First off, the purpose of this blog post is not spin off another chick-flick movie starting Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey as they travel the world to deal with the complexities of Google's Quality Score, Conversion Funnels and ultimately driving successful ROI's for their respected clients. What I am talking about however are the "real-life" issues where a client can often get side-tracked, become uninformed and eventually lose confidence and trust of the relationship. In this article, I will discuss the different problem areas and how to avoid them. To keep my theme of Movies, in the words Ace Ventura, "Ahhhhh yah yah yah yah yah yalrighty then!"
Setting the Wrong Expectations
This is the #1 biggest failure of all Paid Search Marketing and have seen it happen too many times. Search Marketers are usually unaware of the Sales tactics that go on behind the scenes and it is usually not their fault, but promising the potential client a specific level of success, with our without the right amount of SCOPING and experience will result in not only an unhappy client, but bad referrals from that same client. Do me a favor, please do not oversell yourself and do your homework before you make any promises to anyone. The only promise you should make is that you will constantly improve what they currently have and be reliable, and most of all be professional.
Not Getting an accurate Benchmark
Getting an good understanding and defined starting point is crucial to PPC Success. If the PPC Marketer or Account Manager fails to obtain an accurate or even semi-accurate benchmark, it will be almost impossible to measure what is success and what is not. In most cases a client should have custom back-end reporting and some level of web analytics in place. However, it's the PPC marketers duty to ensure the traffic and conversion tracking is working accurately and that the client is fully aware of the auditing progress. If you happen to find "holes" in the tracking, then you already have impressed the client and they will start building trust in your expertise.
Failed to explain the "real world" idiocracies of PPC
This one is funny yet troublesome one. How many times have you had to explain my Google deactivated an Text Ad, or increased a CPC or even turned off an Ad due to some latent Trademark policy issue. When you are having the initial Kickoff call or even within the first few weeks or month, let the client know that this type of stuff happens and it is somewhat out of your control. This is especially important for those clients who do not already have a Google Adwords Account because they have no accrued click history, etc…
Deciding not to provide Conversion Advice because of fees.
This one really "Grinds my Gears" (any Family Guy fans out there?) Just because website conversion is not part of the PPC Contract/SOW, does not mean you have to ignore or play dumb with the client. In fact, it's in your best interest to provide additional ideas and even strategies to help increase conversions because your PPC contract depends on it. Imagine if you are able to fix the shopping cart as well as the PPC Campaigns, the ROAS would most likely meet and beat expectations and that extra 1-2 hours turned into a recurring contract with a happy client.
Deciding not to provide Conversion Advice because of fees.
Lack of interest in educating the client on how PPC works
Alot of clients/companies want to know more about how this "Google Edwards" thing works (that is an actual saying from an actual prospect). I know us PPC Geeks do not want to give away all the secrets to our successes because it will increase the chances of them hiring "in-house" but it's good business to keep the client aware of the generic best practices so that they ensure they are getting the most for the investment in your services. Most clients do not want to have to deal with looking at CTR%, Keyword Positions, etc… Just give them enough information to make them feel comfortable that they made the right decision.
Not asking questions about their "offline" advertising efforts
If you think your job is to focus on just PPC, you are seriously mistaken. Almost all companies have other Offline Advertising that can benefit from a PPC Campaign. Whether it's print, radio, tv or even a retail store, reinforce PPC into the mix. If the client is a little "weary", then educate them and persuade them to make the small investment for a month or two. Paid Search is effective only when the website provides the products and/or services it advertises. Even if they do a ton of Offline Advertising, the prospect or even existing customer will do a Google search on that offline messaging.
Limiting your support time to 9-5 Mon-Fri
This is a tricky one and you want to be conscious of your companies overhead costs, but many clients work in different times zones and/or work crazy hours in order to get their business moving in the right direction. WORD OF ADVICE: Make yourself available and do your best to accommodate the client. It may be a good idea to tell the client in the beginning that will be available after hours, but set the expectation that you are not ALWAYS on call.
Not being proactive with "outside the box" ideas
If you are happy with just providing the same old routine week after week with nothing new and exciting and maintaining that same ROAS threshold, you may want to wake your ass up and start being more proactive before the client shops around for another agency or decides to bring it "in-house". I am talking about engaging their business and throwing out 5-10 ideas on how they can improve their business.
Obsessed in thinking you are the smartest person in the room
OUCH! Yes, I have seen this happen and fail miserably. Trying to act smart and tell the client that they are stupid and to do things your way will most likely blow up in your face. The PPC Marketer is the smartest PPC Marketer in the room in that they know how to execute the best practices, they know the algorithms and know what to expect when launching and maintaining a successful PPC Campaign. The business practices and decisions should be left to the company to be responsible for.\