How much time and money do I have to invest to try this?
Generally it is possible to firm up within about 90-120 days what the cost versus benefit can be. During that time you will pay for our services and pay Google and or Facebook for your ads clicked on. We can set limits with these platforms so generally we can learn a lot for a few thousand dollars. We will get a lot of actionable information quickly.
How do I know if my future customers are using the web to research and find businesses like mine? What is the business case for this?
We will obtain figures from Google as to how many searches are done for products and services like yours. Also much of this has to do with your market-
How mature is it?
Are there very well established sales channels?
Is your business changing?
Are you a new business?
Are you trying to break into new territory?
Are your product or service offerings growing?
Consumers comfortably buy diamond rings, shoes, homes, cars and many other goods that seemed unthinkable a few years ago on the web. Even if customers are not presently flocking to you on-line there is a good chance this will occur going forward in greater numbers.
In the simplest form we pay for web searchers who, by virtue of keywords they type into search engines like Google, evidence interest in what you are selling. We pay only when clicked on and believe that some number of clicks eventually add up to a sale and new clients, who may be with you for some time.
How do I know if it’s working?
Depending on your business, the time and connection between an initial search and a new customer will be more or less apparent. If your product/service is expensive and the sales process is elongated with many steps it will be tougher to pin down exactly who arrived via search since that may have occurred a while ago. If the sales process is fairly clear and timely it will be easier. If you are selling something on-line that often gets purchased quickly it will be very clearly tracked.
The economy isn’t so good - why do I want to put money into online advertising?
With Search marketing you only pay when your ad is clicked on, not for merely showing your ad like so many other mediums. Searchers click based on some level of interest. Your only fixed fee is for our services.
You want to be on the web to be where consumers are, and where they are going, and do it better than your competitors to take share from them. You may also wish to grow by extending your territory and or your product/service offerings. Here you will do it economically by trying things out before you undertake greater investments.
Why can’t I do this myself – Google says its easy?
If you can invest the time on a regular basis and commit to staying on top of developments you can. Of course you may be starting off at square one and have a day job. If your competitors are availing themselves of experts you will have to compete against them and that time investment will need to rise. Will that pull you away from other areas of your business more central that you need attend to?
Expertise means someone is doing this every day, often with many businesses, and constantly applying insights and sometimes painful lessons to strive to get better and better. Can you afford to match this commitment?
Do I have to sign a contract with you or commit to something?
No I work month to month with you. If you are in a seasonal business I can work with you based on that. If you have multiple businesses some can be active and some inactive. If you ever pause your initiatives they can be re-started as is free of charge.
If I hire you will you also work for my competitors?
No I am exclusive to you. If I go and work for them I’m diluting my value to both of you. Furthermore I need to get to know your business and that is proprietary.
I’m not in your city – does this still work?
Yes. We can skype/video chat and likely meet in person sooner rather than later. I’m mostly in Las Vegas but get to NY area several times per year and travel regularly as my clients are bi-coastal.
Nevertheless this is an active, ongoing relationship with you getting reports every 4-6 weeks and me needing ongoing feedback from you. Many companies sell this service via phone. I try very hard to get to know your business well to deliver a high level of individualized service. I work month to month so it is incumbent upon me to constantly produce.
How do your fees work?
On a case by case basis - based on the scope of the work - we charge a startup fee and a monthly fee. Generally for small businesses the startup entailed is about $700-$1,200 and the ongoing monthly fees range from $395 and up. For non-profits we charge a bit less.
I do not charge by what you spend and have no incentive to try to boost your spend levels as agencies do. If you spend more it will likely entail more work on my part which is baked into what I charge. My advice needs to be objective and can’t be colored by my own financial incentives.
Why do you charge a monthly fee?
After setup your program needs to be managed and the results analyzed and actions taken. Also you do not compete in a static environment so it is necessary to continually outthink and outwork your present and future online competitors.