Choosing a PPC management agency that can maintain and expand your account in the long term based on your individual goals is vital to success in search engine marketing. Below are five steps you should consider before choosing your PPC agency.

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Step 1: Make A List

When beginning your search, build an inclusive list of potential agencies, starting with professional referrals from colleagues and other professional contacts. Find additional agencies through company databases such as Google’s Certified Partner Search. While this list could be exhaustive and well-researched, you can often eliminate agencies that might not cater to your individual needs by reading through information on their website.

Step 2: Compare

Now that you have developed a nice long list of agency candidates, begin making cuts. You can start by examining which agencies are the best fit in terms of budgetary expectations and the total overview of services offered under that agency’s management. There are agencies that specialize in every budget range imaginable and most will gladly describe the budget range that they’re best suited for. In addition, every agency should be able to provide an overview of the services included in your monthly management fee, which can further help you refine your list of agency candidates.

Read more in the full white paper: How to Choose the Right PPC Agency

Step 3: Ask Questions

Interviewing the potential PPC agency is the most important step in the selection process. The interview is your chance to really find the agency that will satisfy not only your advertising goals, but also complement your company culture. Before setting up an introductory meeting with any agency, build a list of questions that addresses both your company’s marketing goals as well as your overall expectations for the partnership. Finally, make sure to include your ideal response for each answer.

Step 4: Rate

After each introductory meeting, it is important to analyze just how comprehensive each agency is in analyzing your needs and outlining a potential plan of action. Just as you shouldn’t make a decision based on the initial conversation, the right agency will want to take the time to ensure that they answer all your questions and review your account prior to starting. At the end of the process, take some time to analyze your evaluation forms and rank or categorize the final agencies.

Step 5: Go For It

At this point, you’re more than likely chomping at the bit to make a decision and get started. As you cycle through your rankings, be sure to weigh the strengths and expertise of each agency against your specific long-term vision and goals. Don’t hesitate to make one last phone call or send one last email, as now is the time to be sure that any perceived obstacles aren’t obstacles at all. Once you’re ready to go, review your proposal completely to ensure your notes match the agreement before signing on.