Search Engine Marketing: Qualities of a good SEM Agency
Today SEM (Search engine marketing) is one of the most efficient and targeted forms of digital advertising. All you have to do is use it to put your brand before customers that are already active visitors on Google, YouTube, Bing and other popular search engines. This is where SEM agencies come into the picture. They are responsible for making sure your brand is recognized and sells handsomely by devising ways through which your brand can be popularized.
Not all SEM agencies in Singapore are the same. When hiring one, it’s crucial that you come up with a checklist or a series of questions that you’ll be asking to choose the right one.
Singapore has a long list of agencies specializing in Search Engine Marketing or PPC, and it’s worth mentioning that costs and results will always vary among them. Another possibility is that you’re new to PPC and search engine marketing. You therefore lack both the experience and technical expertise to help you choose a good agency from a mix of bad ones.
It’s therefore important that you start by doing a thorough research on what to look for when choosing a search marketing agency to invest with.
Below are some of the essential questions to ask the SEM agency you’re considering to hire before you can go ahead and decide on whether or NOT to enlist their services:
- Managing PPC Ads
PPC in full is Pay per click ads. One of the major qualities of SEM agency is their ability to manage PPC Ads. A website master and brand owner cannot make the most of the website if they do not have the best PPC management team. This team should always be present to set it and spend time managing the account. An SEM agency should be able to know exactly which areas of an account require more work and which ones bring in the greatest returns. They should know how to improve paid search workflow. This can be done by best aligning Ad texts, Keyword grouping, landing pages and keyword research with PPC management best practices. For instance, if someone has more than one PPC account, they need to hire an SEM agency that can easily determine which account needs the most immediate attention and which tasks should be prioritized.
- Ad Policies
Ad policies have been designed to give advertisement viewers good experience. They are also there to help advertisers get the desired end results of the commercialized products and services and help in making sure that every ad adheres to the applicable laws in the countries they are featured in. SEM agencies are there to help you with all the above. They will make you aware of every ad policy associated with every online advertisement platform. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, YouTube all have their specific ad policies that advertisers with the help of SEM agency services are supposed to follow whenever they use these platforms to sell their brands. A good SEM Agency will have mastered every ad policy there is to know and make sure your ads all follow the policies to avoid your brand from being compromised.
- Getting maximum conversion
A good SEM agency will know how to maximize conversions that automatically set bids to aid in getting the most conversions for any campaigns I the process of spending the budget. If you do not know which automated bid strategy best works for your brand, the SEM agency will guide you and help you understand what automated biding is all about and which one best suits your campaign needs. They will first check to make sure the campaign is not part of a shared budget before checking the daily budget amount to avoid the maximized conversions from eating up your daily budget. They will advise you on which ROI goals to go for to make sure the average target set is achieved.
- Setting up campaigns
Search campaigns are mostly set up using Google AdWords. SEM agencies have the role of setting up campaigns as it is one of the most popular forms of online advertising. You might not know how to set up such things o your own, and it is therefore important that you choose an SEM agency that will suitably set your advertisements to be displayed in the search listings of any Google search. They can pick a keyword which triggers your search and display ad. It all depends on how much your adverts are optimized and how high your ad bids are. With the help of a good SEM agency, you can influence how many times your ad appears in the listings of search network.
- Optimizing CPC
CPC is the cost per click. What SEM agencies should tell you is that you should never stop optimizing your campaigns, which is among their roles. As long you keep optimizing them, you can always be sure to get the best performance that yields a lower cost per click and get a higher Ad rank on Google search engines.
- Being pragmatic when necessary
A good SEM Agency should know how to deal with things sensibly and realistically in a way based on a practical consideration. Good SEM Agency should always provide strategic consultation they will know when it is the right time to ask questions, speak up and also give their comments and opinion on issues that might negatively affect your brand. Every progress made should always be communicated to you to make sure you are all on the same page. After all at the end of the day if something hugely goes wrong, then both will lose. So it is important that the SEM Agency you go for can be pragmatic whenever necessary to ensure desirable outcomes.
- Differentiates between GDN and GSN
On most occasions, people confuse these two terms, Google Display Network and Google Search Network. Considering that these people are the ones that make up SEM Agencies, you should make sure to pick one that can clearly distinguish the two. GDN lets you use data that Google has on its users target advertisements; it is usually a value add given to those that buy its display inventory, known as the AdX. On the other hand, GSN is a group of search-related networks and applications that your ads can appear in. when you advertise on GSN, the ad can display near search results every time someone searchers with terms related to one of the keywords you have used. A good SEM Agency will be able to control where your search network ads can appear, tell the different types of adverts on the GSN and how they can remove or include search partners.
- Knows how to get awareness campaigns out
Getting your SEM awareness campaigns out is one of the major roles of a SEM agency. They should know that the very first step to winning is aligning the campaign with the business goals. Together, you will put down any SEM strategies for your business. From this, they can then bid competitively on the keywords of your brand, nonbrand and that of your competitors. Next step is inning new customers which will drive sales, and finally, your brand can enter new markets.
