PPC/Paid Search

Here’s What To Expect When You Hire A Westchester NY Search Agency

You’ve found a great partner to manage your paid search advertising campaigns. What now? Some great guidance from Search Engine Land


You’re a B2B company, and just you hired a paid search agency. What should you expect next? If you’re not prepared to answer that question, there’s probably already something missing.

A good PPC agency will take you through multiple steps leading up to the big launch of a new online advertising program. You should know what to expect each step of the way.

Kick-Off Meeting(s) & Onboarding

Every PPC agency will have its own onboarding process for new clients, so how it plays out is custom to the agency itself. However, ensuring a process exists is crucial. If your paid search service provider doesn’t do anything discussed in this section, you may be in for a rocky ride.

The kick-off meeting or meetings, is a crucial time for the agency to get to know the business in depth (beyond the initial sales calls), and for the client to understand how the agency works.

Virtual Meeting

Think of the PPC agency almost as new hires internally, where you get them up to speed on the ins and outs of the business. An agency cannot effectively create a paid search strategy without first understanding the business intimately.

In this stage, the agency should take the lead by sharpening its listening skills, and effectively taking the client through a systematic interview. The result of this discussion should be documentation of the client’s sales process, the services or products, preferred customers and so on.

We use a questionnaire as a guide to this process that asks questions like:

  • What are the key selling points of your business?
  • Describe your primary target market. Do you have a secondary target market? If so, please describe.
  • What is the average cost of your services, programs or products?
  • What, if any, are your primary geographic targets?
  • What, if any, are the peak times of doing business?
  • What current challenges do you have in terms of marketing and advertising?
  • What sets you apart from other businesses in the same space?
  • Who do you consider to be your primary competitors?

Of course, this is just a sample of the information that would be useful to an agency to get started on paid search strategy.

If you have complex services, products or markets, you may expect to go a little deeper in this phase. In those instances, we’ll often have follow-up interviews once we dig into the client’s website and resource materials after the first meeting.

The onboarding process is also a time where the agency should explain next steps and how the launch process is going to go down. The client will get to know who is on the agency team, and the agency will be introduced to everyone who will be collaborating on paid search internally.

Aside from discussions about roles and responsibilities, points of contact should be established (usually one on each side to keep it streamlined), and expectations set about how you will communicate and how often. If you ink a deal with a paid search agency and hardly ever hear from them, that’s a red flag.

You can probably sense how important it can be to have this type of initiation, so as a last note, if you’re the client, put in the effort upfront during onboarding so you can set your agency up for success. It will directly impact your ROI.

Establishing Metrics

Sometime before the launch, you’ll need to determine how you’re going to measure the effectiveness of the paid search program as a whole, and then each of its campaign parts.

As a client, you can’t be expected to know this, though, so your agency should take the helm and explain how to approach it. It would be a major red flag if this topic never came up for discussion.

There are a lot of ways you can gauge the effectiveness of your online advertising program, and it starts with establishing the purpose of the program in the first place. Some companies simply want real estate on the search engine results pages so that they can dominate both paid and organic. Others just want clicks to their site.

While we believe it’s important to offer strategy on what happens after the click, keep in mind that at the fundamental level, PPC’s job is to drive traffic through clicks. What happens next is ultimately the website’s responsibility.

With that in mind, a strategic paid search partner will consult on the strategy beyond the click, like coaching clients on choosing and creating relevant landing pages, and on tracking conversions and sales through their Web analytics (like Google Analytics, for example).

In fact, one of the first things we do when onboarding a new client is to ensure they at least have Google Analytics installed, and that the tracking is implemented properly. You can’t imagine how many businesses don’t have any tracking at all, or do but it’s not set up correctly.

Again, every agency and client need is different, but metrics are the marker for how you know your advertising dollars are working for you.

As an aside, understanding all the roles that will be involved in the paid search program is key to setting up and maintaining tracking — all the way down to the website developers who can help set it up and can even help break it, unbeknownst to them, as they are working on the site.

Building The Paid Search Program

Now it’s time for the PPC agency to roll up their sleeves and build the account from the ground up. This includes the overall account architecture down to the individual campaigns and their PPC ads, including sitelinks and messaging.

Woman on Laptop

An agency will almost always start from scratch when building a program and use their methodology mixed with best practices from the advertising platform itself. So whether it’s your first rodeo with PPC or the account is changing hands, this phase will occur.

As the client, your agency should recommend the right mix of networks to build the ads for, and get those going in both text and image formats for the search network and display network as needed. If a designer is brought in to build the graphics for the ads, this will be part of the process, too.

Next comes the approval process. You should expect to be able to sign off on the ads before they go live. This is most efficient when there is an approvals meeting, where the agency and client can discuss the options openly over a screen share or in person.

Depending on the scope of the project, the build phase can take days or weeks. In some instances, more learning occurs during the approval process where new information is uncovered that will make the program or ads stronger, so factor in some time for that.

Program Launch

This is the moment the business and agency have been waiting for, where all the research and upfront work comes to fruition.

The agency should prep clients on when the launch will happen, and what to expect during the first few days or weeks in terms of the process. After it goes live, the agency should watch the account diligently, and make any adjustments necessary, all the while communicating as often as needed.

