Heroview — Onboarding New & Existing Client Accounts

By Megan Stout | @Hanapin | Senior Designer at Hanapin Marketing

Starting a PPC account from scratch is a far cry from taking on an existing PPC Account. In this month’s Heroview Kayla Kurtz covers  new & existing client accounts, their differences and why you should care!


Welcome to today’s Heroview, everyone! Real-time interviews featuring PPC experts from around the industry! As a reminder, we’ll have some time at the end to open up for questions, so hang onto those until the end!

Today, Kayla Kurtz will discuss her methods for onboarding new or existing clients, their differences and why you should care! We’re really excited to have you with us today, Kayla! Thanks for joining PPC Hero!

Kayla: Thanks for having me! Looking forward to your questions!

PPC Hero: Why don’t we start with you giving us a little more info about your background in PPC?

Kayla: As the Paid Search Consultant for @hanapin, I work to bridge the gap between sales & new clients to make sure we have a grasp on account needs before we onboard them to our agency. Before, when I was an Account Manager, I led a few accounts when they first came to our agency and assisted with determining that onboarding strategy for them.

PPC Hero: Very cool, Sounds like you have a solid PPC background!

Kayla: Well thank you! I’m a bit of a PPC addict, for sure 🙂

PPC Hero: What questions do you ask when onboarding a new PPC account?

Kayla: Questions vary depending on vertical, but determining current & future goals is key. Will PPC be the main marketing function? How familiar is the client with PPC marketing? What will count as a conversion? Just a few, of course 🙂

PPC Hero: Similar question, but different: What questions do you ask when onboarding an existing PPC account?

Kayla: The biggest q’s here are based on current/goal performance: What are KPI goals? Is performance on target or is a key metric missing the mark? Which issue is of highest priority? Have you been working in-house or w/an agency?

PPC Hero: Very nice.  Do you prefer onboarding a new versus and old account? Do you go after one over the other?

Kayla: I probably prefer existing accounts over new ones b/c there are typically pretty solid goal metrics already in place however, I definitely don’t avoid new accounts, as it’s a from-the-ground-up opportunity to build a winning account.

PPC Hero: What’s the first step when onboarding a new PPC account vesus an established account, how does it differ?

Kayla: The first step is actually the same for both, in that goals of the PPC account(s) need to be established up front.

PPC Hero: What is the biggest difference between the two during the entire onboarding process?

Kayla: The biggest difference is typically client comprehension. More often than not, new account clients require a heavier general education of how PPC works before getting onboard in the first place. Can take some time, but very necessary.

PPC Hero: couldn’t agree more, very necessary step! Why is it so important to know how to onboard a new and established PPC account differently?

Kayla: Client trust needs to be top of mind in either case. Pushing too hard for goals they may not know on new accounts or too much basic PPC education for existing accounts can make the client feel belittled or out of their comfort zone.

PPC Hero: If you’re onboarding an established account that’s a total hot mess, do you ever suggest starting a new one?

Kayla: There are times when starting over may be the best idea, but it’s usually a decision based on how old the account is because mature account history could be more valuable than the time saved from avoiding a restructure/starting over.

PPC Hero: What was your worst onboarding experience and what did you learn from it?

Kayla: My worst experience was for an existing account with fairly strict ROI & CPL goals. I wanted to take a look in the account before starting, but the client was eager to get started based on references of ours he checked. So we skipped the account check and once we got in, we realized the client’s goal expectations were nearly impossible in his vertical. Lesson learned: don’t skip that step unless the client is flexible on goals!

PPC Hero: Does onboarding an existing account in Bing Ads or Google change your strategy?

Kayla: I’d say the only way that would change strategy is if the client is only running in Bing Ads and not AdWords at all because that could be a great expansion opportunity or discussed if it’s not a part of the PPC plan moving forward.

PPC Hero: Do you do any in-depth analysis for the client when onboarding existing accounts?

Kayla: Most definitely! Assuming the client will grant me read-only access before onboarding, we can answer a lot of q’s eary and have an opportunity to build a road map or action plan to agree on w/ the client before even getting started.

PPC Hero: How much projection information do you provide the client for new accounts?

Kayla: I usually try to put together at least a starter keyword list for terms we’d bid on, estimates on impressions and average CPCs. Then from there, I can make some rough estimates on budget, and maybe conversions.

PPC Hero: Sounds like a plan! What was your best onboarding experience, and what made it so great?

Kayla: The best experience was actually a client coming out of a bad agency experience, where from day 1, communication between their team and ours was a priority for both sides. They knew their goals and worked with us to determine appropriate timelines for hitting those goals and achieving their long-term strategy. Still a client to this day!

PPC Hero: Last Question If there was only one thing you could leave us with today, what would that one thing be?

Kayla: Oof, one thing?! 😉 I’ve said it a million times, but communication is crucial. Existing or new account doesn’t matter When onboarding a client: ask relevant & necessary questions, confirm often that both sides are on the same page and don’t make assumptions about anything!!

PPCHero: Well, that’s all from us. Do you have anything else you’d like to add, or does anyone have any questions?

Kayla: I think I’m all done, but I’d love to take questions!

PPC Hero: Thanks for joining us today, Kayla! We really appreciate you taking the time to “drop some PPC knowledge” on the Twitter-verse!