There are several steps that take place to get a new PPC/SEM account running and it is crucial each step flows smoothly. If one of these steps has flaws the client’s perspective of their newly formed business relationship takes a hit and can take time to overcome. These steps include, but are not limited to, sales, onboarding, and research & build.
Step #1 – Sales Department
Whether the client is looking for someone to perform a service for them or if the company performing the service reaches out to a prospective client is inconsequential. The sales team of the service provider must present themselves professionally and well informed of the services they provide and be prepared to answer questions with little hesitation. They should explain the steps of the process that are ahead of them as well as a basic timeline to get through to the end of the setup.
At this stage you don’t want the client to feel pressured into buying, it should be a relaxed conversation yet professional. The attitude of a salesperson can make or break a deal up front, so your staff must have the right mindset as well as facts. Since we offer multiple online market and social services the sales staff must have their information organized in a presentable manner.
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Once the contract is signed the first hurdle has been cleared but the pressure has just mounted.
Step #2 – Onboarding
Onboarding, what is it? You just signed a contract; doesn’t that mean you’re onboard? Maybe in one perspective, yes but there is still much to do to complete the onboarding process. There isn’t one step more important than another because they all have to be completed to get the account running.
Onboarding is also gaining information for access to accounts that already exist and creating accounts that will be needed to help the account consultant review account traffic and determine how to adjust various points to improve performance.
When we get a new client they generally have Google Analytics on their site and possibly an AdWords account. Even though they are both Google products, to gain the access we need it takes different steps. For AdWords we have steps to follow to request access from the client to link them to our MCC but for Analytics the client must add an email to their account to grant access.
Google Tag Manager is not as well known as some of the other Google products, but it makes it easier and more convenient for agencies to add, change, or remove tracking for paid advertising. Not all accounts we bring onboard have a GTM account, so we have to create the account and have the code that drives the GTM added to the site. If they have the account, they must add us to the account with proper access. GTM works across multiple platforms such as Bing, Facebook, etc. even though they are not Google products.
Bing is a simple email access to be granted to work in those accounts, but Facebook requires more steps and can be something that we have to walk the client through step by step to gain access. Part of the issue of finding the account number, which when familiar with FB it is easy to find. Access to the client’s page is also needed and much easier to explain how to get, go to the business’ page and copy the URL.
Other access needed, depending on the type of business we are working with, would be Google Merchant Center and shopping cart platform.
You might not think creating or building a new account would be part of the onboarding process but we feel when the account consultant takes over they should have everything ready to dive into the accounts right away. There are many of the account creation steps that we can handle but there are some steps we have to have the client take care of such as entering billing information if they have not given that to us.
Account creating and access is just a portion of this step of the onboarding process. We also got monthly budget amounts, for obvious reasons, as well as any specific geographic targeting areas the client wants. If they are coming from another agency, or they have been running the account themselves, we want to know what issues or problems they had in the past. We also need to know what their end goal or goals are for their marketing campaign. These last two items help the account consultant with their plan moving forward with the account.
Step #3 – Consultant’s Review
Theoretically, this step is after the onboarding process but needs to be done prior to considering the client is in an active state.
The account consultant will look at the existing AdWords account to verify all campaign settings are properly set. Some agencies utilize the Google recommendations which are good for driving traffic for the most part but are not necessarily beneficial to running the account.
Keyword reviews are essential throughout the life of the account but at this point in the process, you can find overlooked keywords that are not relevant and should be eliminated. You will also find negatives for all levels to add to clean up traffic, some of these negatives would come from the keywords that are found to be irrelevant but would still be good to have to eliminate unwanted traffic.
Review of traffic patterns are beneficial so bid adjustments can be made for the most productive days of the week and hours of the day.
Device traffic can be very cost heavy if mobile and tablet traffic is not monitored regularly. Checking this now can be a big saving to the client right from the start.
Of course, ad review is of utmost importance. Has there been any A/B testing done in the past? Is there any data to work with that could lead to improving an ad’s effectiveness?
Ad Extensions can be a tool that is overlooked. Extensions such as site links are a staple as are callouts and call extensions. But are there structured snippets running to list types of products or services provided, or other categories available to list with an ad.
Other than AdWords, the consultant must review other accounts that the client has running and each can present their own obstacles.
Step #4 Going Live
Once all three of these steps are complete it is a matter of regular review and maintenance of the account to work on efficiency and achieving the goal of the client. Goals for each client differ, whether it is to increase traffic to bring awareness to a particular cause or sales of product or service, and require specific adjustments be made to achieve those goals.
It is a team effort from every department to gain a prospective client’s attention and trust and perform their duties efficiently and be able to present results above what the client’s expectations were coming in.