- Knows how to target platforms
The fast changes witnessed in digital marketing trends require a SEM Agency that knows how to target platforms. They have to come up with the best strategies to outweigh your online competitors. Through search engine marketing, you can increase traffic by purchasing adverts on search engines, because many searchers, who are your potential clients, depend heavily on search engines when they want to look for information on the web, targeting SEM platforms will prove to be highly effective marketing channel.
- Knows how to use GA set goals
You should always make sure that your website is actually helping your business grow. With the help of a good SEM Agency, you will know the important metrics that you should be tracking such as leads, eBook downloads, trial signups, newsletter signups, account creations and white paper downloads. All these can be achieved by using Google Analytics (GA). The goals you have set are the ones to inform GA to keep track of the critical elements of your business. Use events, URLs, time and visits to track your GA set goals with the aid of your SEM agency.
- Can integrate Google DSA with GA
Use Google Dynamic Search Ads to easily find customers that are searching on Google for exactly what your brand offers. If you are an advertiser with a large inventory of customers or a well-developed website, DSAs will use your website to target your adverts ad help you fill in any gaps of your keyword-based campaigns. A SEM Agency that knows how to integrate DSA with GA will help you identify exactly where customers who bring more profit to your business come from. The two when integrated will help set important targets, teach you more about trends in the digital marketing industry and see how you compare to your competitors.
- Knows how to use Bing, Yahoo, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter LinkedIn for paid campaigns
All these are social media platforms, and you should know that using social media in your business tragedies is one of the best ways your brand will be known to the world. Every SEM Agency should know this and be able to maximally use them for paid campaigns to sell your brand. You can use them to market your services and products and boost your brand. You also get to establish useful connections with customers and potential customers on a personal level that builds brand loyalty. Build a fan base on all these platforms to maximize your visibility and get your paid campaigns out there. Averagely, ever social media user spends two hours per day online, there is always a chance that they will come across your ads, get curious and click on them.
Does the Agency you’re about to hire Value Transparency
One thing you’ll come to notice while you’re out there shopping for the right SEM agency is that most of them create a frustrating cloud of mystery around what is it that they do. Instead of laying everything out there in the clear, they’ll be hiding every important piece of information regarding their work.
Some even go to an extent of manipulating analytics and reports to paint an overblown image of the results that they show, each of which drives to a common goal – to scam you off your hard-earned cash by falsifying results or to hold your online data hostage.
Goes to show that some of the SEM agency in Singapore don’t really care about your business.
In which case, a good SEM agency should be transparent enough to walk you through the details of what it is that they do when hired to deliver on their services. They should let you have access to the all the keywords they’re targeting, the campaign, and all the reports you need to find out whether or NOT the PPC campaign they’re running is working.
Before you even get down to hiring one, ask them to show you sample reports of some of their past clients. A good agency should always have one on the ready. But if it happens they don’t have one or are reluctant to show you one, then that’s a dead giveaway that you’re working with a shoddy SEM marketing agency.
Their Pricing Model
Many PPC agencies in Singapore charge for their services on per-spend basis. Which is to say, the services they offer to you will be determined by the amount you’re willing to pump into PPC marketing, coupled with their service fees of course.
The only problem with this model is that your service charge will be scaling with the amount you spend on paid search. So, if you’re operating on a somewhat lean structure, you might want to look for an agency that offers a flat, hourly, or a performance-based pricing model.
The Value in Hiring the Agency
The agency you’re hiring must be in position to offer more than what you can do on your own. Is it their experience or level of expertise? Is what they’re saying serve as proof that they’re completely knowledgeable about PPC and SEM at large?
No agency will guarantee you value on their own. You have to make the minimum effort of digging out for more info about what it is they can do for you.
What does the agency do beyond running the campaign and reporting back to you with results? What’s their research process? What are some of the things that they do to make sure you’re getting the results you crave for?
Don’t be afraid to ask them about what makes their services so special compared to what you or your in-house team of marketers can do. If the answer they give hints that they can offer results that stretch far beyond what you can accomplish on your own, that shows that you’re dealing with a really competent agency otherwise you’re better off checking out the next advertising company you can find.
Keep in mind that the more questions you ask the more you get to learn about the search engine marketing agency in question, and the more you’ll be increasing the odds of outsourcing the services to the right agency.
The Cart before the Horse
It’s NOT about what the agency can offer, but what exactly you’re looking for as a business owner.
You can start by taking a deeper look into your business. Are you a small business that’s looking to scale up and crank up the number of sales you’re making? Are you operating on limited resources and are looking for that one particular digital marketing company that will be helping you maximize your ROI without draining your pockets dry?
Of course, you may come to find out that you do NOT necessarily need the services of an agency, NOT when it’s possible to get everything done on your own. But after reaching a certain level when your future success is dependent on the results you get through the PPC campaign you’re running, then seeking the services of a reliable and trusted pay per click management agency becomes inevitable.
How, before you even think of taking the DIY route, it’s important to keep in mind that it takes a lot of devotion and dedication on your part to drive significant results through search engine marketing. It’s for this reason that majority of businesses in Singapore find it fit to seek the services of a PPC marketing agency as they focus on what they’re really good at – and that is, running their businesses.
