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Paid Search Advertising: In-House or Agency?

Posted at Nov 21, 2016 10:09:48 AM by thatagency | Share

Deciding on how to implement a sound paid search advertising campaign is a big decision for your company.  With over 3.5 billion google searches done every single day, showing up on the ones that matter could make a world of difference for your business activities.  Given that you understand the importance of employing a rock solid PPC Strategy, how should you go about effectively showing up on the relevant searches?  Should you hire someone within the 4 walls of your business or should you outsource the job to a paid search advertising agency?  There’s no right or wrong answer for everyone, but here are some of the pros and cons of each choice.

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In-House Pros

  • Sense of Ownership

It’s your business, you’re doing the work.  Many business owners like to have the intrinsic value that their work is their own, and that’s understandable!  Knowing that what your business is producing and offering your customers is coming directly from within the walls of your company is satisfying and can boost morale throughout the entire company.

  • Internal Control

This goes hand in hand with the sense of ownership.  When you allocate paid search advertising tasks to an in-house employee, you have the ability to spend time and money in the ways that you see fit.  This also allows you to make sure the in-house team is spending their time in achieving the goals you have as an organization. 

  • Intimate Business Knowledge

Hiring an in-house team to carry out your paid search advertising efforts ensures that the company information and products are expressed in an accurate manner.  In-house teams also have a vested interest in the pending success of the company, and the empowerment of this responsibility can increase morale, thus increasing results!

In-House Cons

  • Lack of Knowledge

Although hiring an in-house team for paid search advertising can be a great way to effectively communicate the product or service you’re advertising, the process to successful paid search campaigns is a science in and of itself.  Many in-house teams simply don’t have an in-depth understanding of PPC best practices and how to efficiently carry out their PPC strategy.  They may know the ins and outs of their product, but if they don’t know the foundations of what it takes to have a successful paid search campaign all that knowledge might never show up on search results making it huge waste of time and resources.

  • Expensive!

When you’re looking for results, you can’t really put a price on success.  But when there are cheaper options, why not explore them?  Hiring an in-house employee for your paid search efforts also comes along with paying their salary.  Agencies usually set their rates based on how much spending you allocate towards your campaign, meaning you can spend significantly less than hiring in-house. 

  • Restricted Learning Opportunities

When hiring an in-house party to undergo the seemingly daunting task of managing your paid search campaigns, you better hope they know what they’re doing.  Their knowledge on the subject is what you get and other than maybe reading a few online blogs there aren’t many outside influences that can keep their efforts aligned with best practices.  They know what they know and are busy executing it that sometimes they don’t have enough time to stay current which could hurt your strategy in the long run.

Agency Pros

  • Leave it to the Professionals

As a business owner or executive, you know the ins and outs of your industry.  It’s the same way for a paid search advertising agency.  Paid search takes time to learn and agencies are full of employees that have taken the time to learn what it takes to be successful.  When you hire an outside agency to implement your paid search efforts, you can be sure that professionals who know the techniques and processes that come along with a sound PPC strategy.

  • Result Oriented

Agencies look good when you look good.  Their sole purpose is to bring you the results you need so that is what they’re focused on.  Hiring an in-house employee to handle paid search advertising can come along with company culture issues and politics that don’t exist within an outside agency.  Hiring a paid search advertising agency eliminates the emotional filter you and your employees looks through when it comes to your company, allowing agencies to focus only on doing what will help you achieve your goals.

  • Collaborative Work Environment

Agencies are full of bright people with ambition that are dedicated to bringing clients results.  This means, there are more people looking at every single project that comes across their desk.  There is open collaboration in the agency environment, ensuring that best paid search practices are upheld throughout your campaign efforts.

Agency Cons

  • Communication Issues

Imagine you’re running late for a meeting and there is unexpected traffic.  The light turns green but the person’s music is so loud in front of you they can’t hear your horn until the light turns yellow and only they make the light.  This is kind of what it could be like if you hire the wrong agency to handle your paid search advertising.  There sometimes can be a noise or delays in the communication efforts creating unnecessary stress for both parties.  Although this is gap in communication can be shortened if you hire a local digital marketing agency but the fact that you can’t walk down the hall to your paid search manager to discuss an issue you have still exists.

  • “Initiation” Phase

Paid search is an activity that changes constantly in all aspects.  When you hire an agency, there is what I like to call an initiation phase.  This initiation phase is the time right after they’re hired and still need to do research on what your company is all about, what you’re offering, how you’re offering it, and what your competitors are doing.  Unfortunately, there isn’t a magic button that you can press to have them instantly know all this information so there could be some lost time during this phase as the agency catches up with your current organizational positioning. 

  • Finding the Right Fit

Nothing is worse than finding something you think is going to bring promising results, but in the end brings complete disaster.  Finding the right agency for your company is the most important decision once you decide to hire a paid search advertising agency.  Goals must line up and expectations must be met and in with the lack of communication stated above this can be extremely difficult, as well as detrimental to your company. 

Choosing how to implement your PPC strategy is an important step in building and maintaining your online competitive presence.  There are benefits and drawbacks to both hiring in-house as well as an outside agency.  What it really comes down to is what your goals are.  There isn’t a one size fits all solution when it comes to paid search.  So take the time to analyze where your business stands and where you want to go, and decide whether hiring a paid search advertising agency is the right move. 

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