Top 12 Ecommerce Paid Search Agencies in 2023

Table of Contents

How to Use this List of Ecommerce Paid Search Agencies

If this article has caught your eye, you're likely embarking on a quest to find the perfect paid search agency for your ecommerce company. This is a big decision that can shape the trajectory of your company’s growth. Use this guide as your trusted map to navigate the path to a successful partnership.

  1. Before plunging headfirst into contacting SEM agencies, pause for a moment of reflection. Consider what caused your last agency partnership to crumble. It's vital to unearth these lessons from the past; otherwise, history has a nasty habit of repeating itself.
  2. In the upcoming section, you'll find a wealth of wisdom to help you determine what matters most when appointing your next agency.
  3. We've curated a list of top-tier ecommerce SEM agencies for you. Browse through and select 3-5 potential partners to initiate introductory discussions.
  4. As you venture into the realm of meetings and interviews with paid search agencies, refer to our sage advice on evaluating agencies.
  5. If the first round of potential partners doesn't yield a perfect match, don't despair. Simply return to our list and bravely repeat steps 3 & 4.

How to Hire the Best Paid Search Agency for Your Ecommerce Company

Think of the search for an agency as launching a new expedition. You need a map, a compass, and a clear destination

Starting the Hunt: Build a List of Prospective Agencies

This article on the top paid search agencies for ecommerce should just be one of many resources you’re tapping into to create a list of agencies to interview. Here’s where else you should be looking:

Industry Networking & Word-of-Mouth

Think of industry networking and word-of-mouth referrals as your personal GPS guiding you through the labyrinthine world of paid search agencies. You can gain an insider's perspective on what it's like to work with certain agencies before you reach out to them.

Networking within your industry gives you access to businesses facing similar challenges. They know what you’re going through, and their agency recommendations are more likely to understand your needs as well.

Word-of-mouth referrals carry weight for a reason. They're a glowing neon sign saying, "This agency knows what it's doing." Referrals significantly reduce the risk of partnering with an unreliable agency. 

This should be your #1 source for creating a curated list of prospective agencies. These agencies are coming to you pre-vetted, significantly reducing your risk and streamlining the selection process. It’s like starting a treasure hunt with a half-filled map.

Agency Directories and Review Sites

Check out industry-specific agency directories and review sites. You can easily compare different agencies based on various parameters such as services, size, location, costs, and client reviews. 

Clutch, UpCity, and Agency Spotter are a few agency directories to look into. But, you might get more valuable information from a site like Glassdoor. There’s no better reflection of what an agency is like than what its employees say about it anonymously.

Doing Your Homework: Researching Potential Agencies

You have your short list of pre-vetted paid search agencies with ecommerce experience. Now, it's time for a deep dive.

Check Out Their Online Presence

Spend some time on their website and social media profiles. Is their messaging relevant to you? Do they communicate and exemplify values that align with yours? Is it abundantly clear that they have the ecommerce expertise to help you?

Peruse Their PPC Portfolio

Take a good look at their past work and case studies. You want an agency that is demonstrating proven results in the ecommerce space. Take these case studies with a grain of salt, however, and assume you’re only seeing their absolute best work. At a base level, what you like to see is evidence that they have analogous experience to your ecommerce company's needs.

Look for Innovative Thinking

The last stop is their blog. Any forward-thinking agency is one that’s getting their ideas out there. They’re staying on the bleeding edge and looking to contribute to ecommerce paid search conversation. An active, thought-provoking blog is a good sign that an agency is going to be able to provide you with innovative solutions.

The Ecommerce Edge: SEM Considerations Unique to Ecommerce

While choosing your agency, remember that ecommerce is a beast of its own kind. Be sure to evaluate an SEM agency against these ecommerce-specific factors:

Product-Focused Advertising Experience

It's essential for the agency to demonstrate a solid background in crafting, executing, and optimizing product-focused search ads. Several ad types are unique to ecommerce as is the development & management of a product feed. It's a different game to sell a product than to promote a service.

Familiarity with Ecommerce Martech

Make sure they are familiar with the ecommerce platform you're using and the technologies associated with it. Many ecommerce CRMs, marketing automation platforms, and sales enablement tools create opportunities for advanced analyses & optimizations that can improve SEM performance.

