Search Engine Marketing discussion gets catty (and entertaining)

I’m subscribed via RSS to the Enterprise Ireland eBusiness Mailing list and there was a recent kerfuffle about ad campaigns and what to do and who to use. Seems some people took exception when people said let the experts run a campaign and don’t DIY.

Many people who know their stuff recommended Dave Davis and RedFly Marketing if you want to spend some lolly and run ads for whatever your campaign is. Now I’m on record as thinking ads, especially the Google ones are goddamned ugly and people who run them on personal blogs disrespect their readers but at the same time I do recognise there is a need for a company to run ad campaigns to get business. Nowadays it will be rather tough to rank highly for every area your business operates in, unless you are highly niche. Google will allow you to run DIY ads but just like you can build a staircase yourself it doesn’t mean you should. It seems the almost Dave Davis Fanboyism (I hope he reads this and blushes muhaha) irked some people who think what they do themselves can be just as good. Wake the fuck up. Unless you work in the Search Engine Marketing business on a daily basis, you will save money by outsourcing the work to crowds like Redfly for mid and large campaigns. Same goes for SEO. I know a little but I’d spend to earn if I had a commercial site and would bring in the Hearnster. (Aside: I was hearing ads on the radio all week for a bloke called Richard Hearns who lives some of the year in Dublin and some in thailand and who’s an artist and I was thinking, a secret life of an artist, the sly dog. But no. Diff Hearnster.)

Check out some of the comments here.

loving this:

It is an insult to someone’s intelligence if people think that you need to be an expert to get the best from an AdSense campaign.

and this:

This discussion smacks of elitism and a fair amount of back slapping between different parties who seem to share vested interests.

Adsense and Adwords are not incredibly difficult once you take time to read the instructions.

Handbags at dawn, while brain checked into the cloakroom.

Now I have no affiliation with Dave though we have chatted now and then about search engine marketing but I have heard high praise from various quarters about his work. Google being Google and their lack of transparency and shit customer care and feedback means that it really does take a lot of dedication to know all the tricks and methods to maximise both search engine ranking and search engine marketing. I’d leave it to a pro.

This video has nothing to do with nothing.

7 Responses to “Search Engine Marketing discussion gets catty (and entertaining)”

  1. I was until recently Media Planner/Buyer for the largest digital advertising agency in the country, I spent huge amounts of money for clients small, big and huge, and I was able to justify every cent that I spent on behalf of the client.

    I could tell them which websites worked for them, which didn’t, and of course I could build up a historical profile of what sites worked for what kind of products based on demographics and the like.

    If you just want to deliver traffic to your website, then you can spend a few hundred euro with an adwords campaign (or facebook as I’ve been trying out over the past few days with – weak dollar makes Dave happy).

    But the great thing about internet marketing is that you can use tools and software to really track your adspend, much better than you can with any other medium. With the necessary tools, you can work out cost per land per visitor (overall and by source of traffic) and of course when you make a sale (if that’s your objective) you can work out the cost per acquisition. You can then target your adspend, refine your campaign. Well you can, but if you’re doing it right, most likely your digital advertising agency are doing it for you daily.

    You simply cannot do that yourself if it’s not an area you specialise in – it’s good to bring in the experts to use their skills and their knowledge to work for you. And it doesn’t need to be hugely expensive, you’ll get better value for money by spending more, but I’ve run hundreds of test campaigns for new clients, and a seriously high percentage of them have come back weeks (sometimes days) later with more budget.

    One client of mine – a medium financial services firm, decided they’d try go it alone by using the sites I’d been recommending for them in other campaigns. They could not buy at the rates I could (as I bought a huge amount for various clients) – and they couldn’t track it either – they came back with their tail between theirs legs within three weeks.

    Now, I will disclose an interest, whilst I’ve never met Dave and I’ve never chatted to him – i know his company is well regarded by those who have used it. Oh, and his sister and my sister happen to be going out. So there.

