Presenting Great PPC Work

This week Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro) came up with yet another great question set titled “Presenting Great PPC Work.” The following is the transcribed Streamcap from the live chat:

Q1: What is your biggest pet peeve with PPC case studies that are presented to clients? Why?

  • Over-generalized and not relevant to my business needs. Example “We increased mobile revenue 115%!” Ok, but how much did you end up spending? Was it even profitable?? – Brooke Townsend (@btownsend13)
  • Generally the budgets are in the 6 figures monthly. – Steve Cameron (@adventcom)
  • A lot of boiler plate. – JD Prater (@jdprater)
  • Case studies presenting basic problems and solutions – I know an account restructure will help – what else unique did you do? – Matt Umbro
  • There usually some bias or skew in the data that may or may not be disclosed. Really annoying to have to sleuth out an article. – Gil Hong (@gil__hong)
  • Not specific enough. Did conversions really go up because of PPC or was there a design change during that time too? – Joe Martinez (@MilwaukeePPC)
  • No context! – Melissa Mackey (@Mel66)
  • They never display time well. New clients see x% growth in your case study and expect the same. IMMEDIATELY. – Bryce Liggins (@BryceLiggins)
  • That a case study was presented. – Kirk Williams (@PPCKirk)
  • I also can’t stand when the case study doesn’t disclose if brand traffic was involved, either it was or wasn’t but tell me. – Matt Umbro
  • Lack of application to the client’s specific problems and solutions. – Timothy Jensen (@timothyjjensen)
  • Not relevant to the client’s business. – Leah Sophia (@LeahSophiaa)
  • Cherry-picked numbers. Solutions that only work for clients with giant budgets. Vague, “marketing” writing. – Maddie Cary (@MaddieMarketer)
  • Case studies that give no insights into budget considerations. – James Svoboda (@Realicity)
  • Case studies only highlight the best parts of their work not how they approached any flaws.Much like dating profiles. – Mark Irvine (@MarkIrvine89)
  • Lack of data. Saying things like “significantly improved” with no growth rate, etc. – Amy Hebdon (@amyppc)
  • The wrong conclusions are drawn because the writer doesn’t understand statistics. – Steve Gibson (@stevegibsonppc)
  • So often these case studies are based on super small data sets, so the results are super specific to the accounts involved. – Erin Sagin (@erinsagin)
  • Lying with statistics, or skewing data in a way that favors the case. – Brett Fratzke (@BrettFratzke)
  • Data can easily be skewed to say what they want. – Matthew Lloyd (@MaLloyd20)
  • Just super vague stats. If there’s no “before/after” legitimate comparison, all interest is gone. – Amy Valleskey (@amy_valleskey)
  • The best case studies explicitly state all considerations before showcasing the data (ie: we were in busy season, etc). – Matt Umbro
  • Not specific to the actions they took to get those results or to meet the challenge. – JD Prater
  • As former statistician, I’ll explain: statistics are answers to specific questions. Often, q asked not one u think u asked. – Steve Gibson
  • Empty numbers (eg 100% increase in CTR) without a clearly attributed cause + repeatable, relevant course of action. – Rohan Ayyar (@searchrook)
  • When was the last time you saw a case study that said “Turns out the market just shifted in our favor!”? – Sam Owen (@SamOwenPPC)
  • PPC case studies create unrealistic expectations. Well, if company x received 200% increase in revenue, then so do I. – Olin Downs (@olinjdowns)
  • Never any consideration of how good/bad the account was to begin with. For some accounts a monkey could improve things. – Richard Fergie (@RichardFergie)

Q2: What do you find clients tend to care the most about when reviewing case studies? Why?

