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All that glitters is not gold-Make sure your advertising company is reputable

We all know that when something sounds too good to be true, it probably is! But somehow, small business owners sometimes forget to apply this logic to online advertising… The simple truth is that you make certain you’re getting value for your marketing dollars, it pays to ask questions when an online advertising company promises you the moon and the stars! There are reputable advertising companies out there, but there are also a lot of snake oil salesmen, too. Making certain that you aren’t taken in by an unscrupulous online marketing company is a big deal, because in addition to failing to deliver results, these guys can inflict lasting damage on your company! Save yourself time, money, and frustration by asking a few questions when the deal seems too good to be true… When a company makes you a promise such as “You’ll be #1 in Google!,” that’s when you need to start digging a little deeper. Depending on whether it’s a PPC (pay per click) or SEO (search engine optimization) campaign, there are some questions you should ask: If it’s PPC advertising:

  • What search terms are being used?
  • Are they broad-match or exact-match terms?
  • What negative keywords are the advertisers using?
  • What geographic areas are being targeted?
  • How much of the money you send to the advertising company goes toward buying clicks, and how much goes toward managing the ad campaign?
  • Are you allowed access to see just how much money is being spent per click?

Pay Per Click advertising will get you in the “sponsored results” of the search results page, which are usually at the top or side. But while this will technically put you at the very top of a page, it can get rather expensive, fast. That’s because you have to pay for your spot. And to be on top, you have to be willing to pay the most per click. That means if your competitors are each paying $4 per click for a particular search term, you must be willing to pay more than $4 per click for the same term in order to beat them out. Keep in mind that’s per click, not per call. Statistically, it’s exceptional if you get 10% of site visitors to actually call you… Do the math, and that puts your cost per call at an astounding $400+. If you turn 50% of those calls into customers, you have to clear $900 in profit on every job just to break even on the advertising costs! If it’s SEO advertising:

  • Who conducts the search, you or the advertising agent?
  • Since they could be different, whose results count?
  • Which search engine will be used to determine your ranking? Google, Yahoo, Ask.com, yellowpages.com, etc.?
  • Which keywords will be used to get the promised top ranking? How specific are they?
  • What geographic areas are being targeted?
  • How can the advertising agent ensure that you are going to have top rankings for a 20, 50, 100, 150 mile geographic radius?
  • Are there any guarantees that you WILL be #1? Can you verify this with the search engine company itself?

Search Engine Optimization will place your company in the maps and organic (below the maps) results. Since time and quality are the basis of your ranking—not the amount of money you spend—someone can’t just spend more money to get their listing on top of yours. While your site may not immediately appear at the top of the search results, once you do make it there, it will become harder and harder to knock you out of your spot! SEO is the method that Prospect Genius uses, and our results speak for themselves. We’ve helped hundreds of local companies increase their online presence and connect with more prospective customers via the Internet. If you’re ready to learn more about how we can help you, contact one of our online, local advertising agents or visit our website today.