[Dentists] – 7 Questions you’ll want to ask your PPC agency before you sign (particularly if its Yell!)

By Loran Simon | Our Service

In last week’s article we wrote about some concerns our clients had expressed about Yell’s PPC service. In this week’s article we want to arm you with some helpful questions that should form the backbone of any conversation with any Digital Advertising / PPC provider.

Question 1 - How much of my monthly spend with Yell actually goes towards my advertising spend on Google?

Get a clear understanding of how your spend breaks down with Yell or any other agency you might be speaking with.

We can tell you from having spoken to Yell ourselves, that 40% of your monthly budget won’t get anywhere near your advertising spend, as its what you’ll pay for Yell to manage your campaigns on your behalf.

Now, there’s nothing inherently wrong with paying a decent amount for a good service. And, as a Digital Marketing Agency ourselves, we would never argue that running a successful, high performing Google Adwords account doesn’t take time each day, each week, each month to optimise it, the cost of which is how we earn our money.

However, it pays to be transparent about pricing, so that companies, particularly newcomers to Digital Advertising understand exactly what they are paying and to whom.

Question 2 - Who owns my PPC Campaigns - me or you?

It’s not unusual for PPC firms to set up campaigns under their business account, it’s not how we operate, but with larger companies / agencies it is not uncommon.

However, ,understanding what this means is important at the start of any relationship and its likely to be the most important question of all to ask. If they have ownership and control of your Google Adwords account then if/when the client/agency relationship ends, everything that has been set up and managed for you is worthless. It stays the property of the agency within their master account and you are back to square one.

Ideally, you want to ensure that your campaigns are setup under your own business account, so that whatever happens what you’ve paid your partner agency to do, is yours to keep and do with as you please.

Question 3 - What Ad Networks Does Your Firm Manage?

Yell is one of the largest resellers of Google Ads in the UK when you buy a ‘digital marketing’ package you’re really just buying adwords. You’ll be buying adwords whether or not its the right channel for your audience and market and in dentistry there is a lot of evidence to suggest that Facebook and more recently Instagram are highly cost effective channels.

Question 4 -Will you provide search term results?

Understanding your search term results is the only way to get a true gauge of the quality of traffic that's being driven to your website via your adwords campaigns.

The search terms report allows you to see how your ads performed when triggered by actual searches within the Search Network. A search term is the exact word or set of words a customer enters when searching on Google, whereas a keyword is the word or set of words created for a given ad group to target ads at your potential customers.

Your search terms report is a great indicator of how well your campaign is managed.   If your agency is doing a good job then the keywords list will contain high converting keywords and relevant negative keywords.

Low-performing keywords should be regularly and proactively removed from your keyword list. Adding negative keywords drastically improve the ROI of your campaign and stops you wasting clicks on irrelevant searches.

Question 5 - What is the fee structure?

In our previous article we were less than positive about Yell’s online sales materials - or at least how they position their ‘entry’ level service.

It’s not so much the pricing strategy or model (Yell takes 40% of your advertising spend, hatever that may be for itself, leaving the rest for Google) that we feel is misleading and potentially harms smaller, less experienced firms. It's the lengths they went to, when we called and spoke to their sales team, not to give a full and open account of this model.

Any company that claims you can buy a fully managed PPC advertising campaign for just £50 (where 40% of that budget goes to the agency running the campaign is simply not being honest.  In certain markets, dentistry being one, where keywords are very competitive, it will make no sense at all to run campaigns.

The reality is some agencies will take a percentage of advertising spend. Others will work off of a flat fee. The more money you spend, the more inclined you'll be to negotiate for a flat fee. If you spend £10,000 per month in advertising, a percentage of ad spend likely won't make sense for you since you'll be giving up £4000 of it to management fees for no real good reason. .

Question 6 - Do you use landing pages or send traffic directly to our website?

You might not have this in your mind when you’re first searching for a PPC agency, but landing pages are an important aspect of a paid search campaign. Every decent PPC agency knows that Google’s Quality Score is based on three things: keyword, ad text and landing page relevance.

To maintain the highest score possible, it’s best to use fewer keywords; smaller, targeted ad groups and highly relevant landing pages. Dedicated landing pages should provide what the ad promises and what the user wants. By using landing pages, your campaign will obtain a higher quality score, achieve a better cost per click and better ad rankings as a result.

Question 7 - How Will You Measure My Results?

There's no point continuing to waste your time and budget on keywords and advertising methods that don't generate new enquiries. It’s essential to know before you sign a contract what KPIs will be measured to determine how successful your campaigns were.

Clicks, Click Through Rates; Impressions, Conversions are all relevant metrics and tell you something about how your campaigns are performing, but understanding what these really mean and what’s important to your business is what you need to glean from your agency.

Ultimately in dentistry, you want to know how much your enquiries are costing you by treatment. Any good agency should be able to tell you this is they are tracking the right things, and dental specialists like us can even tell you in advance what you can expect in terms of a cost per enquiry by treatment as we routinely analyse all of the campaigns we run for dentists up and down the country.

There are plenty of other questions you’ll want to ask - what are the contract terms, what KPIs do you measure, how will you report on my campaigns who will actually managing and optimising my account on a daily basis and remember don’t sign until you are entirely happy with the answers. With Yell particularly you’ll be locked in for the next 12 months regardless of whether you’re happy with the results or not.

If you would like to speak to us about our Digital Advertising and SEO services, then book a call today.

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About the Author

After generating more than 85,000 patients for our own dental lab, and for the clients of our digital marketing agency for dental practices, I cracked the code for running successful online marketing campaigns.