  2. Sean says:

    Is SEO and sponsored search not like every other service on offer? Some pros do it better than amataurs while some amataurs do it better than the pros. Plus I’d recommend anyone with little experience to experiment with sponsored search as it is a hell of a lot easier to determine how effective ones spend is compared to press or magazines.

    Can some explain what makes Dave Davis better than a company like like Digino who are never discussed but are present on all search engines when I look up SEO?

    Oh by the I am not affiliated wit Digino!

    I’m wondering if Dave Davis provides great service or if in fact they have exclusive info on how best to set up SEO or search campaigns?

  3. Colm says:

    The beauty of PPC is that it is for everyone, from SMEs to medium size advertisers to agencies. Media owners cater for each segment and service on spend thresholds. As a manager at a large media owner in London, my feeling is that the decision to go it alone or to employ an agency to run campaigns on your behalf is entirely at your discretion.

    If PPC is not your specialist area, this does not preclude you from maximising ROI from your PPC spend. I am particularly passionate about this advertising space and truly believe that paid search can offer so much more than traditional media. Self-education is easy; consider getting accreditation?

    Damien – I disagree with “Unless you work in the Search Engine Marketing business on a daily basis, you will save money by outsourcing the work to crowds like Redfly for mid and large campaigns.” How do you qualify this statement? From personal experience of having worked with two media owners, I can categorically state that I know plenty of advertisers who have been hugely successful in managing their ad campaigns on their own, even when SEM does not occupy much of their day to day activities in their roles. Marketing managers across many companies are spread across lots of different media, yet can still be successful in their marketing strategies.

    For me, it’s not about knowledge – it’s about scale. For some advertisers, it makes more sense to outsource. For others, signing up with a credit card is more practical and cost efficient.

  4. Colm says:

    PS. I was not in any way trying to be disparaging about the efforts of Redfly or anybody else. I was making a general point about outsourcing PPC campaign management!

  5. Damien says:

    Colm, if you have a marketing manager in your company that uses online media already then I’d assume they are the the SEM business at the consumer end and know what they are talking about. Having a marketing manager alone should mean in this day and age they are aware of SEM. If however these people assigned to marketing know nothing of how the online advertising business works and come along and think they can run a campaign without help, best of luck.

    My bone of contention is with those that think that because they use the web and are read up on IT, that reading terms and conditions from Google will mean they can run an effective campaign. The same types who I see spend a few hundred quid on ads for their own company name or those of competitors and not what customers might be searching for. It’s these clowns that convince their bosses that online advertising does cost this much for such a low conversion rate or say things like “Tried that, doesn’t work, all hype, getting bigger ad in the Yellow Pages instead”

    Perhaps I was hasty with the “on a daily basis” bit but I will state again that unless you know and work with online advertising you are not going to be as effective, same way reading the terms and conditions on wordpress will not get you a great readership.

    BTW, for some reason comments here that are mentioning advertising terms are being seen as potential spam, so if comments don’t go through right away, fear not, they will eventually.

  6. Colm says:

    “Having a marketing manager alone should mean in this day and age they are aware of SEM” … Eh, not necessarily.

    “Unless you know and work with online advertising you are not going to be as effective” … Same with everything in life, surely?

    But that’s not to say that you can’t quickly understand and learn the basics of running an effective PPC campaign. I don’t buy the whole argument that self-service customers can not be successful unless they are engaged on a daily basis with the ins and outs of this form of advertising. The reality is that most users of PPC come from this bracket!

  7. Brian says:

    I’ve just recently started my own company in the crowded web-design space and the one that struck me is that almost every company thinks they can do SEO. So while I make websites that do a lot of the important stuff to be able to rank well, I don’t specialise in it and so I point customers to the Red Cardinal.

    I don’t know about Dave, but I had the pleasure of working alongside Richard recently. The guy really knows his stuff and I’d recommend him to anyone. Unless you rank in the top 5 results for Search Engine Marketing on Google you probably shouldn’t provide it as a service.