When it comes time to find a new pay-per-click agency, there are questions that need to be asked. More importantly, the prospective agency should give intelligent and insightful answers that instill confidence. Below are seven questions that should be asked with their ideal responses.

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1) Can You Explain Your Keyword Research Process?

Ideal Response: Extensive keyword lists (min. 1500 – 2000 words); smart and diverse utilization of match types; multiple keyword tools used; includes negative keywords of varied match types to eliminate irrelevant traffic, consideration of short and long-tail keyword relevancy for different audiences.

2) When Taking On A Pre-Existing Account, What Is The Typical Account Structure Strategy?

Ideal Response: Able to adapt an account without starting over; able to perform thorough account audits and reviews; must mention maintaining the historical integrity of the account and should consider the performance history for gauging their actions.

3) How Do You Measure Success?

Ideal Response: Tangible benchmarks; improving cost per click, ad positions, click through rate; reducing excess spend and cost per conversion; ability to track both keywords and ads; monitors bounce rate and conversion rate of keywords & landing pages.

4) Are You Able To Handle Accounts With Multiple Lead Goals?

Ideal Response: Able to work with in-platform conversion monitoring as well as external reporting and analytics programs (e.g. Google Analytics); pragmatic tracking measures of sales, revenue, and conversion rates; should mention use of tracking URLs, Google Analytics conversion funnels.

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

5) What Is Your Experience With Landing Page Optimization?

Ideal Response: Understand creative best practices; experience with web development and the right agency should welcome involvement and solicit recommendations openly in regards to all aspects of landing page optimization; commonly practices A/B landing page testing.

6) How Do You Usually Reduce Excess Spend?

Ideal Response: Firm knows that more spending is not the primary way to increase sales; specifically, discusses a proactive strategy to improve keyword quality scores; use of negative keywords to eliminate irrelevant traffic, historical data analysis to reduce non-productive spend, and dayparting and demographic targeting options.

7) How Will You Work To Get Me Ahead Of My Competitors?

Ideal Response: A transparent, prepared, and well-informed response that illustrates experience and expertise and includes detail regarding previous client successes. There are a variety of competitive analysis tools available to monitor your new and/or existing competitors (i.e. Analyze Competition feature in AdWords, Spyfu or a similar interface, etc.). More importantly, the right agency should also be able to explain how they process competitor information to improve performance on your particular account because research means nothing without effective implementation.