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PPC Management Pricing: How Much Does AdWords & Paid Search Management Cost?

Author Justin Smith, CEO at OuterBox
by Justin Smith
Updated June 25, 2019

If you're looking for an agency to manage your paid search or Google AdWords campaign, then you're probably wondering what costs and fees are associated with management.

Deciding to hire paid search experts is a step in the right direction, allowing the experts to take over and make the most of your campaign. Without an AdWords management agency, you're likely spending too much and not getting the ROI you should be. The costs associated with the management of the campaign should pay for itself as our team will lower your cost per click and boost conversions. Let's discuss the different types of PPC management pricing models you'll encounter in your search for professional AdWords management services(Now Google Ads).


PPC Management Pricing Models

Whether you're looking to hire a low-cost overseas agency or a professional paid search management company, there are different pricing models that you'll expect to see:

  • Flat Fee + % of Spend

    The most common PPC management pricing model you'll encounter, many agencies charge a flat monthly fee in addition to a percentage of your monthly ad spend. This model has become the industry standard as it allows the agency to block out sufficient time for your campaign each month for maintenance tasks. If you have an extensive paid search campaign, fees for a percentage of spend allows for additional time to manage the more complicated account. Remember, the more you're spending, the more attention you want your agency to be giving you! Base fees can range anywhere from $250-$2500 a month and percentage of spend is usually between 7%-15%.

  • Hourly Rate

    Typically individuals or contractors will offer an hourly rate and bill hourly for their work. This PPC management pricing model can be worthwhile if you have a smaller campaign that doesn't require a team of experts. Hourly rate, depending on the country the individual works in, can range anywhere from $30-$250 an hour. The average US-based agency bills around $150-$200 an hour, while overseas agencies will charge a much lower fee. Remember, if you're working with a foreign agency, expect language barriers and phone calls at unconventional times of the day.

  • No Fee (watch out!)

    A relatively popular pricing model some agencies are now trying sell is the "free" management plan. With this type of pricing model, the company will often run the campaign through a 3rd party software and earn commission on every dollar you spend, sometimes without your knowledge. Usually, the keywords they bid on have low search volume and have been discounted significantly in cost. These campaigns can occasionally work for local business, but I do not recommend attempting to run a paid search campaign with this model for national exposure.

 


Overall, how much does PPC cost?

The cost of paid search comes down more to ad spend than management fees. While management fees can run you a few thousand per month (or much more depending on your budget), your actual ad spend with Google or another provider can range from $500-$500,000 a month. Decide how many visits you feel you need to reach your business goals and use Google's keyword planner tool to research keywords you would want to purchase.

After entering your keyword or keywords, you'll end up with a screen like this:

Google Keyword Planner for PPC Management Pricing and AdWords Campaign Planning

While it isn't 100% accurate until you get your campaign up and running, it'll give you an idea of cost per click on the low end and high end if you want to be at the top of the Google results. Remember, there are two ways to drive search traffic to your website, through paid search, and through SEO. It usually makes sense to create a campaign with a blend of both services.


Which PPC Management Pricing Models Does OuterBox Offer?

One of the main advantages of working with OuterBox is that we don't believe in turnkey solutions or "packages". If you contact us for a quote, we will audit your existing website, PPC campaign, and competitiveness of your industry, to determine a mutually-beneficial pricing model. If it doesn't make sense to work with your company, we'll refer you to one of our partner agencies.

The majority of our PPC clients are on the flat fee + percentage of ad spend model we described above. However, each project is unique and we are open to discussing a pricing model that suits the uniqueness of your PPC campaign(s).


Local PPC Campaign Pricing

There are significant differences between a national paid search campaign and a local campaign. Not only will management fees be lower on a local campaign, but the cost per click is usually significantly lower. The cost you pay per click is based on a bidding model, and since fewer people are bidding on local keyword s like "SEO Company Cleveland" than the phrase "SEO Company." Even if you're a national player, it may still make sense to find some local keywords in key markets to drive traffic and leads at a lower cost.


Paid Search Management Services Pricing vs. ROI

As we begin to talk about the fees associated with paid search campaign management pricing, it can feel expensive, but it all comes down to the ROI the campaign provides. Look at it this way: if you spend $1 and make $5, its worth it every time. Of course to get this type of return you'll need to have a well managed and optimized PPC campaign. Remember, there is no need to jump in with massive spend right away, but you do need to spend enough to get an idea of what is working and what is not. You can scale your spend up each month as you prove an ROI on previous spends.


PPC Retargeting Costs

As with traditional PPC, you can retarget searchers who have been exposed to your ads or demonstrated interest in your website. The advantage of retargeting is that these ads can "follow" your audience around the web, drastically increasing exposure and credibility.

While the cost per click for retargeting is usually significantly less than normal PPC ads in the SERPs, the price still depends on your industry and should be considered a key component of a holistic PPC campaign. On average, companies tend to spend anywhere from 5-20% of their ad budgets on remarketing.


PPC Management Pricing Breakdown:

Generally speaking, most PPC management pricing will be proprtional to your ad buject. Typical management pricing for PPC will fall into these distinct categories:

  • Flat monthly fee, plus a percentage of your monthly spend
  • Hourly Rate: Pay a standard or pro-rated hourly rate based on actual hours spent on your account.
  • No Fee, Commision Based: Avoid this pricing model.

Advantages of Choosing OuterBox to Manage Your PPC Campaign

  • Free personalized estimates! Talk with our Google Ads (formerly AdWords) campaign experts today!
  • Google Partner team certified in Adwords, display, and shopping
  • Detailed monthly AdWords reports and 1-on-1 meetings
  • Ecommerce Experts with over 15+ years experience as a leading eCommerce agency.
  • Lead generation, B2B, branding, and promotional campaigns also available

Still Have Questions About PPC Pricing?

We hope after reading you feel more prepared to choose the best PPC management agency to make your campaign successful! If you have additional questions, talk with our expert AdWords team by calling 1-866-647-9218 or requesting a free quote.


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