A Detailed Guide to Vetting and Hiring an E-commerce PPC Agency: What to look for when hiring an Amazon PPC agency

What to look for when hiring an Amazon PPC agency

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Are you a brand selling your products on Amazon? Then you know that Amazon is a juggernaut in the ecommerce world in 2022.

With 5.8 billion visits to Amazon’s website in the six months before February 2022, it’s no secret that Amazon can help ecommerce companies, especially newer brands, reach consumers worldwide. 

However, showing up at the top of their search results for your most important keywords can be tough. That’s why Amazon Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising can attract the right audience effectively if you have a solid strategy to run your ad campaign.

Businesses can run an Amazon PPC ad campaign on their own, but having the knowledge and support of an Amazon expert, whether an Amazon PPC agency or a consultant, can help companies get an even greater return on their investment. Amazon PPC experts can help businesses optimize campaigns, get ads set up efficiently, and avoid beginner’s mistakes. This allows companies to get the most out of their Amazon PPC budget.

What is an Amazon PPC expert?

An Amazon PPC expert builds, optimizes, and runs PPC ad campaigns tailored to increase visibility and conversions for your product listings on Amazon. Additionally, they can help you monitor and measure your ad campaign’s results to ensure optimal performance.

Hiring an Amazon PPC expert can help you minimize (or avoid) wasted ad spend and save time and money. 

What does an Amazon PPC expert do?

An Amazon PPC expert — whether a freelancer or agency — will oversee your ad campaigns from conception through execution. This also includes monitoring the results to ensure you get the most out of your ad budget and that the campaign helps you grow sales.

An expert Amazon PPC agency can: 

  • Identify and create a strategy that’s tailored to your business’s goals and needs
  • Help you optimize your Amazon PPC advertising, often by focusing on three different ad types: sponsored product ads, sponsored brand ads, and sponsored display ads
  • Provide Amazon keyword research and keyword opportunity identification
  • Set up your campaign structure and target optimization, so you’re reaching the right audiences
  • Track and analyze your campaigns
  • Monitor your market and optimize as needed for trends and seasonality
  • Provide expert advice and insights based on their ad experience and specialty

How much does it cost to hire an Amazon PPC agency?

The cost to hire an Amazon PPC agency can vary depending on the service they’re providing, their expertise, and your business’s needs. 

Prices can range from $1,000 – $10,000+ per month, but for an ad spend of $10,000 per month you should expect to pay an Amazon PPC agency from $1,500-$2,500 per month depending on the number of services needed and campaigns managed. 

While those prices may seem high and you will be tempted to optimize for the lowest price, this isn’t usually the right move. You should keep in mind that low price points, while attractive at first, usually mean that the agency can’t do as much strategically for you as another, higher priced firm with more experience. 

Just like with ecommerce PPC agencies, Amazon PPC agencies use various pricing models. The three most common pricing models are:


  1. Percentage of ad spend pricing: This pricing model lets clients pay based on a predetermined percentage of their ad spend. The agency typically requires a minimum ad spend. This model can work well for businesses with large or growing ad spend but may not be a good fit for companies with small budgets because these agencies usually require a large minimum ad spend.  
  2. A management fee plus a percentage of the ad spend pricing: This approach uses a percentage of ad spend like the above model but also includes a set fee, and works best for larger businesses with advanced conversion tracking. Similar to the percentage of ad spend pricing model, this model also doesn’t work well for small businesses who have smaller ad budgets.
  3. Flat fee retainer pricing that’s based on the scope of work: The agency will first determine the scope of the work for setting up and managing the ad campaign and then provide the business with a set, flat fee (typically based on the effort times their hourly rate plus a profit margin). This can be great for companies who prefer a fixed expense each month or will have a more static ad campaign. However, this approach may not be right for businesses that need a more dynamic campaign or have a lot of ad creative needs, as the hours needed for that can eat into the actual ad management budget. 

Differences between hiring an Amazon PPC consultant versus an Amazon PPC agency

The main difference between an Amazon PPC consultant and an Amazon PPC agency is that when you hire an Amazon PPC agency, you’re getting the help of a team, often for the price of one employee (or less!). 

If you need help but an agency doesn’t fit your budget, an Amazon PPC consultant or freelancer may be a good choice. Typically, consultants and freelancers will cost less than an agency. All that said, be sure the consultant has the necessary experience, skills, time, and up-to-date knowledge to run an effective campaign for your business. 

