Sramana: How much did you charge your first client?
Mike Mothner: Our fee back then was $250 a month to manage her budget. Her budget was $1,000 a month.
Sramana: What exact service did she get for $250 a month?
Mike Mothner: It was focused on PPC, and we built a livescan fingerprinting campaign for her. Her business was a livescan fingerprinting business for companies that were running background checks on potential employees. Her keywords were ‘livescan fingerprinting’ and ‘livescan fingerprinting locations.’ We geo-targeted her ads so that the only people who could see her PPC ads were people who could walk into her business, so they had to be within a certain distance.
When the user clicks from Google to her site, it would cost her a certain amount of money, which is the amount she had to pay for that click. The budget she had for that was $1,000. From a management perspective we took her budget and divided it across 30 days of the month. That came out to $33 a day. We would then track the conversions from PPC to filled out consultation forms. We were able to track that lead back to the exact keyword that brought in that conversion. We were able to identify 500 keywords that were effective for her. ‘Livescan fingerprinting’ and ‘fingerprinting’ may both be relative keywords, but I don’t necessarily know beforehand which one will give her more conversions.
We come up with every keyword that could be helpful, and we found the ones that produced results. Each of those keywords has its own auction rate with Google. Google wants to reward more ads that people want to click on because they only get paid when people click. They weight your bid for how much you are willing to pay with the likelihood that somebody will click the link.
To evaluate which keyword was better, we would run one campaign with both and then evaluate the leads between them. If ‘livescan fingerprinting’ cost $1 and ‘fingerprinting’ cost $2 every time someone clicked, then you have cost difference. However, if 50 people convert off of ‘fingerprinting’ and only 5 people convert off of ‘livescan fingerprinting,’ then you have another factor to weigh. At the end of the day, I want to tell me client that she spent $1,000 which resulted in 20 forms filled out and 40 phone calls, and that next month I expect to be able to get her more value with the exact same budget.