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“Automate the monkey work.” I’m sorry, what?!?! I read that in an ad for an SEM automation tool today and was flabbergasted. Astonished. Shocked. Appalled. The monkey work? Really? They consider creating keywords and ad copy to be monkey work. Amazing.
No wonder so many of my clients are disillusioned with search engine marketing.
If the crux of the campaign is considered “monkey work” and being treated as “monkey work” in the marketing sphere then no wonder click through rates are low. Cost per click is high. Position is mediocre. Conversions are down. No wonder customers don’t think SEM is effective. Because other companies think it’s monkey work.
But what if it wasn’t treated that way? What if your marketing agency actually cared enough to ask questions, interview you, mention an interest in creating a campaign that actually speaks for you, that conveys the passion you have for your business in the ad copy? What if your ad copy and your keywords were framed around your competitive advantage?
That’s when search engine marketing really works.
Anytime you look at an agency to hire, you have to ask yourself if they will speak for you. Do you want this company to speak for you on the web? Do you want them managing your online reputation? Are they going to see your campaign as MONKEY WORK? Always ask about automation. Do they use bid management tools? Do they use templates based on industries? Do they test various landing pages? How many keywords are in an average account? How many ad copy variations are in each ad group? Are there extensions available? How available is the account manager to answer questions? These are all questions you need to ask before you sign a contract with an advertising agency.
I’m not saying automation is all bad. There are plenty of tools that can do great things with budgets and bids and keyword recommendations. However, if the reliance is all on tools, where’s the human oversight? Computers don’t always make relational judgments the way a human brain can; they can’t judge contextual, pop culture, or emotional responses based on human decision making processes. These are things that only a person, a live, real, account manager can make. So if your agency automates, you need to know why and to what extent. Because if they see your account components as monkey work, then they don’t get you as a business and it’s time to move on.