Top Questions to Ask a Potential Paid Search Vendor
There are hundreds of blog posts, sites, and articles about questions to ask an SEO vendor:
- Choosing an SEO Company
- The top 10 things to ask…
- Forum post about Questions to ask
- Things to ask an SEO Consultant
I’ve even taken a stab at the top 10 questions to ask an SEO Consultant
There are far fewer lists about paid search; arguably, a much more complex opportunity and certainly, one with greater risk as you are paying for placement as well as support.
Let’s give it a shot:
- What is your knowledge of and experience with our brand, website, products and services, and marketing campaigns?
- How long has your company been managing search? How many programs and total $ value do you support?
- What measurement criteria or metrics does your company have in place to track performance?
- How do you provide online real time reporting and tracking? What tools do you use? Are any of these tools proprietary?
- How would you measure and track ROI for campaigns?
- How do you think that search industry is going to evolve in the next 12/24 months?
- Characterize the purpose of search engine marketing; how do you define its role in an integrated marketing plan? What benefits does search provide beyond supporting a brand and driving awareness and business?
- How do other online marketing or website opportunities and considerations (i.e. affiliates, landing page design, natural search, datafeeds, advertising) play a role or contribute to paid search management?
- How is the company organized to support advanced search strategies and development? How many permanent search experts are there in your company?
- What is your company’s Account Management level annual attrition rate, as a percentage?
- Describe skill sets, related experiences, and project roles of the staffing you would provide to perform these services.
- Do you subcontract or outsource any of these services that cannot be accomplished in house?
- Is your company a leader in the search industry? How so?
- How do you stay ahead of the competition (e.g., in technology, tools, training, processes, etc.)?
- What are your strategic relationships or partnerships (search engine, technology, or tracking)? How will they help us?
- List the search engines your toolset automatically links to for the purpose of automated bidding, campaign management and reporting.
- What type of bid management system do you have for keyword buys?
- What are your company’s top 5 core competencies? List in priority order and describe them.
- What are your expectations of the advertiser? What do you need from us?
- What is your typical turnaround for new programs and how do you ensure programs are delivered on the agreed time line?
- How do you work and coordinate with other agencies?
- How do you track/manage agreed upon budgets for projects?
- How and when do you report changes in budgets?
- Over the last year, how many times did you exceed the approved or revised, agreed budget on a project?
- What is your total fee / commission for services?
4 Responses to “Top Questions to Ask a Potential Paid Search Vendor”
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Paul is hands down one of the best people to work with in the startup ecosystem in Austin, TX.
Hit the ground running and has been a great contributor to the polishing of our business. His expert knowledge of SEO, strategy and marketing will enable VChain Solutions to gain even more traction than we are currently experiencing.
Easily one of my favorite people in tech. Passionate, knowledgeable, connector and tenacious are the words that come to mind if I were to label him. Paul’s a constant hustler (in a good way) who always has time to talk about anything related to technology, marketing and all things startup related. He’s a great person to have on your team and an even better person to just simply know.
Providing Marketing and Strategy through the Clean Tech Open accelerator, Paul was readily available for a helping hand and opened his extensive network to us helping us connect with thought leaders in our industry. I would recommend Paul as a mentor and definitely use him again.
Paul provided a much more comprehensive strategy to our marketing and branding. He’s an expert in his field and knows how to deliver results. He took the time to understand our business and forge a multi-faceted approach to marketing our brand. We continue to leverage Paul’s talents and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend him.
Paul is a true Go-Giver! His willingness to share his expertise in Digital Marketing is priceless. I highly recommend anyone who is starting a company or who is starting to invest in marketing read his Startups articles on his website and then make sure you meet with him. I only wish I had met Paul earlier when I first started my company.
In the startup world, everything is rough waters. Paul came to us a couple years ago when he found out what we were building. He believed in our idea and wanted us to achieve our goals. In the past two years I’ve known Paul, he has always been there to mentor and guide me through the rough waters he’s seen through having once been our shoes. His advice is rock solid, practical and most importantly – executable. As an individual, he holds to his word, he’s dedicated and he’s one of the few wh…
Paul has been an advisor on numerous initiatives over the years. His knowledge and experience in all the aspects of digital marketing and media product strategy is matched with a creativity unique in the industry. Time spent “talking shop” with Paul has effectively become the foundation for my understanding of how digital marketing works and how to navigate an increasingly.
Paul has been an invaluable adviser to our start-up. His experience in the events space as well as his knowledge of today’s marketing stack has taken us a long ways from what we started with. His honest assessment of both our company and the Austin start-up scene has proven to be immensely helpful in guiding our strategy and direction.
Paul has the great ability to juggle 8 balls at once and is a jack of all trades. He is not only helpful on everything related to press, PR, marketing and social media, but has also added value by providing strategic direction/advice and even gets his hands dirty with technical development. He can be relied upon as a trusted partner and project manager.