What to Consider with a Google AdWords Agency

Analyst looking at Google Adwords

Even if your university hasn’t figured out the ins and outs of paid search, you shouldn’t hire a Google AdWords agency until you have a base of knowledge from which to evaluate. Do you? These are five questions you must ask when you consider AdWords (now Ads) experts. You’ll find out many of these so-called experts are anything but.

Does the AdWords Agency Understand Higher Education?

As simplistic as that sounds, this is often the beginning of the end of university-agency relationships. Unless your agency fully understands what you do, who you serve, and, most importantly of all, why you do it, you’ll never get the results your institution deserves.

How Does the AdWords Agency Handle Paid Search Keywords?

Without proper research and targeting, it’s easy to rack up expensive pay-per-click (PPC) costs without good results. Efficient AdWords spend is crucial. For example, if your efforts to enroll students in a BS to MSN program are falling short because your agency can’t find their way around the costly keywords, you need to make certain they’re doing all they can. Ask whether they:

    • Build effective account structure with specific keyword targeting
    • Take proactive steps to increase and maintain your Google quality score
    • Couple PPC with search engine optimization to rank for high cost keywords organically
    • Use negative keywords to reduce irrelevant search queries
    • Optimize landing pages to increase the likelihood of conversion
    • Check search query reports regularly for keywords you may be missing or those coming from irrelevant queries

Does the AdWords Agency Perform Paid Search A/B Tests?

Even if your AdWords campaigns seem to be hitting their marks and bringing in some solid conversions, your agency shouldn’t ever be satisfied with good enough. Digital marketing is ever-evolving and for AdWords to be most effective, you must do A/B testing on landing pages.

Will the AdWords Agency Integrate Paid Search with Other Media Channels?

It’s not enough for your ads to match your landing pages. The voice of your institution needs to be consistent across media. That means a common theme from those glossy brochures you mail out to social media engagement to blog posts highlighting students and alumni.

Does the AdWords Agency Keep Up with Current Digital Marketing Trends?

Google tweaks its algorithm every day. If your AdWords agency thinks it can ever coast, it’s time to find another agency.


If you’d like to learn even more about what works and what doesn’t in AdWords, contact the experts at ESM Digital. We combine combine expertise and knowledge when it comes to paid media, and we’re a certified Google Partner. We don’t just know Google; we know higher education!

~Linda Emma