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4 Ways to check your agency is focusing on incremental growth


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Matt Hurst
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Is your PPC agency driving incremental growth or are they reporting easy wins? Let’s take a look at the red flags you should be looking out for, and what you can do to encourage new conversions, not just the ones you’d get anyway.

Let’s be real; platforms are lazy and they will go for the low-hanging fruit because it looks like you’re getting a decent return on your ad spend. Spoiler: you’re not.

Facebook, TikTok et al don’t know you want new customers (emphasis on the new here folks), they just know that you want to achieve a specific goal. Therefore, they’ll do everything they can to fulfil that with ease. This includes targeting existing customers. Which, in fairness, makes sense but those customers might convert a second, third or fourth time anyway. If you want steady growth, you need to be thirsty for fresh blood.

The answer is to tighten your audience exclusions. If you don’t tighten your audience exclusions, you risk your chosen platform targeting people who were likely to convert anyway. And where’s the fun in that?

Red Flags


If you suspect your PPC agency is just telling you what you want to hear, rather than actively pursuing what you want then there are a couple of red flags to wise up to:

  • Clicks costing more than checkouts. This also goes for heavily lopsided revenue being attributed to view-through and not click
  • Your PPC account manager should be going for incremental growth. Slow and steady might not be sexy but it demonstrates that you’re pulling in new customers. Subsidised figures in ad manager may look great, but if they’re coming for customers already in your roster then it’s purely an ego boost for your media buyer.

Actions You Can Take

Existing customer spend isn’t a bad thing, revenue is revenue, but, let’s talk brass tacks: businesses want to make money. Survival is the bare minimum meaning incremental growth is essential. So, what action should your PPC agency be taking to target new customers and report real growth, not just hyped up bar charts?

  • Firstly, ensure your activity is segmented with thorough audience exclusions. Don’t be afraid to be granular and be open to some trial and error
  • If you’re running an Advantage+ Shopping Campaign, ensure you set an existing customer budget cap
  • You’ll also want to keep an eye on the view-through data
  • Heavily reliant on 1-day view attribution? Test a switch to 7-day click attribution settings and see how it performs

Outsourcing your ads to a PPC agency is a good idea. The right ones will know what they are doing. Just remember to keep an eye on all of the metrics, not just the juicy headline figures. Incremental growth is the goal, not an ego boost based on subsidised figures.

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