Insightful Questions to Ask While Evaluating Potential SEM Agencies

When it comes to interviewing your potential agency, you won’t learn much without asking insightful questions. By asking all of your potential agency partners these same questions, you’ll walk away being able to meaningfully compare them against one another and make the best decision for your company.

1. What is your experience with ecommerce companies similar to ours?

This question helps you understand if the agency has worked with businesses in your sector, with similar technologies, or with similar products. You want to know if they have encountered and solved the challenges that are relevant to your ecommerce business. Their response will provide insights into how they would approach your company's unique needs.

2. How do you stay updated with the changes in search advertising platforms, particularly with regard to machine learning and AI?

The world of digital advertising, including paid search, is in constant flux. New features, design changes, and updates in best practices are frequent. Hence, an agency needs to be well-equipped to keep up with these changes and apply them to ongoing strategies. 

One consistent trend of the last few years is that more control of your advertising performance is being handed over to machine learning and AI technologies. Knowing how your agency is managing through the good & bad aspects of this trend to drive strong performance will give you insight into how they learn and adapt.

3. Can you provide an overview of your strategic approach?

It’s far too early in the process for an agency to give you a fully-baked SEM strategy, but every agency has its unique way of developing & thinking about paid search strategies. Understanding their approach will give you insight into how they might manage your campaigns. It also provides an opportunity to see if their methods align with your company's vision and goals.

4. How do you measure success and report it?

Understanding an agency's approach to measuring success and how they report results is crucial. It provides clarity on what metrics they consider important, how they analyze those metrics, and how frequently you can expect performance reports. This will ensure both you and the agency are on the same page when it comes to expectations for reporting and success.

5. What is your approach to optimizing campaigns?

Paid search campaigns require continuous monitoring and optimization for improved performance. Inquiring about their optimization approach will provide you with an understanding of how they test, refine, and improve campaigns over time. It will also help you understand how transparent and collaborative you can expect them to be in that process.

By asking these questions, you can gauge the agency's experience, agility, strategic thinking, communication, and dedication to results, all of which are critical factors in your selection process. Remember, the agency's willingness to answer these questions and the depth of their responses can also indicate their transparency and commitment to client relationships.

Understanding the Costs of Hiring a Paid Search Agency

There are three main categories of expenses that you should plan for when hiring a paid search agency. 

Agency Management Fees

You’ll want to know an agency's fee structure early on in the hiring process. Whether it’s a flat fee, percentage of ad spend, or performance-based fee, it will need to align with your budget. 

Be transparent with your budget for agency fees. Often, agencies can design a level of service to suit your needs. Or, they can be upfront with you if your budget doesn’t meet their minimum engagement level.

Ad Spend

Ad spend should be the biggest line item in your paid search budget. These dollars go directly to the ad platforms, like Google Ads or Microsoft Ads. Typically, agencies are going to recommend a budget ramp-up as learnings and performance accumulate.

Creative Costs

Ads need ad creative. For traditional search ads, this may be as simple as brief lines of copy. For shopping ads, high-quality product images will perform best. If your agency recommends Performance Max (which they likely should be), you may be asked to provide videos and banner images to take full advantage of Google’s advertising ecosystem.

Warning Signs: When You’ve Hired the Wrong Agency

Sometimes, you might find yourself on the wrong ship, sailing in the wrong direction. Perhaps you’ve arrived at this article because you think you’ve hired the wrong agency and you’d like to talk to a few others to see if that’s indeed the case. Here are some common red flags:

Poor Communication

In any relationship, communication is key, and your partnership with an advertising agency is no different. If the agency consistently misses deadlines, is unresponsive to emails or calls, or doesn't communicate changes or updates in strategy, this is a clear warning sign. You should feel like a priority to your agency, not an afterthought.

Lack of Transparency

An effective agency will be open about their strategies, performance metrics, and campaign results. If your agency is reluctant to share these details, it could suggest they're not performing as well as promised or are using practices that don't align with your business values.

No Clear ROI

While it can take time to see results from paid search advertising, a competent agency will be able to show progress over time. If your return on investment isn't improving or if the agency can't demonstrate how their efforts are contributing to your bottom line, it may be time to reconsider your partnership.

