search engine marketing agency For small businesses looking to save money, inbound advertising through search engines and social media is often the most cost effective method. Inbound leads provided through SEO and other online marketing techniques cost an estimated 61% less than outbound advertising efforts. This is one of the biggest advantages of working with a search engine marketing agency to find the right ads to place on Google, Yahoo, and other search engines for relevant keywords and terms.

As they develop your search engine marketing campaigns, a search engine marketing agency should be willing to find solutions that are right for you rather than a one size fits all approach. Here are just a few expectations small business should have for an SEM/SEO consulting agency:

1. Diversified Ad Campaigns: Search Engine Land columnist Jared Del Prete explains that businesses can make some costly mistakes when it comes to search engine marketing. Chief among them is that businesses don’t diversify their ads enough, especially if they advertise by store rather than by product or service. In other words, instead of putting out geo-targeted ads for each franchise or location, stores should focus their ad campaigns on what goods and services they offer. Doing so allows businesses to pool their resources and better manage their campaigns.

2. Emphasis on What’s Working: Another pitfall of search engine marketing campaigns, according to Del Prete, is that they can rotate so much that businesses don’t get the chance to use their more successful ads. For instance, if a company offers product A and product B, they might rotate their ads equally, despite the fact that the product A might be a more in demand service than product B. This can up the cost per click of both campaigns if the lower-performing ads are running just as much as the higher-performing ones. A search engine marketing company should monitor these ads to figure out which ones should have more focus in a campaign.

3. Simple Reporting Tools: Because SEO management for ad campaigns is all about numbers, you’ll need a system that will let you monitor your progress easily. Reporting tools for SEM and SEO campaigns should allow you to check on the status of your ads. Which ones are getting the most clicks? How much are you spending if your campaign charges a cost per click? Because you should have a diversified ad campaign that focuses on the services you offer, you should be able to see which ones are more in demand than others thanks to your search engine marketing agency’s reporting tools.

In addition to advertising on search engines, paid search services can also extend to social media. If you’re already using small business SEO and social media management services, then the ad techniques used in search engine marketing can easily extend to social media, too. As many as 91% of Americans use social media sites regularly, and 73% of smartphone users access those apps at least once per day. That’s a lot of impressions that marketers could lose out on if they don’t extend paid advertising beyond search engines.

Have more questions about how to best optimize your search engine marketing campaigns? Leave a comment below.