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PPC | PAID SEARCH | How to retain clients in PPC

Article by Timothy Johnson

Learn key reasons for client churn in PPC and how to boost retention through goal alignment, performance audits, regular check-ins, and more.

The world of PPC management is changing faster now than in years past. New automation, economic shifts and developments in reporting capabilities are changing the role of a PPC agency.

When I started out in PPC in 2012, I spent much of my time making manual bid changes. The work of a PPC agency was skewed more toward execution than strategy. Today, businesses seek different support: strategic guidance, proactive recommendations and cutting-edge tool/technology integration and targeting.

Not delivering on these will result in poor client retention. There are plenty of other causes for client churn, such as:

  • Budget changes.

  • Poor campaign performance (not meeting client goals/expectations).

  • Misaligned communication styles.

  • Change in client contact or agency team.

  • Change in CMO or primary decision-makers.

  • Changes to company goals.

Businesses are rethinking how they work with agencies today.

Some are looking for new agency support for the reasons above, others are consolidating to single agencies across all their digital marketing needs and a few are taking things in house to save money.

How can you retain your clients and continue to be an invaluable part of their marketing mix?

Understand your client’s needs and expectations

The first, and what would seem the most obvious, thing to do is to know your client’s goals. Their real goals.

If you are confident in the work and results you are driving, you should be able to speak to them and tie them back to the business’s goals. When I say their “real goals,” I mean diving deeper than CPA or even ROAS goals.

A client may have a specific ROAS target to which they are holding you – but what does the CMO care about? They likely think about things through a wider lens, like profit and revenue..

Getting embedded deeply enough in your client’s business to reach goals like this can be challenging. Still, if you can close the loop with offline conversion tracking, you can begin to truly show the agency’s value and make parting with you a bad business decision for your client.

Having more information like this and feeding it back into Google will help you optimize your campaigns and impact your client’s business more significantly.

Where many agencies fall short is around goal setting. Having unclear or mismatched goals and expectations can be a problem. They think they are hitting goals and delivering, but they may not understand what the decision-makers really care about – whether it’s growth, increased profit, market share, etc.

Regularly schedule deep dives

The next thing you can do to retain clients and keep engagement high is to perform audits on your own work with a specific and predictable cadence.

Auditing your own work is your opportunity to take a step back, think about the larger strategy and present your findings to your client.

As the saying goes, it’s hard to see the forest through the trees. Auditing can allow you to think about the big picture and ensure your strategy is tied back to the client’s goal.

I recommend auditing accounts quarterly. This type of quarterly business review (QBR) is also a great way to get higher-level executives involved. They might not get the opportunity to see the value of your work as frequently because they aren’t in weekly meetings. But a QBR is a great time to get face time with them and ensure you are meeting their expectations.

Another side note: other agencies will likely be doing these types of audits in the background. As a business works to ensure it drives the best results possible, it will likely allow others to review your ad accounts. It’s important for your trust with the client that they feel your audits are addressing the same types of concerns these other agencies are raising.



PPC Consultant London, Google AdWords Consultant London, PPC Specialist London, AdWords Specialist London

Original article by Timothy Johnson on

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