Nearly 80% of marketers say PPC is hugely beneficial for their business. It’s no wonder then that so many digital marketing agencies out there offer PPC services. So, how do you choose the one that will truly help improve your business’s visibility? We’ve curated a list of the leading PPC advertising companies covering their specialties, prices, and industries. Our selection is backed by a complex, research-driven methodology, and we’ve also prepared a handy guide to aid you in your hiring process.
If you’ve already tried looking for a PPC agency online, you know that selecting one from the hundreds of options available is no easy task. We’ve simplified this process for you by sharing our pick of the top pay per click agencies thanks to our custom-tailored evaluation methodology. Below is a breakdown of the detailed, step-by-step evaluation process we follow and the features we look into.
This is the most obvious starting point when evaluating a pay per click management company because it gives us clear insight into its fundamentals. The first set of services these agencies provide are to themselves—they need to market their own services to portray themselves in the best manner possible to potential clients. Thus, a great deal of information, both explicit and implicit, can be gathered by looking carefully at these PPC companies’ websites.
To evaluate if a pay per click company can strategize within a certain specialty, we need to be aware of the services it offers. After all, PPC has multiple service components, and any good PPC management firm will use its website to list the related services its team can offer its clients. These services include the following:
Search ads are paid advertisements that come up as search engine results. This is the most fundamental aspect of the services offered by pay per click management companies. It’s also very effective because these ads match users’ queries. This means that the user is looking for the product or service you offer and is more likely to be engaged by the ad.
Google Ads (previously known as Google AdWords) is Google’s online advertising system where advertisers pay to display ads, service offerings, product listings, video content, etc. This is the single most popular PPC advertising system globally, enabling businesses to use Google’s tremendous reach to engage audiences. The strength of PPC agencies in the Google Ads ecosystem is one of the best indicators of its overall capabilities.
Display ads are paid advertisements in the form of text, images, or videos on websites based on a specific theme of keywords matched to the hosting website’s topic. It allows you to introduce your brand to users not targeted through search engines as they browse the internet.
41% of clicks go to the top three paid ads, and ad extensions (the bit of extra information below your ad copy) help you break into the top three. Ad extensions take over more online real estate and boost your ad’s rank on the search engine results page. SEO expertise can add a lot of power to pay per click agencies as these professionals can set up useful promotion extensions like location, affiliate location, call number, dynamic site links, callouts, structured snippets, etc.
Knowing what your competitors are doing helps you plan your campaigns effectively and allows you to improve upon areas that might need more attention. A good PPC marketing agency should identify the competition for specific keywords, learn how the competition positions itself to drive conversions, see what kind of landing pages their ads lead to, and discover what keyword ideas haven’t been used yet. Pay per click companies use standard tools as well as in-house systems to provide this service.
This is one of the more complicated aspects of pay per click projects, and agencies can either use the automated bidding solution provided by Google Ads or a third-party bid management solution. There are different strategies to consider, like cost-per-click bidding, cost-per-acquisition bidding, or enhanced cost-per-click bidding. It’s important for PPC management companies to be clear about this process since it has a significant bearing on the bang you get for your buck.
Conversion rate optimization experts specialize in optimizing your sponsored search ads, landing pages, and overall website design to increase your conversion rate. It’s one of the smartest value-addition methods by PPC management firms that helps increase your sales profits without a bump in your advertising spend. Your pay per click agency of choice needs to dedicate time, resources, and ample testing so that you end up with compelling ads and relevant landing pages.
Like local SEO agencies, pay per click marketing companies offer geo-targeting, or local PPC, which involves designing ads to target an audience based on their geographical location. When a PPC firm prepares ad copy using location-specific aspects, the likelihood of it resonating with the audience is higher. As a result, it can help improve your ads’ quality score and lower your cost per click. Geo-targeting requires additional effort but can be highly rewarding if done right.
Remarketing delivers targeted ads to users who’ve already visited a business’s site. Conversion rates tend to increase the more users see an ad through remarketing. These pay per click websites will also require the addition of extra, customized code. Remarketing calls for smart targeting that shows your ads to everyone who has viewed your homepage, thereby increasing your cost per click.
Of course, just listing a bunch of services doesn’t guarantee that PPC marketing companies are capable of successfully providing these services. We also care about how well those services are used to benefit you, the customer. The ideal way to do that is to look at the companies’ portfolios.
Unlike some other agencies—such as web design firms—PPC service providers can’t necessarily deliver a visual representation of their final product. Therefore, we look at case studies that clearly depict the entire PPC process undertaken by the pay per click management agency—right from the client’s initial directive, through the campaign’s progress, to the final outcome. As you will see below, this is just one of the ways we verify pay per click advertising companies’ capabilities.
Another important aspect we consider when evaluating each PPC company is client testimonials. These provide useful summaries of the benefits clients have derived from the agency and further validate the agency’s claims about the range of its services. We do realize, however, that the testimonials found on an agency’s website are carefully curated, and no pay per click firm is going to share a testimonial that offers criticism. That’s why there are additional steps to make our evaluation more comprehensive.
Visiting PPC advertising agencies’ websites to evaluate their services and testimonials is relatively easy, but it will have a positive bias. What makes our evaluation methodology unique is that we go to great lengths to get an unbiased view of client satisfaction. This means scouring other platforms for PPC management reviews and client testimonials. Reviews left on neutral platforms are likely to incorporate the good and the bad, which gives us a clearer picture of the pay per click advertising company’s performance.
Even the best PPC companies are likely to have a few negative reviews. Unless the negative reviews exceed the positive ones, we don’t immediately discard a PPC marketing company from our consideration. However, negative reviews help provide valuable insight into an agency’s weak points.
After filtering out PPC advertising companies based on client satisfaction, we further narrow down the list by examining how the agencies execute their PPC strategies.
