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AdWords Agencies are Screwing Up BIG TIME
I notice a lot of people getting slaughtered with poor setup
metakomm




msg:3394199
 9:50 pm on Jul 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

I work with a lot of clients on SEO/SEM stuff, and whenever I peek into existing AdWords accounts, I get blown away

- No negative keywords
- All one and two word broad matched keywords
- No exact or phrase matching
- Little, if any ad testing
- No long tail keywords

Just awful messes.

And here is the thing - The agency gets a percent on the ad spend. So of course, they go with broad match, lower quality scores, and increase their profits.

and they do very little maintainence - makes no sense...that is time spend that cuts into their profits.

This company I am at is trying to switch agencies. I may just go after the account myself!

 

metakomm




msg:3394203
 10:01 pm on Jul 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

and u best bet these agencies ain't saying s**t about this expanded broad match...

smallcompany




msg:3394254
 12:46 am on Jul 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

I bet that many affiliates would do much better job. The advantage that agencies have are things like good looking sites, more employees, some kind of teams, they are good talkers, etc.

In real, it is what youíve just stated, unbelievable mess. Iíve witnessed ads being run by an agency showing on queries you would never have under your management. All that thanking to broad match without negative keywords. In addition, agencies tend to go after competitorís brand related keywords which is kind of shame for them.

I am sure there are some that are good, but that seems to be rare case.

metakomm




msg:3394296
 2:33 am on Jul 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

It isn't that hard to make an agency look bad when you have your foot in the door.

Once you have mastered high level speak, and throw out the techie talk, people LISTEN.

I have learned that in this industry, if you can talk on a 6th grade level, you will make $$$$, help people, and gain TONS of respect.

I have taken other consultants jobs because the consultants would bill like crazy, talk super-techie and keep the client out of "the know".

IT dudes are notorious for this.

And the cool thing is when you do SEM, people think your are IT, then get surprised when you talk to them in terms they can understand.

Jon_King




msg:3394311
 3:12 am on Jul 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

Classic conflict. The less your customer spends the less you make and so the opposite.

So do we move forward with an agenda of doing the best possible for our customer and what is left is what we make? .. but surely, always doing what is best for the customer first?

Maybe this concept is just a bunch of hooey-pooey, and just plain old-school. But IT IS what most say they will do, and they do not follow this, do they?

This for sure is the credo but not the action. Sounds not so truthful does it? Saying you hold the customers' best interest at heart, even directly to his face, but all the time knowing it is your best interest which is the carriage driver.

metakomm




msg:3394320
 3:25 am on Jul 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

here is the deal and what i am doing for one client - i bill them 32 hours a month at a set hourly to continue to optimize the campaign.

(They have tens of thousands of keywords)

Once I can't justify billing them 32 hours/month...I will reduce and try to work myself out a job...Then pickup another client...There is TONS of work out there...

My goal is to convert traffic at the cheapest rate possible...

there is a HUGE market for consultants to clean up these poorly run campaigns...

you can make great $$$$$$ and give clients top notch service

i bet google loves these ad agencies who run poor campaigns with huge budgets...lol

if every adwords campaign created was optimized top notch, i could imagine the damage created!

smallcompany




msg:3394330
 4:12 am on Jul 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

i bet google loves these ad agencies who run poor campaigns with huge budgets...lol

Unfortunately, through many different cases, it gets proven that Google likes what mostly is not good for their clients, including (but not limited to):

- poorly created campaigns
- bid trapping
- invalid ads that do not get taken down by policy team

RhinoFish




msg:3394676
 5:43 pm on Jul 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

i see this too, and it makes me cringe!

you left out a few other glaring things I see / find out:

bidding content at same level as search and not separating their roi tracking / calculations.

and...

they let the google staff "optimize" their account.

and...

they've got the budget optimizer turned on.

i have one client where in 6 months time, on the same total spend, i raised his sales volume nearly 7x.

