A PPC Agency is only as good as the clients they serve allow them to be.
I’ve said many a time that Google Ads doesn’t help companies grow on its own. After last week’s issue, I should revise that by saying it doesn’t help companies grow without a lot of time, ad spend, and non-search campaigns.
However, if you want to give your clients the best possible performance, there are a few processes you can follow that will help you identify opportunities rarely sought by other agencies and serve your clients beyond the capacity of your competitors.
Let’s take a look at a few of these processes in some detail:
Processes That Will Help You Close More Clients & Get Them Better Results
- Offer/Lead Magnet Audit
My number one marketing principle is to “Give The People What They Want”. It amazes me, though, how many businesses grow large enough to have a marketing budget without following this principle.
Whenever you’re talking to a new prospect about working with them to help them grow their business, busting out an audit of their offer(s) and/or lead magnet(s) is a great way to seal the deal.
Most agencies are willing to do an audit of the company’s ad account or share projections of the traffic volume available for their top keywords, but what difference does it make if you send a ton of traffic for a lower cost if you can never convert more than 5-10% of searches to a paying customer for your client?
It has become popular these days (Thanks, Alex) to say that you need to have an irresistible offer. That’s not super easy to do if you’ve got a roofing company or some other standard service-based business. Especially with “break-fix” companies (who are only needed when something breaks) like personal injury attornies and iphone repair companies, it’s tough to come up with an offer better than “free consultation” or “if we can’t fix it, you don’t pay”.
These offers are pretty commoditized, which can only be combated with an industry-defying innovation or by stronger brand-building to become more recognized and trusted than your competitors. For most companies, however, there is something they can offer for free or cheap that will allow them to enter a relationship with their potential customers and win the chance for more conversations.
Thinking about it like a classic low-ticket funnel can help you perform a quick-and-easy audit of your prospect’s offer so you can determine both how likely you are to get them good results and how likely you are to offer game-changing insights as a beefy value-add.
(Note: you could charge for offer-creation or advisory services, but you benefit from them more through the account growth that comes from nailing it and if you charge too much, clients will balk at the lower perceived value of this service vs the lead gen. If you charge, go with a low rate that is easy to say yes to and gets their skin in the game.)
Your steps are basically:
- Check for Free Resource Optin (get their email address for email marketing)
Make sure this solves a problem the customer actually has and that they can solve it by consuming the info. Can be documents, videos, images, scripts, etc. (E.g. “5 Stretches to relieve back pain”, “Top 3 Tax Credits Every Business Owner Misses”, or “Free Client Onboarding Process”)
- Check for Low Cost Introductory Offer (get them to experience business with you on some level)
This should be something the customers actually want that solves another problem they have. You can either charge less for a smaller portion of the solution, or charge less for the first visit of what would normally be regular visits. (E.g. “Free 30-Minute Upgrade To Your First 30-Minute Massage”, “$39 Furnace Inspection”, or “Get A Free Cabin Filter On Your First Oil Change”)
- Check For Discounted Immediate Upsell (capitalize on momentum)
This is the best service into which a new customer from the introductory offer can be ascended immediately upon purchase or right after their first visit. If the customer was blown away by the value of the first visit, it’s great to ride that satisfaction train by offering a recurring service or scheduling the next visit if possible. Bonus points if you sell it at a discount. (E.g. “Schedule Your Next Tune Up Now & Save $149”, “Join Our HVAC Maintenance Plan & Save $100 On Your First Year”, “Book 3 Therapy Sessions Today & Get Your 4th Session Free”)
- Check For Seasonal Or Holiday Promos (catch ‘em with their wallets out)
I don’t even need to expound on this. Everyone knows that holiday sales are a great time to get your customers to buy. They’re in a buying mood. Everyone is offering deals. A lot of companies are left out because they “aren’t the type of business” to run a holiday sale. This one isn’t a must for every business, but it’s an easy win and advertising can see a spike in conversions when a promo runs (ask any ecomm advertisers). (E.g. Think of a holiday or season and add “Promo” or “Extravaganza” or something like that. Discount a product group or service by 10-30% and presto! Instant promo.)
These are just some types of offers you can look for. There are others, but if a client has one or several of these, and the offers are different from their competitors, and the offers are compelling… There’s a good chance that you’ll be able to help them by pushing the right offers to the right people at the right times.
