How To Pick An SEM Agency | The Custom Websites


When looking for an SEM Agency, talent, customer service, flexibility, cost-effectiveness, and corporate culture are the most crucial considerations. To locate the candidate who will be the ideal fit for your company, follow these steps.

First, Get Your Team Ready

(And understand if using an agency is the best option)

Knowing your objectives, target market, and the overall budget is crucial before you begin search engine marketing. Then you may decide if employing a Search Engine Marketing Company is actually the best course of action for your company.

The most economical alternative is to do it yourself if someone on your team has the time, knowledge, and willingness to take on a new task. Yet, there is a clear disadvantage to this: less time to concentrate on current obligations and on enhancing general digital marketing strategies.

Several alternatives exist for you if DIY is not for you:

  • Engage a freelancer or marketing consultant. This is a reasonable choice that gives you access to a professional with knowledge in your sector. However, if a contractor manages several customers, they might have little time to monitor your PPC advertising, which would result in diminishing results.

  • Choose an SEM Agency. An agency that specializes in SEM, or in SEM and other paid media marketing, is likely to have a wealth of knowledge. Nevertheless, this probably isn't the best choice for you if you're seeking a partner to assist you in tying your paid media plan to other marketing channels for optimal impact.

  • Choose a full-service marketing company with an SEM focus. This may be more expensive than a one-man operation or an SEM-only operation, but it will provide you access to more expertise to help you (such as site designers and developers) and opportunities to integrate paid advertising with other marketing tactics. You'll consequently have the best chance of succeeding.

Continue reading to learn how to select a Search Engine Marketing Company that can produce outstanding results for your company if the second or third choice appeals to you the most.

Choose The Best SEM Agency

Start your search by requesting referrals from coworkers and business acquaintances. Even if the businesses they selected aren't ideal for you, you'll still leave with a fantastic list of inquiries to make to potential agencies.

Do your search online next. Consider varying your search terms to find additional results rather than just looking for an "SEM Agency." Try searching for terms like "paid media marketing agency," "PPC services," "digital advertising creative services," etc. Visit our paid media FAQ section if you require a glossary of terms.

Make a list of your top choices, and then do individual company research on each one. Read the descriptions of paid media services on their websites first. Then, try to identify all the other characteristics (discussed below) that a reputable Search Engine Marketing Company should have.

Spot Qualities Of A Successful SEM Agency

You'll know a seller is an excellent one to have on your side if they possess all of these characteristics.

Skill (With Proof)

  • Specific experience in the industry

  • Data-driven approaches

  • Understanding of additional digital marketing channels (not just SEM)

  • Accreditations and honors

  • Case studies, portfolio, or both

  • Material that exhibits knowledge of paid media (e.g., great blogs and white papers)

Consumer Assistance

  • A properly sized internal team

  • Aligning KPIs and expectations at the start

  • Ongoing calls for check-in

  • Presentations that are robust in reporting

  • Reviews and references

  • A business with a culture that aligns with yours (more about this in the conclusion)


  • Ability to quickly broaden the scope of the job and adapt strategy in response to new information

  • Alternative services to SEM advertising and other paid media marketing would be ideal.

  • Working with a company that provides full-service digital marketing has several additional advantages. 

This flexibility can significantly impact your financial situation, whether you require assistance with creative projects or complicated development adjustments for your website.

Financial Efficiency

  • Transparent pricing that's affordable for your business

  • willingness to perform modest duty outside of scope as necessary

  • Content and creative testing are part of the offerings.

You ought to be able to reduce your agency choices to two or three after reading through this list. Set up one- to two-hour discovery sessions with the victorious candidates.

Finally, ask for proposals and presentations outlining what is included and how goals will be met.

Recognizing Warning Signs

We want you to be aware of a few warning signs when searching for an SEM Agency.

  • Vendors who wish to administer ad accounts to which you are not authorized. Ideally, you will give the vendor the login information for your current ad account. This enables you to keep an eye on spending and performance, at least until you've built a solid foundation of trust with your paid media partner.

  • Exclusive technology (sometimes). Even if this isn't always a bad sign, be sure you understand what you're signing up for. Several clients at The Custom Websites turn to us to escape a predicament involving exclusive CMSs or external landing page systems that are managed by other vendors. They have trouble and spend money on optimizations since they can't simply access their own content.

  • Cost transparency issues Several advertising networks enable businesses to specify a fixed fee for particular expenses. If you don't know what that rate is, a dishonest agency may mark it up to get more money for handling your marketing.

  • A/B testing and multivariate testing are extra. Basic testing of ad text, landing page components, or other publishers shouldn't cost more. All of these are standard practices for managing and optimizing campaigns, and your paid media services ought to reflect them.

Locate A Company With A Culture That You Can Work With

Remember to look for a solid "cultural fit" when deciding how to select a Search Engine Marketing Company rather than only focusing on talent and price. Do you share the philosophy, mission, and combination of personalities of a potential partner? Make sure the specialists you hire will be enjoyable to deal with.