it's amazing how much money is being wasted.

in another case, an agency i was displacing was using adware to inflate the sales they claimed were coming from their management of ppc... using zango, aimed to pop on your own clients cart, ain't exactly what i'd call a value-add service as a consultant.

benevolent001




msg:3394684
 6:04 pm on Jul 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

Why would those agencies do this for you when they are getting some% of your monthly spendings as share

What i feel is that no one except you knows your bussiness well , i try to devote some time and do myself

Booster




msg:3394695
 6:13 pm on Jul 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

my company built a bidding software that optimize campaigns bottom line by 30-40% in average. we sell it for 2.8% of spend. when we come to agency and offer our system for their clients, most of them are not interested, and they state clearly that their client bottom line profit is not their main concern. they also state out loud that if our system is taking cost down, it is not for them!
our only success stories with agencies, are the ones who build their own business model upon success rewarding...

if you are an agency client, i would suggest to build your compensation in direct relation with the success of your campaign!
business integrity isn't part of our developing industry standards yet :-(

metakomm




msg:3394717
 6:36 pm on Jul 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

bidding content at same level as search and not separating their roi tracking / calculations.

YES. That is CRAZY. I am seeing that with this account too.

Another thing, speaking of content - There are on Yahoo's content network as well...Unless Yahoo cleaned that, my client is getting taken to the cleaners on that one, as well.

I looked through the old reports...The agency had them using Kanoodle as well...

poster_boy




msg:3395102
 2:18 pm on Jul 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

i bet google loves these ad agencies who run poor campaigns with huge budgets...lol

These types of agencies don't secure long-time advertisers... they burn them - and, in the process, convince them that SEM...and Google in particular... is a bad investment. I don't see why Google would love them?

metakomm




msg:3395120
 2:41 pm on Jul 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

These types of agencies don't secure long-time advertisers... they burn them - and, in the process, convince them that SEM...and Google in particular... is a bad investment. I don't see why Google would love them?

That could be the case. But at the same time, there are people like me who will convince companies Google can be rewarding -- if run properly. And bring the company back with a much better run campaign.

Realbrisk




msg:3395168
 4:25 pm on Jul 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

These types of agencies don't secure long-time advertisers... they burn them - and, in the process, convince them that SEM...and Google in particular... is a bad investment. I don't see why Google would love them?

bad investment

That's my bosses attitude

[edited by: Realbrisk at 4:26 pm (utc) on July 15, 2007]

RhinoFish




msg:3395252
 6:57 pm on Jul 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

Another thing, speaking of content - There are on Yahoo's content network as well...Unless Yahoo cleaned that, my client is getting taken to the cleaners on that one, as well.

I looked through the old reports...The agency had them using Kanoodle as well...

Y content and Kanoodle - ah yes, getting great "service" from their agency! Bet the Kanoodle keywords include (or are soley) their clients domain name!

If you don't understand Kanoodle's distribution, my domain name comment won't make sense to you. If you do, it's both hilarious and sad. How professional people can behave this way is beyond me.

eWhisper




msg:3395253
 6:57 pm on Jul 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

I've seen agencies, in-house, and affiliates have anywhere from very poor to fantastic results.

I've seen agencies come in and increase ROI 10x within weeks. I've seen marketers pull their SEM in-house only to call for consulting/agency services within days.

This has as much to do with best practice setup, management, and knowledge as it does to do with agencies vs affiliates.

Can many companies do a better job? Most definitely. However, there are many out there doing a great job of managing accounts as well.

Jules221




msg:3396003
 4:55 pm on Jul 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

This is exactly what is happening to us! We are in house ppc and the company decided to hire consultants with the idea they would be a helpful source of wisdom to us with google, yahoo, and msn. What we found is summed up in this string of posts.. and I would very much like to be able to name this 'top 30' company to help anyone else avoid them in the future!