Keywords make or break a successful PPC strategy. At this stage of our evaluation, we conduct interviews with specialists from the PPC advertising companies in question to assess their knowledge in relevant keyword research. As we do when evaluating SEO companies, we try to gauge their ability to recognize negative keywords that attract irrelevant leads. We also want to be sure they can target the appropriate, highly detailed keyword phrases as opposed to the broad, highly competitive ones that may not guarantee many leads.
This is a necessity for keeping visitors interested once they’re attracted through the paid ads. We check whether the pay per click companies can follow cutting-edge standards as far as conversion rate optimization is concerned. Additionally, we see if the companies run A/B tests for different layouts, landing page components, etc., to check whether some strategies could do with a new approach.
The budget is the essence of any paid advertising strategy. At this stage, we try to find out how skillful the PPC companies are in planning your budget, specifically seeing if the PPC managers can create a flexible, optimized budget allocation plan.
Different agencies have different systems in place regarding which member of the team liaises with the clients. At this stage, we check whether you will be interacting with the people who are hands-on with your project and how willing they appear to be to adjust and modify their strategies. The best pay per click companies allow direct coordination between the team executing the campaign and the client.
We also look at the frequency and quality of the progress reports shared by the pay per click advertising agency. These reports should feature all the relevant metrics. In addition to the conversion rate, this includes information related to impressions, CTRs, the average cost per click, the average position, the impression share, and the quality score.
Finally, it’s essential to have a clear idea of the pay per click marketing firm’s pricing model. At this stage, we check what model the agency follows—such as performance-based pricing, charging on a percentage of the ad spend, milestone-based pricing, or hourly fees—and if there are any hidden costs involved.
Once we determine the pay per click marketing agency’s fees, we compare these rates with those of other top PPC companies offering similar services with similar success rates. Generally speaking, an agency ranks better if its rates are comparable to its peer group and not significantly higher.
Since we’ve taken care to use a detailed and objective methodology to prepare the list above, choosing any PPC advertising agency from it is a safe choice. However, you’ll need to take a few more steps on your journey to a successful PPC campaign. You need to define certain aspects so you can hire the right agency and have a fruitful collaboration.
Before you begin spending money on PPC agencies, you need to be clear about what you’re trying to achieve. Without a clear goal, you can’t measure whether your investment in PPC marketing works for you. Different businesses have different requirements. Your goals can also vary depending on the specific environment you function in.
Your goal could include being easily discovered in search engines for relevant keywords, achieving a certain number of call leads per month, keeping the PPC conversion costs below a certain dollar amount, or gaining high visibility among mobile users.
Before hiring some of the best PPC agencies, you’ll need to define what you’re looking to promote through your PPC marketing campaign. This is also where you break up all your products and services into different ad groups with non-overlapping campaigns. If you have the same or similar keywords across multiple ad groups, they’ll end up competing with each other.
Once you’ve answered this question for each campaign, you’ll have officially listed out all your ad groups. At this stage, for pay per click agencies to be of real help, it’s also necessary to be clear about the need that your product or service fulfills, which will help you address the next question.
Once you’ve figured how your product or service provides value, you should be able to figure out the audience segment that benefits the most from it. Identifying the target audience includes being clear about factors like age group, buying power, geographical location, and so on. Knowing who you’re primarily promoting will help pay per click companies define and optimize your campaign for maximum return.
The most popular platforms for PPC marketing are Google AdWords and Bing Ads. However, based on the factors you defined under the previous points, the platform that serves your needs the best can vary. Other options include Yahoo Gemini, Ad Roll, and Quantcast, to name a few. Then, there are various social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, and Snapchat, each of which can help you reach a specific demographic better. The best PPC management companies will help you work this out, but having some idea of the advantages and drawbacks of the leading platforms helps.
The most popular platforms for PPC marketing are Google AdWords and Bing Ads. However, based on the factors you defined under the previous points, the platform that serves your needs the best can vary. Other options include Yahoo Gemini, Ad Roll, and Quantcast, to name a few. Then, there are various social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, and Snapchat, each of which can help you reach a specific demographic better. The best PPC companies will help you work this out, but having some idea of the advantages and drawbacks of the main platforms helps.
There’s no right amount when it comes to a PPC budget, but answers to the above questions can help you arrive at a range that you’re comfortable with. Industry benchmarks, your traffic generation requirements, guidance from estimate tools, etc., can all help you determine the budget you’re comfortable with.
In addition, you’ll need to figure out whether your budget is your absolute upper limit or if there is flexibility in how much you can spend. Remember that there are two main components to your PPC marketing spend: what you pay to PPC management companies for their services and what you pay for the actual paid advertising campaigns on the platforms.
While we have primarily considered objective factors until now, we can’t ignore the fact that a successful PPC campaign requires close collaboration between you and your PPC advertising company. For a productive B2B relationship, you need an agency with cultural values that align with yours. There are various ways to see which of the top PPC agencies are the right cultural fit for you and your business. Your interaction with the PPC advertising firm will be especially telling, as will the reviews and testimonials left by past clients.
Building a winning PPC campaign involves a large number of factors: researching and selecting the right keywords, structuring those keywords in well-organized ad groups, setting up PPC landing pages optimized for conversions, and much more. At this point, we’ve laid out everything you need to locate the best PPC agency to help you achieve this.
The topic of PPC and the best PPC advertising companies can be as detailed as it is interesting—plus, there are always new developments that make the subject endlessly exciting. However, this page is meant as a resource to familiarize business owners and marketers with the fundamental aspects of PPC advertising. Additionally, our methodology and advice should make the process of wading through long lists of PPC advertising companies a little easier. We’re confident that these pointers will help make your PPC marketing strategy more productive than ever before.