PPC | BlitzLocal

If you’re an affiliate, you’ve heard a lot about local. Drive down the street and look at all those businesses– 40% of them don’t have websites, and of the ones that do, only 8% are doing PPC. Of those that are doing PPC, it’s highly unlikely they’re as good as you. But while setting up a PPC campaign for a Denver liposuction surgeon might be easy– you just choose a few keywords, make a couple ads, and send them to a landing page– getting the clients is where most local marketing companies fail. We’ll get to the secret in a bit– keep reading…
So let’s talk about how to actually get these businesses to become your clients, starting first bywhat NOT to do:
Cold calling– Going door-to-door and walking into someone’s business is NOT cool. You are a stranger, they’re busy running their office– and most of the time you won’t even be able to get to the decision maker. The receptionist will stop you. Might as well sell magazines and charity chocolate bars, since you’re just going to get rejected. Rejection sucks– you want THEM to come to you. That allows you to set the price and puts you in a great spot. More on that in a sec.
Spending money on PPC– Yeah, I know it’s hypocritical. You are selling PPC, but don’t do it to promote yourself. The reason you don’t is the same as cold calling– selling SUCKS. You spend money, waste your time, and have to deal with rejection. And that’s just more marketing cost you have to pass on to the clients.
Building the most awesome, informative website about your services– Let me tell you something. You don’t even need to have a website! “But what if they want to see my website?”
you ask. Tell them that you’re so busy serving clients first that your site is still in progress. Clients first, see?
Giving away services for cheap or free: Someone probably told you that if you’re just getting started and don’t have a client list, then you need to do the first few for cheap to build up a portfolio. That’s complete nonsense. Most prospects won’t ask you, for example, about other Italian restaurants or veterinarians that you’ve done. Discounting your services devalues you in the client’s eyes, plus will make you unmotivated to work hard for so little money.
Talking about how well you know PPC, SEO, social media, etc: Seems counter-intuitive, right? They’re a business owner, not another affiliate. The more you sprinkle acronyms into your language, the more you’re losing them. You’re not speaking their language. I almost never mention the word PPC to clients. Instead, I say “I couldn’t find your name on Google. But we can get you to show up if you let us advertise on Google for you.”
So those are the 5 most common ways to fail at selling and getting new clients. There are a few companies in the local space– VC-funded monsters that have tens or hundreds of millions of funding to blow on these techniques. But if we’re talking about YOUR money, then focus on what actually works.
And now the secret to how to sell local clients….
You ready?
… … …
The secret is that you don’t sell– you let others sell for you because of your reputation. So you get clients by building up your reputation.
Put on a seminar at the local chamber of commerce or networking event– if you can charge $15 each, even better. Not because you need the money, but because it makes folks who attend take you seriously. Every one of the 5 mistakes mentioned above degrades and devalues your offering– it turns you into a panderer instead of a highly sought after expert.
In the course of every day life, you will run into people who are small business owners. There’s 20 million of them– how can you not? And when you’re talking to friends about how Google works– which we do all the time to folks who don’t understand what we do– you’re equipping others to sell your services.
And each friend of yours has perhaps 100 friends that they talk to and will mention that you’re an expert on getting people on Google. So you should almost never take on a project from a friend– but you should definitely consider taking on a project from a friend of a friend. A friend will expect a “good friend” discount, while a “weak tie” (friend of a friend) will not. Plus the number of people that you are connected to 2 steps away is 100 times larger than those just 1 step away.
And when those people come knocking, because a friend told them that you’re a Google expert, then you run them through this process:
What do you want to show up on Google for?
Let’s do a search and see who is there now.
It’s going to cost between $1,000 and $5,000 a month to advertise on Google– depending on how much market share you want. Shall we start with $1,000 a month for a couple months to see how we do?
We can track exactly how our ads are doing- how many visitors click on the ads and then how many calls result from that. That allows us to calculate the cost per call. You’ll probably be between $40 and $100 a call, depending on the competition. We’ll have to test.
And from there, we can adjust the ads based on what kinds of clients you want (more laser hair removal, and less botox? Sure).
We will place a phone number on the website that is only on the web, just for tracking, which bounces to your regular number.
No website? We can make a minisite for you.
