Could you share any statistics or metrics from this engagement?
When we first started working with KeywordFirst, they did a good job of restructuring the account. They're very good at coming up with an intuitive structure for managing the account tightly, without the need of too many ad groups. They're also very practical. I've seen some people in the past build accounts in very convoluted and hard-to-manage ways. KeywordFirst has a pragmatic approach of minimizing ad groups and keywords, and sticking to something which can be understood and managed.
I think that any company promising to double or triple marketing results is going to be selling smoke and mirrors. KeywordFirst has done a good, professional job of managing our account and keeping it within +/- 10% of its optimal efficiency. When reaching a certain point, it's hard to determine whether the marketing effort should be increased or decreased by a certain amount. We've done exercises in order to determine what the efficient frontier of our budget is, with different results every time.
How did KeywordFirst perform from a project management standpoint?
In three years of collaboration, they never cancelled a call on me. They've had a consistent team available for us. I've only worked with four or five people throughout our collaboration. Two of them are still there. Their reporting is dead-accurate all the time; they don't miss deadlines and respond well to constructive criticisms. When working with a vendor, if the client doesn’t have to think too much, it means that the partner is doing a good job. Whenever you start noticing things, it will be because something went wrong. KeywordFirst has made my life easier because I've had to do less thinking.
What distinguishes KeywordFirst from other providers?
They have a good sense of attribution and conversion values. Their technical proficiency is above-average. KeywordFirst doesn’t simply look at how much they can get the client to spend. It's easy to be taken for a ride in this field, but they've never done that.
Is there anything KeywordFirst could have improved or done differently?
I look at our collaboration keeping in mind that I'm a professional as well. Had I been naïve about it, it would have been a different experience. I think that KeywordFirst has done a reliable job over the years, and for all the flaws I've seen in them, most things have gone correctly. Whenever we changed the account structure in a significant way and something went wrong, it was caught quickly. That's okay in my point of view. It's part of the game. We wouldn't have continued to work with them if they were different.
If the client is coming off of a bad collaboration with a digital agency, KeywordFirst will definitely do a good job. If the client is simply looking for someone to manage and grow an account, they'll also do a great job. Everything depends on the situation: if a company has a mature account that has been well-managed, KeywordFirst will continue to do a good job managing it. Very few people can take an account that is doing well and make it do extraordinarily well. It's simply not how it works.