• My Tools
Digital Marketing, Thought Leaders

When to Hire a Freelance PPC Specialist vs. PPC Agency

March 8, 2023

by Hannah Hicklen

Hiring a PPC expert can help you get the most out of your campaign, but should you partner with a PPC freelancer or a PPC agency? Learn about the pros and cons of both before starting your partnership. 

Pay-Per-Click advertising, also known as PPC, is one of the most effective ways to increase traffic to your website, grow sales, and improve brand awareness quickly. Unlike other digital marketing strategies like SEO, content marketing, and email marketing, PPC can be effective almost immediately. 

It also yields a very high return on investment — in fact, most businesses earn $2 for every $1 spent on PPC advertising. However, when done poorly, PPC can be expensive and not very effective. 

A PPC expert can help ensure that you get the most out of your campaign by optimizing your PPC strategy, conducting keyword research, and much more. Still, companies must decide if they would benefit more from hiring a freelancer or a PPC agency. 

What Services Do PPC Experts Provide?  

  • Keyword research 
  • Managing ad spend 
  • Bid strategies 
  • Audience targeting 
  • Conversion tracking
  • Reporting
  • Content creation
  • Ad design 
  • Landing page design

Choosing whether a freelancer or PPC agency is right for your business depends on your budget as well as the extent of your project. Here’s what you need to know to find the best partner for your project. 

PPC freelancer vs ppc agency venn diagram
Looking to hire a PPC agency? Search for top-rated agencies on Clutch, then filter by location, client ratings, and cost to find the perfect partner for your business. 

Freelance PPC Specialist 

What is a Freelance PPC Specialist? 

PPC specialists that freelance are often individuals who have previously worked in digital marketing. They have the background, knowledge, and experience needed to develop and manage effective PPC campaigns. 

Unlike internal marketing teams or PPC agencies, PPC freelancers often work on their own and can be hired on a part-time or full-time basis, depending on what your business needs. 

4 Benefits of Hiring a Freelance PPC Specialist

While PPC is a great digital marketing strategy that can help grow your business online, it can be difficult to execute without previous experience in managing a campaign. 

Freelance PPC specialists can provide expert insights into your campaign without the expense associated with hiring an internal team or agency. Here are the top four reasons why you should hire a PPC freelancer:   

  1. Affordable option
  2. Streamlined collaboration
  3. Expert advice
  4. Better ROI

PPC freelancers can help you manage your ad spend, optimize campaigns, provide reports, and much more to ensure the success of your PPC efforts. 

Affordable Option

Hiring an internal digital marketing team can be expensive regardless of the size of your business, and hiring a PPC agency can cost a lot as well. Freelancers, on the other hand, are a much more affordable option. 

They often charge lower hourly rates than PPC agencies, resulting in lower project costs. Particularly if the project is small, this benefits companies because they just have to pay for the services they need. 

For companies that are looking to jumpstart a PPC campaign, but don’t need a ton of different services, a freelancer is often the perfect fit. 

Team Collaboration

Communicating with one freelancer is often easier than working with an agency. While most PPC freelancers work remotely, they can also be brought in for team meetings, whether they’re virtual or in person. 

There are many benefits of working so closely with a service provider like this. They get to know your business better so they can provide even better solutions and they can build a rapport with internal team members. 

With strong communication and a solid understanding of your business, your PPC campaigns will go off without a hitch. 

Expert Advice 

Many freelancers have extensive experience managing PPC campaigns. Whether they’ve worked for a PPC agency in the past or have headed digital campaigns for a brand, they have the know-how needed to build an effective campaign for your business. 

With their background, they know what works and what doesn’t. Because they’ve tried and tested different strategies for different companies, they can help guide your PPC plans. They’re also able to analyze data and adjust your campaign to ensure your success. 

Better ROI 

PPC can be difficult to execute well. Companies have to manage their ad spend, determine the best way to reach their audiences, and analyze data to optimize their campaigns. 

Rather than trying to DIY your PPC campaign, hiring a PPC expert ensures that your ad dollars are well spent. While some businesses have internal team members who can assist with managing a PPC campaign, they may not provide the best service. 

