Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is a term that refers to marketing activities used to promote a website by showcasing ads on search engines. For example, when you search for something on Google, let’s say you are looking for a book and search for ‘buy Harry Potter books’, the first 2 results you see with ‘Ad’ written beside it are SEM ads. The term SEM was initially used to refer to both unpaid (SEO) and paid processes but is now commonly used to talk only about paid search activities only, specifically google ads. If you want to start showing ads for your website/app on Google, you have to hire a freelance AdWords expert or a digital marketing agency for the same.
Google Adwords, the advertising program by Google, is currently the most used and the largest paid search network in the world. Paid Media has a lot of benefits. You can target your advertisements based on preferred factors, you can increase brand awareness, and you can enjoy a greater ROI through paid ads as compared to traditional advertising methods.
If you are looking towards paid advertising on Google, you’re in the right direction. It is a great way to give a boost to your company and the returns can be very valuable. Since it requires a substantial amount of knowledge and expertise, you must hire either an agency or a freelance AdWords expert to do the work for you.
Working with Freelance AdWords Expert
However, your job doesn’t end once you select and hire a freelancer to manage Google AdWords. There is a lot that you must do from your end, even before the campaign starts, to ensure that the investment pays off.
Figure out your scope of work
As a client, you will likely not know the details of paid search activities or the intricacies of Google AdWords (GA). Due to this, it becomes the job of the agency/freelancer to advise you on the way forward. A detailed scope of work must be decided on before any work can begin.
Your scope should contain 2 things: your budget (what is the maximum you’re willing to spend on this campaign?) and your objective (what is the amount of traffic or conversions you want from the campaign?). However, you cannot be as naive as wanting 1000 people to visit you at the total cost of 100 rupees.
You might not know the industry benchmarks for click-through-rate and cost per click and hence making this estimate will be difficult. In such a case, you can discuss the industry benchmarks with your freelance AdWords expert or you can check the industry benchmarks for SEM online.
Once you understand this and discuss this with your freelance AdWords expert, you should define the scope of your work. Based on your discussions, your freelancer should be able to draw up a viable strategy. This strategy may deviate from your proposed budget. The suggested Ad spend could be more as well as less than what you allotted. If you are unsure about the plan you have been presented with, the best thing to do is to ask them the reasoning behind it.
An expert looks at the potential ROI of your invested Ad spend money with the best cost per acquisition (CPA). While considering the ROI, don’t just look at revenue and hard profits. Soft benefits from SEM such as branding and visibility add immense value in the long run.
Verify the Freelance AdWords Expert before you start work
Online marketing can seem like an obscure concept to those who do not engage in it regularly. This is why hiring a freelancer Adwords expert or a trust-worthy agency can seem like a daunting task. How do you make sure you’re not fooled out of your money?
Well, verifying the expertise of an agency is easy. The clientele list should give you a rough idea of the authenticity of their work. But what will work best for verification of both freelancers and agencies are Google AdWords certifications. While these certifications do not guarantee results for your campaign, they do tell you that a person has complete knowledge of the advertising system and has been deemed qualified for the job by Google itself.
Another way to ease your troubled mind is to look at their ongoing campaigns. If they are able to provide you with view rights for their current campaigns on GA, you can observe the results and see how effective their work has been.
Working through mediators such as InstaTaskers is a great alternative as they do a basic verification of all the freelancers and agencies.
What kind of traffic can you expect?
Expected traffic, visits, conversions, clicks etc. aren’t as easy to achieve as one would believe. Nobody can guarantee sure-shot results when it comes to search engine marketing. Whether it is SEO or Paid Media, any numbers provided to you will be projections rather than definite results. If someone does offer you hard numbers, ask them what the basis of these numbers is. If they have worked with a similar client before or studied that market, they may be able to use that information to offer you those numbers.
Even when the reasoning for it is solid, it is important to remember that any numbers proposed by an agency or a freelancer are only indicative figures and must be viewed as such.
Track the project and the results
To be able to know how the project is running, you need to know what you’re looking for. Before the work begins, ask for the scope of work so you know exactly what deliverables you’re supposed to be receiving. This way, you’ll be able to track whether or not the work is being done timely. If the campaign is a short one (less than 25 days), it is recommended that you ask for daily reports on the traffic numbers.
Many companies that are looking to hire SEM experts are clueless about it. This gives freelancers an opportunity to fool them with irrelevant numbers. To avoid this, it is important that you hire through a trusted platform. Having view rights for your Google AdWords dashboard allows you to verify that the reports you’re receiving are authentic. You’ll also be able to keep track of the numbers constantly.
Since GA allows you to see the sources of the traffic, it alleviates any suspicion that the reported traffic is not relevant. Another way you can check is by looking at your keywords. If your numbers look great but your keywords aren’t actually performing, it is likely that the traffic has been generated artificially and is not relevant.
The importance of online advertising in today’s age is quite clear. More and more people are making their purchasing decisions online. Due to social media and the constant expansion of the opportunities that the internet presents, people are spending more and more time online. Getting the attention of a user through organic ways is getting more difficult with every passing day. If you want to reach your user, you will have to go via paid ads. Google search engine is one of the best media to do so. Hiring a freelance AdWords expert to help with Google ads is an important platform to work with and it is a necessity for any brand looking to make it big.
Hire a freelance Adwords expert or an agency by posting your requirement on InstaTaskers.