PPC Management Prices: How Much Should You Expect to Spend?

In today’s digital landscape, Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising has become an essential component of any successful marketing strategy. Placing bids on keywords, dividing target audiences, and maintaining healthy profit margins—sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? 

Well, not quite. PPC costs are on the rise in 2024, and many businesses are coming to realize campaign management is more complicated than it appears. So, how can you tell if an in-house approach or third-party outsourcing makes the most sense for your company?

How Much Does It Cost to Hire a PPC Campaign Manager vs a Third-Party Ad Agency?

When it comes to finding someone to manage your PPC campaigns, there are two primary options. First, hire an in-house PPC manager. Second, outsource the task to a third-party ad agency. 

Let’s break down the annual costs associated with each option: 

  • In-House PPC Manager: In-house campaign managers make an average salary of $72,071 per year, equating to $6,005 per month. However, it’s not uncommon for top earners to command salaries of up to $105,500 annually, or $8,791 per month.
  • PPC Management Services: Outsourcing your PPC management costs an average of $30,000 to $60,000 per year, which translates to $2,500 to $5,000 per month. It’s important to note that different agencies have their own pricing models, and the quote you receive won’t be consistent from company-to-company. 

5 Common PPC Management Pricing Models 

1. Percentage of Ad Spend

With this model, the PPC agency charges a percentage of your monthly ad spend as their management fee, typically ranging from 15% to 30%. For example, if your monthly ad spend is $4,000 and the agency charges 25%, you would pay them $1,000. As your ad spend increases, the percentage charged by the agency may decrease, such as 20% for a $50,000 budget, or 15% for $100,000 budget.

  • Pros: Aligns the management fee with your ad spend, making it fair for businesses with varying budgets. Agencies have an incentive to optimize campaigns for better results.
  • Cons: As your ad spending grows, the management fee also increases, potentially leading agencies to focus more on increasing ad spend rather than campaign performance

2. Flat Fee

The flat fee model involves paying a fixed amount to the PPC agency every month, providing predictability in budgeting without any hidden fees. It can be a simple fee, like $2,000 per month, to manage your PPC campaigns. Or, some agencies might adopt a tiered flat fee model, where the fee increases with the size of your PPC budget. For instance, if you have a $5,000 monthly PPC budget, they may charge a flat fee of $1,000 per month, and for a $30,000 budget, the fee might be $3,000 per month.

  • Pros: Fixed monthly costs allow precise budget planning, and there are no surprises or hidden fees. It is suitable for businesses with consistent ad spend.
  • Cons: It may not be cost-efficient for businesses with small ad budgets, and it does not account for variations in campaign performance.

3. Performance-Based Pricing

With a performance-based pricing model, agencies charge based on the results they achieve, often focusing on lead generation or specific conversion actions.

  • Pros: You pay only for actual results, which motivates agencies to deliver high-quality leads and more conversions.
  • Cons: This model lacks consistency in costs, and the quality of leads isn’t guaranteed. 

4. Project-Based Pricing

Project-based pricing involves a one-time fee for a specific PPC project or campaign, irrespective of the ad spend. So, let’s say you needed an agency to create and manage a PPC campaign for a product launch. With a project-based approach, they’d quote you a single fixed price to run all the ads promoting your launch.

  • Pros: Clear and fixed costs for a specific project or campaign. Ideal for short-term campaigns with well-defined scope and objectives.
  • Cons: Not suitable for businesses with ongoing or long-term PPC management needs, and it lacks flexibility in adjusting to changes in campaign requirements.

5. Hourly Rate

Some PPC agencies charge based on the number of hours they spend managing your PPC campaigns, with rates determined by the agency. For example, if the agency charges $200 per hour and spends 20 hours a month managing your PPC campaigns, you would pay $4,000.

  • Pros: Transparent billing based on the actual time spent on your project. 
  • Cons: Costs can vary depending on the agency’s hourly rate and the complexity of tasks.

Why PPC Outsourcing  Makes Sense: The Value of Partnering with a Digital Marketing Agency

  • Greater Expertise: While you may learn about PPC online, it doesn’t compare to the understanding of professionals who do this full-time. With PPC outsourcing, you’re able to leverage the combined expertise of strategists, ad writers, data analysts, and more. 
  • Cost-Effective Campaigns: Handling a PPC campaign independently can lead to costly mistakes. In contrast, outsourcing helps you avoid these trial-and-error expenses.
  • Better Tools and Resources: PPC management pricing usually includes access to the agency’s analytic tools and resources, giving you a no-cost way to streamline future campaign optimization. 
  • No Learning Curve: Skip the lengthy learning curve associated with running campaigns independently. Ad agencies already know what it takes to execute a successful campaign and provide tangible results. 

Let the Experts Handle Your PPC Campaign Strategy

At Timmermann Group, we understand what it takes to run a successful ad campaign. To us, PPC marketing is more than “just” a job. It’s a puzzle, where each piece—the right keywords, catchy ads, and user-friendly landing pages—fits just right to yield great results. If you’re not showing up when customers search for your service offerings, schedule a demo with our Google Ad-certified strategists and learn how we make your ads deliver.