Success-based search engine marketing (SEM) for improved online performance

Billing is based on (click) success exclusively

We define performance marketing as those advertising measures that are only judged by their measurable economic success. Success is typically measured by a number of targeted actions or selection decisions made by interested users.

Cloud Gate, mirrors
Eye catchers like this sculpture make ads more attractive - "The Bean" Cloud Gate Chicago Art Institute, by Anish Kapoor

A very good example of this is search engine marketing (SEM), also known as keyword advertising.

As the world’s most successful search engine, Google uses AdWords to display suitable ads to millions of searching users every day, depending on their specific keywords and context. In the process, Google adopts a fair performance-based policy whereby only those visitors who clicked on the client’s as and thus reached the client’s website are counted and billed for. Unlike classic advertising agencies, Google does not bill for the AdWords ads’ impressions by CMP (cost per thousand impressions), but only for “real” visitors who decided to click on the ad and thus demonstrated interest.

 

So far, so simple. In reality, however, this is a highly complex area: its success is based on the fine-tuning and continuous monitoring of numerous parameters. A number of decisions must be made and details taken care of manually, starting with managing and defining the bids (bid management) for the keywords that need to be selected through careful keyword research, phrasing and recording of the ad copy, placement of the campaign, setting up the visitor tracking for the results, e.g. through Google Analytics, defining the placement periods, defining the conversions goals, etc. 

 

 

Those who have already been involved in this process will know from their own experience how much time and expertise is required for preliminary work such as selecting the “correct” keywords (which should be researched with the exact target group in mind to avoid costly scattering losses), competitor analyses, defining and setting up the landing pages, optimal timing and regional localisation, installation of Google Analytics, and measuring and evaluation of the data as well as administering and controlling an AdWords campaign. (Further details in a corresponding cost statement)  

 

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Prior to commissioning an SEM agency

Therefore, it is surely no coincidence that most companies have delegated these manual tasks, which are difficult to automate without keyword advertising tools, to external specialised SEM agencies. As customary in the agency business, these agencies bill for their services in the form of a surcharge on the advertising revenue. These surcharges are low (typically 10-25%) for large accounts that spend hundreds of thousands of euros on Google AdWords every month. For smaller AdWords budgets of companies that spend only a few hundred euros a month, the surcharges typically range from 50% to more than 1000%.

If surcharges of more than 200% are applied, it may be advisable to switch to another agency, and if they are higher than 500%, customers are dealing with disreputable providers who take advantage of the information gap when it comes to AdWords for their personal gain.  

 

How does one find the best, most efficient, affordable and, most of all, reputable agency? How do they differ from each other? Is geographical proximity important? What role does service play?

 

We are highly focused on online marketing and have been following the market very closely for many years. We also know the best providers very well and are only cooperating with successful and reputable agencies. In a first step, however, we advice you in our capacity as independent online marketing experts, and determine whether you will be successful with Google AdWords. If your company would like to work with AdWords, we will prepare everything that is required for the SEM campaign and will assist you in finding a suitable SEM agency. This AdWords consulting service saves you money, identifies potentials, minimises risks and analyses your website as well as highlighting the positioning of your competition both in terms of AdWords and organically.

 

Even if, following our advice, you should decide that AdWords is currently not a suitable option for your company, we can show you a tried and tested method to benefit from the searches for “your keywords” and position your business on Google’s organic results list (SEO) nonetheless.

 

Google AdWords compared to Google optimisation (organic positioning)

Furthermore, search engine optimisation (some SEO providers use the term "Google positioning" to suggest a measure with a direct effect) also offers enthusiastic and keen AdWords users great advantages in the long term when it comes to sustainability and cost effectiveness, which we explain in detail in our article "Google AdWords versus organic positioning - What do searching users prefer?".

 

Moreover, websites that are very well positioned in the organic results lists, generate 6 times more visitors on average than the AdWords website ads of the same Google page. 

 

Companies who apply the Pareto principle here have recognised the importance of the ranking in Google’s organic search in order to remain competitive, are aware of the value their own visibility offers in terms of customer searches, and will exclusively hire experts to systematically develop and maintain their websites and set up authentic links going forward.

 

slide-about user-preference for organic results
Organic search results vs. AdWords

 

We look forward to your enquiry without obligation.