When's the best time to contract out PPC?

Discussion in 'SEO, PPC and Online Marketing' started by Silky, Nov 22, 2010.

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  1. Silky

    Silky UKBF Ace Full Member

    1,170 210
    PPC is definitely an art that can lead to bust rather than boom if not handled correctly, the question is when to get an expert involved?

    We're launching a new website shortly and we'll have absolutely no history in this particular field. The site has been professionally designed, we're confident of handling our own SEO, and we're confident that with the right presence, it will reach forecast. We do realise however that promotion will be essential at the outset until we feature in a meaningful position in the ranks.

    We're happy to put the majority of our budget into PPC from the outset, but does the site need a little history before the project can be designed and measured accurately? At the moment we'd have no idea of the keywords used to find us, the path people have taken through the site, the bounce rates or any meaningful analytics whatsoever, although on the plus side, at this side of the project we're well placed to make any changes to landing pages that could be deemed useful.

    Input welcome!

    Posted: Nov 22, 2010 By: Silky Member since: Oct 29, 2007
  2. JElder

    JElder UKBF Ace Free Member

    1,142 192
    PPC is most useful in your situation - a new site that is not yet ranking naturally.

    Getting the extra traffic allows you to compress the time needed to get the site fully working. You will get the keywords that generate most traffic, the ones that convert and that do not, and an idea of competition.

    The extra traffic will also give you bounce rates, some idea of landing pages, and exit pages. You can use the traffic with things like surveys and other feedback to improve the site.
    Posted: Nov 22, 2010 By: JElder Member since: Jul 2, 2008

    TSGMIMS UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    41 6
    I would say now is the time to get a PPC company on board. They will help you set out pages which might need a little bit of tweaking etc.

    You mention you are prepared for SEO, the keywords you are targeting in SEO are likely the same that will be in your PPC account. A good PPC company will gather the keywords for you.

    The PPC company would be able to get the campaigns ready to go live the second your site does, so people will find you on Google when they hear about your site.
    Posted: Nov 22, 2010 By: TSGMIMS Member since: Jun 18, 2010
  4. JMRidley

    JMRidley UKBF Regular Full Member

    437 129
    Have you tried using a product like Keyword Spy - this will tell you what keywords your competitors are targetting and what ads they are placing. You can sign up to a free trial and see a bit of the info that is available. Also, you could have a look at the source code for your competitors site and see what they are using in their title tags etc. I'm presuming that you are signed up to google analytics so that you can track info about anyone who does visit your site.

    Personally, I would advise trying to manage a couple of adword campaigns yourself. You'll learn a lot and be in a much better position to speak to a provider about your requirements if you then decide to ask someone else to do it.
    Posted: Nov 22, 2010 By: JMRidley Member since: Nov 12, 2010
  5. Silky

    Silky UKBF Ace Full Member

    1,170 210
    I haven't come across Keyword Spy but we've used the google free tools (keyword analysis and traffic estimator) and have a short list of the terms we're targeting, just no history as the site is at the development stage and it will be a couple of weeks before it's live. I guess it's very much a chicken and egg type of question, we need the landing pages and site design complete so the site can be monitored to see if they're performing, but then the site may not perform if they're not carefully designed to trap traffic.

    We might well launch the site and manage the ppc ourselves for the first month to get a feel for the trends before we hand it over.

    Posted: Nov 22, 2010 By: Silky Member since: Oct 29, 2007
  6. Wiggy

    Wiggy UKBF Regular Free Member

    363 49
    The correct time to involve a professional is when you find one who will achieve a ROI including his/her fee that is better than you would achieve without them. . .
    It goes without saying that you need good conversion tracking in place. . .
    Posted: Nov 23, 2010 By: Wiggy Member since: Sep 11, 2007
  7. TicketyBoo

    TicketyBoo UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    3 0
    I would agree that the time to get a professional in is from the start, it is very easy with PPC to waist your money and a good professional will prevent this. No matter what your budget have a look around to see what's on offer, after all you have nothing to lose.

    And good luck with the business!
    Posted: Nov 23, 2010 By: TicketyBoo Member since: Nov 23, 2010
  8. GMH1982

    GMH1982 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    55 22
    I agree with a lot of what people are saying but I think personally you need to ask yourself a few questions.

    1) How much is the "majority of the budget"? - a decent PPC manager will be utilising their manual skills and time to make sure you are generating the maximum output from your campaign, not using generator tools/broad matching etc etc - in essence they will be continually working on your quality score which is a daily manual process. So throwing 2-300 quid a month at it wont even cover their fees!

    2) How many keywords do you envisage targeting - if it is 5-10 then do it yourself.....it is only when there is a need to constantly monitor, set up adgroups, monthly/seasonally target etc etc that you need a ppc manager.

    3) In order to have a successfull website, you need to be aligning both your PPC and SEO strategies, in essence depending on the other questions it may well be worth spending on SEO rather than PPC, although either way PPC will be essential for the first few months, but you will need to be thinking about your link profile (assuming your technical and on page seo are complete!)
    Posted: Nov 26, 2010 By: GMH1982 Member since: Nov 26, 2010
  9. Esk247

    Esk247 UKBF Legend Free Member

    7,758 1,514
    Really, honestly do try to contract it out from the start.

    The internet doesn't work the way you think it does, people don't search the way you think they do, i've tried doing PPC myself and its cost me £200 already without any sales from that method. It doesn't make the slightest bit of sense because people are searching for some totally wacky phrases and keywords that you'd not notice unless you were experienced in building PPC campaigns.
    Posted: Nov 26, 2010 By: Esk247 Member since: Oct 6, 2008
  10. Dave Thomas

    Dave Thomas UKBF Regular Free Member

    215 46
    Another approach is to work with a professional or an agency that will set up and start your off and then maybe offer a form of consultation for you to carry on if this is what you want to do. The big issue with PPC is that it can be very time consuming so if you are starting out and you have the marketing budget deffinately get someone in ......:)
    Posted: Nov 26, 2010 By: Dave Thomas Member since: Jun 18, 2010
  11. NellyUK

    NellyUK UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    14 1
    You have to take into consideration that YOU know your business!

    Most agencies will start large ( keywords) and over time (and money) whittle the KW list down and start getting a good ROI - but dont forget this will have a "wasted" cost element - it's how they learn.

    But if you know what sells, whats flavour of the month etc youve got a head start. Then look at what other companies are spending their money on and you will see a pattern emerge - main competitive Kw's constantly used over time & trends, its about intelligent strategies based on FACT ( research).

    My advise google perry marshal, BUY his ebook - print it off - read it! it will be the best $97 you will ever invest on PPC - it will enable you to set up your own campaigns, analyise data, adjust campaigns to make them more profitable and above all talk & work with agencies intelligently - should you wish to hire them!

    Good luck
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2010
    Posted: Nov 26, 2010 By: NellyUK Member since: Apr 15, 2010
  12. Colin Parker

    Colin Parker UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    600 333
    A big mistake in either PPC or SEO is to design the website first and THEN decide what keywords you are targeting for traffic.

    You first need to establish 1) what you want to sell 2) what keywords searchers would use 3) what your competitors are offering 4) why your target market should buy from you 5) how many groups of keywords are required to separate different search patterns 6) how many landing pages you need for each group AND THEN 7) decide on the offer, copy and design of your website.

    Designing the website first often dooms a PPC campaign to almost certain failure. Why? Because it shows that the person/business does not understand the marketing process and - if you are not a pretty smart experienced marketer or a quick learner - you will fail or perform badly at PPC.

    As for when to use a PPC 'expert' ... the hard part is finding one.

    Many so called PPC experts/consultancies run appallingly bad PPC campaigns for their own 'professional' services. They might be able to get better results than you, but then I could bake a better cake than my 10 year old granddaughter but it hardly qualifies me as a baker.

    My advice to anyone is before employing a PPC expert read and learn as much as you can about PPC, try it small scale for yourself and understand the basics. You might find you get surprisingly good results - and if you don't you might at least be able to judge a real expert from a dummy.

    Also, never forgewt that PPC is not just about driving traffic to a website. There is a simple formula for earning money from internet marketing which is; Traffic + Conversion = Sales.

    A ton of traffic from a PPC campaign with high CTR's and low CPC is of no use if your website doesn't convert the traffic to sales or enquiries. Poor website conversion is often THE biggest single factor that kills a PPC campaign and many PPC 'experts' are clueless at website conversion techniques.

    You can gather I don't have a high opinion of PPC experts/consultancies. There will be some good ones of course but most are no better - and often far worse - than a reasonably smart self taught individual.

    Colin Parker
    Posted: Nov 27, 2010 By: Colin Parker Member since: Mar 2, 2009
  13. NellyUK

    NellyUK UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    14 1
    Totally agree Colin - especially on this quote

    And one that has figured out and implements all of the above.
    Posted: Nov 27, 2010 By: NellyUK Member since: Apr 15, 2010
  14. Chris Ashdown

    Chris Ashdown UKBF Legend Free Member

    11,109 2,258
    Think about it from the PPC experts point of view, it's not worth getting out of bed if he is just going to get say £50 per month out of doing your site

    Start up on your own with a basic PPC with strict limits on amount per click say under £0.20 and a limit per day of between say £5-£10 per day with maybe 15-20 keywords

    Let it run for a week or two and try adjusting keywords using Google anylitics to judge what works

    When you start to spend about £1000 per month you are begining to get attractive to PPC Experts who can then have worthwhile amounts to spend on your sites and really get involved

    A expert will need to probably earn a minimum of say £1500- £2000 per month and often much more so you can judge what they will need to charge per hour to keep on top of your site
    Posted: Nov 27, 2010 By: Chris Ashdown Member since: Dec 7, 2003
  15. Silky

    Silky UKBF Ace Full Member

    1,170 210
    Thanks everyone for your input. The new website is new venture and a different business altogether from our main business so we have no history whatsoever. In choosing the business and indeed the domain name we looked carefully at the market, search terms, PPC costs, ranking etc alongside the general marketing mix, the proof of this all will be in the pudding I guess.

    We handled our own PPC for our current site (we dropped this once the SEO kicked in and got us a good ranking), the CTR rates were quite decently between 20-35% for a low outlay but we didn't measure conversion, mainly because we know our audience often lurk for a long period before they buy.

    We're in a position to put a much higher budget into the new site but recognise PPC is a specialist area and "tinkering" armed with the Idiot's Guide won't do the campaign any justice. That said, we know enough to get it started and manage some of the key terms initially to monitor initial results.

    With regard to the website, this was the reason for the initial query - it would be better to design the site with the PPC campaign in mind. It's not difficult for us to create new landing pages where necessary or modify existing ones, I guess we'll find out where these are needed once everything's up and running.

    Anyway, thanks again for reading. We're launching shortly so will soon have some of the history we're currently lacking.

    Posted: Dec 18, 2010 By: Silky Member since: Oct 29, 2007
  16. Wiggy

    Wiggy UKBF Regular Free Member

    363 49
    Just a quick FYI, I use conversion tracking software that is smart enough to register the source of sales even when the punter only buys after several visits. . . You get a history of the lurk, the original search, other visits, their IP address, etc. . .
    I will PM a recommendation to you.
    Posted: Dec 20, 2010 By: Wiggy Member since: Sep 11, 2007
  17. Angels Avenue

    Angels Avenue UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    20 1
    Can you share please?
    Posted: Mar 5, 2011 By: Angels Avenue Member since: Jan 30, 2009
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