Prudent marketing managers know that regularly auditing the work that their partners produce on a regular basis is beneficial for both parties. It helps the client side understand how the services rendered are impacting the business and it also helps the agency producing the work, to continue performing month in and month out.

In our experience, there are many reasons to choose another agency. These are the reasons we hear every day:

  1. Strong start, weak finish. Example: “Our agency partner started off really strong in the beginning, they showed us exactly what to expect and they got decent results for us. We felt the needle move. After those first few months, we hardly hear from them anymore and they don’t seem as interested in adding value to what we do.” This is the #1 reason that customers come to our agency.
  2. They do not have the services I need. Some companies are extremely narrow in what they offer to clients. For example, creative marketing agencies focus on storytelling, creative experiences and web design. This translates into a really pretty picture but typically lacks a strategic approach or foresight into how these materials will be used across multiple advertising channels. To stay ahead of the pack, you need a partner with the right mix of services, technology and expertise.
  3. Long contracts, leased assets. Both of these are both antiquated and predatory ways to do business. Long contracts typically favor agencies who are scared of losing revenue and clients. The contract typically provides no outs for the client. Leased websites are another creature entirely. You pay a low monthly fee but do not own the website, domain name, or content within. This is no different than being in an abusive relationship and getting out of these ahead is a big challenge.

How Do I Audit an Agencies Work?

Before you audit their work, you need to understand what is taking place on a monthly basis. Listed below are a few examples of how to question specific direct marketing tactics.

PPC & Social Advertising – Most companies choose this service because it can move the lead generation needle immediately. The challenge over time is reducing the cost of leads over time while increasing the amount of leads for the budget being spent.

  1. What PPC products are we using and why? The answer to this should be focused around your business objectives. If your company’s main goal is phone calls, do the PPC products they chose match up with it? Google has a call-only product to facilitate growth in phone calls.
  2. What is the cost per acquisition by channel or product? The answer to this may be a little bit of a mixed bag if the agency has woven in an awareness component for the campaign. However, they should be able to tell you how specific products they chose have performed, why they have made changes, and how they have shifted strategy to exceed your expectations.
  3. How has the cost per acquisition or other metrics like quality score trended over time? Ongoing PPC work should have an objective to stretch your budget further by making adjustments to increase or decrease specific metrics.
  4. Are you using bid automation or AI to improve my campaign? For some campaigns it makes sense and others may not. We believe in using technology to assist in achieving goals of lowering acquisition cost and bidding at the right times. Be mindful, strategy and how you build the foundation of the campaign are what sets good PPC agencies apart from the rookies. If you have a poorly constructed campaign and ad copy, there is no AI platform on the planet that will save your bacon.
  5. Do I get regular recommendations? Make sure your partner is continuing to bring fresh ideas to the table after the onset of the campaign. Regular discussions and insights are the lifeblood of a great, mutually beneficial relationship.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – SEO is a long-term endeavor that usually includes a combination of link building, on-page optimization, and content marketing to build more traffic over time.

  1. What is the goal for traffic increase year over year? How are we tracking towards that goal? Every SEO campaign needs to have a goal along with hypothetical steps to achieve said goal. Do remember that SEO is a long-term game with changes taking effect over time, so remember to remain patient, but vigilant quarterly or at the mid-year mark.
  2. Has the new content created generated any leads or calls? Unless you are specifically doing storytelling to increase awareness or just pumping out content blindly, you have the ultimate goal of driving more business with your content.
  3. Can you send the list of backlinks created? Backlinks are a part of every solid SEO strategy in some form. Make sure that you get a regular list of backlinks being built to your site. Make sure that these links are valuable, point to some interior pages, and have higher domain authority (DA) and page authority (PA).

Website Redesign – Investing in a website redesign can have negative consequences if you pick the wrong partner. Make sure to hold your partner accountable for your website’s metrics and make sure that these are apart of your agreement.

  1. Site Speed – you want a page that loads in 3 seconds or less. Use a tool like GTmetrix to understand how fast your site loads and where the issues lie.
  2. META Tags – These tags help users understand what your pages are about and entice them to click through to the content. If this fall flat, your organic rankings can slowly slip into the abyss of latter pages. Use tools like SEMRush to check these.
  3. Broken Links – These links help your users and search engine bots navigate through your site. Google Webmaster Tools will help you understand if there are pages with broken links once the sitemap is uploaded and indexed.

Need Help Auditing Your Agencies Performance?

We have helped many clients assess their current agencies work. Get in touch to see how we can assist you.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should we audit our PPC campaign?

PPC marketing is a short-term strategy with a lot of moving parts and results happen immediately. The campaign should be reviewed every 2-3 months to ensure that it is accomplishing what it set out to, in the first place.

How often should we audit an SEO campaign?

An SEO campaign should be audited every 3 to 6 months, but depends largely on the scale of the campaign. Be sure to count on metrics that count most!

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