They reduced our tightly grouped structure with hundreds of thousands of keywords down to to 50,000.. No negative keywords.. No match types.. monthly budgets based on historical spend and not revenue.. New tracking URL's that were not activated (hence no tracking!).. No US geotargeting (we are a US company only!).. High-end bidding on keywords that have no chance of converting, but will max out in days.. the list goes on and on and on.. we are def getting the impression this 'top 30 listed' company isn't used to dealing with anyone that questions their methods.. or even knows enough to question their work.

Why should WE be sending THEM lists of errors we are finding in their work! They are wonderful at the fancy talk and lying, but that's about all they seem to know how to do. All they've managed to do is push back deadlines.. mess up our current ratings.. and butcher our accounts!

davewray




msg:3396528
 2:36 am on Jul 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

I don't trust anyone with my G, YS, or MSN accts. I don't believe anyone can do a better job than I can. It's sad when mom and pop websites can't trust the services of PPC managers. Like EWhisper said, there are good firms out there, but you have to know how to spot the bad from the good.

cobnut




msg:3396861
 10:30 am on Jul 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

Jules, you had an Adwords campaign with hundreds of thousands of keywords? How could that possibly be necessary, or effective?

Jon

beesticles




msg:3396911
 12:15 pm on Jul 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

Like eWhisper said, there's a real mix of service offerings and you need to do your homework before appointing any outside agency or consultant.

I think the reality is that for smaller scale advertisers it's difficult for any agency to make money, and perhaps that's why there's so many negative reviews in this thread. Experienced agencies would rather turn down business if they feel it won't work, rather than have an unhappy, unprofitable client after 3 months. I've done this numerous times. Unfortunately there's a lot of sales people trying to earn a bonus and who don't have to deal with the consequence of bad business wins.

However, within the agency community there are lots of extremely knowledgeable experts who can significantly improve the performance of Adwords campaigns. Perhaps the only problem is that many agencies rely on inferior technology (or no technology at all), and therefore have to spend too much time figuring out bids in Excel, instead of doing the other important stuff like keyword development, ad copy, structure etc. This makes their business models difficult to scale to large advertisers.

Obvious disclaimer: I work for an agency that does have the right technology.

Jules221




msg:3396919
 12:37 pm on Jul 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

Jon, it's hard to explain without giving specifics.. its more like managing numerous websites.. but one company. Not so big when looking at them based on the individual websites.. but huge in the 'big picture'.. Does that explain it better at all?

cobnut




msg:3396925
 12:42 pm on Jul 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

Jules, yes, that makes more sense. Sorry for giving what must have sounded like a rude reply but for me 'tightly focused' and 'hundreds of thousands of keywords' didn't seem to sit together :)

Jon

Jules221




msg:3396969
 1:24 pm on Jul 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

Jon, not a big deal:) I didn't explain well to begin with.. and that many keywords, not tightly grouped, def would be the very opposite of effective to me too. The account actually does very well.. just a lot to manage due to the size!

potentialgeek




msg:3400553
 12:21 am on Jul 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

Like EWhisper said, there are good firms out there, but you have to know how to spot the bad from the good.

Catch-22: If you knew how it was supposed to be done, you'd know which agency to pick, or... you wouldn't need the agency.

It's a relatively new field, and how much info is online to help you discern the legit from the scam?

Perhaps you need a consultant to pick a consultant...

p/g

Clair




msg:3400777
 10:49 am on Jul 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

I'm fairly new to this area -- understand basic SEO with keywords and descriptions, but not the ins and outs of AdWords (which I think is what a lot of the conversation is about). However, in all honesty, I don't really have a handle on most of what has been said here, though I've read it extremely carefully.

For instance, this, from earlier in this thread:

"bidding content at same level as search and not separating their roi tracking / calculations."
Metakomm quoted that phrase and it leads me to ask 2 questions--

ONE
Where is the best place to start to gain an understanding of this conversation. I ask, because I have just won a bid for webmastering the site for a nearby resort. They are interested in maintaining and *increasing* their presence.

