Managing your own Google Ads can be beneficial, but sometimes it's just not feasible. If you want to hire an expert or agency to do it for you, here are 7 key questions to ask to help find the right person.
Empowering business owners to manage their own Google Ads advertising is a highlight of what I do. But I know that not everyone wants to do it that way; you may not have the time, for example, among a host of other totally valid reasons.
But if you're not overly familiar with Google Ads, it can be difficult to know what to look for when hiring an expert to manage it for you.
Below are some key questions you might like to ask a potential Google Ads consultant or agency to find out if they're the right fit and genuinely invested in your success.
Will you manage my ads from my Google Ads account?
A Google Ads consultant should use your Google Ads account to manage your ads.
If you don't already have a Google Ads account, your agency or consultant should guide you through the process of creating one.
Once you have set up your own account, your consultant can gain access to it by linking your ten-digit Customer Identification Number (CID) number, located at the top right of your Google Ads account, to their manager account.
This way, you can access your account any time, monitor ongoing activities, and retain your data if you choose to part ways with the agency or specialist in the future.
What Google certifications do you have, and are you a Google Partner?
Google offers advertisers free online certifications in the following areas:
- Google Ads Search
- Google Ads Display
- Google Ads Video
- Google Ads Shopping
- Google Ads App
To get certified in each of these areas, advertisers must complete specific training modules and pass Google’s assessment tests.
Each of these certifications reflects a different campaign type in Google Ads. So, when you ask your potential Google Ads consultant about their certifications, this will help you ascertain in which campaign types they're most proficient and whether their experience aligns with your objectives.
If you’re interested in YouTube advertising, for example, ensure the consultant you’re thinking about working with has their Google Ads Video certification. If you’re an e-commerce store, ensure they have their Shopping certification, and so on.
I recommend you also go one step further and ask your Google Ads consultant if they are a Google Partner.
Google’s Partner Program is free for online advertisers to join, and to become a certified Google Partner, they must:
- complete Google certifications, as I mentioned above, and
- maintain a 90-day ad spend of at least $10,000 USD across managed accounts.
While I don’t think being a Google Partner should be the only thing you consider when hiring a Google Ads consultant, it's still noteworthy.
I don’t put too much weight on it alone, because I believe that it’s easy for anyone with some Google Ads experience to pass Google’s tests and become certified. The test questions are heavily focussed on foundational aspects of the platform.
That said – the spend requirements speak volumes; when a consultant can demonstrate that they have managed more than $10,000 USD across their client accounts over the past 90 days, this does demonstrate a certain level of experience with the platform.
If your potential Google Ads consultant has all of their certifications but not yet Partner status, it still could be worth giving them a go; they may just not have as many high-spending clients at that point in time to meet the $10,000 spend requirement.
If they don’t even have their certifications, though, I’d be careful to ask what experience they do have in Google Ads and how much ad spend they manage.
How do you measure success in Google Ads?
Does your Google Ads consultant gauge success merely by clicks and impressions? Remember, a high click rate is a positive metric, but it doesn't directly equate to profitability.
You'll want a specialist who prioritises tangible profitability and Return On Investment (ROI) goals. They should focus on performance metrics directly tied to business outcomes, like sales and leads.
This is all made possible with Google Ads conversion tracking, so you'll want to have a conversation with your potential consultant about this before you hire them.
Briefly, a conversion in Google Ads is a valuable action a user takes on your website. For e-commerce businesses, this might mean a product purchase; for services, a quote request.
Ask your consultant what conversion tracking they plan to implement and how. Ideally, it should be implemented directly on your website, with only one or two conversions made 'Primary' in your account.
See the screenshot below to understand what I mean. (Go to Goals > Conversions > Summary on the left-hand side of your account to see this view.)
For your Conversion actions (first column) marked as 'Primary', under the 'Conversion Source', column, you should see 'Website' and not anything else, including 'Website (Google Analytics (GA4))'. Also, you shouldn't have too many actions marked as Primary in your account.
If your specialist isn’t using conversion tracking, consider it a very large, very red flag.
What reporting can I expect from you?
Can you access a real-time reporting dashboard? How frequently will you receive updates—weekly or monthly? Will these reports not only detail account activities but also demonstrate how they align with tangible Return on Investment (ROI) objectives?
If the answer to any of these questions is 'no,' you might consider exploring other options.
How do you charge, and how do you justify ongoing fees?
Before hiring a Google Ads consultant, it's crucial to know how you'll be billed. Are they offering a fixed monthly rate, or is the fee tied to your Google Ads budget? Don't forget to ask about any initial set-up costs.
With a fee tied to your Ads budget (typically it will be percentage-based), it can be hard to trust your consultant. If they advise ramping up your Google Ads budget, it may be unclear as to whether this is because there's something in it for them, or if it's genuinely good for your performance.
I'm a big believer in flat fees. It gives a clearer picture and, more importantly, it reassures that any budget recommendations are genuinely aimed at getting the best out of your Google Ads’ performance.
Now, if there are ongoing fees on the table, don't be shy—ask what they're for. Your consultant should be regularly tweaking your account and testing different optimisations, if you are paying them an ongoing fee.
A pro tip: To keep tabs on their activity, check out the 'Change history' report in Google Ads. It's like a diary of every move made in your account.
Finding the Change history report is easy:
- Set your date range to the last 30 days.
- Ensure you have filtered for 'All campaigns'.
- Look on the left sidebar in your dashboard under 'Overview'.
- At the bottom of the list, click on 'Change History'.
Am I eligible for a Google Ads promotion?
Google will often provide ad credit promotions to advertisers new to Google Ads. So if you’re setting up and using Google Ads for the first time, you’ll want to check if there are any current promotions.
Your Ads manager should help you identify and apply these promotions, ensuring you don’t miss out on any potential savings.
Do you outsource work?
There’s nothing wrong with outsourcing, but if you want to know exactly who will be managing your account at all times, it’s best to ask this question, too.
Additional questions to consider:
What's your experience with my industry?
Each industry has its nuances. Hiring someone familiar with your sector can be beneficial as they'll likely know what works best.
Can you provide references or case studies?
Past performance can give insights into their expertise. Request references or case studies to evaluate their efficacy.
Hiring the right Google Ads consultant is crucial for your business's success in Google Ads. By asking the right questions and understanding what to look for, you can ensure you hire someone who's reputable, trustworthy and who will help you achieve profitable results with Google Ads.
If you are keen to get started with Google Ads or would like to improve your current Ads performance with our guidance, please get in touch! We would love to hear from you, and offer complimentary account audits to new clients.