Three Warning Signs of a PPC Conman


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If you’re like thousands of businesses advertising online, you’ll most likely be contacted by PPC companies at some point. However, for every legitimate PPC agency out there, you’ll probably hear from at least a dozen shady operations. These outfits give the paid search industry a bad name by offering the moon and leaving you with a hole in your pocket and no results to show for it.

Thankfully, they’re often easy to spot…if you know what to look for. Learn these three key indicators and you won’t be bamboozled the next time a PPC “guru” starts his sales pitch.

1. Guaranteed Results

No PPC agency or analyst can guarantee results—End of story. If a PPC vendor claims to have some top-secret system or special relationship that allows them to guarantee rankings, you should get out immediately. Even if their ranking guarantee is based solely on their experience or self-confidence, you should remain wary, because they’re taking a major risk by making promises that they may not be able to keep.

It’s best to involve yourself with a company that emphasizes the realistic expectations in the short term, and is always willing to discuss your goals and reach an agreement on how best to approach them.

2. Single Metric Focus

Guarantees notwithstanding, even respectable PPC outfits will talk about results. The difference is, quality PPCs define results as whatever it takes to reach or exceed your business goals. PPC charlatans, however, want to excite you with results for result’s sake (look at all these impressions! Take a look at these conversions!).

In the end, it doesn’t matter how many conversions you have, or for how many keywords your ad populates; like any other advertising tool, all that matters is return on investment(ROI). Remember, results are rubbish unless they’re aligned with the context of your business goals.



3. Secret & Unique Methodology

There are no secret techniques or methods in paid search. The best methods for achieving results (as for every business it boils down to ROI) are well known in the industry. At the same time, those methods have to be applied in different ways for different clients—as every client operates differently, has a specific target audience, and their own unique set of business goals.

That is why businesses pay for PPC services, because it requires a unique approach for every client, and requires experience as well as time that they are not willing or able to set aside.

That being said, you should be suspicious of self-professed authorities who sell PPC like it’s the DaVinci Code, or those who claim to have some exclusive or patented method that sets them apart from everyone else in the industry. As a business owner, you should have no reservations about asking your PPC partner what they’re doing and how they’re doing it.

Want more PPC tips and best practices? Download this free eBook, How To Transform Your PPC Campaigns Today.

Andrew Cabrelliis a PPC Consultant at Stream Companies, a Philadelphia area advertising agency.

Michael Bowen

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