Adwords is a Second Job

I recently attended a seminar on using Google Adwords. What they said only confirmed what I have come to believe through my own experiences. Google and Yahoo! have made it easy to get your ad on their search engine results pages (SERPs). However, it is much easier to spend a lot of money than it is to get good results.

To get the most out of search engine marketing (SEM) is a time consuming job. You must understand:

  • What keywords your customers are using?
  • What keywords you should exclude?
  • What match types work best?
  • How much should you bid?
  • What times/days of the week work best?
  • Are there geographic concerns?
  • What ads work best?
  • What landing pages work best?
  • Should you use content advertising?

The challenge is that the answer is different for every website. What works well for shoe retailers might have negative impact on shirt retailers. Adding to the problem is what works today may degrade over time. This can be the result of changing customer attitudes, the competition and the organic search results.

The only way to know the answer for your company is to test. It is a constant process of trying new keywords, new ads and new landing pages. Don’t forget about the interaction between keywords, ads and landing pages. Your tests should be run on each search engine, as their results will vary.

After three hours of learning about Adwords at the seminar a hand popped up in the back of the room. “I don’t have the time to do all of this. I have a regular job. Who can do this for me?”

He had hit the nail on the head. Running a good SEM campaign is not just the initial setup but an ongoing job. For most businesses that do their own marketing they don’t have the extra few hours every week to manage their campaigns to get the most for their marketing dollars.

If you want to outsource the work there are plenty of SEM companies who are more than willing to manage your campaign. The standard agreement requires you to pay for a percentage of your ad spend, usually 15%. The problem is the SEM company is incented to spend more of your money, not return the best value for your money.

Sales Star Networks fills the void for business services. We manage the SEM for our customers but bill based on results, not spend. We capture business looking for services through our SEM and search engine optimization (SEO) and pass along their information.

Our customers get the name of people actively looking for their services. This results in a very high close rate. The cost is not only cheaper than they could achieve on their own but is superior to other direct marketing.