Google will be charging for some calls from PC ads according to Search Engine Land

April 28, 2011

This is awesome news for search marketers and internet advertisers.

Real question is “when do they cease to allow you to advertise your own number?” to make more money. All in the name of better conversion tracking, call quality attribution by keyword etc,right? I am sure a boat-load of other questions will come out over the next few months…. And changes!

Potential game-changer for small business local internet marketing. Google is already dominating local search share over local search directories.

Google already owns over 70% of total search volume and a commanding position in both mobile browser and local geo-location search results.

Google rocks!

How Dallas internet marketing agencies charge for pay-per-click advertising

June 26, 2010

Most Dallas pay-per-click advertising experts base their paid search, also know as PPC, pricing plans on a percentage of spend. There are a few that base their pricing on cost-per-conversion where the client determines a budget and how much they are willing to pay for a lead and the agency retains any un-spent budget. Then, there are the fixed fee pricing plans, such as the one that SMB SEO offers Dallas area clients.

Here is a summary of a few strengths and weaknesses of the different pricing options:

Percentage of Spend

Advantage: If the client is spending more there will be more work to be done.

Disadvantage: This encourages the agency to raise the client’s budget to gain more revenue for the agency, even if the increase is not warranted for revenue generating.

FEE ranges between 10% and 30% depending on the budget amount and overall number of campaigns/ads being managed.


Advantage: The client is paying for conversions on a one-for-one basis. The agency is only at risk if they are not hitting their totals

Disadvantage: The quality of leads may suffer and/or the means to acquire them may be questionable

FEE is based on a cost per call, cost per appointment, cost per sale, or cost per action.

Fixed Pricing

Advantage: The client has a predictable fee and the agency is not motivated to do things against the best interests of the client.

Disadvantage: The agency has not additional motivation to seek better opportunities for the user. Less incentive can lead to poor quality of work.

FEE is based on a set monthly amount to manage campaigns. Most agencies charge clients as much as $500.00 to $1000.00 per month for pay-per-click budgets under $3,500.00 monthly billing.

At smbSEO, we provide PPC campaigns builds for a flat hourly fee, ppc management fee of only $199.00 per month for click budget accounts under $3,000.00 and a small additional fee for website landing page banner creation, Google display advertising, call metrics (advanced call tracking) and on going on-site training and consulting. What smbSEO offers clients can’t be beat by other internet web marketing firms. We offer 100% transparency, great service, and all of our client campaign builds include Google AdWords, Yahoo Search Marketing, and MSN AdCenter campaigns.

At smbSEO, we are able to offer all of these various different options. Helping you strategize your small business web marketing plan is our specialty.

Couple of words of caution:  We do not recommend hiring pay-per-click marketing firms who hide account information or those that use proprietary bid management systems. We do not recommend hiring an agency to build a campaign that you do not retain ownership of in the event you decide to find a new paid search marketing agency. Another big advantage to smbSEO’s pay-per-click advertising management is that it is provided on a month to month basis.

For too long search marketing companies have attempted to turn internet marketing, a service, into a product.  Google dominates search volume with over 65% of all internet searches. Local search is extremely fragmented with countless online yellow pages sites and directories. Determining where to allocate your marketing dollars is a tough decision. smbSEO makes it easy to measure the effectiveness of your online advertising by providing web rank tracking reports and Google analytics to all of our clients.

So, take my advice:  Own your PPC Campaign. Keep your information out of the hands of your competitors. Use Google’s AdWords user interface and request access to the account. If you do sign a contract for pay-per-click advertising management fees, don’t do it longer than 3 months! Also, don’t allow agencies to mark up your fees or costs per each click. If you can’t see exactly what Google charged your credit card per click, you are likely getting scammed. It is still possible to add a percentage mark-up, just make sure you know exactly how much is was marked-up and you agreed to the fee beforehand.

Couple other things to consider:  Don’t send all your traffic to your websites Home Page. If your PPC provider does not provide click conversion optimization, it is time to find a new agency. Be careful for scam artists who sell you PPC advertising than outsource your pay-per-click management to India.

A properly built PPC campaign will improve your Quality Score within Google’s PPC Advertising Algorithm and lower your cost per click. Just because your competitor bids more per click, does not necessarily mean that they will be in a higher ranked position in pay-per-click.

If you need more PPC advice, shoot me an email at, and be sure to cc: as well!

Here is a Google Analytics screenshot:

Google Analytics Experts in Dallas