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Back to the PPC Classroom | A Disciplined Approach To Managing A Client Relationship

In the first installment of SemGeek's new blog series "Back to the PPC Classroom", I will discuss the importance of creating a template'd document which identifies the many detailed phases of the client relationship. This benefits not only the client to show how much work is involved and to reinforce their investment to you, but to also ensure that the PPC marketer continues to perform with a high level of discipline as well as honestly a "sanity check" to prevent mistakes.

In search marketing, as well as in many other industries, there are many different phases which make up the client service process. Below are (4) four basic phases and an example of what a monthly report should consist of to keep the client engaged throughout the relationship. 


  • What is your goal of using Paid Search?
  • What is the revenue goal?
  • Do you do any other online advertising
  • Do you do any Offline advertising (print, tv, etc…)
  • How much are you willing to spend per month on Google
  • Do you collect email addresses, contact forms, and purchases/leads
  • If service based, what is the CPL (Cost per lead)
  • If Retail, what is the successful ROAS or ROI they are targeting
  • Do you know how much traffic your site gets per month
  • Who are your competitors? (Industry – not online specifically)
  • Is your business name Trademarked?
  • What are your top 50-100 products or services to start with
  • What products are services are the worst performing
  • Does your business have seasonality trends?
  • Do you have a seasonality calendar available?
  • Do you have any business partners we should know about?
  • Do you have a call center? Phone number on the website?
  • Perform an analysis of any existing campaign. (aka. looks at the guts of it)


  • Review and Approve yearly and monthly budget
  • Review website and create “Hierarchy” structure for campaign
  • Perform keyword research for all adgroups
  • Review and Approve plan for campaign and adgroup structures
  • Review keyword selection (high level review)
  • Review and Approve sample Ads/creative’s
  • Perform market research for products and product/service categories
  • Provide client with 6 month time-line of events to manage expectations


  • Start building the approved campaigns and adgroups
  • Organize all keywords
  • Write relevant ad/creative’s
  • Activate any web analytics tracking codes and send to client webmaster
  • Perform test orders, etc.. to validate tracking is correct
  • Launch PPC Campaign
  • Monitor campaign frequently for editorial issues (trademark, CPC, etc..)


  • Run performance reports based on Spend & ROAS%
  • Identify the Top Performing campaigns/adgroups and keywords
  • If using analytics software, create automated dashboards for top KPIs (key performance indicators)
  • Keyword expansion on top performing adgroups
  • Lower AVG positions of keywords that are not doing well in terms of conversions.
  • Tweak and revise Ad/creative’s based on CTR% and Conversion Rate. (Be careful to look at both metrics. A Good CTR% could actually have a bad conversion rate)


  • Create a monthly performance analysis report in (via .ppt) which includes at least the following:
    • Overall traffic report consisting of
      • Organic
      • Paid
      • Bookmark/Type-ins
      • Top Referrers
      • New vs. Returning Visitors
    • Performance Analysis
      • ROAS%
      • Sales
      • Leads
      • Email Capture
    • Paid Search Analysis
      • Top Campaigns
      • Top Adgroups
      • Top Keywords
      • Top Ads
      • Click thru rate analysis
    • Trends and Comparisons from previous months
    • Next Steps based on the following:
      • Original strategy
      • Optimization tactics from previous month
      • Seasonality and offer based updates

Happy-ppc-clientsIN CONCLUSION:
Providing the client with a detailed plan of what you are doing to help their online marketing efforts is a WIN-WIN for everyone. Even the most talented Search Marketers tend to get sloppy from time to time and even though the results for the client may be good, leaving the client in the dark (unless they truly do not care) is detrimental to all of the efforts. The client relationship should always entail clear objectives, clear communication and honesty. If you lose that, the client will move onto the next agency or freelancer.

Here are some interesting sites which discuss how to keep clients happy

Filed under: PPC Classroom

One Response to "Back to the PPC Classroom | A Disciplined Approach To Managing A Client Relationship"

  1. louisville says:

    In this blog you have explained excellently how to approach i.e, to take steps and ideas to manage a client relationship. Very useful information.

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