for the budget."

"Isn't that great how Google gives all those suggestions for your account?"

"I (fill in the blank) 'cause Google said so."

"I have no idea how much each visitor to the site is worth to the company."

"I don't spend much time on crafting ads.  I mean, they're only a couple simple lines, right?"

"What's AdWords Editor?"

"I really don't have time to test."

"When I test ads, I keep the one that earns the highest click-through rate."

"I use conversion rate as my success metric for all the keywords."

"If a keyword doesn't convert, I delete it."

"I just run the Search and Display Networks in the same campaign."

"I have a few campaigns with a few ad groups in each campaign."

"Mostly, our ads communicate to the searcher what's great about you."

"We just use search ads for the display network too. We wrote good ones that should work anywhere."

"I don't look at the competition too much. I just focus on making you the best."

(For marketing executives) "We don't need a professional. We can just do it ourselves because we want control over our messaging."

Thanks to Stoney for his contributions!

July 16, 2012

Mike Fleming specializes in Analytics and Paid Search for Pole Position Marketing, a leading search engine optimization and marketing firm helping businesses grow since 1998. You can follow Mike on Twitter at @SEMFlem. Mike enjoys playing, writing and recording music along with playing basketball to get his workout in. He resides in Canton, Ohio with a girl who threw a snowball at him one day…then married him.

Mike and the team at Pole Position are available to help clients expand their online presence and grow their businesses. Contact them via their site or by phone at 866-685-3374.


Man, reading that list seriously hurt my brain. I thought this list was pretty extensive and great, but if I may suggest an improvement. I think it would be great if this list included a list of some of the things you should be hearing from them instead. Some of them are obvious with "I don't have time to test" comparing something like "I test on a regular basis". Other responses though would be helpful for businesses that us PPC but don't really know how well their account manager is doing. Such as the "He's making me money, he must be doing a good job" type.

All that aside, still a good read.


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Search Engine Guide > Mike Fleming > Things Your PPC Manager Shouldn't Say