If you’ve made it to this page, then you know that Austin has grown and evolved through the years. While it may have once been thought of as a barbeque-eating cowboy town where Austin City Limits set the tone for the populous, it’s now an aspiring Silicon Valley without the tech mecca’s unattainable cost of living or the big city feel.
By the same token, PPC management in Austin has transformed as well. We’ve educated ourselves on a variety of strategies, tools, and tech that help us support our diverse clientele.
The Story of How Austin Became a Tech Hub
Every story has a beginning, and Austin’s tech story began in the 1960s with Texas Instruments, Tracor, and IBM. Also the home of Whole Foods, Austin may have always been a bit more progressive than most of the Lone Star state, but tax incentives, great food, plenty of entertainment, and a young, entrepreneurial vibe have given companies both old and new a reason to open offices in the area in the past decade or so.
In the recent past, all the tech giants have opened offices in the city. Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple, WeWork, Atlassian, Visa, eBay, and Paypal, these are all companies that made Austin a real tech hub. The tech industry added 5,200 jobs in 2018 alone! Not only that but Austin was ranked number two in the US for overall job growth in 2018.
How has that influenced our business?
It has influenced our business in two ways. It’s given us a wellspring of up and coming businesses to work with. The young relocating professionals learn their ‘craft’ with these high tech companies, come up with new innovative ideas and then start their own companies, meaning there are possibilities for new relationships around every corner.
Additionally, the tech boom also brought us our great team of experts who were seeking the same things other tech professionals were seeking. In fact, Search Scientists founders, Karolina and Michael were attracted to the fun and energetic culture of Austin and decided to settle here themselves!
Austin and Its Rich Startup Scene
With 45 startups per 10,000 inhabitants, there are over twice as many startups in Austin as in Houston. The local tax incentive program, which takes into account job creation and environmental impact, also brings a huge advantage to the table.
How has that influenced our Agency?
The same benefits of being a startup in Austin brought us here as well. But now, four years later, we’re an established business helping others scale as fast as possible.
The Austin startup environment made us adapt our services to its tech influx. Small businesses may not know a lot about Google Ads or other paid search platforms. So one of our services is now a small business PPC launch program with the goal of helping brand new businesses get their PPC off the ground and accelerate their growth.
And speaking of startups, we’re proud to be sharing our office with Ad Badger, one of the coolest Amazon PPC automation software out there.
How Tech Has Changed Austin PPC
The once quiet Austin has now become a booming …marketing hub? What you may not consider is digital marketing and technology go hand in hand.
Big data, analytics, and AI are all things these companies live and breathe. With the tech boom, it’s only natural that these companies need PPC management in Austin as well.
Knowing they need to be at the forefront of technology, PPC agencies keep themselves educated in the latest strategies, platforms, software. Austin’s already strong marketing agencies have gained some powerful competition with the B2B Search Marketing agency, Directive, and Adthena, the online analytics company both moving into town.
That means the local agencies have moved away from being just generalists and have specialists providing in-demand services their new-found clientele need.
How has that influenced Search Scientists?
The significant number of startups applies at the Austin PPC management level too. But it is also true that the tech changes in Austin have weeded out those who aren’t passionate about marketing technology and data. They have created a new workforce of tech-savvy, entrepreneurial-minded go-getters focused on seeing the businesses they serve – both big and small – succeed in a high stakes landscape.
The other day I was reading this eye-opening article by Josh Jones about how we should celebrate more the “keep goings,“ the companies that are committed to their visions.
We are proud to be one of the “keep goings” and one of the top Texas Digital Marketing Agencies. We’re a lean, unfunded company. This means no bloated marketing departments, just client success departments. Our clients’ PPC management is done by our very technical team. We believe in offering a high level of no-b.s. service to our clients.
As an Austin Paid Search Agency, we have 95 (yes, you read that right) PPC optimization tasks that our Campaign Managers perform and/or monitor in managing every account, every month.
Our PPC management services are tailored to the needs of the local businesses we serve. We use Scientific Paid Traffic Optimization® to ensure our clients see the results their business deserves. From setup to creatives, we’re ready to help companies reach the goals we set with us.
At Search Scientists, we also understand PPC management services aren’t for everyone. We also offer PPC coaching services for marketing agencies, business owners, and marketing teams. With our guidance, coaching clients learn how to 10x their PPC.
Tech conferences & events in Austin
There are a wealth of Austin tech activities happening all of the time. If you take a look at the list of tech events our friends from BuiltInAustin put together, you’ll see results from big data to coding, design, women in tech, marketing, and even hackathons.
Yet another advantage of being here in Austin is that we have the opportunity to learn from our peers and industry leaders all of the time. It helps us stay on top of new developments, the latest trends, and tech, and provides a forum for discussing strategy.
How has that influenced Search Scientists?
We never miss the chance to improve our agency. The ActiveCampaign’s StudyHall is just one recent example of the latest events we’ve attended with the goal of perfecting our internal workflows and the PPC management for our clients.
There are endless opportunities for meet-ups, both formal and informal. Whether it’s an impromptu meeting in the office or a networking event, opportunities are everywhere for us.
Austin Business & Tech Communities
Exposure is always a delicate balance. If you’re in a small city or even a suburb, you usually have a variety of businesses without a real hub for you to learn, interact, and plan strategically. Austin PPC management is unique in that the resources are substantial. For instance, there’s the Austin Technology Council. This council allows professionals and businesses the opportunity to network, mentor, support, and collaborate with each other.
How has that influenced Our Agency?
