How to Identify a Scammy AdWords Agency


Agencies take advantage of clients. They do it because they know it’s easy and almost always undetectable — unless you’re reading this article.

I know agencies who secretly steal 30% of their client’s monthly AdWords or PPC budget. So instead of an agency spending $5,000/month on advertising your business, the agency takes $1,500 for themselves and only $3,500 goes toward PPC.

What really drives me mad is on top of this fraud, agencies a management fee. Don’t get me wrong, spending $500+ a month to increase sales is vital. What I dislike is that agencies spend as few as 2-4 hours a month optimizing client’s AdWords campaigns.

So how can you verify that the agency you hired to do you AdWords is honest? 

Keep reading.

The reason I’m writing this article is so you, as a business owner, paying these scummy agencies, will protect yourself, your company, and your money.

Here are five signs you're working with a dishonest PPC agency

1. The agency won’t link your Google AdWords and Google Analytics accounts. 

Linking AdWords and Google Analytics lets you view raw AdWord data in Google Analytics. You’re able to see clicks, costs, cost-per-click, sessions, bounce rate, pages per session and ultimately verify the agency’s reports are true. The only reason an agency won’t link the accounts is because they’re hiding real raw data and stats from you.

Having a Google Analytics is like peeking through the backdoor and getting a glimpse of the work inside. An honest digital marketing company will have no problem giving you access to your Adwords Account and Google Analytics.

Simply put — if an agency cares about your company's growth, they'll link AdWords and Google Analytics. It’s a standard Best Practice.

2. Your monthly reports don’t measure conversions metrics

Your monthly report records clicks, impressions, cost-per-click, click-through-rate. It looks great having high numbers, but it doesn’t always mean that the right traffic is leading to conversions. If you see high numbers in your reports, but no change in ROI, your advertising strategy isn't work. The Key Performance Indicators agencies should be reporting on include: 

  • Number of conversions
  • Cost per conversion
  • Conversion rate

If your agency is unwilling or unable to track conversions, it’s impossible to know if your PPC campaign is successful.

3. Answers to your questions are full of confusing jargon

Many times, PPC managers will answer your question in a way that sounds complicated to keep you confused and quiet. They do this to steer the conversation in a different direction, or confuse you so you’ll feel stupid asking questions. They don’t take the time to explain their PPC strategy.

4. Your PPC contact doesn’t ask about your business, customers, benchmarks, or goals

Your contact should want to learn as much as they can about you and your company. The more they know, the better they can tailor your ads and keywords to your target audience. If they don’t ask you questions to get a better understanding of company, it’s a sign they don’t spend quality time working on marketing efforts.

5. Your monthly reports don’t match your company’s sales or leads

Does the agency’s monthly report match the number of calls or form leads you received? Why not? If reports aren’t generated from a reliable source, or aren’t directly emailed to you from AdWords, agencies can make up any data they want. They’ll make up results to keep you happy and thinking they’re doing a good job.