Are you planning to do intensive digital marketing in Singapore and considering incorporating search engine marketing (SEM) into your strategy? We have good news for you; SEM is one of the most powerful marketing strategies not only here in Singapore but also abroad.
What is Search Engine Marketing in Singapore?
Before we look at the ten important questions that you need to ask when hiring an SEM agency, let us define what is search engine marketing? Simply put, this is a form of internet marketing whose main goal is to increase the website visibility on search engines by placing ads of the respective site on top of the normal search results displayed when a user uses the specified keyword to search for information on a search engine.
The ads are displayed based on the specified keywords you want to rank for on search engines. Advertisers bid for keywords and the amount you pay for the campaign is based on the number of clicks on the ads. This billing arrangement is the reason they are referred to as Pay-Per-Click ads.
Here is an overview of search engine market share in Singapore based on the most recent report of April 2019.
- Google 95.13%
- Yahoo! 2.28%
- Bing 1.23%
10 Questions that you should Ask When Hiring a Search Engine Marketing Agency in Singapore
Question 1: Do you have Testimonials and Case Studies I can look at?
This is the first question that you need to ask before you dive into the nitty-gritty details of search engine marketing in Singapore.
Case studies and testimonials will give you a clearer perspective of the quality of services that the agency or expert offers. The results will help you to gauge the ROI you can expect if they have done a similar SEM project for a company in your niche.
Request for details of the three projects that they recently did and completed successfully. Most likely, they will not be comfortable revealing the name of the brands and that is totally fine, but the case studies should include information such as:
- Client industry
- Client brief
Take a day or two to discuss the case studies with your in-house digital marketing team in Singapore then make your final decision based on the discussions. For instance, you will be able to tell if the agency has a proper structure for resolving project challenges based on the solutions highlighted in the document.
Question 2: What is the Average Budget Size of your Clients?
Find out information about the average budget size of clients that they work with to know if your brand can fit in with their current infrastructure. For example, if you planned to invest $1,000 and the average budget size of their clients is $20,000, the agency might be too big for your brand at the moment. You might not get as much personal attention from the team as you would want to and this will be reflected in the results that you get.
On the other hand, if the average spend is lower than your budget, consider that they might not have the skills and resources required to ensure that you get optimal ROI.
The goal is to find an agency that has worked with clients whose budget size is similar or equivalent to yours to get the best results.
Question 3: Do you have a Specific Team that will be working on my Project?
Once you have narrowed down on several agencies that offer services related to search engine marketing in Singapore, the next thing that you need to do is inquire about the team that will be assigned your project. Get as much information about the team such as academic qualifications and experience to know what you can expect.
- Find out the people who will be working on your project, request a brief summary of their academic qualifications and past experience.
- Check the number of years they have been doing search engine marketing in Singapore
- Take note of their endorsements and recommendations for reference before making your final decision
Question 4: Are they thought leaders?
If the SEM agency openly shares knowledge about the industry with the online community, chances are they are confident about their skills and the services that they offer. Look around to know if they:
- Publish insightful articles about SEM on their blog
- Attend Singapore digital marketing, networking events, workshops, and conferences
- Provide free advice such as podcasts, webinars, and guides online
- Get invited to speak at internet & digital marketing conferences and other related events
- Share information about SEM on social media platforms
If the answer to all five questions is YES, proceed to look at the content they offer and events they have attended or presented in to get a better perspective of their experience and understanding of the internet marketing industry in Singapore.
Question 5: Are you qualified to do Search Engine Marketing in Singapore?
There is no shortage of courses and qualifications that anyone interested in mastering search engine marketing best practices can enroll in and thrive. The courses are tailored to prepare marketers for the roles of an Adwords Manager such as Adwords campaigning, management, and keyword bidding. They also offer details of latest trends and projections in the digital world of marketing.
One of the most comprehensive courses is the Google Partners virtual study guide and testing centre. Anyone who is interested in AdWords can enroll to study, prep, and even take exams prepared by Google. Those who complete the course and pass the exams are coveted AdWords Certification.
SEM experts who have AdWords Certification from Google are conversant with the industry standards and are considered official Google AdWords Partners. One is required to do the tests every year to maintain the AdWords certified status and keep tabs on new tools and trends.
Question 6: Which Tools do you Use to Track SEM Campaigns?
Thanks to advancements in technology, there are many paid and free tools that are designed to help Singapore internet marketers track SEM campaigns. Before you hire a particular SEM agency in Singapore, it is important to request information about the tools they normally use to track campaigns.
Most of the agencies use two or three tools, do some background research and if possible request them to show you how each works. Knowing how the tools work will help you to gauge the level of monitoring done and interpret the results presented accurately.
Question 7: Are you going to set milestones?
Just like any other digital marketing campaign in Singapore, it is imperative to keep track of the performance of the campaign to know if you are heading in the right direction. The Singapore SEM agency you hire should set milestones for campaign performance monitoring.
As the client, you should be involved in the milestones setting process to avoid disagreements down the road. Let them know how frequently you would want to get a report to be sure that the campaign is delivering the expected results.
Question 8: Do they understand your goals?
Have a list of goals that you want to achieve from the search engine marketing campaign. The goals should be SMART:
- S = Specific
- M = Measurable
- A = Attainable
- R = Relevant
- T = Time-based
Discuss the goals with the SEM agency in Singapore before the onboarding process so that they come up with an ideal plan to ensure that each of them is achieved. While at it, be open to ideas as the team are experts and can tweak your original plan to help your brand get even better results.
Question 9: What is your Price Structure?
Simply knowing the total cost of hiring an SEM agent or agency is not enough to make the necessary financial plans. Different search engine marketing service providers in Singapore have varying price models that you need to know before committing yourself.
For example, there are SEM agencies that charge clients based on the number of clicks accrued over a given period of time. Others calculate the cost based on a percentage of the overall output or ROI. Compare the price structures offered by each agency to identify one that resonates with you.
Question 10: Which Other Services do you offer?
Chances are the search engine marketing agency in Singapore offers additional services such as SEO and reputation management. They can help your brand get even better results from SEM by improving the manner in which you relate with clients.
SEO will ensure that even though your ads are displayed on SERPs, your site is also ranked well and visible to millions of Singaporeans who rely on the internet as the primary source of information about businesses.
MediaOne is the leading and most trusted Search Engine Marketing Agency in Singapore. We take pride in providing holistic internet marketing services to businesses in all industries. Call us today at +65 6789 9852 for a free and no-obligation consultation session about SEM or any other digital marketing services you might need.