How to Hire a Google Ads Expert
Formerly known as ‘AdWords’, Google Ads is a paid advertising platform that hosts a number of advertising channels including Search, Display, YouTube, and Shopping.
You may have heard of the term ‘Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising? Well, Google Ads is a PPC marketing channel, which essentially means that the advertiser only pays for the clicks that the ad receives. With a well-thought-out Google Ads strategy your budget never goes to waste because you’re only paying for the attention you get from potential customers (those with high-purchase intent).
Wanting to reach your target audience via Google but not sure where to start? Perhaps it’s time to consider hiring a Google Ads expert. Hiring a Google Ads expert can assist in generating epic results and getting a great return on your investment. However, it is important to find the right person who has the experience and knowledge to deliver those results. We’ve compiled the questions you should be asking before hiring a Google Ads expert to make sure you get results from your paid marketing efforts.
Types of Google Ads support
First things first, there are different types of Google Ads experts that you can appoint.
- Freelance Google Ads specialists: these are individuals who typically work with a business in a one-to-one consulting capacity, either on an ongoing basis or as required on an ad-hoc basis.
- Google Ads agency: agencies usually consist of digital marketing experts, specialising in a number of advertising activities, such as content marketing experts, SEO experts, and PPC specialists.
- In-house Google Ads manager: hiring an in-house Google Ads manager typically is an option for larger organisations that have complex ongoing campaign management requirements. This person will usually sit within the marketing team.
Selecting the level of support ultimately comes down to your own unique needs and capabilities, and the budget you are willing to spend.
What a Google Ads expert does
I bet you’re wondering by now what a Google Ads expert actually does? As a Google Ads expert myself, let’s take a look at what my days usually entail:
- Conduct a competitor analysis and keyword research to determine the scope of the market.
- Creating a campaign strategy that leverages search intent to build awareness and drive the objectives that are relevant to your business (i.e. leads, conversions).
- Reviewing the implementation of tracking code on the website to ensure activity is being accurately recorded and reported.
- Monitoring and optimising campaign performance by adjusting things like search terms, bid adjustments, placement settings, budget.
- Producing reporting documents or dashboards that monitor and compare the performance of campaign activity against agreed objectives.
- Implementing A/B tests and experiments and using these insights to inform optimisation strategies and new ad copy.Reviewing landing pages (where the traffic from the ad clicks through to) and check-out behaviours to determine if there are opportunities for optimisation outside of the ad campaign and on the website.
Ask these questions before hiring a Google Ads specialist
Time to get into the nitty-gritty details of what you should be asking when considering hiring a Google Ads specialist:
1. Ask for a portfolio of their work
Gaining broader insight into the potential candidate is ideal to ensure that they are the right fit for your brand and needs. Asking questions such as the following allows you to gain insight into who they are and the experience they have in managing similar campaigns:
- What industries do they have experience in?
- Do they have any relevant case studies that they can share?
- How much ad spend do they manage on a weekly/monthly basis?
2. Do they have their Google Ads certifications? Are they a Google Partner?
Google Ads certifications are courses that are hosted by Google that provide an accreditation upon completion, demonstrating knowledge and proficiency within areas of Google Ads.
There are six certifications available:
- Google Ads Search
- Google Ads Display
- Google Ads Video
- Shopping Ads
- Google Ads Apps
- Google Ads Measurement
So, what is a Google Partner? When a Google Ads Agency is a Google Partner, it means that Google recognises them for being able to maximise campaign success for their clients, drive growth, and are able to demonstrate Google Ads skills and expertise with certifications.
Now with all of that said, it is absolutely not crucial for your potential Google Ads candidate/s to have their Google Ads certifications or be a Google Partner. Why? Well there are a number of factors that are required to become a Google Partner which makes it difficult to obtain.
There are three requirements that must be met in order to become a Google Partner:
- Performance: need to have a minimum optimisation score of 70% across managed accounts.
- Spend: need to maintain a 90-day ad spend of $10,000 USD across managed accounts.
- Certification: need to have a minimum of 50% of account users within the manager account certified in Google Ads, with at least one certification in each product area where you have campaign spend (i.e. Display).
If your Google Ads expert is a Google Partner… bonus! If not, it definitely is not a reflection of their capabilities.
3. Do they outsource any of the work?
Occasionally, freelance Google Ads specialists may engage with subcontractors to support them with elements of the campaign, such as copywriting.
