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20 Fast Facts About PPC Agencies

January 21, 2013
Paid Search Marketing


PPC Agency Facts

  1. Half of agencies reported improved ROI from PPC in 2012.
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  2. That increased ROI led to more PPC spending. More than three-quarters (77%) of agencies reported an increase in investment in Google advertising in 2012.
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  3. 32% of PPC agencies report that their clients primarily use PPC to sell products or services directly. 35% use it to generate leads.
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  4. PPC agencies report that the three most important metrics for gauging success of paid search marketing are return on investment (ROI), number of sales or leads, and cost per conversion. (This differs from the top 3 metrics as reported by companies: return on investment (ROI), conversion rate, and number of sales or leads.)
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  5. In 2012, one-third of PPC agencies reported that their average client spent between $10,000 and $100,000 on paid search programs. 14% of PPC agencies said their clients spent on average over $1 million!
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  6. In 2012, only 2% of agencies said their clients had decreased spend on Google AdWords, whereas 19% reduced their spending on Bing and Yahoo campaigns.
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  7. Almost one-third (31%) of PPC agencies license a third-party software tool for paid search campaign management. But even more (36%) manage campaigns with Excel. (All of the above via SEMPO’s State of Search 2012)
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  8. The top 3 reasons that companies outsource to a PPC agency: lack of in-house skills, too time-consuming, lack of in-house tools and technology. Other reasons cited include: it’s more economical to outsource, it’s too complicated to track and measure, and it’s too hard to stay abreast of best practices. (Econsultancy)
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  9. Paid search agencies earn, on average, 10% of their clients' PPC spend. In 2008, Rand Fishkin reported that PPC agencies make 45 times what SEOs do for the same value. (SEOmoz)
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  10. Almost 2/3 (64%) of agencies handle marketing attribution, but 28% of them only use last-click attribution modeling. Other approaches include first click (28%), linear allocation (22%) and time decay (13%). (Marketing Charts)
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  11. In 2012, according to the State of Digital Marketing Report by Webmarketing123, 20% of B2B marketers used an agency to manage their PPC program. According to the same survey, just one quarter of marketers are highly satisfied with the performance of PPC campaigns managed internally, compared to one-third who work with agencies. (Webmarketing123)
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  12. In 2012, both companies and agencies doubled their budgets on mobile paid search in just one year. (Econsultancy)
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  13. In August 2012, adCenter (now Bing Ads) released an Agency Enablement feature to improve account management of adCenter campaigns for PPC agencies – taking a page from Google’s book with its MMC (My Client Center) interface. (Microsoft)
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  14. Most agencies will have a minimum that starts in the $1,000 to $5,000 per month range. If you spend less than $10K a month on PPC, Alex Cohen recommends managing it in-house or hiring a freelancer. (Search Engine Watch)
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  1. When marketers were asked “What types of agencies, technology partners, or service providers do you use for your search marketing?” 41% responded that search agencies were the most important, more than social media listening platforms, local analytics providers or SEO automation tools. (Search Engine Land)
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  1. DoubleClick Search, Google’s cross-engine search management platform, is used by 6 of the largest 10 agencies. (DoubleClick Blog)
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  1. Your AdWords account has a Customer ID number that you can give to prospective agencies to grant them read-only access to your account. That means they can take a look and do a quick audit but won’t have the power to change anything. (AdWords Support)
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  1. Google offers a search service to help you find certified AdWords professionals based on your monthly budget, industry, location and other requirements:
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  1. Engage for Agencies is a Google program that provides access to AdWords incentives, live educational events, online trainings, and ready-made promotional materials – and yay, it’s free. (Google Engage)
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Jean (not verified)
Jan 21, 2013

Dear Elisa,

I honestly liked the info you've provided here. I'll probably be returning to read more, thanks for the info!




Rolands (not verified)
Jan 21, 2013

  1. In 2012, only 2% of agencies said their clients had decreased spend on Google AdWords, whereas 19% reduced their spending on Bing and Yahoo campaigns.

This does not suprises me. If the awhul conversion rate for bing will continue to be same for some next few monthes, I will also add to those 19 % and cut spending there at all, not just reduce. By the way, is there a something like overall statistic over accounts, or at least from your experience - is bing really several times (as in my case) worse for conversions in %, than Google?

Elisa Gabbert
Jan 21, 2013

It's very difficult to find aggregate data on conversion rates. I have heard that for some types of businesses the conversion rates are actually better on Bing, but I doubt that's the norm.

Jan 21, 2013

This was also the most interesting statistic for me in this excellent post. We continue to see conversion rates and CPA from Adwords trump Bing and Yahoo by large margins. Our agency is a bit unique in that we focus on helping local businesses with PPC, usually with smaller budgets. We typically focus the entire budget on Adwords, then expand to Bing and Yahoo only once we're capturing all the good traffic from Google. Thanks for the great article!

Elisa Gabbert
Jan 21, 2013

Thanks Chris! Since Google has double the market share of Bing Ads, I think it makes the most sense to concentrate your efforts there first, then expand into Bing once you've got AdWords under control.

Latanya (not verified)
Jan 22, 2013

Thanks for the valuable information.  I didn't realize that ppc was a great ROI.  I will be venturing off to using some as paid advertising strategies as well.

Jan 22, 2013

Elisa, thanks for the informative article, I'll most defintely be coming back for more!

Online Marketin... (not verified)
Jan 23, 2013

Elisa, I must say this was one of the most interesting post I have read on PPC. I had no clue about these facts. Thanks for sharing with us such interesting facts.





I completely agree with you Roland. I find this horrendous conversion rate useless. I mean who is going to spend with these not so easy going statistics. Thumbs up for your comment Roland!

Leadgenix (not verified)
Jan 28, 2013

I agree, this is informative. There is so much out there and much confusion. Thank you for the post. 

Paleo Recipes (not verified)
Jan 29, 2013

These are unbelievable statistics in your post. Excellent read and I am definitely bookmarking this post! By far the best blog post I have read this year! Keep up the great information and writing. 

Vishal Taragi (not verified)
Feb 15, 2013

Interesting facts Elisa. now that we are spending more and more into PPC I wonder what worked best for you : CPC or CPM?


PPC Agency (not verified)
Mar 03, 2013

>>DoubleClick Search, Google’s cross-engine search management platform, is used by 6 of the largest 10 agencies.

I've  noticed the rise of this tool  and I can say that many agences in Eastern Europe start using it!

pay per click a... (not verified)
Mar 08, 2013

Great post and useful information provided.

I dnt know much about PPC before reading this post but the statics provided by you are amazing

now i can say  the growing demand of PPC

making companies more competative .

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