Search engine marketers and SEM companies are the people who, unlike SEO experts, can instantly get you to the first page of a web search, whether it be Google, Bing, Yahoo! or even DuckDuckGo. Of course, don’t expect this to come for free.
Unlike search engine optimization, a search marketing company or freelancer has to spend money to rocket you straight to the front page in a pay to play search strategy known as PPC (pay per click).
One good thing about the pay per click model is, well, you only get charged when someone actually clicks on your ads. One bad thing about the model is that those clicks can cost quite a bit, especially if you enlist the services of a search engine marketer or search marketing company that is better at selling their service than delivering on it.
As with all types of digital marketing agency, freelancer or full timer, you want to be looking for a proven track record of success in what they claim to be able to do. They should have a strong online presence starting with a solid website and complimented by a strong social media presence.
Reviews and testimonials should be easy to find, positive and verifiably valid. Twenty 4-5 star reviews may look good at a glance but do they hold up to scrutiny or is it just their friends and family helping them get off the ground. Make sure to dig a little deeper into their experience by insisting on a portfolio of previous projects that they have worked on and don’t just take their word for it, contact those companies and ask for references. Between their fees and your ad budget, this is not a business decision to be made lightly.
Search engine marketers can have many different goals and while people like Tai Lopez will tell you that any business that makes money online is a form of eCommerce, in reality, that is not true.
A lot of search engine marketers aren’t aiming to get searchers to fill up their cart and head to the checkout. Local services like plumbers, hair stylists and dog walkers are a huge market for SEM companies and freelancers, as are insurance companies and pretty much any industry that needs customers. Hell, when was the last time you did a search from something and didn’t get an ad at the top, be it for a tangible product or not?
Search engine marketers generally fall into two categories, eCommerce and lead generation. While running on the same platform, they require completely different strategies and techniques so make sure to find a digital marketing agency or freelancer that specializes in eCommerce search marketing. Not a ‘jack of all’ or a lead generator who is confident they can adapt.
I know the trend in eCommerce is to go the way of social media marketing and right now, social media agencies are the cool kids on the block. Making flashy videos, building up your followers and throwing your logo around but the truth is that people browsing their social news feeds are doing so with the intent of seeing what their friends and family are upto, having a giggle at memes or getting angry at something political and untrue that is bouncing around their echo chamber… quite possibly while they sit on the toilet.
On the other hand, search results are super hot with intent. Catching the attention of a dopamine fiend with a funky product video that might lead to them increasing your vanity metrics but probably not sales is of no use to your bottom line. But someone actively typing “cheap lightweight green widgets” into a search engine is undeniably in the market for a lightweight green widget. This is why, despite clicks from search results generally costing considerably more than a click from a Facebook or Instagram ad, they are actually better value if ROI is your KPI. Just make sure the search engine marketer or search marketing company is on the same level and not trying to dazzle you with how many clicks you got as opposed to your return on ad spend.
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