  • Industry sector – for obvious reasons. – Richard Fergie
  • If they recognize the brand/company. – Robert Brady (@robert_brady)
  • Objectives achieved, stellar results (e.g. improved cost/conversion by 80%, etc.), in their vertical. – Melissa Mackey
  • Similar industry first. Success second. – Bryce Liggins
  • They want to know if you have done this before. Can I trust you?! – JD Prater
  • Revenue/Lead Growth. Many don’t know anything about CTR, CPC, or whatever acronym you want to toss at them. – Joe Martinez
  • How long will it take for me to get these same results! – Gil Hong
  • Well this is somewhat irrelevant to me because I’m in house. But, industry specific, relative growth, and how they achieved it. – Brooke Townsend
  • Similar industry, long testing period, large sum of data analyzed, same KPI goals, etc. Anything that empowers them basically. – Margot da Cunha (@ChappyMargot)
  • Same verticle or demographic. For benchmarking fun. – Elizabeth Marsten (@ebkendo)
  • Client here…relevancy to my space. If you can’t show me you’ve worked with similar business models , I’m out. – Coy Robison (@IamCoy)
  • They prick their ears up when the study features a competitor / known brand. – Rohan Ayyar
  • I think client *should* care most about unique solutions the agency utilized, but ultimately it’s about vertical and results. – Matt Umbro
  • Prospects look for something they can’t get elsewhere or in house. Make yourself different and you’ll attract peep who want you. – Mark Irvine
  • If you proved results for a well-known brand. If you’re ahead of the industry curve. If you drove results at an strong ROI. – Maddie Cary
  • Industry specific. Although, I don’t think that’s always necessary if you truly understand the ins and outs of ppc. – Leah Sophia
  • In-house standpoint:I need to see comparable industries. It’s hard for me to compare what I see to what some giant company sees. – Amy Valleskey
  • Lots of ours are very interested in where the clicks came from (geo). They’re also mostly service based & Locally focused. – John Budzynski (@Budzynski)
  • Clients tend to ask how the case study is comparable to their performance & vertical. Expected Impact. – Juan Restrepo (@juanrrestrepo)
  • What approach/tactics improved results for similar clients with specific data driven results? What else should I be doing? – Christi Olson (@ChristiJOlson)

Q3: In your opinion, what constitutes a great PPC case study that can be presented to clients? Why?

  • Being able to convey appropriate expectations for the process that led to the results. – Gil Hong
  • Explaining all considerations (seasonality, bigger budget, timeline) before presenting information. – Brooke Townsend
  • I like to present case studies that are going to be different from what they normally see. That may mean a unique solution, a different way of looking at the problem, or different KPIs we reviewed. – Matt Umbro
  • Contains insights into Budget, Timeline, Conversions, ROI. – James Svoboda
  • One that’s detailed in terms of how results were achieved & instills confidence and excitement that the client can do the same. – Margot da Cunha
  • One that re-sets the buying criteria (in your favour) for companies that are looking to hire PPC managers. – Steve Gibson
  • A case study that addresses a problem unique to my client is best (seasonal fixes, changing industry) rather than a generic one. – Mark Irvine.
    • Exactly, get away from the typical case study and showcase something unique. – Matt Umbro
  • Include your initial hypothesis & variables. Then show your thought process on how your thinking/updates produced results. – Joe Martinez
  • I’ll appreciate one that highlights the growing pains that can be expected, as well as the KPI changes that resulted from that. – Amy Valleskey
  • Obvious one: results & data. I’ve worked@ agencies that focus on process but don’t show results. No sizzle or reason to care. – Amy Hebdon
  • Brilliant case study outlines the hypothesis and approach to the problem. It includes data driven on successes & failures. For me include some of the [SWOT] analysis with insights on WHY the proposed solution was chosen based on expectations. – Christi Olson
  • A case-study showing something they haven’t been willing to try, in their vertical, that drove big gains. That should get them. – Maddie Cary
  • Show them relevant parts of ongoing projects in real-time, because that’ll make them more realistic. – Rohan Ayyar
  • Charts! graphs! Full color! 34pt font (but not one of the standard ones, the kind that breaks on everyone else’s machine). – Elizabeth Marsten
  • I like ones that utilize the scientific method. SHOW me your process and outcomes. – JD Prater

Q4: Besides case studies, how do you present your great work to prospective clients?

