If you’re considering taking on an SEM (Search Engine Marketing) agency, there are several things you need to take into consideration. A good SEM agency should have excellent search expertise, transparency, and add value to what you do as a small business.
For companies that are struggling to decide whether they should take on an SEM agency or not, these are the things you need to pay attention to.
Does the SEM agency have transparency?
If you’re working with a company, there’s no reason what they’re doing should be a mystery to you. Before you decide on an SEM agency, make sure that you ask some essential questions to ensure that the agency has your best interest at heart.
Firstly, ask if you’ll still have access to your keyword and campaign reports. If their answer is no, that’s a bad sign. You also want to see a sample of previous client reports to ensure that it has all the data you expect.
Lastly, have them walk you through the typical reporting process, so you know where they’re pulling data and what information they’re sharing.
Pricing is huge
Your best bet, especially as a small business, is working with a company that has a flat or hourly rate. Even something performance-based can work. If they do well, you pay more.
But if they want to charge based on the paid search spend, that’s a bad sign. Something like that can fluctuate by the day, and the last thing you want is to sacrifice your spending because you might pay your agency more.
Knowing the pricing model is another essential aspect of a great SEM agency.
Will they add value to your marketing?
The answer to this question will determine whether you’re in the right place to hire an agency. If you can’t do something on your own, and you know that there’s a big chance you’ll hemorrhage money if you do, it’s time for you to hire an SEM agency.
However, if the basics of search appeal to you and you know how it works, there’s no reason for you to spend the money to have someone else do it.
Basically, you need to know if it’s worth your time to invest in SEM yourself, or if it frees you up to contribute to the company more by outsourcing the process.
How do you know if you’re ready?
There are a few ways to determine whether you’re ready to take on SEM yourself. Firstly, do you have the time to learn what it takes to launch a successful SEM campaign? If you’re a small business owner, you might have additional time on your hands to learn what this means.
If you feel you do have the time and get the hang of it quickly, there’s no need for an outside agency. However, if you know it will take up more bandwidth than it should, why do it?
SEM marketing isn’t black and white. When it comes to keywords and search analytics, there’s a lot to understand. While it’s easy to learn, not all small business owners have the time to do so. It’s up to you to determine whether you need an SEM agency or not.