For AdWords, better to work with an agency or directly with Google?
May 27, 2014 6:57 PM   Subscribe

Our business spends enough on Google AdWords that they've offered to give us some sort of "account specialist" as well as a couple of other people there to do the various day-to-day work of keeping our ads running effectively. We're not sure if we should take them up on it.

We're also scoping out agencies to do this work and we've found one that we think will do a good job, and were really excited to hire, but are now considering this other option.

Has anyone here had experience with the Google direct route? Any pros or cons to share? A few things that might help to know:

- The two routes are mutually exclusive (Google won't help us if we hire an agency)
- The Google help is free, while the agency help costs money. However, assume that we don't care about this - we just care about getting the best results
- We are a tech startup
- We spend in the low five figures per month on AdWords

Thanks for any help!
posted by thumpasor to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: If you're spending that much money, hire the agency. I've had the "help" of Google for AdWords, and unless they bring a higher level of talent to the table for 5 figure accounts (which I doubt, but I guess it's possible), the people you'll be talking to on the phone will help you understand what buttons to push, and may push some buttons for you, but will not make incredibly brilliant decisions that maximize your conversion while keeping your spending reasonable. I had already read a book (okay, part of a book) on Google AdWords and came away from my discussion with their Ad Specialist feeling they hadn't improved much.
posted by randomkeystrike at 7:53 PM on May 27, 2014

Best answer: Hire an agency. The help Google offers for free is worth slightly more than you pay for it. But only slightly.
posted by spilon at 10:07 PM on May 27, 2014

Best answer: Hire the agency. The free Google help isn't at the five-figure level.
posted by DarlingBri at 11:56 PM on May 27, 2014

Best answer: Consider that when mathowie consulted his official AdSense account managers after the inexplicable traffic collapse on AskMeFi 18 months ago, they had little useful advice beyond "maybe try running some more of our ads."
posted by Rhaomi at 12:57 AM on May 28, 2014 [3 favorites]

Best answer: I do this for a living so I'm biased, but hire the agency.

If Google is in charge of the day to day, they will act primarily in the interest of Google. Your agency should be contractually obligated to work in your interest.

Google's internal help is sometimes useful, but is usually along the lines of "have you tried adding more broad match and upping your bids?" The staff are incentivised to increase spend. If that leads to better performance for you, that's a happy coincidence but not their primary goal.
posted by generichuman at 7:15 AM on May 28, 2014

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