by Rakesh Sharma
Published on 22 May 2013
Despite the rise of social networks, search engines remain the single most powerful driver of traffic to small business websites. Pay-per-click or PPC, as it is popularly known, and Search Engine Marketing or SEM have become an important part of small business strategy.
This week, we will review AgileBid - a SaaS-based tool that simplifies your PPC tasks. In this AgileBid review, we will look at its features, interface, and see how it can be of use to you.
The problem that Rahm McDaniel and his co-founders set out to solve was a personal one. As owners of an advertising agency, McDaniel and his cofounders found it difficult to manage pay-per-click or PPC accounts for their customers. "While we excelled at the human element - for example, creating ad copy and landing pages,- the PPC work, such as monitoring conversion and bounce rates was extremely time-consuming," he says. Basic research showed that most of the tools available for handling the bulk of PPC management were priced for large businesses, had too many features, or a long learning curve. "In many cases, it [the learning curve] was greater than the platforms we needed to manage," he says.
So, McDaniel and his friends created AgileBid to solve their personal problem. Along the way, they realized that many small businesses shared their problem and created a commercial version.
According to McDaniel, AgileBid's clear advantage is that it offers trackable time and money benefits. He explains that AgileBid is a service, not a tool as most other comparable products are branded. "Once AgileBid is dialed in, the customers shouldn't have to spend much time managing their campaigns because AgileBid is doing it for them," he says.
Developing AgileBid as a service helps businesses save on costs because they end up paying nominal monthly fees instead of expensive licensing costs or management fees. AgileBid helps save money by recycling winning strategies for conversion rates. In an earlier interview, McDaniel defined the company's sweet spot. "Our sweet spot is companies spending $100 to $5,000 per month on PPC" He adds that because AgileBid is so affordable and easy to use many AgilBid clients have budgets several times higher than that.
"Our typical customer, who puts AgileBid to work on an existing campaign, sees a decrease in spending, an increase in conversion rates, and return on investment while spending less time on devising PPC strategies," he says.
In the future, AgileBid customers can look forward to more networks beyond Google and Bing, says McDaniel, such as PPC ads on social networks. In addition, their team is hard at work developing continual interface improvements and smart algorithms to deliver higher returns.
Working with AgileBid is fairly simple. It starts with entering your campaign details and goals. Goals are stated in terms of cost per acquisition and the value of a conversion. The solution happens via automated bids for the relevant goals and keywords based on the historical data of your campaign.
The real utility of the solution lies in its unique algorithmically determined analytics strategy. In simple words, this means that you can use the solution to weight keywords statistically and use tried-and-tested keywords to optimize your search rankings.
Let's look deeper at how this works: the automated keyword management feature developed by the solution's developers enables you to discover new keywords based on past history. Depending on a budget allocation specified by you (or, about 20 percent of your total budget), AgileBid then bids for those keywords and tracks success rates. If the keywords result in higher return then they are used for the main campaign. Otherwise, they are discarded after a specified period of time. Generation of keywords is a function of multiple factors such as past success rates, quality score and bounce rates. Besides this, you can also measure and track conversion rates based on phone calls and locations. For example, you can track phone calls made as a result of your lead generation efforts. Similarly, you can also track locations that are responsible for your leads.
There are several reasons to like AgileBid. Among the more important, the solution is an end-to-end PPC management automation tool. It helps you measure, quantify, and generate important data related to your business. In doing so, it goes beyond the demands of traditional PPC solutions. For example, AgileBid's telephone tracking feature enables you to correlate and optimize your lead generation efforts. That feature is typically available as a standalone feature for most apps. However, in AgileBid, it has been wisely bundled with other features.
Depending on the type of campaign (new or existing) and feature set, the solution offers three tiers of pricing: Better Bid Management, PPC Starter Set, and Full Service PPC Management. The first tier is for existing PPC advertisers, the Starter Set helps new advertisers get started with PPC, and Full Service management is for those who would like to work with the AgileBid consulting team to refine and manage the creative content and structure of their campaigns.
As I mentioned in the introduction, PPC management has become an important part of small business strategy. AgileBid is the perfect solution to help you manage and optimize your PPC costs. Highly recommended.
Ratings: ease of use 4/5, features 5/5, value 5/5 and ease of deployment 4/5