AndersonPC Success Street SignSuccessful Pay-per-click Campaigns

Almost 15 years have gone by since I started AndersonPC.  With the many transitions we have made from online hardware reseller, to VAR, to break-fix contract services, to Managed Service Provider the techniques we have used to sell our products or services have drastically changed.  Almost as fast as our industry changes it seems the tactics for sales and marketing change as well.

In 1996, when we launched AndersonPC, you could manipulate the search engines (WebCrawler & Yahoo) frequently based upon some basic SEO principles.  It was extremely effective.  Many times when you searched for a particular hard drive, our site would come up more frequently than the manufacture and our sales were a direct reflection of how effective we were that week or day for that matter.

Things changed in the late 90’s as search engines like Google start taking more and more market share and the search engines began to find ways to grow their revenue with all the eyeballs visiting their sites..  The task became more difficult as the search engines changed the way they indexed sites.  We had to come up with more effective ways of getting in front of clients.  At the same time our business model was changing and we were leaving the hardware business behind for a focus on IT services.

IT Services sales opened up a completely different sales cycle and process.  Setting your company apart from the competition is very difficult when your service offerings look just the same on paper.  Regardless of what you think, as a VAR or break-fix provider, you compete directly with all the other comparable IT companies as well as the owners brother-in-law, so-and-so brothers’ son, one-man-shops, and national chains, etc.  They all take part of the pie and the business consumer has a hard time telling them apart.  Their differentiators largely come down to ‘with whom they fell the most comfortable’.

In 2007, AndersonPC, migrated from this business model to Managed Services, and yet again, our sales & marketing practices had to change.  While I agree that direct mail, print, TV, radio, etc all have their place, recently we have been aggressively working our PPC (pay-per-click) advertising campaigns.  My difficulty in selling IT Services has always been that you need to be in front of the client when they are feeling some IT related pain.  Rarely do potential clients shop for IT services when everything is running great and they love their provider.  Take that in comparison to the real estate industry.  It’s easy to tell who wants to sell their home (of course, nowadays, that may be everyone in the nation but lets forget that part for a moment).  If I’m a Realtor, I can look in the MLS and tell which home listings are ready to expire, I can look at “for sale by owner” listings, I can check foreclosure notices, etc.  There are an unlimited list of indicators and daily lead opportunities.  Not so in our market.  No one advertises that, “I’m ready to make a switch.”

So what’s the answer?

Thought you’d never ask.  Google Adwords, plain and simple.  Between PPC and SEO advertising tactics you can find a client that is indeed ready to make a switch or searching for alternatives.  Here is an example of what we are doing at AndersonPC.

In February we launched a PPC advertising campaign.

Here is a list of resources I am using in no particular order:

  • Google Adwords – Google Adwords is my campaign manager for all that is PPC.  While an interface for this is in Kutenda I’ve chose to use the google tools directly.
  • Kutenda – Kutenda is a great resource for training and a whole host of tools to get you started.  I use Kutenda for research, keyword generation help, training my staff to assist and understand PPC and SEO key components.
  • trixbox – asterisk-based VoiP PBX giving you complete control of your tele-presence.  trixbox is our pbx.  It allows me to track all calls and customize my call plans.  Features that are just not available with any other non-voip PBX.
  • QueueMetrics – Call Center queue monitoring, tracking, and reporting  QueueMetrics is used to run the reports and see exactly where the calls come from and what keywords are generating calls.
  • Autotask – Our PSA and CRM tool.  Autotask is our PSA (professional service automation) tool where we track all of the processes.
  • Sightmax – Live chat

So let’s see how it we put it all together.

  1. Building My Campaign.  Using Kutenda & Google Adwords I put together my online campaign.  I use both of these tools to determine the best mix of keywords and potential traffic.  I also use Kutenda for reference on campaign training, coaching, etc.  This is a series of keywords that I believe potential  clients will search for to find their next IT provider.  All of this traffic is directed to specific landing pages NOT to my home page of the web site.  In fact, I create small barriers to my direct web site in the form of ‘call now’ and ‘action forms’.  I don’t want the potential client window shopping, I want them to ACT!
  2. Landing Pages.  Each list of keywords is tied to a Google Ad and that GoogleAd is tied to a landing page specific to the keyword.  So when someone searches for keyword ‘XYZ’ they land on a page that talks about ‘XYZ’ NOT a home page or ‘about andersonpc’ or just a list of our services.  Very specific.  Each landing page has a unique DID (Vanity number) that is directed to our PBX over SIP traffic.  These unique numbers are assigned to each page.
  3. Tracking.  While each landing page has a unique phone queuemetrics and trixbox I can see how many calls where received for each number it also has a unique form and tracking from Google analytics and oursightmax chat software.  When someone clicks on an Ad and visits a landing page, we immediately can see a visitor, their location, browser, and can even co-browse with them.  We can also invite them to instantly-chat if it seems appropriate.
  4. Forms & Inbound Calls.  When a potential client takes action, they can fill out a form or call.   The form is built through Autotask and directly inputs the information in our database.  It creates the lead, opportunity, follow-up to do’s, due dates for action and tracks the source.  We can then track all the progress and status of  this lead through the Autotask CRM tool from sales calls to drip emails.  Now I think this is pretty cool here! When an inbound call comes in, the call is directed to our PBX which then logs the call, tags the CallerID with the keyword and then sends it to the sales phones.  So when a sales call comes in it shows “Sales:  XYZ keyword: CallerID info”.  Immediately the person answering the phone knows what keyword was searched for and can begin to think about those pain-points that we train on for specific calls.
  5. Reporting.  This is the most important part.  I can get  feel for how things are going but that may not always match with reality.Besides, this method of advertising allows your to track results every step of the way AND IN REAL-TIME!  Through Google-ads I can see how many times my ad is shown, then how many times it was clicked on and my cost per click.  I can manage conversions and see how much each prospect cost me.  Through keyword  and the outcome of each call (answered, by whom, went to voice-mail, time of day, etc).  I can also listen to the recorded sales call for training and review.

No other method of advertising gives me this much control over directing my new potential client to the appropriate resource, giving them the information they are seeking, and seeing my actual cost per lead;  again, ALL IN REAL-TIME!

If you’re not doing PPC advertising its time to start.  Get help, get trained, and get in the game!

Best Regards,
Paul Anderson
1050 East Flamingo Suite W366
Las Vegas, Nevada 89119
702-735-7101 x8500
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