TWO
I know enough to know that I need to get a baseline at the time of transfer. My question is, what are the key parameters I need to capture stats on for a serviceable baseline. I have a one year contract, and would like to also do well enough to get it again next year.

--a very serious beginner thanks you all for any advice --

Clair

davewray




msg:3401107
 12:47 am on Jul 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

Clair...you're at the right place to learn about Adwords. What folks meant regarding the content network and the search network is that quite often people will bid the same amount for kw's showing in both networks.

What one really should do is bid on the same keywords in two separate campaigns...one campaign set to only show on Google's content network...and one campaign to show only on Google's search network. Often content clicks convert not as well as search network clicks (sometimes not true). By having separate campaigns for each network, you can adjust the bids accordingly...lower bids for keywords on the content network, while at the same time, if justified to do so, raise bids for those same keywords in your search network campaigns...

Constant exposure to Adwords forums, just like this one, is what you need to learn the ins and outs of Adwords...

Clair




msg:3402567
 11:29 pm on Jul 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

davewray --
Thanks for your informative reply. I intend to investigate immediately the operation of the "search" versus the "content" network. This sounds like it might be significant! :)

All I know at this point is about careful keyword/phrase selection, tying page names and HTML headers into keywords wherever possible, and of course, making content individual for all of the pages. I also know about picking directories with which to be associated judiciously, and to look at any directory suspiciously until it proves otherwise.

I am good with words and language, but not so good with interpreting things like bounce rates, ROI, any kind of funny numbers!

Thanks again.

Clair

brizad




msg:3404579
 8:56 pm on Jul 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

Man I am in the same boat with a PPC management firm. They're one of the top 10 agencies and I am not happy.

I've done my own PPC almost as soon as PPC was invented so I know how to do it and how not to do it. I've heard all the horror stories about how crappy even the big companies run accounts so I've never really considered outsourcing this part of my biz (although I wanted to).

But a few months ago I decided to reenter a very competitive and very expensive market. I didn't want to deal with the tens of thousands of KWs, setting up the adgroups, etc. Plus I thought that maybe these agencies with their fancy programs and more manpower would be able to manage the campaign better than I could. And honestly, it's worth it to pay them if I don't have to mess with it.

Now I'm about 6 weeks into working with them and I'm totally disappointed. They've got me thousands of $ negative so far, are bidding way too high, have not listened to my knowledge about the markets, have not entered the negative KWs that I told them to, etc.

Two weeks ago I got so frustrated that I paused all the ads. We discussed all of this and they said things would change. Then last week I saw that things had not changed so I shut down all the ads again and went off on the account manager. Again he says things will change but I've about had it with them.

I know there have got to be good PPC management companies out there but I couldn't find them and I searched for about 3 months. I looked at mom and pop shops and big corporate giants and I found them all lacking.

I know that no one cares about your money or your biz like you do, but it would be great to find someone who even kind of seemed to care about it.

Maybe I'm dreaming. Sigh...

RhinoFish




msg:3404597
 9:12 pm on Jul 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

Naw, you're not dreaming. The clients I have relationships with look to me for a lot of help and I give it and get paid for results. Keep looking, while there are disappointments along the way, there's so many people doing this activity that I'm confident there's one out there for you. Might be a one-man show, might be an agency (not all are bad) - try networking further with trusted peer / merchant friends to find one. I now routinely only work with folks that come referred from an existing client or close professional relationship. There's risk on our side too - knowing someone beforehand (and structuring pay for performance) is the key to get me interested in even broaching the subject. The good ones don't have to market themselves - consider that a tad - and do confidentially pursue your peers in your search for a good match for your needs.

Good luck!

AussieWebmaster




msg:3404624
 9:31 pm on Jul 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

I had thought of going out as an agency.... the plus is there seems to be a huge demand for good work... the negative - the bad industry seems to have a bad name right now

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