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Pros and cons of managing your account in-house or outsourcing it to an agency

Pros and cons of managing your account in-house or outsourcing it to an agency

Whether you are managing your Google Ads account in-house or outsourcing it to an agency, there are pros and cons for each option.

Your decision should be based on what solution works best for you.

It can also be beneficial combining in-house and an agency.

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution, and you can explore all these different options before making your final decision.

In-house pros for pay per click managers:
– Work in the office and are always available for meetings and communications.
– Better understanding of the company’s culture, strategy, and business goals.

In-house cons for pay per click managers:
– Limited experience working on one account only.
– Lack of opportunity to learn from other clients and accounts.
– Find too difficult to take decisions.
– Overloaded with other jobs such as digital marketing, SEO, email marketing, etc.
– Not active with the Search Engine Marketing (SEM) communities.
– Lacking or limited training.
– Limited motivation.
– Staff turnover and replacements.

Agency pros
– Vast experience from working with many clients in various industries to learn from.
– Constant contact with Search Engine Marketing (SEM) specialists and the industry.
– Google’s dedicated account manager and direct line support.
– Digital marketing expertise with other channels such as SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), Social Media, Email and Mobile marketing.
– Proven record of performance and management. It is in the agency’s best interest to manage the account well, and profitably in order to retain the client.
– No extra costs such as employees’ benefits.
– Contract terms flexibility.

Agency cons
– Cost. The client must weigh up the cost of employing an agency.
– Lack of communication. The client does not always know or is up-to-date with what an agency is working on his/her account.
– Unlikely, but possible, the agency is not very experienced or qualified.
– Accounts managed by a junior employee.

Combining in-house and agency pros
– This solution could work if your PPC manager has left your company and you need a fast replacement to take over your account while you decide your options. But don’t feel pressured into making a quick decision one way or the other – try both options first.
– Your PPC manager is a junior and needs support while he/she is learning.
– The agency is contracted to train or recruit your PPC staff.
– You may need extra help for a one-off project.
– You want the agency to oversee and critique your account from time to time.
– Your team is very strong in marketing and strategy, but the agency applies these to Google Ads.

Combining in-house and agency cons

– No synergy between the agency and the PPC manager to work together.
– Your PPC manager may feel the agency is taking over the account and he/she may lose his/her job.
– Different opinions and strategies on how to manage the account can potentially lead to a conflict between the agency and the PPC manager.
– The company may feel it is unnecessary, or not affordable, to pay the agency and the PPC manager, and has to decide between them.

Common models for account set up fees
– On complexity and time.
– One off.
– One-off plus monthly instalments.

Common models for management fees
– A monthly fee based on a percentage of the client’s monthly spend.
– A combination of a fixed fee plus a percentage based on results and performance.
– Percentage of profits or sales.
– The number of keywords under management.
– Fixed cost per click.
– Hourly management by the hour.

Common models for contract length
– Three months fixed contract.
– Three months with auto-renew.
– Month to month.
– A year contract with a three-month opt-out clause.


Extract from my Book ‘Making Google Ads Work’.

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