How to Detect A Scammy PPC Agency

Agencies take advantage of clients. They do it because they know it’s easy and almost always undetectable — unless you’re reading this article.

I know agencies who secretly steal 30% of their client’s monthly AdWords or PPC budget. So instead of an agency spending $5,000/month on advertising your business, the agency takes $1,500 for themselves and only $3,500 goes toward PPC.

What really makes me mad is on top of this fraud, agencies charge business owners $500+ per month as a management fee. Don’t get me wrong, spending $500+ a month to get new leads, sales, and increasing your business online is invaluable and can improve the success of your company. What I don’t like is often agencies spend as little time as 1–3 hours a month reviewing and optimizing their client’s PPC accounts.

It’s a scam. It’s a disgrace. It’s fraud. It’s a waste of money.

So how do you get by it? How do you know if you’re with an honest or dishonest agency?

Keep reading.

The reason I’m writing this article is so you, as a business owner, paying these scummy agencies, will protect yourself, your company, and your money.

Here are ways you know you’re working with a fraudulent agency.

1. The agency won’t link your Google AdWords and Google Analytics accounts. This is the #1 red flag in my book.

Linking AdWords and Google Analytics lets you view raw AdWord data in Google Analytics. You’re able to see clicks, costs, cost-per-click, sessions, bounce rate, pages per session and ultimately verify the agency’s reports are true. The only reason an agency won’t link the accounts is because they’re hiding real raw data and stats from you.

Having a Google Analytics is like peeking through the backdoor and getting a glimpse of the work inside. An honest digital marketing company will have no problem giving you access to your Adwords Account and Google Analytics.

Simply put — if an agency is honest, and wants to help your company grow, they will link the AdWords and Google Analytics. It’s an AdWords Best Practice.

2. Your monthly reports don’t measure conversions metrics

Your reports measure clicks, impressions, cost-per-click, click-through-rate, and quality score. Having high numbers in these categories is great, but it doesn’t mean you’re attracting likely customers or making profit. If your goal is to have visitors convert, these are the success metrics to measure:

  • Number of conversions
  • Cost per conversion
  • Conversion rate

If your agency is unwilling or unable to track conversions, it’s impossible to know if your PPC campaign is successful.

3. Answers to your questions are full of confusing jargon

Many times, PPC managers will answer your question in a way that sounds complicated to keep you confused and quiet. They do this to steer the conversation in a different direction, or confuse you so you’ll feel stupid asking questions. They don’t take the time to explain their PPC strategy.

4. Your PPC contact doesn’t ask about your business, customers, benchmarks, or goals

Your contact should want to learn as much as they can about you and your company. The more they know, the better they can tailor your ads and keywords to your target audience. If they don’t ask you questions to get a better understanding of company, it’s a sign they don’t spend quality time working on marketing efforts.

5. Your monthly reports don’t match your company’s sales or leads

Does the agency’s monthly report match the number of calls or form leads you received? Why not? If reports aren’t generated from a reliable source, or aren’t directly emailed to you from AdWords, agencies can make up any data they want. They’ll make up results to keep you happy and thinking they’re doing a good job.

Have you dealt with these types of marketing agencies before? How was your experience? Many claim they’re one of the fastest growing companies— and they are, because they’re taking advantage of you.

Need help? Are you getting scammed by a PPC agency? If you feel you are, reach out to me and we can find a fair and honest agency for you. Find me at