Reasons to Consider Hiring a SEM agency
Thereasons hiring an SEM agency is more appealing and the right move for your business as opposed to managing an in-house team of search engine marketers. Read on to find out:
If the campaign you’re running is big enough or you’re running a series of small or medium campaigns, then you might want to consider the fact that a competent SEM agency operates with a dedicated team of search engine marketers and a cornucopia of resources. They have also invested a great deal in a broad range of tools that makes it a cinch for them to manage your campaigns for the best possible results.
Some of these agencies work with custom-made tools or expensive third-party tools such as Clickable and SEM software. With these tools, these agencies can easily manage multiple campaigns with minimal strain of their part and the required amount of efficiency.
Which is to say, both their resources and man power allows them to manage several campaigns, regardless of their sizes, to the best possible standards the industry has to offer.
Do you ever realize how complex search engines have become? It’s surely going to take you loads of time to wrap your head around them and figure out the best possible way to engage them.
Do you have what it takes to manage a dynamic SEM campaign? Do you even have the time to spend researching on the campaign and testing out some of the strategies you pick along the way?
In other words, SEM should be your core competency to run a reassuring SEM advertising campaign. Otherwise you’re better off outsourcing the services from a real pro.
You can start by looking for a partner that’s been in the business long enough to understand the fine nature of running a success SEM campaign. The company you decide to go with should be transparent in their services and offerings. It should also be willing to define the SEM campaign they run in clear terms.
Come what may, don’t make the mistake of investing your campaign money to an agency that doesn’t seem to know what they’re doing. You also don’t want the agency to be experimenting on your business.
At the end, the company should be able to help you maximize on the profits you make by making the campaign they’ll be running more efficient and result-oriented.
Running a SEM advertising campaign is NOT something you pick along the way. You have to be willing to put in the hours, spend a tremendous chunk of your day to day life researching about different SEM strategies and even testing them out in the field.
SEM agencies spend their time hiring, training, and managing a team of competent SEM talents. They invest heavily in them, and supply them with the resources they need to do a bang on job.
Making the same investment is NOT a worthwhile business decision if SEM is NOT your core competency. What leading SEM agencies do is that they spend their time attracting and retaining the best of the SEM talent they get.
Some of them also have an organizational structure that they use to train and nurture great talents.
At core, a successful SEM campaign can only be conducted by a great mind that has invested a great deal of time, resources, and effort in understanding the undercurrents of running a successful search engine advertising campaign. This makes it both an art and science. Art in the sense that you need a certain level of creativity to get it done right, and a science in the sense that it can be studied and analyzed, and some adjustments made to it for even better results.
They Serve Other Clients
You’re NOT the only client the agency is attending to. They have several other clients, as well. So why is this important, you ask?
Focusing on a single business to some extent leaves you with a narrowed point of view with regards to the SEM market you’re targeting. But when agencies get to serve other businesses as well, they end up developing qualitative and quantitative perspective on a stretch our SEM market, and which can prove to be very valuable as you progress.
First it’s by supplying the much-needed data on what’s trending and working in other verticals, the result of which can be replicated to your marketing campaign to make it more effective.
It also helps to benchmark the data in your own vertical. This data can prove to be invaluable, as it makes it easier for you to understand the success and ROI of the SEM campaign the agency is running.
All you have to do is give the agency total control over or full access to all the data from the SEM campaigns you’re running, and they’ll reach back with a detailed report and insights on the campaign strategy you’re employing.
If anything, SEM agencies work with a long host of tools that they’ll be using to keep track of your campaigns from any imaginable angle. This allows them to understand your business and the nature of your campaigns on a deeper scale. That way, they’ll be able to provide valuable insights on the various aspect of it, and the entire SEM investment project as a whole for the best possible way forward.
The Implications of Choosing the Wrong SEM Agency
It bears repeating that NOT all SEM agency care about your business. Some are just after the money in your pocket and nothing else.
As a business person looking to grow their business and scale to even greater heights of success, it’s critical that you make sure you’re assigning the task to the right agency. Never underestimate the power of search engine marketing. If anything, this is one form of marketing that comes with a significantly huge potential.
But the different between a badly-managed account and well-managed one could mean the whole difference between making millions of dollars in profits and losing a tremendous chunk of your hard-earned money in the process.
The first step to hiring the right PPC management is understanding what your business needs are. Most of the time, most of the companies that claim to do PPC, don’t really know how to get it done right.
The world of PPC is motivating in a way. There’s no school to provide proper training in it or dictate the required level of professional standards to be upheld. Don’t get fooled when sales people throw in big terminologies to lure you in. In the end, nothing they do will be affecting your bottom line.
For more information regarding SEM marketing or help in managing your PPC campaigns, you’re hereby invited to make a point of reaching out to MediaOne today for the service or free SEM consultation.
SEM is all about creativity and being opportunistic. It takes a right SEM Agency to help you excel in this digital media marketing world. So, be sure to consider the above qualities and make sure the agency you pick has a great mastery of Search Engine Marketing and more just to be safe.