Search Engine Marketing (SEM/PPC)

Digital marketing is interesting in that it has disciplines that are simultaneously easy for anyone to engage with and incredibly difficult to succeed with. Anyone with an email address and a credit card can setup Google Ads and Bing Ads in fifteen minutes and start driving traffic to their site.

That’s completely different than any other trade or discipline. You can’t start playing the piano in just a few minutes, or learn a language, or become a world class mechanic or surgeon.

Yet we have SEM and PPC ads which are accessible to everyone, what could go wrong?

As it turns out, a lot. Paid search is incredibly complex and in unqualified hands can create a situation where your company and your dollars are wasted on bad traffic – or even good traffic that wasn’t properly managed.

At Serious A we have collectively managed nearly $100 million in paid search spend in the past fifteen years, with an emphasis on demand generation and delivering a positive Return on Investment (ROI). During that time we have figured out not only how to drive a ton of leads to different companies, but to generate high intent, high quality, sales ready leads.

Just like with other incredibly complex and difficult trades, we have learned how to do this the old fashioned way: a lot of work, a lot of trial and error, and an ongoing focus on failing quickly. As your search partner, we understand that precious dollars are being allocated to search to grow your business. Another unfortunate truth about the current paid search landscape over the past ten years is there is no shortage of charlatans claiming to be gurus that can alter your business overnight who in reality just want to milk you for every cent they can over 3-6 months until you inevitably fire them for wasting your time and your money.

Okay, we’re claiming that a lot of other agencies and consultants and experts are frauds, so how in the world can you trust us? It’s a great question, and one that we will lay out in a few different ways:

  1. No long term contracts, period. All clients we work with are on a month to month basis. We do not offer discounts for long term contracts simply because if things change we want to make a separation as amicable and professional as possible.
  2. We do not “own” your accounts. This is vital. Many agencies will setup accounts on your behalf and/or manage billing. Any positive work they may have generated for you they can yank away and essentially hold hostage if you’re unhappy. With Serious A we ask that you do not make changes to accounts while we are managing them, but all accounts are setup 100{056b40759a8889928120c6f540a37f8900244af81f408bdb51e2cef9e87b53a4} in your control (assuming you do not already have your own accounts).
  3. If you can’t close the loop, we can’t work with you. We could easily drive hundreds, thousands or even tens of thousands of leads your way on a monthly basis depending on your budget, vertical and geographic constraints, but that’s all bullshit. We are only interested in driving high intent, sales ready leads your way. If you don’t have a CRM or back end system that will allow us to “close the loop” and report on Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) then we can’t provide real meaningful reporting. (Note: We have deep expertise integrating with multiple CRM systems and working with internal and external teams to achieve this reporting. If this is where you stand, please reach out.)
  4. Our fees are based off of account complexity, not spend. Many agencies will base their fees on how much of your money they spend, which immediately gives them a reason to push for spend even if it’s not in your best interest. Serious A bases fees off of the complexity of managing, optimizing, and scaling an account on a monthly basis. While spend may be one facet of fees, it is certainly not the only thing to take into account. Geographic bidding, time of day constraints, sales availability, competition and myriad other factors will impact how successful we can be for your campaigns and at what price.

Final note of consideration: If we can’t deliver performance within your parameters or your industry does not allow PPC to be a meaningful portion of your business, we won’t work with you. We don’t mean that in a mean spirited way – we will just let you know the reality of what search can deliver and give you insight on how to manage it without the overhead we would bring to bear. A few examples of potential and past clients where we knew up front we couldn’t deliver, or launched test campaigns that validated that scale was not possible:

  • An online degree program for Nurse Practitioners (NPs) to gain an advanced degree. Search volume was incredibly low (less than 200 searches per month). For this client we setup the campaigns using best practice and handed them the keys to self manage.
  • A United Kingdom based Software as a Service (SaaS) company that sells augmented reality utility software to government agencies. Turns out no one is searching for what they sell, so we had to pass and let the client know that more traditional marketing and business development tactics would be a better approach.

Interested? Contact us for a 100{056b40759a8889928120c6f540a37f8900244af81f408bdb51e2cef9e87b53a4} free SEM/PPC audit of your current activities. No contracts, no pushy sales pitches, just an honest assessment of whether or not we think we can help you out.