Comparing PPC Management Options: Self-Management vs Hiring Professionals
May 15, 2023 6 min read
This guide explores the different options available based on business growth stage, aggressiveness in PPC marketing, and overall business strategy.
If you’re considering using PPC advertising for your business, one important question you’ll need to answer is whether to manage it yourself or hire someone else to do it for you. Your choice will depend on your business’s growth stage, the level of aggressiveness in your PPC marketing, and the importance of PPC to your overall business strategy.
There are several options available to you when it comes to PPC management in the UK, and I’ve broken them down into six categories:
1. Do it yourself
Suitable for monthly budgets less than £500
This option is ideal for sole traders or small businesses that are just starting with PPC advertising. While hiring a PPC expert is not mandatory, it can be beneficial if you have a good understanding of digital marketing practices. PPC platforms make it easy for anyone to create and run a PPC account, so this option allows you to keep costs down.
No PPC management costs: By managing your PPC advertising yourself, you don’t have to pay for an agency’s services.
Get started straight away: There’s no need to wait for contracts or approvals when making changes to your PPC campaign.
You understand your business best: As the business owner, you have the best understanding of your goals and direction.
No access to a digital marketing expert: One complication with managing your own PPC advertising is that you may not have access to a digital marketing expert who can guide you in making the right decisions. Without the proper knowledge and experience, you could end up running a poor-quality PPC campaign, wasting time and money.
2. Work with a PPC freelancer:
Suitable for monthly budgets of around ~£1,000
Hiring a PPC freelancer can be a step up from managing your PPC account yourself. Freelancers often have experience working with smaller PPC accounts and can provide more expertise than a small business owner.
More knowledgeable than yourself: A PPC specialist freelancer will have a deeper understanding of PPC best practices and can bring previous experience to help improve your campaigns.
Better PPC performance compared to doing it yourself: With the expertise of a freelancer, you should see improvements in the performance of your PPC account, leading to better clickthrough rates and overall traffic quality.
More time for other aspects of your business: By outsourcing your PPC management to a freelancer, you can focus on other areas of your business that require your attention.
Freelancer skills levels can vary: It’s important to be cautious when hiring a freelancer, as their skills levels can vary. Not all freelancers are capable of running successful PPC campaigns, so it’s crucial to choose someone who specializes in PPC advertising and has a track record of delivering results.
Limited access to paid third-party tools: Freelancers often do not have the financial resources to invest in paid third-party tools that can enhance PPC marketing efforts.
Expertise limited to specific PPC platforms: Freelancers may specialize in one or a few PPC advertising platforms, limiting their expertise in others.
3. Work with a small PPC agency:
Suitable for monthly budgets of between £1,000 to £10,000
Small PPC agencies typically consist of a team of 2 to 5 PPC experts. They often started as freelancers and have the experience and knowledge to handle PPC accounts of varying complexities.
More expertise than a freelancer: Small PPC agencies bring more experience and knowledge to the table compared to individual freelancers.
Benefit from a team who share knowledge: Agencies encourage collaboration among their team members, ensuring that you have access to multiple experts who can provide input and solutions for your PPC campaigns.
More processes than a freelancer: Small PPC agencies may have more paperwork and contracts, which can slow down decision-making and implementation processes.
Less control over your PPC account: When working with an agency, you may need to relinquish some control over your PPC account as they may propose changes or strategies that you may not fully agree with.
4. Work with a large PPC agency:
Suitable for monthly budgets of £10,000 and up
As your PPC account grows in complexity and requires more advanced strategies, it may be time to consider a larger PPC agency. These agencies have larger teams of PPC specialists and can offer a broader range of services.
Better relationship with advertising platforms: Large PPC agencies often work on large budget PPC accounts, giving them access to better support and resources from advertising platforms like Google and Facebook.
Benefit from a dedicated team: A large PPC agency typically assigns multiple specialists to work on your account, each focusing on specific aspects of PPC management. This allows for more specialized expertise and efficient campaign optimization.
Better quality control and consistency: Larger agencies have established processes and tools in place to ensure consistent quality and performance across their clients’ accounts.
Less likely to entertain small fee clients: Due to higher overhead costs, larger PPC agencies may have minimum fee thresholds that smaller businesses may not be able to meet.
Changes often implemented slower: Larger agencies often have more processes and approvals in place, resulting in slower implementation of changes and strategies.
More expensive: The cost of working with a larger agency is typically higher than smaller agencies or freelancers due to their increased resources and overhead costs.
5. Employ an in-house PPC specialist
As your business grows and requires a dedicated PPC specialist, you may choose to hire someone in-house to manage your PPC advertising account.
More management hours: Hiring an in-house PPC specialist allows for dedicated management of your PPC account, providing more focused attention and potentially more hours dedicated to your campaigns.
Deeper knowledge of your business: An in-house specialist can gain a deeper understanding of your business, industry, and target audience, leading to more tailored and effective PPC strategies.
Recruiting for a replacement can be tricky: Finding skilled PPC specialists can be challenging, and if your in-house specialist decides to leave, it may take time to find a suitable replacement, leaving your PPC account at risk during the transition period.
Covering skills gaps can be difficult: In-house specialists may specialize in specific PPC platforms, and if you require expertise in other platforms, it may be challenging to find someone with the necessary skills.
It’s important to carefully evaluate your business’s specific needs, budget, and goals when deciding who should manage your PPC advertising account. Each option has its benefits and complications, and finding the right fit will ensure effective and efficient PPC management that drives results for your business. Consider factors such as cost, expertise, control, and scalability to make an informed decision that aligns with your business objectives. Ultimately, the choice between self-management, hiring a freelancer or agency, or employing an in-house specialist will depend on your unique circumstances and resources. By choosing the right PPC management option, you can maximize the potential of your PPC advertising and achieve your business goals effectively.
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