The PPC Agency Production Team
- Account Managers own the client relationship and are accountable for campaign results. They conduct client meetings, coordinate all client and internal agency communications, work with the client to create campaign goals, and communicate inputs and outputs. The account manager is the glue that holds the campaign together.
- Account Coordinators assist the account manager in day-to-day execution. Given the high volume of activity associated with PPC campaigns, an account manager would not have the time to handle more than a few clients, if that, without administrative support.
- PPC Specialists are the subject matter experts. They create the overall campaign strategy, determine what specific tasks must be accomplished in support of the strategy, analyze campaign performance, design tests, refine strategy and update tactical execution activities.
- The Web Team modifies the client's existing website and landing pages and creates new landing pages. The team includes a production manager, Web designers, front-end Web developers, back-end Web developers, system admins, copywriters and editors.
Elements of PPC Campaign Production
- Discovery. The first step in every PPC campaign is the agency learning as much relevant information as possible about the client's business and campaign objectives. In particular, the agency must have a firm grasp of the client's branding, product/service benefits, competition, sales process and business terminology. These inputs inform decisions relating to offers, keyword research, and ad and landing page creative work. In addition, during the discovery phase campaign media budgets are determined.
- Campaign Strategy. An initial campaign strategy is drafted, defining overall high-level campaign and ad group structure, the prioritization of each campaign, and projections for what a mature campaign may look like in terms of structure and scope.
- Tracking Setup. Once the strategy has been refined and approved by the client, detailed and thorough tracking is set up. This is essential to evaluate campaign results and continuously improve campaigns. All form submissions and phone leads must be tracked back to specific search engines, keywords and other important data points to facilitate proper analyses.
- Campaign Creation. Only at this point can campaigns be created and built out within the Google AdWords and Bing Ads platforms. The first step of this phase is comprehensive keyword research, which is then reduced to a smaller list of campaign targets, and then organized into even smaller groups of related keywords. Ads and landing pages are then created to support each keyword group.
- Campaign Management and Optimization. Day-to-day execution proceeds after launch; this includes analysis of campaign performance, followed by tactical adjustments based on that analysis. Typical items to adjust include bid prices, identification and testing of new keywords, and days and times of day when ads are displayed.
- Monthly Reporting. Transparency is key to effective PPC, so monthly reports should include data for impressions, clicks, clickthrough rate, cost per click, media spend, average number of leads per day, conversion rate, cost per lead, and how many validated sales leads were generated. Distinguishing validated sales leads from inquiries is important, because many inquiries are misdialed phone numbers, sales solicitations, spam, etc. Without validation, campaigns will look more productive than they actually are and incorrect campaign adjustments may be made.
Before committing to a PPC management agency, be sure to review its process and staff in detail. Reputable agencies have a documented process that follows at least roughly what has been covered above. Clients are also best served when the agency has an in-house staff trained to support account management, technical PPC and Web design and development work. If the agency relies on outside talent, it has less control over timelines and quality. Agencies with a complete staff, in contrast, are better able to follow-through on commitments and produce results.