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Marketing through the lens of a unique online platform

April 2016

Simplifying SEM for small business

Sixty percent more leads and sales from pay-per-click (PPC) advertising in just 20 minutes a week? To online marketing company WordStream, those numbers represent just another day at the office.

The Boston, Massachusetts-based company offers proprietary search engine marketing (SEM) software and free tools (think TurboTax) to help all businesses in all industries succeed with PPC advertising. The company currently serves thousands of customers, including hundreds of digital marketing agencies who use WordStream’s software to better serve their own clients. WordStream also has a managed services branch, which acts as a mini-agency for clients who want a dedicated rep to fully manage their advertising campaigns for them.

“Our software caters particularly well to smaller businesses with small- to medium-size budgets, who may not have the time, expertise or other resources that enterprises do,” says Navah Hopkins, senior customer success specialist at WordStream. “Our goal is to make the platform simple enough that anyone could walk in off the street and, with a little help, be the master of their own destiny.”

As useful as the software is in helping clients get more done in less time, the company also gets top marks for customer service. “It’s not just me saying ‘Here’s what we’re doing today,’” says Hopkins. “It’s us working together and engaging each other to optimize their account.”

Bringing in Bing Ads

A big part of WordStream’s customer strategy concerns Bing Ads. “From an account perspective, you need to try it,” says Navah. “It’s a less-expensive proposition that offers the best demographic targeting and reporting.”

Whereas Google Ads offers a wider overall audience, Hopkins finds that less competition in Bing Ads equates to lower costs for the advertiser. “Often when companies can’t win their market in Google Ads or have a lower position, they can crush it on Bing because the competition simply isn’t there,” says Hopkins. “And the moment you become the number one player in a market, it becomes much harder to remove you.”

Twice a month, Hopkins consults with many of her customers to look at account changes for Google Ads and Bing Ads, which mostly come from recommendations given by the 20-Minute PPC Work Week dashboard in WordStream Advisor. Customers find the dashboard especially helpful. “If I see something cool happening in my Google Ads account, I can take that same campaign and try it in Bing Ads as well,” says Dreu Adams, manager of strategic outreach at Residential Home Health, a network of home healthcare providers. The lower price with Bing Ads brings down the overall average cost of Adams’ and others’ campaigns. Hopkins sees such cross-platform campaigns as the future of PPC.

Innovating partner relationships

One aspect of Bing Ads that Hopkins personally appreciates is its willingness to innovate new ideas. Much of this comes from Bing Ads listening to its customer base on how to make the platform even better. “I feel blessed to work very closely with our partners at Bing Ads, coordinating trainings and passing betas on to the team,” says Hopkins. “The interface itself is a lot more user-intuitive than it used to be, which is a direct result of getting feedback.”

Another important area that stands out for Hopkins concerns targeted audiences. “Bing is amazing when it comes to demographic targeting and reporting,” says Hopkins. “Their community approach is the friendliest to advertisers. And with less competition, it becomes hard for a company to waste money.”

To learn more about how Residential Home Health works with WordStream and Bing Ads to drive its PPC advertising, read the customer story: Residential Home Health reaps rewards from targeted SEM.