If you are a PPC agency owner or digital marketer working in a PPC agency, you are probably always trying to improve your work and your work processes. One way you can do this is by choosing the right software for your business. But there are so many options out there and your agency has so many different needs!
So how do you choose the right software in your PPC agency? Ideally, you will do your research and test new software before deciding what to use.
Software in Your PPC Agency: a Pre-Test Checklist
Before testing new software in your PPC agency, you have to understand how and why you will be doing that. You should evaluate the impact of new tools on your team and your work, but also define your objectives. Here are some tips to get you started:
1. Focus on your business
When choosing new software in your PPC agency, try not to get distracted from your mission and your vision. Your business can probably function without too much software, though that is not ideal.
Remember that all your PPC agency needs are a team, customers, and PPC campaigns to get going. Every other software you add to our technology stack will just bring you additional value, but it will not change the essence of your business.
If your PPC agency operates in a certain niche, don’t forget to get acquainted with that niche. Are there any tools that your niche is using that could be useful for you? Maybe there are some tools that can help you identify your buyer persona or get new keyword ideas. It all comes down to defining your business.
2. Analyze your customers’ needs and goals
In addition to knowing your business, you must also know your customers. What are they trying to achieve? Is it more traffic or more leads? Do they want people visiting their physical store or do they want to sell online?
Once you identify your customers’ business needs, you can start thinking about how you can structure your campaigns. Depending on this, you can identify which kind of software could potentially help you achieve your goals.
3. Analyze your team’s needs
If you are considering investing in new software in your PPC agency, you should have your team involved. Especially if you work with a larger team, you should involve them in the process. See what kind of challenges they are facing in their work. Are they having trouble with keyword research? Are they having problems identifying the right placements for a customer? Would it help them to automate campaigns?
A good starting point is to interview your team members, understand how each of them works and see where there is room for improvement. Does one of your team members feel that his/her ads are getting irrelevant traffic? If so, your agency might need an optimization tool to deal with that.
4. Evaluate your existing technology stack
Once you have identified both your customers' and your team’s needs, have a look at your current technology stack. Are there any tools that could help your team more, if used otherwise? Are there any tools that could offer better functionality with a paid upgrade? At the same time, have a look at what software hasn’t been used lately and consider if you should keep it or not.
7 Steps to Follow when Testing Software in Your PPC Agency
Once you have made sure you have a good understanding of your technology needs, you can start preparing the process of testing new software in your PPC agency.
How will you be doing that? We suggest taking the following steps:
1. Define a timeline for testing and adopting software in your PPC agency
Once you have identified the kind of software your PPC agency needs, start looking into alternatives. But at the same time, establish a timeline of how long to test each new tool. For example, an SEO tool will need more time to be tested, as seeing results in this area will take more time. A generic communication tool will be a lot easier to evaluate.
Once you have established how long the testing should take, don’t forget to set a deadline. The market is wide, so you won’t be able to test all alternatives out there. Depending on your needs and budget, test one or two software applications at a time.
2. Identify the right stakeholders and get them involved
Who will be using this software in your PPC agency? It is important for the people using the tools to feel comfortable with them and to thoroughly understand how each tool works. Once again, get your team involved. Whether it’s a campaign management software or an optimization tool, get at least one team member onboard the testing process. Make sure your team makes a good objective evaluation before making their final decision.
3. Look into customization, integration, and automation
Before deciding on new software in your PPC agency, have a look at how the software would integrate into your existing technology stack. Does it integrate with other tools? Will it help you automate tasks? Can you customize it according to your team’s needs?
A software may seem very useful at first, but sometimes a lack of integration with existing technology can complicate things rather than simplify them.
4. Analyze ROI
As a digital marketer, you probably base many of your decisions on a metric like ROI. It can be a powerful metric that decides between success or failure.
If you base your campaigns on this metric, you should consider it in case of new business acquisitions too. How much is the investment in this new software worth? How much will it improve your work processes, how much time will it help you save or how much money can it save your agency?
5. Actual testing
Do some actual testing. If possible, get a free trial and give your team access to the new tool. Let them work with the new tool, as per the defined timeline. To make the evaluation process easier, make sure you make a list of things to pay attention to when testing the new software. Take notes on the tool’s performance. How is the new software when compared to older tools? Is it easy to use? Has it improved results? These are all questions that should be answered during the testing process.
6. Make a list of pros and cons
This point will seem obvious for many of you marketing people, but you’d be surprised how many people skip this essential step. Before choosing a new piece of software in your PPC agency, make a list of all the benefits each tool offers. For a fair comparison, make a list of each tool’s “weaknesses”, but also of the investments you need to make.
7. Get everyone on board
Last but not least, once you decide on investing in new tools, get the entire team on board. Make sure all of your team members are familiar with the new tools, understand how they work, and what the benefits are. Your technology stack is only useful, as long as your team makes the most out of it. Get your team trained, allow them to ask questions, and make suggestions.
You should also take into consideration that you may sometimes not make the best decisions. Maybe the software you chose has hidden flaws or maybe future upgrades will come with huge bugs. No matter the issue, you can always reevaluate and start the testing process again.
In the end, technology should help you make your work more efficient. The processes of evaluating your needs and thoroughly testing new acquisitions are only meant to help you make the right decisions. There are many software choices out there, but not all of them will be a good match.
How about you? How do you test new software in your PPC agency? Would you add anything to our list?