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Over Complicating Paid Search is a Bad Thing

Search is complicated enough these days with making sure you meet and beat all of your client’s goals and objectives and dealing with Quality Score fluctuations, Trademark disputes with affiliates, etc… why would you ever want to over-complicate a client’s SEM Strategy to the point where the traditional "You can put $1 into this Google machine and expect to get $10 in return" turns into trying to explain to a client that launching a new SEM Campaign should consist of "creating 37 different tests with each having their own set of Ad/Creatives where the Line #1 is the key differentiator and then after calculating the impression ratio of an exact match vs. a phrase match keyword which will result in a hypothesis" that concludes absolutely nothing valuable to the client because they want to hear the sound of a cash register not the crunching sounds of a millions pieces of data spinning in your brain.

Now to add insult to injury, those 10 extra hours that were put into creating this abnormally large 50 page PowerPoint (.ppt) presentation was not only confusing to the client but actually hurt your own company’s overhead costs because you spent those extra hours on something that DID NOT provide any value to the client. Kinda like the high priced bells and whistles of analytics programs that seem to wow you at a conference, but just don’t make any business sense to pay extra for it. I know it’s exaggerated a bit, but this is an example of what Search marketers should not be doing.

Remember, any company (or most of them) that hires an SEM Expert/Agency for the sole purpose of making them more money does not want to deal or take part in the complexities of it. They just want to make MONEY!!!!  Trying to sound smarter to client may work in the Sales/Proposal
Process and convincing them them sign on the dotted line, but when the account is
launched and you are expected to deliver, the smooth talking needs to
end and the intelligent hard work which results in making more money for the client needs to begin. … and fast!

Preparing a Good Plan is Crucial:
It’s obvious that any new SEM Launch needs to be carefully planned, goals and objectives clearly understood and the expectations clearly set. You would most likely provide the client with at least a 1-4 month plan of what deliverables would be created, a planned review of what the strategy would be, a set of Ad/Creatives for the client to review, expected launch date, agreed upon budgets and metrics and overall constant communication to ensure that there is no incidence of "radio silence" which is just about as ominous as the removal of your client’s Google account from your MCC (My Client Center).

Client Retention Matters:
Customer retention in search industry (from what I have seen) is already on the down-swing and the last thing you want to do is to over-complicate everything to the point where you are struggling to not only keep the client profitable, you also need to keep your own company’s financials afloat. The more money you make the client, the better the chance for a renewal. Even if you made a client very profitable, they could also easily decide NOT to renew and bring the service IN-house. Why? It’s cheaper for them and the structure is already in place.

– Simplicity does not precede complexity, but follows it.
Alan Perlis

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4 Responses to "Over Complicating Paid Search is a Bad Thing"

  1. Li Evans says:

    Great post Greg – so true, so true. Kinda sad that the “right” people just don’t ever “get it”.

  2. SearchCap: The Day In Search, November 6, 2007

    Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web….

  3. Melissa says:

    Amen to that! It is definitely getting harder for SEM consultants to compete against these high priced agencies who claim that they are able to give clients all of this unneccessary data. This also makes makes marketers think twice about bringing their program in-house because they think it’s to complicated to manage, when it’s not.

  4. Brian Carter says:

    Greg- hey, that’s great advice for people who overthink their PPC campaigns!
    …which is something I’ve found you can’t do AND be effective AND help more than a few big clients.

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