Is your business ready to bring Google Ads in-house?

Is your business ready to bring Google Ads in-house?

Over the years, I’ve seen many businesses bring their Google Ads campaigns in-house…with varied success.

Written by

Gary Nissim


14 November 2016




For specific clients, it is undoubtedly the right move to have ‘Brand Advocates’ working ‘Full Time’ on their campaigns. But from a business perspective, what aspects justify this as the right move?
In my opinion, there are three main criteria to consider if you’re thinking of bringing Google Ads in-house:

1. Size of the team

Don’t do it if the team you need consists of one person. Does a pro-athlete surround themselves with the very best in their field – or do they choose to train alone?

Don’t believe the best SEM’ers out there will want to work on your brand without people to bounce ideas off and collectively learn from. We’re often an introverted and awkward group, but when we’re lone wolves, we get bored, lose our creativity and the winning edge you employed us for grows blunt (sorry to upset those client-side lone wolves out there). The other thing to think about when they’re a team of one is this: what happens to your accounts when that person is on holiday, is ill, or is disinterested? Your campaign will suffer, and you’re unlikely to know about it. To attract the best talent, you need a team that will collectively learn and grow together. But more importantly, to drive the best results, you need a minimum team size of three to drive the best results. Also, employ a team with slightly different skills, for example, an Excel wizard, a creative maestro and a data geek.

2. Cost savings

The next thing you must consider is the cost of bringing on a full-timer. And do not simply compare an employee’s monthly salary against an agency’s monthly fee, as that doesn’t paint an accurate picture. Here’s what’ll happen cost-wise when you use an agency rather than bringing someone in-house;

  • Direct Costs – No superannuation, payroll tax or recruitment fees. There is no need to pay for holidays, sick days or maternity cover. No hardware or software costs.
  • Indirect Costs – No need for a seat or square meters in rent. No training requirements or drain on IT and other internal resources.

Conversely, if you’re building an in-house team, you can assume you’ll take on all the above costs.

3. Reporting structure and management

Is there a place for this new unit to sit within the business?

Paid search is marketing, and this new team should not report to the General Manager, Finance Director or Head of IT. It needs to sit within a larger marketing unit working on bringing the brand and campaigns to life. Also, remember that paid search is not only a great acquisition driver but a capture channel for other media. This new unit should report to someone who understands the medium and can manage a team with a skill set different from their own.

So, if you’re thinking of bringing paid search in-house, you’ve considered these criteria and are ready to start building your new team. The critical mistake many still make at this point is in the interview process.

If you don’t know the interview questions to ask, how can you sort the wheat from the chaff? Is your external or internal recruiter suitably skilled to conduct a technical interview? Can you talk about build templates, bid modifiers, match stacking or RLSA? If not, you need help in recruiting the right team.

A final and critical point for you to remember is this: just because they’ve got the right blue-chip companies on their CV doesn’t mean they have the right skills.

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Written by

Gary Nissim
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