Do you charge clients for Adwords management or top-ups?

Advice on splitting up and charging for Google Adwords-related services

[SIZE=2]Do you charge clients for general non-retainer Adwords work?
How do you split up your services?

Not the way I really wanted to word this question, but cant think of a better way to word it so here goes; I’m not sure ‘how much to charge’ for this service, which breaks down into the following 4 categories or sub-services;

  • Initial Setup / Creation of the Account
    includes code embedding onto website and first campaign set up with initial funds

  • Campaign Monitoring & Analysis
    checking on progress, stats, producing reports, analysiing the data and making recommendations

  • Account Top-ups
    physically topping up the account for the client, financially

  • New Campaign creation
    creating and setting off new campaigns based on the previous campaign monitoring and result analysis

So I’d like to get a feel for:

How much you charge for each of those services on an individual basis. Again, this is not relating to retainers or regular or monthly work. I’m talking one-offs, ad-hoc.

Would you put a % of the top-up amount on top of the top up amount in order to cover the time spent dig this?

Would you charge a set rate for creating new campaigns? Or go by the hour for new campaigns and monitoring/analysis

As a sidenote, it may be helpful to note that this is -not- for an e-commerce site. The site being promoted does not sell products/services in a traditional ‘shop’ or ‘store’ kind of way. We’re paying to attract traffic which may then turn into leads or enquiries. So its pretty difficult to track an ROI and base any fees on that. That’s not what im hoping for in your replies lol. Thank you in advance

I’m not doing this for clients anymore but have done something similar in the past.

I’d say skip the fee for new campaign setup to make the offering more attractive.

Yes, charge a % of each top up.

Yes, decide a flat fee for monitoring.

If your campaign is making them money, they will gladly pay.

I have a PPC service for small businesses and charge an upfront fee and monthly flat fee. I only take on small business accounts with a small number of ad groups and keywords. Not sure what you mean by “physically topping up”. I don’t charge for adding to the budget and adding more keywords and ad groups. That’s just part of good management in my opinion. A lot of PPC management companies work on a percentage and so their fee naturally increases as the spend grows.


  • By ‘physically topping up’ I mean the act of adding additional funds to the account or ‘click-pot’.

Do you do this;
a) Via your own account and invoice the client (surely you’d need at least a 25% margin on this to cover the taxes you would pay on any sum for this to be worthwhile if you are not invoicing any other work)
b) Use the client’s card details for you to add to the account and then top up directly from their account (with authorisation of course)
c) Provide client-access to the account so they can add more funds themselves? (risk of changes to the account/campaign(s))

Your response also provokes further questions though; You mentioned you don’t charge for adding to the budget (account/click-pot), adding more keywords or Ad Groups, etc, etc. This is all time consuming and often involves analysing old campaigns and their results or statistics in order to come up with a new keyword list and the recommended changes. New campaigns then need to be generated, advert text thought about and the whole thing put together. You do all this for free?

When you say ‘a lot of PPC companies work on a percentage’ - a percentage of what? The campaign click pot or top-up sum? So if a client says, okay I’d like to put £150 into this, you would take your percentage, of 150 and add that on top as payment for your service? If so, what sort of percentages are you talking about?

I too work with small businesses, and their spend tends to be in the very low hundreds as they are often new to the PPC concept and so tend to ‘dip their toes’ into the idea with low spends. So even 10-20% on a £100-200 click pot is only going to be £10-20 pounds worth of profit and would not really cover the approx. two-three hours spent discussing the concept, creating the account, analysing previous campaigns, generating the new one and setting it live (often analysis of the campaign is expected post account depletion).

I’m intrigued as to how you (and others) make this work on the billing side of things as a business (hence the thread I guess!)

Again, after the ‘click-pot’ funds have depleted, it would need to be a sizeable percentage of the additional funds to be added in order to make the additional work needed worth while to reconfigure/tweak an existing or worse create a completely new campaign. So even something like 25% starts to look like a lot of money to a client if they “just want to add £200” to the campaign, and wouldn’t be happy at it costing them £250 to do so. Bringing my point full-circle, that £50 “profit” lets call it, wouldn’t in my opinion cover the time spent on the clients behalf tweaking/reworking a campaign. Though it would of course provide a decent profit if all you are doing is simply ‘topping up’ the account.