Running successful and profitable PPC accounts is a skill. It’s also something that a lot of people don’t know very much about.
If you’re looking for a new consultant and PPC expert and you want to know whether they can do more than just talk the talk, look no further.
Please describe the process of the Google auction in AdWords
You’re looking for an answer along the following lines:
- Someone makes a search
- AdWords enters the most relevant keyword, associated ad and maximum bid into the bidding process
- Google will use your bid multiplied by your quality score to determine your AdRank.
- The bidder with the highest total will appear top.
What are your favourite keyword research tools and how do you use them?
You’re looking for them to mention some of the following:
- Google Keyword Planner
- Bing Keyword Research Tool
Should we bid on our own brand name and phrases?
They should say yes. Listen for any of the following reasons:
- Appear above competitors bidding on your brand
- Improve overall quality of your account with the high click-through rates and relevancy
- Low cost
- Dominate brand search results
Can you give us an idea of your weekly essential maintenance tasks?
In a week you’re PPC consultant will take on lots of tasks and activities so it’s unlikely they’ll be able to recount all of them. However, you’ll want to hear some of these mentioned (and perhaps prompt to ask how they might do some they haven’t mentioned):
- Overall performance – spend, conversions, ROI
- Bid adjustments
- Check you’re hitting your budgets
- Identify under-performing keywords
- Check search terms report for new negative keyword additions
- Check performance of ads – pause underperformers, write new test ads
- Identify new keyword opportunities
- Check your impression share – Do you need to increase your budget, change your match types or pause keywords?
What is quality score and why is it important?
Quality score is Google’s rating of the quality and relevance of your keywords and ads. It depends on a number of factors, including:
- Click-through rate
- Relevance of the keywords in the ad group
- The relevance of your ad to the search
- The consistency and quality of your landing page
- Performance across your account
Quality score is important as it plays a key factor in determining your cost per click, your ad rank (the position you appear in) and whether you appear at all!
In your opinion, what makes a well-written and high performing ad?
You want to hear them mention some of the following:
- Include a strong call to action
- Make the most of the space you have
- Relevancy to the keyword
- Using capital letters for each word
- Standing out from competitors
- Making the most of extensions like sitelinks, callouts and reviews
A, What campaign are you most proud of? What were the aims, the results and how did you achieve them?
B, If you were to do it again, what would you do differently?
You want to get an idea of thought-process here. You’ll want your PPC expert to be able to convert your business aims and objectives into actionable tasks in AdWords.
If necessary, prompt for more information on each point.
You’re looking for:
- Enthusiasm – this is the campaign they are most proud of, if there’s no enthusiasm here I’d start to get worried
- Recalling the aims of the business (e.g. ROI, profit, brand awareness of a new business or product) – not just metrics
- Logical steps from business aims to AdWords processes and goals
- Ability to shift and change to developing situations
- Recalling the results and whether aims were met (this is essential for learning)
- Being able to give a meaningful evaluation and ideas for how to improve for next time. Nothing is ever perfect.
These 7 essential questions for your next PPC expert will help you gain an overall idea of their competency from top-level strategy through to the manual work. If you have types of campaigns you’re already running, ask about those too.
Technical questions, definitions and recent AdWords news can help separate those who talk the talk and the ones that can walk the walk. However, real life scenarios can give you a good idea of what they’ll be like to work with and their ability to factor in the overall aims of the business.