DMNews talks with Paul Siska, CEO of First Consumer Debt Management
Paul Siska, CEO of First Consumer Debt Management, discusses working with search firm EveryMundo to use SEM to target Spanish-speaking Internet users.
Q. What was your SEM strategy before working with EveryMundo?
A. We ran English pay-per-click SEM campaigns in the US and were buying expensive keywords like “debt consolidation,” “debt management” and “credit consolidation.” My cost per click and conversions were abysmal. I talked to some people about it, and they told me it takes a couple of years to get it right. That was not an option. I did not have a year or two.
Q. Why is search engine marketing important for your company?
A. I have a bricks-and-mortar location in Doral, FL, but I get most of my leads through the Internet. That's how people find my business.
Q. What led you to target the Hispanic community?
A. Well, the Hispanic market was always my core, but I wasn't reaching them. I met Anton Diego [founder of EveryMundo.com] and he said he could focus my campaign and get very quick results. He analyzed my Web site, gave me comments and said my concentration should on Hispanics. I stopped buying English keywords — as they were too expensive and were performing so poorly. I also began to create a Spanish translation version of my Web site.
Q. Was that time intensive?
A. Yes, because I translated the site myself. I'm a native of Spain. I didn't want an automated translation. In the end, it was worth it. There are now Spanish and English mirror sites. When that was done, we began to do geographically targeted Spanish pay-per-click campaigns.
Q. What areas did you target?
A. In addition to Puerto Rico, we targeted the southwestern and northeastern parts of the country, as well as Florida. We geo-targeted places that have a high concentration of Hispanics. The number of Spanish speakers is obviously not as great as English speakers, but it is an underserved market that needs [to be served].
Q. What were the results?
A. We got outstanding ROI. Our average cost-per-lead acquisition went from $284.16 to $24.99. Our clicks-to-leads conversion rate went from 1.32% to 2.97%. Our monthly leads obtained from Spanish pay-per-click advertising increased from 26 leads in June 2007 to 505 in June 2008.