One-Size-Fits-All Approach

If an agency is using the same strategy for your business that it uses for all of its clients, this is a major red flag. Your ecommerce business is unique and requires a tailored approach. An effective agency will take the time to understand your business and create a customized strategy to reach your goals.

Lack of Proactivity and Innovation

The digital advertising landscape is ever-changing. Your agency should be proactive in suggesting new strategies or advertising platforms that could benefit your business. If they're stuck in their ways and not keeping up with industry trends, they're not serving your ecommerce business to their full potential.

In the face of these warning signs, it's important to communicate your concerns with the agency first. They may be unaware of the issue and willing to make necessary adjustments. However, if problems persist, it might be time to find an agency that is a better fit for your ecommerce business.

Keep these points in mind, and you’ll be sure to find a reliable agency to navigate the choppy waters of paid search advertising in the ecommerce world. Now that you’re ready for the hiring process, here are the top ecommerce paid search agencies to evaluate:

1. Uproer

Best for: High-growth ecommerce companies in need of deep SEM expertise

When it comes to ecommerce search marketing, there’s no substitute for experience. And Uproer is teeming with it.

As one of two industry verticals served by the agency, Uproer has been developing and running profitable PPC campaigns since its inception in 2017. Whether it’s Shopify, Magento, Woocommerce or BigCommerce, the Uproer team knows how to navigate the complexities of ecommerce paid search advertising to successful outcomes.

Speaking of outcomes, Uproer takes a highly-strategic approach that we call Outcome-Driven SEM. All paid search tactics and initiatives ladder up to outcomes that clients want to see accomplished with their investment. This way, there are no “random acts of SEM”, but rather a paid search program that aligns with your goals.

Our founder, Griffin Roer, honed his ecommerce expertise with Fortune 500 clients and, when starting Uproer, brought on a team of talented search marketers boasting ecommerce backgrounds of their own.

If you’ve been feeling like it’s time to level up your paid search program, then Uproer is your agency. 

Agency Snapshot

ServicesPaid Search, SEO, Content Production, Measurement
Year founded2017
LocationSt. Paul, MN
Number of employees13
Focus area or nicheHolistic search for Ecommerce & SaaS
Client experienceJack Link’s, Branch Basics, Larroude

Uproer’s Top Content to Explore

Here’s our best content on ecommerce SEM to get a feel for how we think:

2. Elumynt

Best for: Consumer brands on Shopify

Elumynt has built its reputation as a top-tier digital advertising agency for B2C ecommerce brands on Shopify.

Founded in 2013 by entrepreneur William Harris, Elumynt has found a niche in not only helping Shopify-based ecommerce businesses grow with data-driven digital advertising, but they’ve also advised a number of their clients through successful acquisitions.

Agency Snapshot

ServicesPaid Search, Paid Social, SEO, Influencer Marketing
Year founded2013
LocationStillwater, MN
Number of employees15
Focus area or nicheEcommerce (specifically, Shopify)
Client experienceOROS, Lil’ Tulips, Brumate

Elumynt’s Top Content to Explore

Here’s their best content on ecommerce SEM to get a feel for how they think:

3. Ovative Group

Best for: Omnichannel retail companies with large ad budgets

Ovative Group pairs digital advertising with omnichannel measurement capabilities to help enterprises optimize return.

Dale Nitschke, former President of, founded Ovative Group in 2009 to bring digital marketing and technology consulting services to omnichannel retailers who struggle to measure the impact of their digital investments. 

Agency Snapshot

ServicesMeasurement, Paid Search, Paid Social, Display, SEO
Year founded2009
LocationMinneapolis, MN
Number of employees500+
Focus area or nicheOmnichannel retail
Client experienceMaurices, Lane Bryant, Coach

Ovative Group’s Top Content to Explore

Here’s their best content on ecommerce SEM to get a feel for how they think:

4. Seer Interactive

Best for: companies with a mature digital presence looking to scale leads and sales with a cross-channel measurement & outreach strategy

Seer Interactive takes an “uncover, build, improve” approach to digital marketing. They combine SEO, PPC, Creative, CRO, and measurement in one strategy that helps companies across different sectors grow online. 

