Today we’re going to look at what Google Ads management services are, why you probably need them, and how you can go about choosing a good company to provide them for you.
Simply put, Google Ads management services are when you buy the time of either a consultant or an agency to handle your Google Ads platform.
What do Google Ads management services involve?
The things a third-party management will do can be split into on-platform and off-platform.
On-platform duties can include:
The client will provide the overall marketing budget, but the agency will usually decide how to split it beyond that, or at least provide recommendations.
They will certainly decide how to split budgets between campaigns. Some campaigns will perform better than others and as such should be assigned more budget, but equally some campaigns may scale better than others.
This could also include a decision on how to split between Google Ads and other managed platforms.
Keywords are the basic building blocks of any Google Ads account.
Your agency will decide which keywords to use, which match types they should be set to and which negative keywords should be applied.
They should also perform regular Search Term Reports to make sure no additional opportunities are being missed.
The agency should choose the best bid strategies to achieve your marketing goals.
This decision should be a careful one, influenced by what data (and quality of data) is fed into the account, what your marketing Key Performance Indicators are, and even what each campaign’s objectives are.
New bid strategies and targets should also continually be tested within the account.
Ad copy drafting
Some companies like to draft ad copy themselves, but the agency should at least provide recommendations!
A good agency will analyse your landing page, common search terms and competitor ad copy to influence ad copy.
It is also the agency’s responsibility to run past any pieces of ad copy via the client before posting it live on ads. This is particularly important in compliance-heavy industries.
The agency will decide how to split out different campaigns.
At the very least, campaigns need to be split by Brand, Competitor and Generic, but sometimes additional splits will be made to account for different KPIs, different targets and different products.
Off-platform duties can include:
Considering wider marketing strategy
Most agencies will want to provide pointers on wider marketing strategy, to help their clients make the most out of both Google Ads activity and other channels.
This might be in the form of providing interesting data on top-performing audiences, top-performing ad copy, geolocation targeting to support print or TV campaigns, and footfall-driving campaigns to assist in-store visits.
Easily digestible data and insights should be provided on a regular basis to provide feedback on campaign performance.
Good agencies will use first party or third party technology to link up your CRM and other platforms to provide additional insights.
Bonus points if the reports look nice!
The agency should provide their expertise to help you plan future activity. You provide the KPI and budgets and they will do the rest!
These should be generally built off historic activity and adjusted for impacts from, for example, economic climate, differing sale months, new products and website launches.
Media mix planning
Your agency should provide information and recommendations on how your Google Ads activity will influence other platforms, and vice versa.
For example, they should be running incrementality tests to quantify the halo effect of top-of-funnel activity on Google Ads.
A proactive agency will regularly send you interesting, thought-provoking pieces of analysis which expand your understanding of your business and marketing activity, without being asked!
Why do you need Google Ads management services?
Google Ads is an extremely powerful advertising platform.
Google has made it easier to use over the last 20 years, but whilst it’s easy to use in a basic fashion, it’s as hard as ever to master!
This is why most companies tend to use agencies to manage their Google Ads campaigns.
Not only can they be more flexible and cost effective versus adding multiple people directly to your marketing team, they will generally get you better results.
This is not only because it needs a lot of time, effort and energy that can come from economies of scale.
It also requires a lot of niche platform knowledge, use of the latest technology, systems, reporting techniques and analytics expertise.
And what’s more, the industry continues to evolve so quickly (on a monthly, if not weekly basis) that only the true specialists can keep up with things like these.
That’s why there’s a lot of demand for Google Ads management services.
Having said that, there’s still plenty of Google Ads “specialists” that talk a good game but can’t follow up with a high quality of work, so you need to choose one carefully.
How do I choose a good Google Ads agency?
Generally, companies will release a Request For Proposal (RFP) when they’re looking for an agency to manage their Google Ads account.
Check out our guide on how to write a great RFP here.
But in short, you need to settle on what your key goals are, what your challenges have been, what your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) will be and at what level you need those KPIs to be at to achieve your business goals.
Other good measures of whether an agency is a good one could be:
- Do their senior management speak at industry events?
- Do they run regular webinars?
- Do they have a good company culture? Happy account managers will deliver better work and better results for you!
- Do they have a good website, regularly updated with thought pieces on industry topics? (Hey, you’re reading one right now!)
- Are they clear and transparent with their pricing structure?
- Do they seem affable and easy to work with when they present an audit of your account to you?
- Can they help you with some analytics work too, without you needing to bring in external assistance?
- Do they have lots of case studies showing previous success?
- Do they get shortlisted for, or indeed win, industry awards?
If they seem to tick all of the above boxes, you’re probably onto a winner.