It’s undoubtedly influenced us in a lot of different ways. We’ve been challenged to be the best we can be and to genuinely grow as both individuals and as a company. The community around us has really presented us with the tools we need to make us and our clients successful.
If you’re a small business just starting out, we’d love to help you hit the ground running with our coaching services or our small business PPC launch program.
Our Austin PPC Agency - From remote to headquarters
Over the years, Search Scientists has seen a lot of changes. From starting off freelancing our services in the early days, to hiring a fully remote team, we’re now headquartered in the sunny city of Austin.
Our business has done a lot of growing up throughout these stages, and finding the perfect location for our headquarters was a pivotal stage in that process.
Insights from Karolina (Co-Founder) on Becoming an Agency in Austin
Growing up, I was no stranger to the influence of entrepreneurship. My parents cycled through owning several small businesses throughout my childhood and adolescence. From opening a small commercial carpet cleaning business to running a restaurant, and later providing milkman services to the local small town I lived in. (Yes, the Milkman is still a very real thing!). They probably would have never imagined that any business could exist within the ambiguous sphere of the “online” world.
Remote work was still fairly uncommon when Search Scientists was first founded, and companies that led fully remote teams were even more unique. Companies like Zapier, operating 100% remotely, were revolutionaries of their time.
We were truly inspired by their efforts, and perhaps because of our curiosity, determination, and desire to rebel against the status quo, we set out to challenge our preconceived notions as to what business should look like.
And so, in 2012, Michael and I set out to join the likes of Automattic, Zapier, and Basecamp to build a fully remote team. In the early years, Search Scientists held open applications to anyone, anywhere in the world. Our goal was to find the best team member for each position, regardless of where they lived. Within our first five years, we had built a team that worked from seven different countries and were located on four different continents.
The Benefits Of Having A Remote Team
It probably wouldn’t surprise you that there were a lot of benefits to having an entirely remote team:
- Lower overhead – we didn’t have to pay for overpriced office spaces or furniture.
- Flexibility and comfort – Our team could work from the comfort of their homes, never having to don a pair of dress shoes or a tie. They could have lunch whenever they wanted, and they could go to the dentist without having to feel like they were “sneaking” out of the office.
- No commute – Our team could log into Slack the minute they finished brewing their first cup of coffee, and never had to fight traffic to get to work on time.
- A world full of potential team members – Since we had no office, neither location nor distance restricted us on who we could work with.
The Challenges Of Operating Remotely
Though operating remotely had suited Search Scientists in the early years, we encountered some serious challenges along the way. The biggest challenge was our (the owners) semi-nomadic lifestyle.
Search Scientists was first founded by Michael in South Korea, briefly bounced around the East and West Coast of the U.S., before we relocated again – this time to the Caribbean. When your team is fully remote, you’re not tied to any one location. A lot of entrepreneurs see this as a serious perk to keeping their teams remote. In our case, we found it quite challenging.
While we enjoyed our little slice of paradise in the Caribbean, made terrific friendships, and found some new hobbies, our island home was not exactly conducive to pushing the business forward.
What could possibly be so hard about island life, you ask? Well, the infrastructure for one thing. Island infrastructure was completely unreliable. We spent more than three years struggling with maintaining spotty wifi access and grumbling our way through frequent and unpredictable power outages.
Blackouts were a frustratingly normal way of life. One minute you’re in a video conference, and then – bam! Power goes out for minutes, hours, or even days. Not exactly a recipe for closing deals or any kind of long-term business success. We realized that finding a business-friendly home base was key to nurturing Search Scientists the way it deserved to be nurtured.
Why We Chose Austin for Our PPC Agency
After months of careful research, we decided on Austin, Texas. This city edged out others like Denver, Miami, Los Angeles, and Portland as the top choice for our new company home.
I’ll go into more detail about what makes Austin such a great business location (not to mention, a great place to live!) in a bit, but suffice it to say that Austin and its wonderful culture gave us everything we needed to take Search Scientists to the next level.
We signed our first lease not long after relocating to Austin. Then we hired our first local team member. Together, we shared a glorified broom closet, but it was a space of our own all the same. Three leases later, our local team has grown, and so has our plant-filled space that accommodates all of our growing needs.
After eight years, here we are. Where once we scoffed at office life, now we’ve signed (and re-signed, and then re-signed again!) an office lease. Was working remotely what was holding the company back? Maybe for us, the owners.
I’ll be honest – I didn’t anticipate that I would enjoy being headquartered. When it comes to running this business, I was very wrong.
What we discovered Since We Became an Austin-based PPC agency
Here’s just a few things that we discovered over the last couple of years of running what’s now an Austin-based PPC agency:
- Onboarding new team members is undeniably faster and more efficient face-to-face.
- Impromptu collaboration sessions seem to happen organically, and with more energy and cheer than I would have ever expected.
- Connecting with team members is naturally much easier. There are many joyful moments of spontaneous silliness, laughter, and general camaraderie.
Today, we are a blended team. While many of our strongest team members are still distributed, we plan on continuing growing locally and cultivating our Austin home base.
Bonus Tip: Extra Tools We Find Helpful
Wether your team is locally based or fully remote, there’s a bevy of tools that can help aid in your success.
Multiple members of the Search Scientists team use the organizational tool Milanote to stay on top of new and existing projects. You can even export PDFs or images of your mind maps for free!
As Nancy says; “It organizes the way I think, like a vision board of lists and ideas. The templates are intuitive, and it’s my first stop when I want to organize a big project.”
We ❤️ Austin
There’s truly a lot to love about this city. Austin is the home of South by Southwest, the ACL Music Festival, and there’s no shortage of tacos, live music, food trucks, and fun things to do.
Karolina says it best: