30 questions to ask that so-called PPC ‘expert’ before hiring him/her
Just say no to the expert if he/she can't answer the following 30 PPC, content and remarketing questions, says contributor John Lincoln.
When it comes to pay-per-click (PPC), it’s often best to call in the experts. But sometimes even experts need to be put to the test.
The following are a variety of questions and their answers from major search and e-commerce sites like Google, Amazon and Bing. Use them to ask any “expert” you may be interested in hiring to help you with PPC, content and remarketing.
Google AdWords questions to ask your PPC expert
1. How will you manage the Google Quality Score?
Google’s Quality Score is based on three things: keyword, ad text and landing page relevance. To maintain the highest score possible, it’s best to use fewer keywords and use smaller, targeted ad groups. That way, we can write more targeted copy that will more likely find its niche. PPC experts should be very familiar with Quality Scores, how they work and how to improve yours. (And sometimes, you may not want to focus on Quality Score.)
2. Can you explain how the Google auction works?
The auction process goes like this:
- When a user enters a search, AdWords pulls all the ads whose keywords match that particular search.
- From the ads, any that aren’t eligible, such as ads that target a different country or have been disapproved, will be ignored.
- From the ads remaining, only those with a high enough Ad Rank will show results.
It’s a crucial stage of your campaign, so make sure anyone involved with it knows the process and how to get the most out of it.
3. How does Ad Rank affect cost per click (CPC)
When it comes to CPC (the actual amount you’re charged per click), the most you will end up paying is the minimum amount required to hold your ad position. In the Search Network, ads that appear above the search results generally have a higher CPC than those that appear below the results.
4. What is click-through rate (CTR), and how is it calculated?
CTR is a ratio that shows how many people are clicking on your ad after seeing it. It’s calculated by dividing the number of clicks by the number of impressions. The total number of clicks divided by the total number of impressions = click-through rate.
5. What are some things you can do using the Google AdWords API, and would you recommend using it?
While the AdWords API offers a variety of tools and functions. it should be used only by those with a dedicated engineering service and needs that can’t be met through other AdWords tools. Make sure you hire an expert who knows when to call in the API — and when not to.
6. What third-party tools do you use for keyword discovery?
Outside of Google’s own search query, there are plenty of tools to help discover new and related keywords. Make sure your expert is aware of the following:
- Google Keyword Planner Tool.
- Bing Keyword Research Tool.
Google display network questions to ask your PPC expert
Google offers a comprehensive exam to test your Display Network knowledge. As such, an expert should be able to ace it.
7. Why is it recommended to separate Display Network campaigns from Search Network campaigns?
The answer may vary by campaign, though Google explains that different campaign settings may be more effective on different networks.
8. What is the On-Schedule Indicator (OSI)?
This is the percent likelihood the campaign will deliver all impressions booked.
9. How long should advertisers wait after creating a new display campaign before analyzing its performance?
Google’s answer is two to three weeks. Look for a similar answer.
10. What do managed placements allow advertisers to do?
Bid differently for specific placements on the Google Display Network.
Bing questions to ask your PPC expert
11. How is the Bing Quality Score calculated?
Like Google, the Bing Quality Score is calculated based on the expected click-through rate, ad relevance and landing page experience.
12. How do I improve my ad’s position in Bing?
In Bing, you want to be in the top eight spots. To get there, Bing lists some suggestions, including increasing the relevance of your ad, your landing page, writing more effective copy and more.
13. In Bing, what are the differences between search ads and content ads?
Ads are separated into search and content ads on Bing. Search ads are equivalent to Google search ads, while content ads mirror display ads. Content ads are shown in Windows apps in the content network.
Amazon questions to ask your PPC expert
14. Do you recommend using Amazon Bid+ for bidding?
Bid+ allows Amazon to raise bids up to 50 percent and may not be best if you are managing your ad spend.
15. How are Amazon ads displayed, and how do you improve your ad placement?
Amazon ads are displayed at the top of the search, right, middle, bottom or on the product detail pages. Like other PPC campaigns, the display position is affected by search relevance, keywords and bids.
16. How can I get more campaign impressions on my Amazon Sponsored Product campaigns?
On Amazon, increasing your number of keywords and the number of products in your ad campaign may have an effect, as well as increasing your budget.
17. Which match type will be most effective for my Sponsored Product campaign?
Similar to AdWords, Amazon offers exact match, phrase match and broad match.
Remarketing questions to ask your PPC expert
18. What are the benefits of remarketing?
A PPC expert should be familiar with remarketing and able to outline its many benefits, including:
- Targeting users when they’re most likely to buy.
- Lists created for specific purposes.
- Large-scale reach.
19. Is my site equipped to handle tracking requirements to ensure the remarketing campaign works?
Before beginning your remarketing campaign, you’ll need to make sure your site is able to support the required pixels or codes.
20. What are the most important KPIs to measure success?
Remarketing, like any other campaign, comes with a set of metrics to keep track of. Those include CTR, cost per click (CPC), effective cost per acquisition (eCPM) and return on investment (ROI). Before you start, make sure you know what your goal is and which key performance indicators (KPIs) best reflect it.
21. What types of remarketing are there, and which is best for my campaign?
Remarketing isn’t one-size-fits-all. Within the ad type, there are options including:
- Site remarketing.
- Search remarketing.
- Email remarketing.
- Social media remarketing.
22. Which audience segment should I target?
Once you’ve decided on the type of remarketing, the next step is choosing a segment. An expert should be able to tell you the differences between general visitors, specific product visitors, previous customers and so on and which is most appropriate for the given campaign.
23. Should I use a list automatically created by AdWords?
When you initially create a remarketing campaign, AdWords will create default lists for you to use. Or you can choose to create a website remarketing list on your own.
24. On Bing, does remarketing work on both the search and content network?
Remarketing only works with search ads on Bing.
25. How are UET tags, conversion goals and remarketing lists related on Bing?
Your expert should be able to explain to you exactly what universal event tracking (UET) tags are, and how each fits into your remarketing campaign.
Facebook questions to ask your PPC expert
26. What kinds of budgets are available on Facebook?
There are two types of budgets available on Facebook: daily budgets and lifetime budgets.
27. How are budgets related to campaign and account spending levels?
When it comes to money and budgets, you and your PPC expert should have a clear understanding of how it will be used and what will be accomplished. Make sure you are both familiar with Facebook’s campaign budgets and spending levels.
28. How do I increase the number of impressions on my ad?
Few or low impressions could point to a number of things:
- Budget is too low.
- The same people are seeing your ad repetitively.
- Your target audiences are overlapping.
Your PPC expert should be able to diagnose the issue and know how to work to improve it.
Copywriting questions to ask your PPC expert
29. What do you consider when writing an ad?
When it comes to writing text ads, you will want to hear answers that include call to action (CTA), visuals, attention-grabbing headlines and more.
30. How do you test ad copy?
A good PPC expert knows the value of testing and should be prepared to test content factors such as pricing, punctuation, emotional appeal and CTAs.
Most PPC campaigns are complex, and even the smallest detail can have a big effect on the outcome.
If you’re not comfortable running campaigns yourself, consult an expert. Interview them thoroughly and make sure they can accurately answer the above questions.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.