PPC Rant: Episode 1 – Integrity & Intelligence in the PPC Community

March 28, 2014 - 14 minutes read

My Very First “PPC Vlog”

So a couple weeks ago, i was driving (yes I was safe), and there was some stuff I just needed to get off my chest. So i decided to record my thoughts. It is quite “ranty” but it is also I feel something very important to me.

This is going to be something I do at least bi-monthly & would love any feedback, or ideas for future PPC Vlogs.

Without futher ado here it is – with a transcript following. Again please leave feedback & suggestions as this is the first one I have ever done.

Thanks for watching and in case you want to read, the transcript is below.


Transcript for PPC Rant: Episode 1 Integrity & Intelligence in the PPC Community

This is going to be new weekly column that I do called PPC on the Road where I just chat about some of the things that I’ve seen going on or come across in the last week.  It’s going to be a little bit of a free format … a place where hopefully we’ll be able to talk about some of the trends and industry stuff going on, as well as the opportunity to learn a little bit about PPC and some issues and talk to specific things that both clients,  in-house, and agencies can get in on the issues and see what’s going on and hopefully find some solutions.

This week it’s going to be a little bit of a rant, in that I am tired of lazy PPC people.  Bottom line.  There’s way too many people that are just ridiculously lazy that say that they are PPC experts.  This is both in-house as well as agency.

The PPC Audit that pushed me over the edge

Just the other day I did an audit for a client.  Not a huge client.  They spend about $7,000 a month.  It’s still a good amount.  They had an agency that was doing their SEO & their PPC.  Their PPC was set up in such a way that the first thing that I check …

Because you know you don’t always go in when you’re doing an audit and check all of the campaign settings and try and see what’s happening there.  You usually start digging in with the ads, and the keywords, and conversions, and all of the stuff like this.

Well, I found something interesting in that the agency, when they set it up, had actually set it up for automated bidding.  What that means, is in Google speak is that Google gets to choose what your bids are, your CPC bids for your keywords.  Every time the auction comes into play, they get to choose what you are bidding and bid for you. The only control you basically have is whether you want your ads delivered quickly and what your budget is.

They had that enabled.  On top of that, there was no max CPC bid set.  Not only did Google have control over the bids, but they could bid whatever they wanted.  This had been in play from the very time that the account started for seven months.

The advertiser was wondering why their account performed so horribly.  They paused a bunch of things.  They paused Bing completely because it “Just didn’t work.”

Both the Agency and Client are at Fault

When I first saw this, I was like, “Are you freaking kidding me?  Are you kidding?”  I double checked and I asked them, “This wasn’t something you set up?”  “Oh, no. No.  That was set up by our agency.  The guys that know Adwords and set things up for us.”

I don’t even know what to say at that point.  I wanted to freaking scream and tell the client that first off, they were an idiot in some ways because they didn’t know that.  But you don’t know what you don’t know.

That’s the thing.  There are way to many people out there that take advantage of that fact.  They get clients in.  They get them going.  The client has no idea.  They don’t do PPC.  There’s a reason why they hired you.  Why they hired an agency.  Or why they hired an in-house person.  Because they don’t do it.  They are not the specialist.  They expect somebody else to be.

When they come to find out that this “specialist” is no more than a snake salesman and a charlatan, they’re just confused.  For the longest time, they blame it, not on the charlatan, the person who is supposed to be this expert, but on the actual product itself.  They blame in Adwords.  They blame it on Bing.  They blame it on Facebook.  They blame it on the marketing instead of the person actually doing the marketing.  You can’t do that.

In-House Marketers you have a responsibility

You need to be able to understand enough, from the client perspective.  If you are somebody that is spending money on marketing, you at least need to be able to understand the basics.  You need to know that if you went into your Adwords account … you need to have a log in first so you can go into your Adwords account.  You need to have control over that Adwords account and it shouldn’t belong to the agency.  You should be able to go in there and say, “Wow, just with the little bit of basic knowledge that I know, this doesn’t make sense.”

PPC Education is everyone’s responsibility

Some agencies out there, and even some in-house people, become afraid.  They become afraid to share knowledge.  To share what they’ve learned and to share with the client or upper management what’s exactly going on and what they’re doing.  They’re afraid that if they share this knowledge, somebody is going to take away their revenue stream.  Somebody is going to take away their job and give it away.  Or they’re going to decide that their job just isn’t worth it.

I call b.s.  if you educate people so that they know what is going on, first off, they are going to be able to help you do your job better.  They are going to be able to help educate you on their products, on their services and how what you do best in PPC can be married with their company vision.  With their back end.  With all the other pieces that come into PPC marketing that not everybody pays attention to.

If they understand what’s going on, and you make some suggestions, they may come back and say, “Hey, you know what.  That’s a great suggestion but I don’t think it’s going to work as well for our product.  I know our business.  I’ve been dealing with these consumers for this amount of time.”  If they understand the technicality, at least on some level, then you’re going to find that you may actually get better information out of the client.  Better information from upper management.

They’re going to come to value that.  They’re going to appreciate you for helping them understand things so that when they go to their manager, when they go to the CEO or the CMO and are showing them reports and telling them about what’s going on, they actually are competent enough to be able to explain things to them.

You’re going to help make them look good.  If you help others look good, you’re going to look good in the end.  You’re going to get paid off.  When I say paid off, I mean you’re going to have success.  Stop hogging all the knowledge.  Be willing to share it.  Be willing to help people understand what you were doing.  Then it’s not a bag of magic tricks.  We’re not David Blaine.  We’re not suppose to be.

We should be transparent enough that clients can understand what’s going on.  Then, if they understand some of the “magic” behind what’s happening, they will appreciate it all the more.  Most of the reason why somebody hires an expert is not just because they aren’t an expert, but because they don’t have the time to be an expert. Be the expert.  But help educate them so that they can help make the decisions that are best for them.

If you say you’re an expert, actually be one.  Nothing bugs me more than when somebody sits there and says, “I’m an Adwords expert.  I know what’s going on.  I’ve got an agency that I’m using that does all my Adwords.”  I look in the account and I’m like, “Holy crap.  You said an agency’s running this?  Are you sure it’s not a monkey?  Are you positive?  Wait, hold on.  I think my 8 months old daughter can do a little bit better than this.  You’re just clicking around on the keyboard and mouse.  I’m sure that she could set this up better than your agency did it.”

You’re making us all look bad.  Stop it.  Let’s change it.  If you say you’re going to do something, if you say you’re going to be something, be that.  Let’s be good at what we do.  Let’s make sure that when somebody talks about our industry, that they only have praise.  I know not everybody is a scumbag or a charlatan but there’s enough out there that they give us all a bad name, right?

Let’s stop being used car salesmen and let’s start being educators!

Let’s give our clients, our bosses, our companies the knowledge that they need to make the decisions that they should make.  And let’s do it right.  Ask yourself every time you do something, “If this was my company, if this was my money that I’m spending, if this was mine, would I make this decision? What decision would I make?”

I guarantee you, if you start doing that first off, you’re going to be better at what you do.  Secondly, you may not do some of the things you might have done.  You’re going to have more integrity.  You’re going to be able to sleep better at night.  Your clients and everybody else is going to be better off for it.

That’s my little rant this week.  Hopefully we’ll again … I’m going to try doing this on a weekly basis.  Make sure to follow me on Twitter@BryantGarvin.


Tags: , , , , ,