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Who is a good solo Search Engine Marketing consultant?

I'm looking for an affordable consultant to help with SEM and advertising on social media.

My companyis an e-commerce skincare company focused on helping adults with acne. We haven't done much online advertising but would like to start doing some experiments with help from someone who can optimize our advertising spend a lot better than I can myself.

We'd prefer to avoid working with an agency (and their fees), a solo practitioner would be ideal.
Wondering if there are people that you've had good or bad experiences with.

7 Replies

Majeed Aziz
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Majeed Aziz Entrepreneur
Co-founder at Stealth Startup

Hi Andy,

Try reaching out to these guys: http://decipherdigitalmarketing.com/. Boutique with very reasonable pricing.

Majeed

Jordan Finger
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Jordan Finger Entrepreneur
E-commerce, Digital Marketing, Ad-Tech, Customer Acquisition, Mobile Commerce
Hi Andy,

I have extensive experience in digital marketing, SEM and e-commerce for the skin care category. Contact me directly f you want to discuss further.
Joel Solymosi
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Joel Solymosi Entrepreneur
Bringing new products to market: Product strategy, Software development, and Marketing
Hi Andy,

| Arithmetic is an e-commerce skincare company focused on helping adults with acne. We haven't done much online advertising but would like to start doing some experiments with help from someone who can optimize our advertising spend a lot better than I can myself.

Regardless of whom you're going to choose, the primary challenge of SEM is instrumentalization: using analytics, and stats to figure out what the leverage rate for different channels are. Specifically, you want to see, that for each additional dollar spent on SEM, you're getting >>$1 out in revenue, so that you can scale advertising by reinvesting profits. See [1] http://www.forentrepreneurs.com/startup-killer/ for more on Cost of Customer Acquisition.

A good starting point might be figuring out what your base rate on conversion is; you can get this from eg. Google Analytics dashboard. Assuming e-commerce-industry-specific 5% conversion rate[2], a basket size of $29.95[3], and a 30% margin to play with:
* Your maximum cost of customer acquisition can't exceed ~$9 (30% of $29.95) -otherwise you'll turn a loss on each sale made
* Your maximum Cost per Click can't exceed ~$0.45 (5% of $9); otherwise you'll turn a loss on each click made
You might want to plug in your own numbers into the equations above to get a feel for your business' unit economics.

(If you're not yet running A/B tests on the site, that might be a low-hanging fruit in drastically improving conversion, and profitability for both existing, and future channels)

Another good starting point is Adwords' Keyword Planner[4]. Here, you want to search for keywords, which suggests *intent towards which your site is responsive to*, and which are below your Minimum Profitable Cost Per Click (as calculated above). Note, that the skincare product category is highly competitive: $5++ CPC is not unheard of for these searches. In the above case, the challenge is coming up with creative keywords, which strongly suggests a skincare solution, but are not yet fully capitalized.

I hope this helps in getting started with SEM. If you're stuck, or need more creative input, kindly send a PM, and we'll take it from there.

Best wishes,
-Joel




Eric Bernal
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Eric Bernal Entrepreneur
Co-Founder, Director of Web Development & Design
Joel is on the money! Also, make sure you are actively marketing via all of your social media channels: Facebook, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest, etc. and as Joel mentions, measure the conversion rates from each of these sources.

As far as paid ads, you might also want to try one region out first, like California, or a smaller geographic area so that you can run some tests and see what is working before you start spending. I would stick with PPC ads, and stay away from any impression based ads for starters. At least until you have your A/B testing nailed down and you have a strong funnel and conversion process in place. Otherwise you will waste a lot of money on users that aren't really looking for your product.

Good Luck!
Sivan Soffer
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Sivan Soffer Entrepreneur
Founder / CEO at KeepYourPantsOn.com
I agree with everything that was said except I would plug in a 2% conversion rate if you want to be realistic about your ROI, unless you know for a fact that your conversion rate is higher. 5% would be a dream-come-true at least for me.
If you are considering PPC then there are additional benefits even if your ROI is negative- Customers might find you through paid search but later convert organically, which wouldnt appear on your PPC ROI calculations...
Jay Mixter
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Jay Mixter Entrepreneur • Advisor
Founder & CEO - Twyxter, Inc.
Andy - You should contact Mark Sprague at Lexington eBusiness Consulting (Mark@MSprague.comor[removed to protect privacy]). You can check out his website atwww.msprague.com.
Mark Neild
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Mark Neild Advisor
Empowering quietly creative people to prosper through innovative yet authentic and engaging business models
If you hire someone, make sure that you and they have a very clear view of your proposition and customer archetype. It is worth doing an organic search of your initial keyword selection to see what comes up and also ensure the dashboard is regularly monitored. People search for things in all sorts of crazy and unpredictable ways and I have seen stats that show. 30% difference in click through rates just from the placement of commas in adverts.

Another tip is touse your meta tags on the web page to include calls to action so that you can get organic conversions without click throughs
Good luck with it

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