Sometimes, launches can go very smoothly – the tracking is working great, the campaigns are going along as expected – but more often than not, small tweaks are needed as the agency starts to collect data on program performance, like search query data, trends and conversions.

Remember that it’s definitely never a set-it-and-forget-it service. A good agency will be able to make sound judgment calls on what they need to loop you in on in terms of approvals, and when they can make executive decisions to get the best results.

And as a final note, keep in mind that an agency that has taken a client through this type of process will typically do it again for each new service, product or campaign that a business is intending to launch via paid search.

With a little effort on both ends, and a clear understanding of what to expect, the relationship between a business and its paid search service provider can impact the bottom line for years to come.

Posted by Logital Media  |  0 Comment  |  in All, PPC/Paid Search

Search Marketing vs. Newspaper & TV – Which Should You Invest In?

As a business owner, marketing director or anyone who has a say in how your marketing budget is allocated, it is important to understand which channels will yield the highest return and what the end goal is for each marketing channel. Below we are going to look at how search marketing compares with TV and newspaper advertising. 

Search Marketing vs. Television Ads

Marketing and advertising have two distinct purposes, building brand awareness and driving conversions. When it comes to building brand awareness, many people mistakenly assume that TV has a greater ability to build brand awareness than Internet advertising. Wrong. A study conducted by the Stanford Graduate School of Business proved it.

According to Professor Wesley R. Hartmann “If you are evaluating brand advertising and have a preconceived notion that television is better, you need to rethink that.”

For those of you who are skeptical of his findings, a second study published by the American Marketing Association and conducted by Lebow Business School Associate Professor Michaela Draganska agreed with the findings of Stanford.

Michaela concluded that “Many advertisers are reluctant to shift a large proportion of their advertising budgets to the Internet because they still view television advertising as the main vehicle for building a brand. Using a unique and rich data set comprising 20 campaigns across a variety of industries, this study demonstrates that Internet ads perform on par with television ads on the brand-building metrics that advertisers use and trust.”

Based on the results of those studies it is clear that digital advertising channels are as effective as TV when it comes to building brand awareness. Brand building qualities being equal, how do the two stack up on average cost?

Average cost of TV Ads

The cost of TV ads vary greatly based upon your location, target audience and scheduling. According to Nielsen Media Research though, the average cost to reach 1,000 people via TV advertising was $24.76 in 2014. Below you will see a chart mentioning the cost as $7 per 1,000 views so for fairness sake, we will say that TV ranges from $7-$24 per 1,000 views.

Average cost of Internet Marketing

For comparison sake, we are taking the average of AdWords, Linkedin and Facebook ads as noted below. The cost of reaching 1,000 people online ranges from $0.25 and $5. As you can see, the high end of the Internet marketing average is still less than the low end of TV ads.

Did You Know?

According to Zenith Optimedia, a division of Publicis, TV advertising was expected to account for about 40 percent of the $537 billion spent on advertising in 2014. I believe that as more people become aware of the branding power of digital, that number will shrink noticeably.

Search Marketing vs. Newspaper Ads

Of the estimated 537 billion of ad spending in 2014, online marketing was predicted to account for about 25 percent of the total ad spend. In reality, the total spent on advertising was slightly lower than predicted  but percentages where pretty accurate. Internet marketing is expected to see an increase in ad spend of about 16 percent while spending on newspaper ads is expected to shrink by 1-2 percent per year, bringing newspapers down to about 13 percent of total ad spend in 2016.

It is no secret that the reason for a growing online presence and a shrinking reliance on newspaper advertising is the cost and effectiveness of the two platforms.

As most of you know, when you pay to advertise in a general newspaper you are reaching a broad and poorly targeted audience. When using search marketing on the other hand, you are reaching those actively searching for what you have to offer. Even if the cost of the two was the same, search marketing would still be a far better investment.

Average Newspaper Costs

The cost to reach around 1,000 people via newspaper is roughly $32 on a national level. On a local level, I have been told that reaching 1,000 people costs around $16. To account for even smaller newspapers, let’s broaden the range to $10-$32 per 1,000 views.

Average Search Marketing Costs

As mentioned above, you can expect to spend $0.25 – $5 per 1,000 views online.

In 2014, Brian Carter posted this graph on Moz comparing the average costs to reach 1,000 people.

Even expanding the range as we did above to account for pricing variance by location, you can clearly see that search marketing will get you more exposure at a lower cost. Exposing people to your brand is very important but if you want to drive revenue and keep your brand around for the long haul, you should be looking for conversions as well.

Inbound vs. Outbound Conversion Rates

SEO leads have a 14.6 percent close rate, while outbound leads (such as direct mail or print advertising) have a 1.7 percent close rate. (Source: SEJ)

If the cost of TV, newspapers and search where all the same, the difference in conversion rates is more than enough reason to go with inbound search marketing.

As a business owner it is hard to break old habits. Trying something new and foreign to your business may seem a little scary, but if you take the leap to search marketing, you will be rewarded. Even if you already have a plan in place for 2015, making the change to search could save you a ton of money while driving your profits higher.

– See more at: http://www.websitemagazine.com/content/blogs/posts/archive/2015/02/17/search-marketing-vs-newspaper-amp-tv-which-should-you-invest-in.aspx#sthash.huZaKZd0.dpuf

Posted by Logital Media  |  0 Comment  |  in All, PPC/Paid Search, Traditional Media