Sign here and gimme your credit card.
If they don’t get that, whine about cost, or complain, then don’t push the issue. You have a number of other interested clients that you have to get back to. You don’t want bad clients. There are so many local businesses out there that you can have your pick– and that includes the competitors of the guys who aren’t really interested in your online advertising service.
So there you have it. No need to deal with rejection. Don’t have to spend a lot of money or build a site. Just have to casually talk about getting onto Google with your friends, who then spread the word for you. And then you walk those friends of friends via the process I’ve just laid out.
The hardest part is the first few weeks to build your reputation. You might feel like an imposter if you haven’t done it before. Take heart that local PPC is not the hard part, nor is listing clients with Google and BING Local Business Center. Just remember that you’re competing against the other local dentists and massage therapists- not thousands of affiliates worldwide.
And once you have a few of them down, then these clients tell their friends— and soon you have a thriving business of people who are seeking you out. You just have to sit back, take the calls, and decide which of them you want. Doesn’t sound like selling does it?
Now managing clients, building sites, setting up call tracking, billing credit cards automatically, and so forth is a whole different set of issues– I’ll write another post on that if people want to hear it. But as for selling, it’s easy when you let others sell for you.
On September 24, 2009, Dennis Yu, CEO of BlitzLocal and a recognized thought-leader in the fast-moving world of Pay Per Click marketing, will be speaking at the PPC Summit in Los Angeles, California (Sept 23-24, 2009) on Local and International PPC Opportunities.
Dennis will provide the same workshop at the PPC Summit in Chicago, Illinois (Nov 4-5, 2009).
Dennis’s Workshop will focus on answering the following important questions:
Local search is attracting a great deal of press for its ability to provide targeted leads for smaller businesses, but is it right for you?
What local opportunities are out there?
Where should you focus your money and attention?
If you can see the world locally, can you also see it globally?
Do you see international opportunities for your business in this global search marketing economy?
The workshop will delve into opportunities that will drive your business forward, both near and far.
Here at BlitzLocal we implement many different tools to bring our clients the most business via the internet as possible. Among other tools, we customize Pay Per Click (PPC) campaigns to better suit our client needs. Many advertisers will reference PPC as common knowledge, but if the client is unfamiliar there’s no reason to let it slide. I will be covering PPC basics so that there is no guessing involved, and we can all feel a little more informed.
First allow me to define some common terms heard in Pay Per Click.
Pay Per Click (PPC) – Advertisers pay a provider for certain keywords when their ad is clicked.
Cost Per Click (CPC) – The amount advertisers pay for each to bring one visitor to a website.
Keyword – A specific term that is searched on the internet. For example, a dentist would pay for the keyword “root canal”.
Bidding – Advertisers competitively bid on certain keywords relevant to their target market to advantage the client .
How to build a PPC campaign
Here is a basic example of how to build a PPC campaign. For this example I will use a local Denver Cosmetic Surgeon.
First, we need to determine who the target market is. Using the cosmetic surgeon example, people searching for cosmetic surgery will be our target market.
Second, we create subcategories of our parent category. A Cosmetic Surgeon can do a number of procedures, the procedures we want to target for more business. Some subcategories for a Cosmetic Surgeon would be Botox, Laser Hair Removal, Face Lifts, Breast Augmentation, and Chemical Peels.
Finally, given all subcategories we can create keywords. Keywords are specific to each subcategory. Some keywords for the subcategory Botox may be “botox procedure”, “facial botox”, “botox doctor”.
When we are done building our keywords for the PPC campaign, the end product will look like this.
Parent Category: Cosmetic Surgery > Subcategory: Botox > Keyword: botox procedure
Parent Category: Cosmetic Surgery > Subcategory: Botox > Keyword: facial botox
Parent Category: Cosmetic Surgery > Subcategory: Botox > Keyword: botox doctor
PPC Example
After our keywords are built we create optimized, eye-catching ads and place them in their proper place.
Pay Per Click and Cost Per Click
Pay Per Click refers to paying a PPC provider such as Google AdWords, Yahoo! Search Marketing, and Microsoft adCenter for certain keywords. Obviously PPC campaigns are not free, so we must optimize spending to create the most efficiency when it comes to bringing in new visitors. Bidding on keywords measures the greatest efficiency. Weed out the bad keywords and invest in the ones producing results. When it comes to bidding there are plenty of options, but an Analyst report stats and give you need-to-know information.
