When looking for better ways to manage pay-per-click accounts, interviewing PPC experts for their tips and advice almost always seems to help. Brent Sharp who blogs on PPC and SEO management from SEOSpeedwagon was nice enough to share this thoughts, opinions, tips and advice with us on the world of PPC and SEO. Brent works for Intrapromote, a company based out of Cleveland Ohio. They focus on SEO, PPC, Blog marketing and link building services for clients.

Brent has been working for Intrapromote for three years now managing the financial aspect of pay-per-click management. Brent enjoys using accounting metrics to streamline business processes for both Intrapromote and its clients, and his work experience has included the finance management of a Kenyan university, as well as business management for many Ohio-based businesses and educational clients.

  1. What motivated you to begin Pay-Per-Click services for clients?
    Really it was two things, 1) a desire from our clients to meet this need for them, and 2) recognition of the significance that this would have on the SEM world as a whole.
  2. Some advertisers are overly dramatic about SEO being the better method of search engine marketing over pay-per-click. Some people also say that once you get your SEO rankings in a place you’d like, you no longer need to do pay-per-click. What are some of your thoughts on this subject? Do you agree that you only need one over the other?
    I firmly believe that there is a ‘synergy’ between the two that can be harnessed to provide better and more efficient results. There is pretty good evidence that over the long haul a natural SEO campaign will provide a better ROI, but that in no way means that paid search is not worth the investment. It has been my experience that most internet users don’t know the difference between paid and non-paid results, so having as much exposure as possible on the search engine results page I find is the usually the best strategy.
  3. Advertisers constantly want to know how to get their campaigns to perform better. Do you have any high level tips that could get someone to think differently about their strategy?
    With out a doubt the single most important thing in my mind is making sure there is an ‘agreement’ between keyword, ad, and landing page. This alone will negate most of the Quality Score issues and make managing the campaign much easier.
  4. Like most people, I tend to learn from my mistakes. There are definitely a few things that I wish I had of known before starting out in PPC. Do you have any advice for beginner PPC advertisers?
    Don’t fall into the trap of ‘gap-surfing’ or any other ‘guerilla’ techniques. The best techniques for success are the one’s listed right in the help guidelines at Google AdWords help. Mix in a little patience and you’ll soon be enjoying the fruits of your campaign.
  5. Recently Google has come up with enhancements regarding campaign optimizations and ad text writing tools within the user interface. Do you use any of these tools, and if so, do you find them helpful? If not, are they’re any tools that you do find helpful in enhancing your account?
    I currently do no use those tools. I’ve found that these tools usually make feel like I’ve been left at the altar. For example, when using Google’s keyword tool it will give you ranges for volume but no concrete numbers. I think they are really being paranoid about giving away that data. They could drive even more traffic to their site (like they need it), and foster even more reliance on their products if they offered the numbers. I do currently use the AdWords Preview Tool and I like that a lot. It allows me to keep tabs on geo-targeted campaigns that are often outside of my geographic region.
  6. Can you give us a success story of an account and what you did to make it successful?
    I’m not at liberty to give away names of current clients but I would say that following the advice listed above has led to results that meet and exceed our clients goals.
  7. What advice would you give to companies debating on whether to outsource their pay-per-click advertising rather than doing it in-house?
    I would say that if you can’t have someone in-house who is solely dedicated to your pay-per-click advertising then you should consider outsourcing. The truth is that the more you compete in the PPC arena the more time it takes to dedicate to it. The closer you get to the top results the more likely it is that you are competing against a professional PPC manager anyway.
  8. What do you think is the biggest challenge facing the pay-per-click industry today?
    The perception of click fraud. I say perception because no one really knows for sure. That leaves ‘unknowns’ and people do not like ‘unknowns’. I definitely believe click fraud is out there and alive and well, but I’m not sure how pervasive it is. The reality at this point is that we have to deal with the perception of it and that is alive and well.