Anyone with kids knows the routine when you impart your wonderful child with a bit of wisdom.
“Son, do you want to get hurt?”
“Then please don’t jump on the bed!”
Then, about 8 minutes later, comes that ear shattering scream. Your son is curled up on the floor, clutching his thick head, sporting a fresh bump from a nasty tumble. Seems he was jumping on the bed.
Our faithful are likely tired of hearing the same conversion rate rants from us. For the rest, it’s not until after they take a tumble that they decide jumping on the bed is a bad idea.
Jon Miller at Search Engine Land posted a great article describing why B2Bs are typically unsatisfied with PPC agencies, wherein he makes a bold suggestion that B2Bs should abandon PPC agencies altogether. Here’s a nice little nugget from the post:
You know your business better than the agency. One of the most important skills for PPC success is picking the right keywords that your prospects actually use when they search – something you know best. Also, when determining rankings, Google and now Yahoo! care as much about the relevance of your content as they do about your bid (aka “what you say is as important as what you pay”). This means a good understanding of your business and your industry is at least as important as being a search “expert”. Over time, the balance of power between business knowledge and SEM knowledge will shift even further towards business as Google continues to find ways to reward relevant content and discount search agency tricks.
While Jon makes a stunningly accurate diagnosis, his suggested treatment is questionable:
The main value provided by agencies is expertise with SEM, and as I’ll explain, you can bring much of that expertise in-house by using the right kind of pay per click management software. A technology solution can create the best of both worlds: the control and business knowledge of doing it yourself, combined with the SEM best practices and techniques of an expert.
We love technology as much as the next guy, it makes life easier. But in-house technology and SEM best practices will likely still leave you dissappointed. Sure you’ll save their fees, and possibly see some incremental gains but unless you embrace a persuasion methodology, you are just jumping on the bed.
How do you find the right keywords? How do you ensure your prospects are being presented with relevant scent from the ad to the lead form? How do you optimize and measure every variant? What if you don’t have any ‘experts’ on staff?
Bryan Eisenberg touched on just one aspect of B2B demand generation last week’s Clickz column.
Sure, it’s hard work, but the only thing harder is ending up with knot after knot on your head.