Thank you for reading the basics of Pay Per Click on the BlitzLocal blog. If this has interested you please look forward to a 12 Week Series on PPC coming in September. With Scott Richter’s all around expertise prepare to have your PPC socks knocked off.
This week SEMPO held a webcast that focused on The Economics of Local Search Advertising. The primary subject matter of the event was a new research report from Borrell Associates that examines the “challenges and opportunities around the $5.3 billion local search advertising industry.” Gordon Borrell led the webcast and gave his personal insights on his firm’s findings.
Below, I’ve included important PowerPoint slides along with some observations from the webcast.
Key Findings:
Interactive media advertising cannot and will not grow forever.
A regular problem with small business is that they don’t want to spend much, have high demands and unfortunately are not very good about paying their bills.
There is currently massive churn in Local Search Advertising. Based off of Borrell’s findings the average situations is that if a Local Search Firm sold 12,000 accounts in a given year they would likely finish the year with 247 total active accounts! Key factors of the high churn rate include: Local Search is oversold. On top of that not enough of the client’s money is going to buying PPC. Finally, dealing with small businesses is proportionately far too time-consuming—they need a lot of hand holding, even on small buys. (See Slide 14)
Typically, the lower the spend the less money is spent on actual keywords buys—a lot of the money goes towards commissions and overhead. (Slide 15)
Firms that use Search Engine Marketing Management Software see lower churn rate. Sophisticated software helps make management of PPC much easier and more consistent. (Slide 16)
There is a direct correlation between the amount spent on ad buys and the amount of churn—the more money spent on ad buys the lower the churn, the more spent on commissions and overhead the higher the churn. (Slide 17)
Studies have shown that actually increasing percentage of spend on ad buys not only delivers better results for the client, but it also delivers higher profits over time for the Local Search Marketing Firm.
Most small advertisers have the nagging feeling that half the advertising they are doing is working and half of it is not, the only trouble is that they’re not sure which half is the one that is working (Borell calls that the John Wannamaker Syndrome). That means that they are vulnerable to being persuaded either towards or away from different types of advertising. At the end of the day, Local Advertising is based off of trust; if you can convince them to trust you they will buy, but your service damn well better perform.
Many local advertisers have not yet tried Local Search Marketing, however many of them are constantly getting contacted by local search advertisers (some times as much as once per week!). That means that perhaps Local Search Advertising Businesses have NOT yet found the right pitch. There is an opportunity for search businesses if they can find a simple pitch that hits the right nerve.
Local Search Advertisers need to understand the sorts of questions their small business clients will have—they’ll want to know how much money will be spent on what, they will want guaranteed results and they will want a monthly report that they can understand (not just a Google Analytics report with a different logo).
A lot of PPC people out there don’t know what they’re doing, so the caveat here is that increasing ad buy spend may not get performance as high as it needs to be. Spending more money inefficiently won’t get you any further. You have to have both—high percentage of overall money going to ad buys and talented people managing the campaigns. Also, talent may not be enough; they need to use sophisticated tools.
This means that the perfect situation is one where you have a high percentage of client spend dedicated to ad buys (60% minimum, and 65% is better!), along with experienced and talented analysts managing these accounts with the help of sophisticated Search Engine Marketing Management Software.
A regular question Borrell gets, given the tremendous amount of churn he talks about, is:
How many times will small businesses fail the first time around, but retry local search at a later date?
His answer: The fact is that there is currently no strongly conclusive data here, but based off of some recent research the belief is that many of them will come back. One of the reasons is that not all churn is due to people being unsatisfied—some people only pursue seasonable campaigns; others have like to run tests and then evaluate the results over a period of time before deciding whether to re-engage.
One last thought from Borrell: Local Advertising is Sold, not Bought—SMBs need to be pursued, and the right pitch along with a tight system that produces results will win them and keep them happy.
Remember: BlitzLocal devotes 70% of the client’s spend towards Ad Buys and we have talented PPC professionals running the campaigns! Use BlitzLocal for a competitive advantage!

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