By: Patrick Sauriol Nov 28/2023

Suppose that you did your research, asked for several quotes, performed interviews, and finally chose a PPC agency to manage your Google Ads account. Every pay per click agency that provides this service wants to please their client and deliver great results (and I include Snaptech in that catchment.) But what do you do if a monthly report comes in and your PPC efforts aren’t yielding the results that you hoped for?

Do you fire your PPC agency immediately? Do you demand answers and expect better results next month? How much leeway should you give your PPC manager to turn things around?

These are hard questions to ask if you are a customer, especially if things were going well for your account. It’s also a hard place to be in if you are the PPC agency representative. I’ve worn the shoes for both sides. I had to ask difficult questions to PPC vendors when I worked for companies that needed Google Ads management. And, when I worked for a paid ads agency and had times when accounts weren’t living up to expectations, I had tough phone calls to make with my clients.

Life – and running a PPC campaign – was never promised to be easy. I believe that how you face difficult challenges, and how to plan a strategy to turn things around, is a part of life.

Here’s how Snaptech has faced this challenge before and what we do to find a solution to PPC difficulties.

First, Recognize There’s a PPC Problem

Spotting the trouble early on is a good way to start solving the problem.

When your Google Ads manager sees a trend outside normal fluctuations in cost per click, ROAS (return on ad spend) or cost-per-conversion, or anything else amiss, their first action should be to dive deeper into the account and start analyzing.

In an earlier blog post I talked about resources the average Google Ads account needs to be properly managed. Having sufficient resources to observe the daily and weekly ebb and flow of your Google Ads account is precisely why it should exist.

The same holds true for having someone keep an eye on your online ads. There are a lot of variables at play with Google Ads: what the competition is doing with their ads; changes to the number of bids or bid amounts by your competitors in the ad auction; daily or seasonal flows in search volume; your choice of bid strategy and whether you have selected one that utilizes machine learning; and the UX of site visitors that go to your landing pages and website pages.

You’re not in a static, never changing world when it comes to online advertising. It’s more like nature where other factors, like the current weather and seasonal trends, can affect your experience.

Spot the signs that a storm might be headed your way, so you can adjust your course and go around the dark clouds, and you’ll be better off.

The same works for recognizing warning signs early on with your Google Ads account. Your ads manager should be giving you “weather reports” in your regular meetings with them.

When There’s a Problem, What’s the Plan?

Say in one of your meetings your Google Ads manager tells you there’s a patch of rough weather the account is presently dealing with. The problems could be:

  • Insufficient budget for sufficient ad visibility in your desired target markets;
  • Increased competition for the keywords you’re targeting.
  • The account is going through a learning phase after recent changes;
  • Changes to the site or conversion tracking have thrown off the data feedback loop;
  • Lower search volumes (less interest in your product/service).

These are the warning signs. The job of your ads manager is to chart a course around the bad weather.

There can be multiple factors contributing to one of these poor indicators. For example, let’s say your search impression share is less than 10%. It could be that your location targeting is too broad for your budget.

Another possible symptom of this specific issues is keyword targets are too broad for your budget.

A third possibility: cost-per-click has increased significantly.

As you can see, figuring out the cause behind the symptom can be complex. An ads manager will face these challenges, develop experience in determining the cause(s) and try out methods to solve the issues.

When you get a bad weather report from your ads manager ask them for the layman’s explanation of what they suspect is the problem, what they are doing to try and diminish the negative effects to your ads performance, and when they expect the account to respond to the changes and the results to improve

A person holding a compass is like a PPC specialist looking for a ad strategy for their clients

 When the Plan Doesn’t Work, What’s Next?

Every ads manager or PPC agency team will have bad experiences that linger in their thoughts. Agencies and ad managers should be willing to have a frank discussion about performance including discussing the possibility that you cannot compete in all your target locations and markets. That’s an easy way to separate the reputable PPC professionals from the fly-by-nights.

When a plan A fails, you need a plan B. And when that one fails, you go to the next letter in the alphabet. Google Ads management is a science that requires continual testing and evaluation.

Life would be much easier if problems vanished when you tried to solve them the first time, but like I said, we don’t live in that kind of world. Sometimes a fire will grow in size even when resources and manpower are used to try and put it out or contain the damage.

As I mentioned earlier, Google Ads managers with experience have the knowledge to try and anticipate the possible outcomes of executing a plan – including the good and the bad possible outcomes.

Clients need to think of their ad managers like financial advisors. If you’re planning for a well-off financial future, your advisor should be investing in smart ways. That same financial advisor can’t predict when the stock market will tank, or a recession will happen, but they should be able to pivot and change course when needed. Their revised recommendations should be for the best interests of their clients.

That’s how your PPC management team needs to act when the going gets rough. If in extreme situations the smart strategy is to reduce your ads budget to weather the downturn, so be it (even if it means an adjustment in your engagement with your agency.)

When a bad time in a company’s business happens our agency tries to find a solution that works best for them.

We want to be a long-term partner with our clients, and that means helping them through the bad times as much as the good ones.

Fight the good fight until you win or there’s nothing else left to do. No one wants to ever toss in the towel but again, we know that life isn’t promised to be easy.

If that conversation ever has to happen between our agency and a client we won’t look forward to having it. But if we do need to have it, we’re going to know for certain that we performed all work with our client’s best interests in mind and to the best of our abilities.

Let’s Not End on Such a Downer Note

If Snaptech’s batting rate was low we wouldn’t have been in the digital marketing industry since 2002. We have dozens of Google Ads clients who are happy with the results from our ads management. We help them earn revenue and because of their trust and loyalty we have grown our team and expertise so that we can provide better services to our clients.

There have been times when clients have struggled and we’ve gotten them through rough patches. If a client feels that they might be better served by a different PPC agency’s approach we part ways and wish them all the success. We’ve also been in the opposite situation and new clients have come to Snaptech requesting a new approach to their PPC management.

I hope that my observations from past experiences gives you a different perspective on the PPC manager/client relationship and new questions to ask your rep. If it helps forge a stronger understanding between your PPC agency and your business’ objectives, this article was worth it.