How to find and vet an Amazon PPC agency

Amazon PPC ad campaigns typically aren’t one-size-fits-all, and your results will be better if you spend the time to create the right strategy for your business. 

That’s why it’s critical to find an Amazon PPC agency that understands your company and specific advertising goals.  

Ask about their process.

A successful Amazon PPC agency will have a set process that they can easily explain to you. Additionally, they should be able to explain the reason for each step in their process.

It’s a major red flag if an agency is unable to explain their process, doesn’t have one, or refuses to talk about it “because it’s proprietary.” A great agency will be happy to educate you on their process so they can be sure you will be a great client.

In addition, since there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all process, you should ask an agency how they will adapt their process for your campaigns.  

Make sure they have relevant experience.

The agency should be able to provide information, data, and social proof that demonstrate that they have successfully helped businesses like yours with their Amazon PPC ad campaigns.

When reviewing their experience, see if they have any recent case studies they can share. Case studies can give you insights into their process, show you what it’s like to work with them, and provide results that a company had from the campaign. 

Be wary of promises guaranteeing specific results.

An Amazon PPC agency should be able to discuss and show you that they’ve gotten results for their clients. 

Be wary of working with agencies that guarantee a specific and potentially too-good-to-be-true return on your investment.

Many factors influence the success of an ad campaign. While an expert should be able to explain what they will specifically do to help you achieve positive results, an expert will also be honest that there are elements outside their control. 

You want to look for an agency that can clearly explain what they can and will do to help pave the way for a successful campaign. The discussion should not include a specific guarantee of a set amount of return on your investment. However, it is a good sign if they discuss average returns and what they hope to see from the campaign, as long as that aligns with your goals as well. 

Make sure they run ads under your account, not their own.

One of the biggest red flags to be aware of is an Amazon PPC agency wanting to either create and own the ad account or run all of the campaigns through the agency’s account. These are both bad practices that add unnecessary risk for your brand. 

For starters, this means you won’t be able to readily view your campaigns or reports. So instead of being able to download the report straight from the source, you have to go through your account manager.

Additionally, if you decide to part ways or discontinue your ad campaigns for any reason, the agency could hold your account hostage. 

To prevent any of these unnecessary outcomes, you should maintain full possession of your ad account, and create a user (or a few) with applicable permissions for your new agency.  

Make sure they will share real numbers and reports.

Find out in advance what type of information and data they share about the ad campaigns they run. You’ll want to be able to see the actual results and data from your ad campaign as well as log in and see it for yourself in the ad manager, especially if a campaign didn’t work as intended. 

If an agency typically doesn’t share reports or data as part of their process, you may want to consider other options. 

You need full transparency from your PPC expert. While you want them to explain the data to you, the agency should also be willing to share the actual reports, regardless of the campaign’s performance.

Ask about their communication practices.

You’ll want to look for an agency that provides clear, consistent communication to allow for a successful collaboration.

For example, ask how they prefer to communicate, how frequently, and which types of communication platforms they use. Additionally, determine how often they provide updates and reports. 

There isn’t one set way to communicate. But they should have one, and it should feel like a good fit for you.

Ask about their approach to monitoring the campaign.

There’s more to PPC ads than simply creating them and setting them live. 

To be successful, you and your agency need to monitor campaign performance so you can make adjustments as needed. 

To check for this, ask your potential agencies about their monitoring strategy and approach. For instance, ask how they track results and what they will do if a campaign isn’t hitting the target conversion rates. 

Make sure the’ll keep your data and results confidential.

It’s important to safeguard your data. 

When choosing an agency, make sure they have safety measures in place to ensure your business’s data remains confidential. Look for an agency that doesn’t use, rent, or sell your data. Also, ask what safety measures they have in place to protect your data.

Looking For An Amazon PPC Agency?

As your ecommerce or Amazon FBA business evolves, your marketing needs are likely to change. If you don’t have an Amazon PPC expert in-house, hiring a niche Amazon PPC agency can make a lot of sense. 

Here at Credo, we specialize in helping brands find the right digital agency.

So if you are thinking about hiring an Amazon PPC agency to get your brand great results, schedule a free Marketing Evaluation call with our team. 

Get started today. 

This page last updated on March 7, 2023 by John Doherty

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