An SEM campaign isn’t something any Tom, Dick or Harry can undertake – like any marketing endeavour it takes experience and some natural flair for creativity. There are many angles to SEM these days you need to hire an SEM company with a comprehensive understanding of all disciplines, not just how to bid on keywords and set up a PPC campaign. SEM requires an expert to get inside the mind of the consumer and try innovative methods of attracting consumers through creative copy and alternative channels. 

Before hiring a search engine marketing agency ensure you use this handy list to vet potential services.

1. Asking the Right Questions

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. If a company makes you feel like you are questioning their integrity then you don’t want to hire them anyway. Ask things like:

  • “How will you know who my competitors are and how they are marketing their products?”
  • “How will you know the best keywords to secure for my PPC campaign?”
  • “What key performance indicators will you be using to measure success?”

2. A Small Test To Gage Skill

Conduct a small test by asking each SEM company on your list to devise two small adverts for your business using just 15-20 words. This could be for a sale item or general advert for your URL.

3. Determine Exactly What You Are Getting For Your Money

Ask what alternative marketing channels the company will use outside of PPC and CPC. For example, do they look at localised search listings, directories and business listings? Make sure you know what is included in the package and what they offer that other SEM agencies don’t.

4. Use of Free SEM

SEM isn’t just about paying through the teeth for clicks; there are a number of free activities that can drive huge traffic and increase conversions. What free methods of advertising will each SEM company use? Do they run social media campaigns or at least advise/help you with a Facebook and Twitter campaign. What other suggestions do they have for marketing initiatives?

5. Take a Look at The Portfolio 

Ask to see examples of campaigns they are currently or have previously worked on. What spike in conversion rates were they able to achieve and are clients for whom they conducted previous campaigns still on board or did they jump ship?

6. Don’t Get Lumbered With The Intern

Try to ascertain the experience level of the individual who will be handling your campaign. Are you being palmed off to the intern or will you be getting an employee who has marketing experience both across branding and advertising.

You might well be desperate for more clicks but don’t throw your money down the drain. SEM is a competitive market so make sure you choose the search engine marketing agency best suited to the needs of your company.

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