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Last month I covered the different types of fee models that a marketing manager or business owner would likely encounter when searching for which PPC management agency to use. These included performance and spend based fees versus fixed fee and self-management. This month I want to expand on the benefits, limitations and usefulness of using a fixed fee PPC management agency.
Fixed fee PPC management is a widely popular choice with marketing managers and business owners as it offer the simplest method of management. Just like any contracted job, an agency is paid a fixed amount to complete the job they are given and to the best standard they can. This fee does not change without prior arrangement.
Fixed Fee PPC Management offers the majority of businesses and organisations a number of benefits, such as:
The same fee each month means that budget management is made much easier with no unexpected invoices from the PPC Management agency. This is unlike other project work that can over-run and cost more. PPC management can be done in a fixed time; if time runs out then it will still work well instead of not at all – which might happen, for example, with a website build project.
Alongside fixed management fees, the actual AdWords spend is going to be similar to what you have planned it to be for that month (or time period) meaning easier management of finances again.
A fixed fee agency will advise you on the most appropriate level of spend to match the size of the account and the time needed to manage it. If the Ad spend changes significantly between months then a PPC Management agency may recommend increasing the time needed to manage it for that period.
Clients are more than likely to be paying for a specialist’s time, not a set number of tasks on the PPC account then stop their work when done.
With PPC advertising, there is always more than can be done to optimise and test an account: split testing ad text, refining bids and performing experiments and so on. Progression can always be achieved.
As with many products or services there may be limitations that relate to some customers. With fixed fee PPC management these could be:
The time spent on the management of the account will be scheduled. Additional time can be booked in if you have additional objectives. If you require additional objectives, but do not increase the time for management, then it’s likely that your additional objectives might not be achieved. This depends on the campaign of course.
If you have a very small or niche PPC account where only a select few keywords need to be targeted for a particular campaign, then fixed fee PPC management may not always work out the most efficient method of management.
Whilst there is always something to be working on, as previously mentioned, if the target keywords do not receive much traffic then the time allowance may not yield improvements relative to the management spend. Many fixed fee PPC agencies will also have a minimum management spend which may not relate to the size of a smaller PPC account.
Alongside the benefits of using the fixed fee model, the majority of people using this model are dedicated marketing agencies. There are advantages to using an agency or qualified professional such as:
This is the name given to a person or organisation who meets the required knowledge level to best manage and optimise a Google AdWords account.
Google Partners must also have been actively managing AdWords accounts with a minimum level of spend.
If the agency is big enough, Google will assign a dedicated account manager to help manage any issues quickly but also provide access to exclusive new AdWords announcements & features first. This means businesses that are managed through the agency will be one of the first to try new extensions and features that are designed to help increase account performance and conversions.
Whilst trying to not cover what I’ve already said in my previous blog post, the other fee models allow for a degree of abuse. Managing it in-house or not at all isn’t likely to deliver results that a highly experienced agency would produce. Therefore investing in an agency or professional can actually save you money, even after the fee.
The reasons why a performance or spend based fee is open to abuse is that an agency or professional could generate more clicks that aren’t relevant and don’t generate conversions or if the agency is paid on conversions, they may generate poor quality leads at the expense of hitting conversion targets.
If deciding to manage a PPC account in-house then consider what experience that person has. They may end up wasting more PPC spend through poor quality management if they don’t have experience, unlike an agency that has experienced people.
Another issue would be where the in-house PPC manager is on their own and they decide to leave the company. Having that person leave and not finding a replacement in time creates a gap in the ongoing management which could result in ad spend not being controlled efficiently.
As you can see, there are many things to consider when finding a PPC Management Agency. The best advice I could give would be to get an idea of how much you may be spending on your PPC account, and if in doubt as to whether a spend or performance based fee will work for you then always choose to use a fixed fee PPC management agency.