If you manage your own paid search accounts and are starting to consider enlisting an agency to take charge of it, the decision can at times seem overwhelming. Business owners are often inundated with vendors offering their services, and if you hired every consigner that came through the door, you wouldn’t be in business very long. Decisions must be weighed and priorities established by understanding the value that each new service brings. Investing in a paid search expert is no different.

Before digging in, it’s important to identify exactly what paid search is. To put it simply, paid search is a lead generation-driven marketing tactic that allows for an exceptional amount of budget control because of the pay-per-click model that it operates under. It is a powerful tool that can lead to incredible results with the right administration, and with a lack of oversight and experience, wasted money. So why does it make sense to invest in a paid search agency or expert?

#1 Tracking is a “Need” Not a “Want”

When implementing a pay-per-click advertising strategy it is essential that your campaigns are setup and tracked properly in order to determine where your leads are coming from, and which ones are converting. Your search resource will be able to help provide guidance on which keywords and placements will largely garner the best results. Good marketing agencies go a step further and utilize 3rd-party analytics providers to dig even deeper into how users are interacting with your placements and have the know-how to utilize this information to improve your CPC (cost per conversion).

Just as–if not more– important than analyzing what is working, is to track what isn’t working so you can transfer funds away from ads draining money and into your successful campaigns if they have room to grow.

This approach applies not just to search terms but to time: respective days and hours yield different results, and tracking these changes allow you to maximize your return on investment. A good agency will take the time to review these trends and capitalize in a process known as day-parting.

Want to be certain that your pay-per-click campaigns are working? Learn to audit your PPC campaigns for yourself and be prepared to work with a pro.

#2 The Landscape is Constantly Evolving

If you try and handle your pay-per-click advertising in-house, chances are it will end up being piled on as an additional responsibility to an existing employee. Paid search experts eat, breathe and live SEM. They are not only economizing your account each day, they are also embedded in the industry, which makes them knowledgeable about algorithmic changes and evolving best practices. Unless your team can commit to staying up-to-date on all the latest changes on a weekly or daily basis, you won’t have nearly as much success running campaigns on your own.

For example, Google recently changed their Keyword Match Types. Exact match keywords, which have traditionally been the foundation of most campaigns, no longer restrict search results to terms that exactly match the terms in the query. It now allows results to show if the words are in a different order. The feature also disregards functional words like “for,” “in,” “with,” and so on.

Google has also restructured its mobile search results to give ads an even more significant advantage, taking up the majority, and many times all, of the screen post-search. These are just a few of the many latest examples that have important repercussions which marketing professionals are taking advantage of, and non-professionals are losing money from.

#3 There’s No Substitute for Experience

A seasoned search professional has been faced with many situations for different types of clients. Chances are, if you encounter an issue, they will be able to provide you with detailed background information on what is happening and why. All the research in the world will not arm you with the same knowledge as someone who has experienced a particular situation before and had to adapt his or her strategy.

#4 SEO Takes Time; PPC Has an Immediate Impact

If you are nurturing your SEO and hoping that it will drive business, this is a good tactic. But, seeing results from your organic search strategy does not happen overnight. An experienced search professional will be able to provide you insights on projections and timelines for improvement that you may not be aware of, and in the meantime, will optimize your paid search campaigns to allow you to capture your slice of the marketplace now.

Why is Paid Search Important?

Studies now suggest that consumers are now buying more online than in stores. Though the Yellow Pages and print advertising can be an effective tool as part of a broader marketing strategy, your customers are utilizing the Internet to find a solution and it’s your job to make sure you’re visible, communicating that you can quickly help solve their needs.

When used in conjunction with organic Search Engine Optimization, paid search will allow you to focus on the keywords and phrases that best speak to your ability to assist your customers.