With a PPC freelancer at your disposal, you’re likely to see a higher conversion rate. PPC freelancers can optimize your campaign so you spend less and earn more, resulting in a better return on investment (ROI). 

4 Drawbacks of PPC Freelancers 

Freelance PPC specialists offer a variety of services that can help optimize your campaign, but they do have some limitations. Here are a few reasons why some businesses choose to work with a PPC agency or hire internally instead. 

  1. Difficult to hold accountable
  2. Scalability
  3. Skills gaps
  4. Limited resources

Difficult to hold accountable

While most PPC freelancers are reliable, there are always people who aren’t fully engaged, don’t communicate well, or don’t manage their time well. 

Unlike PPC agencies, who often have built up a reputation and are more concerned with receiving positive client reviews, PPC freelancers may be more difficult to hold accountable. For instance, freelancing may be a side gig and be less of a priority or they may not have the infrastructure in place to manage communication as well as an agency. 

Regardless of why they can be difficult to hold accountable, companies working with freelancers should establish communication channels and set expectations before the project starts to ensure a smooth collaboration. 


At the end of the day, freelancers are just one person. This means that they can only do so much. 

For large projects, they may not be the best fit because it can be difficult for them to manage multiple campaigns at once. Especially if PPC is just one part of a larger digital marketing strategy, a PPC agency with a more robust team may be a better fit. 

Skills Gaps 

While freelancers are usually very skilled PPC specialists, everybody has their limitations. For instance, some may lack experience working with a specific platform while others may not have web design experience needed to develop landing pages. 

If you’re hiring a freelancer, be sure to ask about each aspect of your project to ensure that they have the experience needed to execute your PPC strategy. Even with proper vetting, however, know that they may not have the knowledge needed if you decide to expand your PPC efforts. 

Limited Resources

Finally, PPC freelancers are smaller operations and have fewer resources. Unlike larger companies, they may not have the budget to invest in additional software and tools that can be helpful when running a PPC campaign. Instead, your business may need to cover the cost of these tools if you think they will be beneficial. 

PPC Agencies 

What is a PPC Agency? 

PPC agencies are digital marketing companies that specialize in pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. 

Unlike PPC freelancers, PPC agencies usually have larger teams with experts who focus on specific parts of PPC advertising. For example, one team may have media ad buyers, data analysts, paid media experts, and data analysts, as well as creative professionals like graphic designers, copywriters, and videographers.

There are many benefits of working with a more robust team. Yet, to choose between hiring a PPC freelancer and an agency, you must carefully weigh the benefits and challenges of working with each. 

4 Benefits of Hiring a PPC Agency

PPC agencies can offer many resources to improve their clients’ PPC campaigns. Here are some of the best reasons to hire a PPC agency. 

  1. Access to a broad team of experts
  2. Experience developing a holistic PPC strategy
  3. More effective campaigns
  4. Access to additional resources

If you have the budget for it, hiring a PPC agency may be the best way to get the results you’re looking for from your campaign. 

Access to a Broad Team of Experts 

PPC companies have robust teams with expertise in various areas. As discussed before, PPC teams can include: 

  • Social media specialists
  • Account managers
  • Paid media experts
  • Graphic designers
  • Copywriters
  • Ad buyers 
  • Data analysts 
  • And more!

Each person on the team has a unique skill set that they bring to the project. 

PPC agencies can hire the best experts in their industry, ensuring that they can deliver high-quality work for their clients. In comparison, it may be difficult to find a freelancer who can develop creative for the PPC campaign, conduct keyword research, manage ad spend, and analyze data. 

Consequently, marketing leaders can feel confident that they’re working with the best in the industry when they hire a PPC agency. 

Experience Developing a Holistic PPC Strategy

PPC teams have experience developing PPC campaigns for various companies of different sizes, in different industries, and with different goals. With so much experience managing PPC ad campaigns, they know how to develop a strategy that is specific to your business needs. 

This can include identifying which keywords to target in order to reach ideal audiences, which platforms will be best to meet your business goals and budget, formulating bid strategies, and how to appeal to potential customers. 

