You know you need to invest in online advertising to get more customers online. Search engine advertising, or pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, is the quickest way to acquire new customers, so you need to partner with the right company that can get you seen online by local consumers.

When it comes to choosing a search engine advertising company, there are many factors to consider. Follow these 7 tips to select the right one for your business.

1. Determine where your ads will be shown
Many companies can get your ads shown on Google, but as search engines like Bing continue gaining market share, it’s important your search ads appear in multiple places. The right search engine advertising partner will have relationships not just with one search engine, but with many, so consumers can find you no matter where they search. Plus, it’s important to focus not just on search engines, but on local directories like Superpages to get more leads from local consumers.

2. Find out who will work on your campaign
The right search advertising partner will take a team-based approach to all aspects of your campaign, from setup and management to service and support. Will you have a dedicated, local consultant who will work with you throughout your campaign? Will you have certified specialists who know the inner workings of search engine advertising to make sure your campaign gets maximum results? Knowing who will be handling your campaign, and their level of search advertising expertise, should be a deciding factor when picking a company.

3. Review the company’s reporting strategy
A successful search engine advertising company will not just say they can get you leads – they should prove it to you. The firm you choose should give you a high level of transparency into the results of your advertising campaign, complete with details about the number of calls, emails, and visits you get from your ads. Features like online access and call recording also add benefits to your campaign; for example, online reports allow you to see your progress at any time, while call recordings are extremely useful to monitor and improve your employees’ customer service

4. Understand how your campaign will be optimized
One of the key factors in selecting a search engine marketing partner is campaign optimization. Optimization is a way to determine which keywords and search engines result in more calls and emails for your business and adjust your campaign and budget accordingly. Companies that have this technology can optimize your campaign in real-time, which gets you more return on your investment. Plus, it’s important that the company optimize based on conversions like phone calls, emails, and completed forms, not just based on arbitrary clicks on your ad.

5. Make sure your advertising budget is customized for you
A one-size-fits-all strategy isn’t the best bet for a company that works with many types of businesses. You need a company that understands the needs of each individual business – yours included – and can customize a plan specifically for you. They should consider your business goals, target geographic area, typical number of searches for your products or services, and average cost per click when developing your campaign and your budget.

6. Evaluate their experience in local advertising
Many companies can get your business seen online, but how much experience do they have with advertising specifically for local businesses? For example, a successful search engine advertising company will have a diligent process for researching your business category, products and services, and target geographic location to come up with right keywords to bid on for your business.  When it comes to acquiring local customers, make sure the advertising company you choose knows both the online space and your local market.

7. Look at the complementary services they provide
The right agency won’t focus solely on search engine advertising, but it will be able to help you with many aspects of your web presence, like brand awareness, social media marketing, or converting customers. For example, display advertising and remarketing services can boost a search campaign while helping you expand your brand awareness among prospects.  Similarly, conversion tools like video or website chat can help you engage visitors who click your ad, which can help you get more calls or emails from your website.

At ReachLocal, we take search engine advertising seriously. Our online marketing experts, innovative technology, and expansive reach work together to make sure local businesses acquire more customers online. To learn more about our market-leading search engine advertising service, ReachSearch, contact us today, or leave us a comment! 

Author: Tamara Farley helps equip small business owners with information about local online advertising, social media marketing, and more as a blogger for ReachCast and ReachLocal.