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It’s not that advertising agencies don’t care…

Here’s a terrific – and reasonably substantial – piece of research reported on the Search Engine Land blog. Hey, PPC Managers: Stop Being So Lazy! looked at the logs of 400 companies to see how often they made changes to their Google AdWords accounts. It’s generally accepted that the more you adjust and improve your campaigns, the better they perform; but the results weren’t encouraging. “Over half of advertisers did nothing at all in a given week”, says the report, and (staggering to us) although “you’d think that agencies would do better given it’s their full-time job …I found there was very little difference on average in activity between agencies and advertisers”.

Now, as you know, we run Google AdWords campaigns on behalf of 40 or so companies at one time. We have a system to ensure that each one gets looked at every week, and for all but the smallest accounts, every day. This seems natural to us. So why don’t conventional advertising agencies work so hard for their clients?

The first reason, I guess, is that they don’t have to, because even if clients have access to that data, few would look, in all probability. The second reason is that they’re not paid enough. It’s not untypical for an advertiser to pay an agency a £50 a month management fee to run its AdWords campaign. How much work are they expecting for that? If it’s more than about an hour, they’ll be lucky. And it takes longer than that just to write the report on what they’ve done (or haven’t done).

The third reason why your average advertising agency does so little on its clients’ AdWords accounts is that it doesn’t know what it should be doing. One of our own clients approached three local agencies (one of which it used for print advertising) and asked them about running an AdWords campaign. All were interested. None had anyone who was officially qualified in running AdWords. There’s an exam and certificate, you know.

I don’t need to say any more, do I? Send for our free guide to search engine advertising for some interesting reading.

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