- Conversion Rate Optimization Audit
If it’s not the offer, another major culprit behind weak performance is the landing page. If the prospect doesn’t have a good website and you don’t offer new sites as a service, you can at least give them the things they need to change as a way to ensure they get the most from your services.
(Note: If you’re a PPC agency and you don’t offer web design, partner up with an agency that does. They make great referral partners and you can swap business back and forth all day long.)
Whether you want to avoid taking on a client that you can’t help, or if you have a good solution for landing pages or site design and want to show how much you can help in your proposal, CRO audits are a great option.
It’s pretty easy to put together a good one, too. There are tons of free resources out there from CRO companies and you can either compile them and check everything, or you can just pick the most impactful and run with those. I tend to prefer the latter for the sake of simplicity, but sometimes you can close a sale more easily by showing the ridiculously long list of things you check as a simple value add.
- Target Market Research
One easy mistake to make in PPC advertising is to limit ourselves to keyword research and competitor analysis. In many cases, that’s all you need to improve on a prospect’s existing account, but I’ve developed a process that can help you speak directly to the market’s needs, pains, problems, and desires, as well as targeting their questions as keywords or adding them as FAQs to a landing page for stronger resonance.
It’s a pretty simple process that you can swipe (I’ve included a super-basic template for you HERE).
You can do this for prospects, to show them how powerful of an asset you can be to them, or you can do it for existing clients to increase your perceived value and retain them longer.
Basically, you just search “[Company Name] reviews” and pull up as many sites with their reviews as you can.
Then you do it for a few of their top competitors.
You want to look through the negative reviews (1-2 stars) first and find common themes or, specifically, pain points.
Every time you find a new one (you may see multiple different pain points in the same review), you add it to the “Pain” column, then add 1 to that row’s “Severity” number. Every time you find another instance or close variation of that pain, you add 1 to the severity instead of listing it twice.
NOTE: As you’re looking through these, be sure to pull out specific quotes (good or bad) from the customers leaving the reviews and add them to the “Notes & Quotes” column so you have examples of customer language.
Once you’ve read more hateful reviews than you can stand, read some refreshingly bland reviews in the 3 star range and look for both what they did wrong and what they could have done better. Both are pain points. List anything new and add severity as you spot copies or variants.
Lastly, look at the 4-5 star reviews. If someone mentions something bad they expected or that another company did, list it in the Pain column or add to the appropriate severity count. If they explicitly mention something that was amazing or wonderful, list the opposite of that thing in the Pain column or add to the appropriate severity count for that thing’s opposite.
Now that you’ve thoroughly familiarized yourself with what customers are saying about good and bad products or services offered by your prospect or client, move one column to the right of the “Pain” and fill in your prospect/client’s relevant solutions to each problem.
This may not be readily apparent (that’s a talking point for your next call with them), and you may have the same answer to multiple pain points (that’s not a bad thing). However, once you’ve filled in the solutions, you can move to the next column and write some copy that speaks directly to the pain with the relevant solution. This can be tough with Google Ads, but you can always pin headlines and have a question-answer pair in the top 2 spots. Alternatively, the client can use the copy as H1s on their relevant pages.
Lastly, you can go to answerthepublic.com or the trusty Google search bar and find the questions people are asking about these pain points, the solutions, or the topic in general (depending on how much or little you find, you may need to be more general). Find a few questions and check Google’s Keyword Planner or a similar tool to check which has the most search volume. Rank the top 5 and you’ve got some research-based questions for a mid-funnel campaign or take all of the questions and dump them into a custom-intent audience for non-search campaigns.
I mentioned it in a “note” earlier, but the “Notes & Quotes” column can fill up with some great stuff. You can use that in ad copy, site copy, videos, images, social media, or pretty well anywhere. It’s easy to fill it up with negative quotes, but the positive quotes can often make for solid copy.
After you’ve finished this for one company, you’ll basically be set to sell to any company in that industry because you’ve got this great tool to show them the pain points their market feels most strongly and the words they’re using to talk about them. It can show ways a company can improve and get a leg up over their baseline competitors or how they can frame their existing solutions to resonate more strongly with their market.
These are just a few processes that can help you close more sales and/or get better results for existing clients by addressing some things outside of the ad platforms.
Most of the helpful processes in PPC marketing tend to revolve around onboarding, communicating, and doing the actual work, so when I consult with agencies, I like to fill in the gaps in communication (usually the biggest gaps) and sprinkle in some fun processes like the ones above. Things like this tend to improve results and increase client retention as they more accurately perceive your value and you become harder to replace.