The Hosting News sat down with Dave Carlson, CEO of GO TOAST – the first service to offer a comprehensive solution for managing pay-for-performance search listings and bids – to get some insight into the future of the paid search arena.
GO TOAST, LLC, is a leading global provider of pay-per-click search engine optimization and online marketing management tools. GO TOAST is a part of eonVentures, which incubates businesses for eonBusiness Corporation (www.eonbusiness.com). GO TOAST enables online advertisers to manage thousands of keywords and marketing campaigns simultaneously across all major domestic and international search engines. It optimizes clients’ bids and positions in leading pay-per-click Internet search engines, which saves clients time and money, improves ROI, and increases Web site traffic. GO TOAST offers Rules-Based BiddingSM along with exclusive conversion tracking tools, comprehensive Web analytics, detailed e-mail status updates, scheduling tools and custom campaign management. An independent third-party provider, GO TOAST offers unbiased advice to optimize their customers online marketing investment.
The Hosting News: How did GO TOAST get started?
Dave Carlson: I founded GO TOAST in August of 2001. The impetus for GO TOAST was that we were helping people manage their online marketing campaigns, and you can imagine that our clients were spending hours each day checking their pay-for-performance accounts, positions, and their bids. So we automated this process.
After we automated it, we quickly realized that we should put a web-based interface around it to help other people that are having the same problem. Things took off very quickly after that.
The Hosting News: How large is your company?
Dave Carlson: GO TOAST currently has more than 30 employees.
The Hosting News: What is your company’s core strategy?
Dave Carlson: Our strategy is to help companies manage anything that has to do with an online marketing campaign. That?s our long-term strategy.
The Hosting News: Tell us a little about your core product.
Dave Carlson: Our primary focus, and the way that we entered the business, was managing pay-per-click search engine campaigns with our BidManager.
If you are a medium to large sized company and you have excess advertising dollars and you want to get into the space, we have another solution. It?s called the MarketMaker solution which is a complete, turnkey, hands-off service. An account representative here will drive your campaign using our tool set. We initiated this service because we had people using our service who needed additional resources to manage their accounts.
The Hosting News: How does a web site manager identify that they are a good candidate for GO TOAST and your services?
Dave Carlson: The first indicator is how much are they spending?. You have to have an ROI for our service as well. To put numbers on it ? if a company is spending $500 or less per month on pay-per-click advertising ? we?re probably not the solution for them. Typically, if a company is spending $3,000 or more per month, then GO TOAST can yield increased productivity.
Another indicator is the number of keywords that are being used. If a company has a few hundred keywords up to hundreds of thousands of keywords, then GO TOAST will probably make a lot of sense. Those are 2 key parameters.
Another is simply a lack of time to update the listings. If you have a business that runs 24 hours per day, but don?t have the resources to manage the bidding process continuously, then I would suggest that our service is very important.
The Hosting News: In the past year there has been strong shift towards the ?maximum bid? or proxy bid concept ? where a pay-per-click account can simply be set not to exceed a maximum payment for each click and then the pay-per-click service ?auto-manages? the bid. What effect has this shift had on GO TOAST?
Dave Carlson: We were very surprised when that happened, we saw a positive impact on our business. The reason that it is positive is that somebody can ?jam? the bids. For example, if you choose to set your maximum bid at $5.00, the guy below you just sets his bid to $4.99 jamming you into always paying your maximum amount.
We have a feature called “Rules-Based Bidding SM”. There are 20 rules. Everything from time of day, to finding the best position in the top 10, to keeping a listing in the top 3. You can also apply multiple rules. Another favorite rule is to be ahead of a certain URL or to be below a certain URL. People have related companies that they work with, they have wholesalers, they have retailers, and they don?t want to be beating each other up for a certain placement.
There are also rules based around ROI. This is where our ProfitBuilder, Conversion Tracking and Web Analytics services fit in. I would never ever ever run an online campaign without some form of tracking. The reason is that you need to know exactly what’s happening. Otherwise, it’s like trying to fly to Chicago in the fog with no radar.
We have certain rules called “Return On Advertising Spend” rules and “Cost Per Acquisition” rules – which can be applied by keyword or on a broad basis but we can’t utilize those tools without proper tracking.
The Hosting News: What are the top 3 benefits of managing a pay-per-click campaign with GO TOAST versus doing it yourself?
Dave Carlson: You save time, you save money, and you increase sales ? all in one shot!
The Hosting News: Are you currently running any special offers?
Dave Carlson: We are offering a 14-day free trial there’s nothing better I can recommend than that!
Editor’s Note: To learn more or to take advantage of the 14-day free trial go to:Â https://www.gotoast.com/GTSignUp.aspx. To view the complete range of products and services offered by GO TOAST, visit their web site at:Â www.gotoast.com.