Whilst outsourcing may not be an issue for you, it is important to ensure that you receive full transparency of who is going to be working on your account. It is also worth noting that some agencies and freelancers appoint subcontractors who are located overseas in regions where they are paid significantly less in comparison to Australia.
Here at Young Folks, our staff are located in Australia with fair working conditions and remunerations that reflects the Australian Industry Award. With flexible working arrangements, there are no expectations to work unpaid overtime hours, outside of business hours. Why? Well the wellbeing of our staff is paramount, and we believe in supporting the local economy and do not send work offshore.
4. How much do they charge to manage campaigns?
Talking about money is never comfortable, however, it is important to ask early in the engagement with the potential candidate/s to ensure that their fees sit within your budget.
There are various ways that a Google Ads expert may break down the costs.
- Per campaign or project: this is generally suitable when there is a specific outcome or timeframe (think: Christmas campaign). This approach will typically involve limitations on the number of ad groups and ads created.
- Time: this approach uses the hourly rate model, charging based on the time spent on creating and managing the campaign/s.
- Retainer: under a retainer your Google Ads specialist will likely either have a flat rate based on the scope of work, or a flat rate plus an additional fee based on the percentage of ad spend. If the percentage of spend model is applied, something to be mindful of is if the Google Ads expert suggests increasing the spend, how can you trust their recommendation given it benefits them, too?
- Results based: some Google ads managers may opt for this pricing model which charges per lead or conversion captured, or upon a percentage of revenue. Whilst this may sound ideal, there are several ways to play the system. If you opt for this approach, it is important to make sure you’re across how the results will be tracked and have a clear contract in place prior to commencing work. Transparency is key here!
Ask for a pricing sheet, preferably with a breakdown of the price and actions that justify that price, prior to selecting a Google Ads expert to ensure that the fit is right for you.
5. Do they provide a strategy and campaign plan?
Will you be receiving a Google ads strategy and campaign plan prior to turning on marketing activity? We get it. Launching a marketing campaign is exciting stuff. However, it’s crucial to have a well-considered strategy in place to ensure you have well and truly scoped out the market and have a clear activity plan and objectives to work towards.
6. What ad spend do they recommend for your campaigns?
The Google Ads expert should be able to provide a predicted monthly budget using the recommended keywords, average cost per click, and average click-through rate. These figures are beneficial to have to use as a baseline (or minimum monthly spend), and then once you have gathered enough data from the campaigns, you can predict the monthly budget for the upcoming months.
7. How do they present their data/findings?
How will you be presented with the results from the campaign/s? Will you receive weekly and monthly reports via email? Will the data be presented in a live reporting dashboard?
As an example, here at Young Folks, we provide our clients with access to their own weekly and monthly live and customisable reporting dashboards in Google Data Studio. What this means is that our clients can access their data at any point in time, ensuring that they have complete transparency.
We also provide a weekly update via email and have a one-hour call every month to dive into the details and plan out future marketing activity.
8. How do they measure the performance of Google Ads campaigns?
You are enquiring about running a Google Ads campaign for a specific reason, so it is important to determine the appropriate objectives and metrics to track performance.
- Will they be implementing tracking?
- What metrics do they recommend to measure results?
- Will they take steps to understand your margins and the return on investment required in order for the activity to drive sustainable growth?
9. Do they have experience with the campaign type you are wanting?
What campaign type are you wanting to explore? Think: search campaign, display campaign, YouTube advertising, or perhaps a shopping campaign?
Although these campaign types are all managed within the one platform (Google Ads), there are complexities involved with each. Check in with the potential candidate to determine where their experience and skills lie.
10. Will I have access to my account and campaigns?
Be sure to retain ownership of the account by asking the Google Ads manager to link the account with their Google Ads Manager account. If they do not have a manager account, simply add their email address as a user within the account. You will retain ownership of the account, therefore will have full control.
11. What happens when our contract ends?
Before entering into a contract with a Google Ads expert (whether you hire in-house, or go with a freelancer, or an agency), be sure to negotiate what will occur once the contract has ended.
To ensure that both parties are not left stranded, opt for a two-way notice period. This also allows for a smooth hand-over process. The main area to be mindful of before entering into a contract is data ownership. Whilst it is rare for this to happen, some digital experts delete campaign activity when a contract concludes, meaning that you no longer have access to that valuable data. Being mindful of these things before entering a contract will help eliminate any issues later down the track.
Getting started with Google Ads
Ready to jump in and start the process of finding a Google Ads expert? Young Folks is a Google Ads agency specialising in Google search, display, and YouTube campaigns for responsible brands.