How to Work Together With Your SEM Agency for Top Results

If you have decided to outsource your SEM campaigns to an agency, it’s important that you develop a healthy working relationship focused on maximising the profitability of your campaign.

It may be challenging to identify where you fit into the process and it may be difficult to relinquish control, but for best results you should focus your efforts on sharing key business and marketing information and reporting back to them on the business impact of your SEM campaign – allowing them to focus on driving up your profits and reducing wasted budgets.

In this post, we address:

  1. What information should you share with an agency?
  2. Which metrics should you be concerned with?
  3. How to get the best out of your campaign manager?

What information should you share with an agency?

It is important that you share with them who your company is, what is your brand and company culture, your short, medium and long term objectives and how your customers typically respond to marketing at different levels of the sales funnel. Below is a list of key information to share with your SEM manager:

  1. Company Information:
    1. Company History
    2. Size
    3. Brand & Corporate Identity
    4. Key People
    5. Products & Services
    6. Notable Clients
    7. Awards & Memberships
    8. Partnerships
  1. Your short, medium and long term marketing objectives.  Be thorough and clear at each objective. Ensure that your SEM manager understands where your company is headed – and also which markets it wants to avoid.
  1. What you expect to achieve with Google Adwords. It’s vitally important to be very clear on this point from the outset to prevent false expectations.
  1. Your past history with Google Adwords. Explain what worked and failed – and why you think this happened.
  1. Products or Services you would like to focus on. For each one provide:
    1. Buyer Personas – who is the ideal customer for a given product or service?
    2. USPs – What is unique about a product or service that differentiates it from your competition.
    3. Benefits – What are the key benefits to the buyer persona when using the product or service?
    4. Competition – Who are you competing with for market share?
    5. Customer sales questions and pushbacks
    6. How much you are willing to spend on a lead or sale for a particular product or service.
    7. Trends and seasonality.

Which metrics should you be concerned with?

If you have some past experience with Adwords, it’s easy to get lost in the detail with day-to-day AdWords metrics such as number of visitors to your site (clicks) and how much each visit cost you. But all of these are immaterial if you are focusing on profitability of your business and product lines.

It’s the SEM campaign manager’s job to determine how to structure a campaign and to optimise the smaller KPIs that comprise the nuts and bolts of a campaign. It is your role as the client to determine which products and services require more or less investment based on ROI statistics.

Your discussion with the agency should assess performance on the following key metrics on an overall and campaign basis:

  1. Conversions – typically the number of leads or sales achieved.
  2. Cost Per Conversion – the average amount spent per conversion.
  3. Conversion Rate – the % of website visitors that convert.
  4. Revenue – the amount of earnings resulting from the campaign.
  5. Profit – the revenue minus the cost of running the campaign.
  6. Return on Investment – the profit reflected as a percentage.

The discussion should assess:

  1. Where to increase, decrease or pause investment basic on campaign performance, internal supply and seasonal demand.
  2. Strategies for improving conversion rates across the site and landing pages.
  3. Strategies for lowering the cost per conversion.

How to get the best out of your campaign manager

Below are several best practices to get the best out of your SEM campaign manager:

  • Keep in regular, close contact.
  • Share industry trends.
  • Share competitor marketing strategies and tactics.
  • Don’t distract them from their core focus: optimising your campaign to be as profitable as possible.
  • Inform them of other marketing initiatives you plan to invest in.
  • Inform them of marketing goals and targets.
  • Provide them with access to data & tools.


SEM management is an intricate practice that requires professional marketing and technological skills to be successful. Establishing a healthy working relationship with your SEM agency involves sharing your key business information and goals, focusing on ROI level metrics and supporting your SEM manager to do what he / she does best. 

“Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /”.


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