Agency Snapshot

ServicesSEO, Paid Media, Analytics, CRO, Consumer Insights
Year founded2002
LocationPhiladelphia, PA
Number of employees250+
Focus area or nicheCompanies with a mature digital presence
Client experienceLeafly, Pharmaca

Seer Interactive’s Top Content to Explore

Here’s their best content on ecommerce SEM to get a feel for how they think:

5. Tinuiti

Best for: Large-scale companies that are looking for an agency to help run performance marketing on streaming, TV, and online paid media platforms Google, Facebook, and Amazon. 

Tinuiti is a large-scale agency that works with large clients. Their approach to paid search includes segmented audience targeting, iterative performance advertising, and human-led automation.

Agency Snapshot

ServicesAmazon, Paid Social, Shoppable Media, Affiliate, Streaming+, and more
Year founded2004
LocationNew York, NY
Number of employees1,050
Focus area or nicheTV, Streaming, Performance Marketing
Client experiencee.l.f Cosmetics, Bassett Cosmetics

Tinuiti’s Top Content to Explore

Here’s their best content on ecommerce SEM to get a feel for how they think:

6. Nordic Click

Best for: Growth-focused corporate companies looking for a full-service marketing agency.

Agency Snapshot

ServicesPaid Search, Paid Social, Affiliate, Web Development, and more.
Year founded2007
LocationMinnetonka, MN
Number of employees15
Focus area or nicheFull service digital for hospitality and e-commerce
Client experienceSt Francis Regional Medical Center, “Wealth Management Firm”

Nordic Click’s Top Content to Explore

Here’s their best content on ecommerce SEM to get a feel for how they think:

7. Thrive Digital

Best for: Enterprise-level ecommerce

Thrive Digital is a reputable digital marketing agency that focuses on helping businesses grow their online presence through sustainable advertising. With a team of experienced professionals, they offer a range of services designed to drive results for their clients in the digital landscape.

Agency Snapshot

ServicesEcommerce, user acquisition, lead generation, demand generation
Year founded2011
LocationVancouver, CA
Number of employees100+
Focus area or nicheSustainable growth campaigns
Client experienceArcteryx, Lululemon, Tempurpedic

Thrive Digital's Top Content to Explore

Here’s their best content on ecommerce SEM to get a feel for how they think:

8. Pareto PPC

Best for: Ecommerce companies who want PPC specialists

Pareto PPC is a Philadelphia-based digital agency specializing solely in paid advertising. They provide advertising services across a range of popular platforms, including Google, Bing, Instagram, YouTube, and others. Pareto has transparent flat-rate pricing (found on their pricing page), which will appeal to ecommerce companies who want a clear idea of what their potential investment will be.

Agency Snapshot

ServicesGoogle Ads, Google Shopping, Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, Microsoft Ads, YouTube Ads
Year founded2019
LocationPhiladelphia, PA
Number of employees15
Focus area or nichePerformance-driven PPC advertising
Client experienceMisha Nonoo, World Wide Stereo, Red Raider Outfitter

Pareto's Top Content to Explore

Here’s their best content on ecommerce SEM to get a feel for how they think:

9. Black Propeller

Best for: Ecommerce companies with a focus on ROI

Black Propeller is a PPC advertising agency based in Maryland and founded in 2012. With a small but experienced team of marketers, they have knowledge in-house to manage PPC campaigns spanning all of the major digital platforms. Black Propeller’s pricing is structured as a flat fee based on total ad spend rather than a percentage of spend like many PPC agencies use. 

Agency Snapshot

ServicesPaid Search Marketing, Paid Social Media, Advertising, Remarketing Services, Display Ads, Video Advertising, Ecommerce PPC Management
Year founded2012
LocationAbingdon, Maryland
Number of employees25
Focus area or nicheROI-driven paid media management
Client experiencePandora,, Microscope Central

Black Propeller's Top Content to Explore

Here’s their best content on ecommerce SEM to get a feel for how they think:

10. Disruptive

Best for: High-revenue accounts

Disruptive has been growing since it’s beginning in 2011. With nearly 100 employees it is guaranteed that your team will have a variety of expertise and your needs will be addressed.

Working with mostly larger account, Disruptive is great at sustainable growth when the floor is already pretty high. By providing a full funnel marketing strategy they will be able to adjust strategy to make the most of any opportunity whether it be SEO, SEM, or Amazon.