While some freelancers may be limited in their experience of which platforms they can use, PPC agencies can help you manage your ad campaigns across several different channels including: 

  • Google Search and Display 
  • Microsoft (Bing)
  • YouTube
  • Social media (i.e. Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn)
  • Amazon
  • In-App 

This gives companies even more options when deciding how to grow their business. With a proper PPC strategy in place, digital marketers will be more satisfied with the outcome of the PPC campaign. 

More Effective Campaigns

One of the tricky things about managing a PPC campaign is that there is some risk involved: PPC managers need to balance how they’re spending their ad dollars with generating a return on their ad spend. 

PPC companies are well-equipped to measure and analyze the performance of the ad campaigns that they manage. With these insights, they can adjust their campaigns and optimize them for their clients. 

For some digital marketers, optimizing a PPC campaign may mean adjusting their target audience or reallocating part of their budget, but for others it can include developing new ad copy. Deciding which one will work best for your PPC campaign depends on your audience and industry. PPC experts are best equipped to help you decide the most effective way to adjust your PPC strategy. 

With a PPC agency’s help, companies optimize their PPC budget while increasing their click-through-rate and conversion rate. 

Access to Additional Resources  

Many PPC companies take advantage of software and other tools that can help them create even more effective campaigns. There is software that can help digital marketers manage their ad budget across many different platforms, track online visibility, test landing pages, and conduct keyword research. 

However, these tools aren’t free. While they are probably well-worth the cost for PPC agencies, they may be out of budget for freelancers or internal teams who aren’t familiar with them. By hiring a PPC specialist, companies can gain access to these resources without subscribing to these tools. 

4 Challenges of Hiring a PPC Agency

While PPC agencies provide high-quality services for their clients, they’re not the best partner for every business. Here are a few reasons why some companies choose not to hire PPC agencies:

  1. May be more expensive
  2. May not accept smaller projects
  3. Lack of focus
  4. Less understanding of your business

For small businesses with tighter budgets, a PPC agency may not be the best fit. It’s important to consider both the pros and cons of working with a PPC agency before hiring them. 

Likely More Expensive

In addition to your ad spend, PPC companies charge an hourly rate for their services. While each company charges different rates, they’re likely to cost more than working with a freelancer. For companies with a limited budget, this may mean that hiring a PPC agency isn’t worth the expense. 

Looking to create a budget for your PPC campaign? Download a PPC budget here

May Not Accept Smaller Projects

Some PPC companies require a minimum ad spend. This means that they won’t accept a project from a client if it’s below a certain size so they are guaranteed to make money off of the partnership. While large PPC companies are most likely to set these parameters, it can limit small businesses who can’t afford to spend a lot on PPC upfront. 

Lack of Focus

Some small businesses have complained that they don’t receive enough attention from their PPC agency. This can happen for a variety of reasons. Sometimes account managers have too many projects and not enough time to dedicate to one project. It can also happen if a big project comes up that takes priority over yours, or if your budget caps how much time your PPC team spends on your campaign. 

Regardless, it’s important for marketers to work closely with their PPC partners by setting expectations and maintaining communication. 

Less Understanding of Your Business 

While most PPC agencies take the time to understand your audience and marketing goals, there’s always a chance they simply won’t get it, especially compared to an internal team. 

If your business is very niche, it may take more time to explain what your business does to your PPC partner. However, it is worth the extra effort. With a better understanding of your audience and value proposition, they can create more effective campaigns. 

Evaluate Your Business Needs To Find The Right PPC Service Provider 

When done well, PPC advertising is a great way to attract users to your website and increase revenue. However, many companies often overspend on advertising or don’t optimize their campaigns for conversions. Yet with extensive experience, PPC experts are able to generate a positive ROI for their clients. 

While freelancers are extremely knowledgeable and can help manage your PPC campaign from start to finish, they can be limited by their lack of resources and smaller team. PPC agencies, on the other hand, have a team full of experts in various fields and can take on just about any project. However, they’re often more expensive and may not be as focused on clients who have smaller budgets. 

Determining the best PPC partner for your business depends on the size of your PPC project, your budget, and your internal team. Regardless of what your business is looking for, Clutch can help. Search for top-rated PPC agencies on Clutch, then filter by location, client ratings, and cost to find the perfect partner for your business. 

Related Articles More

5 UTM Tracking Best Practices with Google Analytics