We need to to obliterate the Search Engine Marketing (SEM) companies and consultants who steal your money.
Consultants are supposed to look after their client. They’re supposed to understand what resources their client has. They’re supposed to consult on the things their client can do today while providing hope for change.
So why is it so many SEM consultants and businesses do just the opposite? Why is it so-called SEM consultants spout lines like
- “Spend more money to get more traffic”
- “2.5% conversion rate is great, you’re above average [of 2.35%]!”
- “Spend more money”
- “Eyeballs are what matter”
- [a bunch of gibberish eluding to spending more money]
- “Keywords are what matter the most”
I call bullshit. Yes, some of those lines are valid. But mostly bullshit.
What SEM Consultants Need To Realize
SEM is not about spending the most amount of money in your industry or market to get the most eyeballs and hopefully click-thrus and then hopefully conversions.
SEM is about the message that needs to be said to the person who’s looking for what you offer. It’s about helping people find you, building a trustworthy relationship, and deepening your relationship with them. If deepening your relationship means they buy from you that day, great, you did something right and they wanted to go on a date with you.
You offer what people need and the things they don’t know they need and provide it to them in the way they need.
Bryan and Jeffery Eisenberg, the pioneers in nine conversion, already wrote about this in their “The Conversion Trinity: The 3 Step Magic Formula to Increase Click Throughs & Conversions” post: Relevance. Value. Call to Action.
Relevance – Are you relevant to my wants/needs/desires (search query)? Have you maintained scent?
Value – Do I know why you are the right solution for me? Have you explained your value proposition/offer well?
Call to action – Is it obvious what I need to do next? Have you given me the confidence to take that action?
(you ought to bookmark that post, you’ll want to reference it later)
Change Your Ways and You’ll Save Your Money
When consultants start to understand SEM is not about eyeballs but it’s about spending your money wisely and understanding it’s about relevance and value, you’ll see things happen:
- SEM budget decreases (or increase because the results are staggeringly awesome)
- Cost per acquisition decreases
- Gross-sales increases
- Happy smiles from the bean counter
- Better leads
- Less time with nose-pickers who aren’t really your customers
- Happier employees (because you can afford their pay raises)
The Linchpin of Everything
Do you deliver? Do you provide what you say you’re going to provide? Do you build and keep relationships with current customers? If you don’t do any of that, don’t waste your money; don’t invest in SEM or traditional marketing until you have a culture of providing more than what you say you’ll provide.
I have a hunch you already have a culture with great employees and customers. You’ve built that business to what it is today and for that, you deserve a high-five!
What You Do Now
Ask your SEM consultant how they’re helping to capture and provide relevance to the landing pages and ads they’re creating. Ask them to explain it to you in detail.
Ask them to tell you what your cost per acquisition is and what they’re doing to reduce that.
Ask them not to send you meaningless reports but to provide you stories of your ads and how customers flow through searching, finding, clicking, reading, taking action and deepening relationships with your customers.
You pay your consultant a great deal of money. Make sure they’re looking after you. If they’re not, find one who will.