A full team ensures all of your needs are covered from strategy, to ad development, to execution and monitoring.

Agency Snapshot

ServicesLead gen, PPC, SEO, Amazon Marketplace
Year founded2011
LocationPleasant grove, UT
Number of employees~100
Focus area or nicheWholistic Search with an Emphasis on PPC
Client experienceAdobe, Guitar Center, Penny Mac

Disruptive's Top Content to Explore

Here’s their best content on ecommerce SEM to get a feel for how they think:

11. Scube Marketing

Best for: PPC, Shopping, and Social Ads

Scube Marketing can be considered a specialist. If you need a group of experts in a single channel, then this could be the right fit.

Scube preaches results-driven marketing, and they achieve that through their six traits:

  • Results-oriented
  • Adaptable
  • Strategic
  • Responsive
  • Proactive
  • Transparent

If you are looking for an SEM-focused company because your other areas are covered, SCUBE could be the right fit.

Agency Snapshot

ServicesGoogle ads, Google shopping, Social Ads, Remarketing & Display
Year founded2009
LocationChicago, IL
Number of employees12
Focus area or nicheScalable PPC, Shopping, and Social ads
Client experienceBrandable Box, Chicago brick Oven, Hoonigan

Scube Marketing's Top Content to Explore

Here’s their best content on ecommerce SEM to get a feel for how they think:

12. Grow My Ads

Best for: A niche Google Ads agency

Some agencies can provide a full suite of services, and some agencies decide to double down on a specific service. Grow My Ads is of the latter. As the name implies, grow My Ads is a PPC-only agency, but more specifically, Google Ads.

Founded in 2019, Grow My Ads serves to help websites reach their full potential in the Google paid space. This can range from landing page design, to Google Analytics configuration for reporting, as well as the deployment and management of campaigns.

Grow My Ads promises a strategy assessment every 90 days to evaluate if things are working and if the strategy needs to change.

If you are looking for help in the Google paid space, and want a hands-off approach, Grow My Ads could be the right fit.

Agency Snapshot

ServicesGoogle Ads, Google Merchant center
Year founded2019
LocationFort Wayne, IN
Number of employees10
Focus area or nicheGoogle paid
Client experienceN/A

Grow My Ad's Top Content to Explore

Here’s their best content on ecommerce SEM to get a feel for how they think:

Griffin Roer

Griffin Roer

Griffin has spent more than a decade in the search engine marketing industry. After years of working as an SEO consultant to some of the country’s largest retail and tech brands, Griffin pursued his entrepreneurial calling and founded Uproer in May of 2017. He's also served as a board member for the Minnesota Search Engine Marketing Association.

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Sr. Manager, SEO & Operations

Dave Sewich

Dave made an accidental foray into digital marketing after graduating from the University of Minnesota Duluth and hasn’t looked back. Having spent the first part of his marketing journey brand-side, he now works with the Uproer team to help clients realize their goals through the lens of search.

When not at work, you’ll find Dave staying active and living a healthy lifestyle, listening to podcasts, and enjoying live music. A Minnesotan born and raised, his favorite sport is hockey and he still finds time to skate once in a while.

Dave’s DiSC style is C. He enjoys getting things done deliberately and systematically without sacrificing speed and efficiency. When it comes to evaluating new ideas and plans, he prefers to take a logical approach, always sprinkling on a bit of healthy skepticism for good measure. At work, Dave’s happiest when he has a chance to dive deep into a single project for hours at a time. He loves contributing to Uproer and being a part of a supportive team but is most productive when working solo.

Founder & CEO

Griffin Roer

Griffin discovered SEO in 2012 during a self-taught web development course and hasn’t looked back. After years of working as an SEO consultant to some of the country’s largest retail and tech brands, Griffin pursued his entrepreneurial calling of starting an agency in May of 2017.

Outside of work, Griffin enjoys going to concerts and spending time with his wife, two kids, and four pets.

Griffin’s DiSC style is D. He’s driven to set and achieve goals quickly, which helps explain why he’s built his career in the fast-paced agency business. Griffin’s most valuable contributions to the workplace include his motivation to make progress, his tendency towards bold action, and his willingness to challenge assumptions.