With the ever rising percentage of advertising being moved online, everyone seems to want a piece. It seems like any unqualified person with an internet connection wants a piece of the action of the Search Engine Marketing and Search Engine Optimization pie. When I’ve spoken to business owners, most of them say they have met with and been cold called by many of these folks. So with all of the competition, how can a local business owner really tell the difference between someone who really knows what they are doing and can deliver results, and the monkey who can put them on Google. Let me start by saying, that while its ridiculously easy to get your business on Google, tracking and making your dollars work for you is a whole different ballgame. Start by asking yourself:
“Are they tracking conversions? If so, how?”
While its nice to only be charged for the clicks to your website, does a click really generate dollars for you? If you really want to evaluate the ROI for your local business, it all comes down to conversions. Calls, web form submissions, reservations… this is where you really start to find out if the advertising is producing positive ROI for you. Does your SEM company have a good reporting system, if any system at all, to track your conversions?
“Is the text ad taking the user to your landing page or one of their directory pages?”
Believe it or not, even some of the big name Search Engine Marketing companies in the industry are still directing people to landing pages they own instead of the clients website, mostly so they can utilize a tracking phone number. This is not good, and you will lose all the traffic to your website. Be weary of this method of tracking.
“They promised me top position on Google”
Watch out for any company who will guarantee you top placement on Google. It’s a bad way to bid and not cost effective
“Are they testing multiple text ads and landing pages?”
Successful long term campaigns should constantly be testing multiple text ads and landing pages to measure success. Click Through Rate of the text ads should be measured to see which one is more effective, and the landing pages Google Analytics should be looked at to measure Click Through Rate from ad, Time on page, Bounce rate, and conversions. Website Optimizer can be utilized to test website changes. These are a few things that all reputable Search Engine Marketing firms should be employing to maximize results for clients. If you have any other questions about Search Engine Marketing or Google Adwords, please feel free to contact me.