  • References. Let our current clients back us up. – Robert Brady
  • Testimonials and referrals can be a big plus! – Gil Hong
  • References, awards, testimonials, relevant blog posts written by team members. – Melissa Mackey
  • Blogpost coming on this next week: Take focus off past work that can’t be replicated, place it on your awesome “PPC brand." – Kirk Williams
  • Tell them to talk directly with satisfied clients! – Timothy Jensen
  • Data, data, data! Benchmark performance data and share what’s worked/not and outline the approach tailored for that client. – Christi Olson
  • Find out about an interesting trend? Blog about it. Worst case: You help people. Best case: You wow prospects. – Mark Irvine
  • An initiative that successfully achieved BUSINESS goals; revenue, profit, ROI, ROAS, etc. (As opposed to SEM metrics like CTR). – Matt Vaillancourt (@SEM_PPC_MattV)
  • Articles, white papers, reports. – Steve Gibson
  • Anything that shows the knowledge & experience of our team — referrals, awards, and blogposts are a good start! – Maddie Cary
  • Also, I found it helpful to consistently present a PPC Roadmap: where you’ve been, where you’re going. How we’ll get you there. – Christi Olson
  • Definitely testimonials and reviews from your clients. Put them on your website to earn trust during research phase. – Joe Martinez
  • Referrals, third party reviews, quality blog posts, data, social presence, validity of the company itself is huge. – Margot da Cunha
  • Break your case study into smaller blogs to highlight your wins. – JD Prater
  • Also make sure your company & team members’ social profiles are up to par. – Melissa Mackey
  • Get out there on the conference circuit. Wow people with your ppc smarts and the rfps will come flooding. – Erin Sagin
  • Metrics and percentages of past success. A chart that shows a big X always helps -cost down +conversions up. – Roxana Hassel (@RoxanaHassel)
  • PPC Audits and Blog Posts. – James Svoboda
  • Focus entirely on high-level business goals, not SEM-specific metrics. Shows you understand their actual business. – Matt Vaillancourt
  • I always find it important to showcase your work with the latest features (ie: ad customizers, GSP, etc), it shows clients that you are keeping up with the latest and greatest features. – Matt Umbro
  • Again, in-house, but to keep spending money, I need to get results. Depending on who I’m chatting with, answers to this Q vary. – Amy Valleskey
  • Reporting is key. Create monthly reports for all clients with historical improvements. Anonymize the data for awesome pitches. – Mark Hansen (@markdhansen)
  • In-house perspective: Monthly/quarterly reviews highlighting latest tests w/new features performance. Be a internal PPC advocate. – Christi Olson

Q5: How much is too much when presenting great PPC work to potential clients (if there is such a thing as too much)? Why?

  • My definition of great work isn’t always the same as the client. – Richard Fergie
  • When you’re talking with client execs, they want overview. Not in-depth of every single KPI. – Brooke Townsend
  • I think this is where you have to read the room. See when prospect’s eyes are glazing over. Every prospect is different. – Melissa Mackey
  • Speak to your audience. CEO/Owner: Keep it brief and high level. Marketing manager: Dive into details. – Mark Irvine
  • At some point everyone loses interest in what you’ve done for others. “What will you do for ME?” is on their mind. – Kirk Williams
  • No such thing as too much as long as you make it clear each account/business is different & results are not guaranteed. – Roxana Hassel
  • Know your audience and what they’re looking for. Speak to their needs. – JD Prater
  • When they ask for costs estimates. At that point they are sold. You should stop pitching and start listening for requirements. – Mark Hansen
  • Depends on spend levels, but generally I won’t do more than once a month. More than that “takes time away from optimizing”. – Matt Vaillancourt
  • Never use the “new product scattergun” approach as always demonstrated by Google reps. Instead tailor examples to the audience! – Matt Whelan (@OldMatt)
  • Boss talk-no data is left untouched, Exec talk-I’ll stick more with Benchmarking and highlighting new optimization techniques. – Amy Valleskey
  • Stick to the KPI’s that most accurately reflect improvements towards their business goals. Avoid Acronyms. – Jake Waldrop (@Jakew1541)
  • Know your audience and develop the message for them. Watch/Listen for clues to engagement and dont’ be afraid to ask questions. – Christi Olson

Q6: How do you ensure that your existing clients know of the great work you are doing for them?

