One of the main goals of every website should be to rank as highly as possible in the organic rankings of the search engines. Since this goal is a lofty one that takes tons of hard work and time through effective search engine optimization, one of the best equalizers for getting traffic to a site has been the paid search results in the search engines.
Most of the main search engine marketing platforms, like Google AdWords, can deliver targeted, short-term traffic in large amounts. As easy as these platforms make it sound through their online training programs, using these sophisticated advertising systems correctly is not possible without extensive training and “real world” experience. Here are the main reasons why you should strongly consider hiring a professional SEM agency to setup and maintain your paid search marketing campaigns:
1. Time commitment. First thing you should know about paid search marketing, also known as pay-per-click, is that it takes a LOT of time to learn how to use… on even a basic level. And that’s just learning how to use the platform. To set up and maintain an effective PPC campaign, you are looking at an investment of hours per week. That’s assuming that you are able to best utilize the tools provided.
2. Experience. As it goes with most things in life, the more “real world” experience you have with something, the better you tend to be with it. And PPC is no exception to that. Certainly someone can be born with an inherent knack for online marketing, but even skilled email and print marketers often have difficulty grasping advanced PPC concepts. Getting to a level where you would be considered a practically-experienced expert in marketing with PPC could take years.
3. Budgetary concerns. Time is money. If you’re spending hours doing PPC training, that’s time you’re taking away from your clients. And the experience argument factors in again when you consider that it may cost you thousands of dollars in advertising (through trial and error of making ad buys on your own) to perfect an effective PPC campaign strategy. That’s why it’s often far better to hire someone you can trust to set your campaign up right and optimize it over time, using proven strategies that only a seasoned PPC veteran would be able to quickly put into use.
4. Keyword selection. Getting to specifics about the PPC platforms available, keyword research is a critical part of an effective campaign. Knowing what keywords are relevant to your local search market, and the specific demographics you are targeting can make the difference between blowing hundreds of dollars a week displaying your ads to people who aren’t interested in your services, and truly reaching the audience your marketing message needs to connect with.
5. Ad writing. It’s one matter to know what keywords to target, it’s another to be a persuasive marketing copywriter. Pay-Per-Click ads need to be written in a constrained format with severe character limits. They also need to persuade an online audience into clicking through to the value proposition your real estate business delivers upon. Writing in a creative, persuasive manner that is within the substantial editorial guidelines provided by the search engines is not an easy task for an experienced search marketer, much less a novice.
6. Landing pages. Then we explore the question: where are you planning to send all that traffic? Do you know what page on your website will get the best return on investment (ROI)? Will that page fulfill the value proposition presented by your ads? Will that result in contact form submissions and phone calls from potential clients? Has the best page to send your traffic to even been designed yet? If not, who is going to design that page, and know how to do so? Probably not the IT manager in your office…
7. Bid management. More questions… When your campaign is running, who is going to ensure that your campaign stays within budget? That your keywords are being managed so that they maintain a steady position in the search results? That your monthly budget stretches out across the entire month, instead of being burned through in a matter of a weekend? Trained PPC professionals know what appropriate initial budgets and cost-per-click settings are for targeted keywords, and will adjust them accordingly once the campaign is live.
8. Ongoing optimization. This brings us to something even more important than PPC campaign setups; optimizing the campaign for top ROI over time. Certified PPC experts, like Google Adwords Professionals, know the right processes for tracking results and then applying them towards funneling your budget only towards the keywords, ads, and landing pages that get you the best results. When done over the course of several months, you will notice a large, measurable difference in click-through rate (CTR) and conversion rate… in the form of cheaper traffic and more lead submissions.
9. Results tracking. Would you know the signs of a successful PPC campaign if you looked at campaign reports? How about Google Analytics? If you don’t have the time or money to learn it yourself, then having the right person (or team) managing your PPC campaigns will ensure that a trained eye will be viewing your PPC results. They will then be able to act as your ongoing consultant, providing insight as to how your traffic is responding to the campaign, and offering suggestions for how to best move forward with optimizing your keywords, ads, and landing pages.
10. Advanced Pay-Per-Click settings. Did you know that PPC isn’t just about getting your ads in front of those using search engines? And that by default, your PPC campaign also targets contextual advertising on any relevant website that signs up to be a part of the search engine’s network? Would that be a wise use of your budget? Quite often, it’s not! SEM agencies and other PPC professionals know how to properly use these search and content networks, as well as configure other advanced settings like geo-targeting, ad scheduling, and negative keywords for the best possible ROI.
11. Billing. At the end of the day, wouldn’t it be nice to know that someone else is taking care of the billing of your campaign? Otherwise, it’s going to be you on the phone waiting on hold with support when your credit card declines and then the automated form doesn’t accept your new card number and your ads stop running.
The search engines offer amazing ad platforms, and it is possible, through a lot of training and “real world” experience, to become an expert at using them. Just keep in mind that it is most likely a lot better to spend your time and resources on closing deals instead of going through campaign setups and management.
The benefits of hiring a professional outweigh the costs so save yourself the time and money and let a professional manage your PPC campaigns.
We have established relationships with some of the top PPC / SEM firms in the industry so if you need a reputable, reliable and results driven company to manage your campaigns then just let us know. We put our name behind our preferred companies 100%.