  • Talk to them and tell them! Also ask if the results impacted their bottom line. – Gil Hong
  • This is where you show the struggles behind your case study. Remind them that this isn’t easy, but show them progress. – Mark Irvine
  • Being consistent with communication and transparency is key. I give overviews on larger optimizations I’m working on. – Brooke Townsend
  • Having a game plan that you can show and they can follow along with. – JD Prater
  • Regular reporting/phone calls. Excited emails when goals are hit/surpassed. Keep lines of communication open. – Margot da Cunha
  • Tell them what you’re doing for them, not just the outcome (like the domino’s pizza tracker showing each step of the process). – Amy Hebdon
  • I show my clients which exact company leads my PPC work is bringing in. – Joe Martinez
  • Good question. Not really sure on the answer. How do I show they couldn’t easily hire someone for less money & same results? – Richard Fergie
  • IMHO It goes back to the PPC Roadmap/Plan. Tell them what your doing and show them results. Always Be Testing and Educating! – Christi Olson
  • Educate them enough to make sure they know without me telling them. Having actual success doesn’t hurt either. – Matt Vaillancourt
  • Detailed reports that focus on conversions (KPIs) and trend results over time. Detail work as well. – James Svoboda
  • Always let them know when you’ve gotten into a beta or are testing a new feature. – Matt Umbro
  • Regular conversations (phone & In person), detailed reports showing trends over tie, progress vs. objectives. – Melissa Mackey
  • Be enthusiastic about the results coming in. Spread your positive energy. – Margot da Cunha
  • I keep up on current PPC tactics and new features available, and make sure we are taking advantage. – Amy Valleskey
  • I think it comes down to the following: 1. Don’t get bad results 2. Establish a personal relationship. – Richard Fergie
  • Lots of factors help, but emphasis on results now compared to previous timeframes, as others have said, is crucial. – Timothy Jensen

PPCChat Sponsored by

CallRail is a call tracking platform that brings enterprise-level call analytics to businesses and agencies. CallRail makes it easy to track which marketing sources and keywords make your phone ring. We provide call tracking, recording, and analytics for PPC, SEO, web, and offline marketing campaigns. With CallRail, you can create tracking phone numbers instantly, get reports in real time, and increase your advertising ROI by learning which campaigns and keywords deliver valuable phone leads.



More PPCChats

Don’t forget to stay tuned for the next #PPCchat on Tuesday at 12 noon Eastern, 9 am Pacific and 5pm in the UK. Same Chat time, same Chat channel.


Check out the PPCChat Twitter list to see and connect with all current and prior participants.

• Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro)
• James Svoboda (@Realicity)
• Paul Kragthorpe (@PaulKragthorpe)
• Amy Hebdon (@amyppc)
• Amy Valleskey (@amy_valleskey)
• Brett Fratzke (@BrettFratzke)
• Brooke Townsend (@btownsend13)
• Bryce Liggins (@BryceLiggins)
• Christi Olson (@ChristiJOlson)
• Coy Robison (@IamCoy)
• Elizabeth Marsten (@ebkendo)
• Erin Sagin (@erinsagin)
• Gil Hong (@gil__hong)
• Jake Waldrop (@Jakew1541)
• JD Prater (@jdprater)
• Joe Martinez (@MilwaukeePPC)
• John Budzynski (@Budzynski)
• Juan Restrepo (@juanrrestrepo)
• Kirk Williams (@PPCKirk)
• Leah Sophia (@LeahSophiaa)
• Maddie Cary (@MaddieMarketer)
• Margot da Cunha (@ChappyMargot)
• Mark Hansen (@markdhansen)
• Mark Irvine (@MarkIrvine89)
• Matt Vaillancourt (@SEM_PPC_MattV)
• Matt Whelan (@OldMatt)
• Matthew Lloyd (@MaLloyd20)
• Melissa Mackey (@Mel66)
• Olin Downs (@olinjdowns)
• Richard Fergie (@RichardFergie)
• Robert Brady (@robert_brady)
• Rohan Ayyar (@searchrook)
• Roxana Hassel (@RoxanaHassel)
• Sam Owen (@SamOwenPPC)
• Steve Cameron (@adventcom)
• Steve Gibson (@stevegibsonppc)
• Timothy Jensen (@timothyjjensen)

Presenting Great PPCChat Streamcaps

This is a guest post by Paul Kragthorpe; works at WebRanking in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Connect with Paul @PaulKragthorpe, and Google Plus.

Be Sociable, Share!

Tags: , , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sponsored By

Recent Tweets

I am speaking at SMX East was rated one of the Best PPC Blogs by Boost CTR