As director of services at an agency, one of my main responsibilities is creating account teams for new clients and making sure existing teams are properly resourced.At Hanapin Marketing, we staff account teams according to the philosophy of available capacity, and we believe that achieving the best possible fit is the first step towards building a solid client relationship.As the saying goes, “Get the people right, and the rest takes care of itself.”A powerful way to staff up larger accounts is what we call the “team of teams” approach.The purpose of a “team of teams” is to ensure account managers have proper support so they can focus on strategy creation and have the resources needed to handle the implementation.Each individual within the team of teams has a specialized area of expertise — hence they are a part of that specialized “team” as well as the account team — and each person has clear responsibilities.
In part 1 of this series, we showed how SEM account managers can avoid getting fired; part 2 detailed how they can improve account performance and “deliver the goods” to their organization in the form of conversions or sales.In my final installment here, I’d like to discuss how to take things to the next level in order to advance your career.A good SEM account manager should strive to be like Alexander the Great — while you’re conquering one land, there should be an adjacent one you have your eyes on.That “next land” may be display, paid social, or even SEO or email marketing.Either way, if you do a good job with the small responsibilities you’ve already been given, larger responsibilities are sure to follow.These items in particular should make your management stand up and take notice; and worst-case, you’ll be garnering experience that could help you get a promotion by leaving and working for another organization at some point.
One age-old question that often comes up when I chat with new prospects or new clients is, “Should I bid on my brand terms or generic terms where I rank in the top three organically?”This question is hardly trivial.Six key questions to ask before you beginThe best way to answer this question is by using a multi-stage process of evaluation, followed by experimentation.Let’s start by evaluating brand keywords.Before you start your evaluation or experiment, you need to answer six important questions:
None of us set out to have our PPC programs fail.But sometimes they do, despite our best intentions.But sometimes, behind those failures, is some inadvertent self-sabotage — sabotage that will virtually guarantee a failed PPC program.To help you avoid inadvertently setting your PPC programs up for failure, I’ll use this column to describe four ways to “help” your PPC programs falter or self-destruct.Put too many options on your landing pageI’ve talked before about how landing pages are critical to PPC success and how important it is to keep them focused.
Sometimes you make a mistake with AdWords Editor, but instead of changing the existing ad, you create a new one.Or you’re overzealous in converting your old standard ads and make two expanded text ads (ETAs) instead of one.Suddenly, you’ve got multiple ads that are exactly the same.Even if your testing works, the data is split out between the doppelgängers (that’s German for “ghostly twin,” or something).On top of this, it’s adding needless complication to managing your account.If you’re labeling up different variants, you might catch one but not the other.
There’s just under two weeks left to finalize your entries in the 3rd annual Search Engine Land Awards — the industry recognition program from our sister site is already considered the “world cup of digital marketing” by some — the competition is heating up as we approach the final deadline for entries.The final deadline is July 31, 2017 at 11:59 PM PT, so don’t delay – start or complete your awards submission now.Be recognized among the best of the best in SEO & SEMSince the inception of Search Engine Land by co-founders Danny Sullivan and Chris Sherman, our mission has always been to provide information to shape the best practices in search marketing, and deliver actionable tactics to help the marketing community achieve amazing results.Our annual awards are recognition of how the industry has continued to grow over time across the globe, and honor the most impressive and innovative campaigns, individuals and teams in search marketing today.Provide validation for clients that your services are top-notch
Therefore, it’s key that you test your ads regularly, to make sure you aren’t letting any conversions slip through the cracks.Testing and optimizing is an important part of our job as digital marketers.At SMX London earlier this year, I gave a talk on how we design and implement tests at Crealytics for both Text and Shopping ads.Carrying on from that, this post will cover three methods you can use for successful testing, two types of testing to help you take performance to the next level, and five common pitfalls that testers often run into.I’ll also illustrate these points with examples from our own internal testing efforts.Deciding which method to use
For example, you may be advertising for a company that has franchises throughout the country (such as a Macy’s or REI) or a branch of locations unique to a region (e.g., Shaw’s grocery stores in the northeast US).In this post, I’ll speak to the various account breakout options for multilocation businesses while detailing the pros and cons of each.Clients will ask questions such as:Which locations are performing the best?Which keywords/audiences are working well by location?What does the competitive landscape look like in X location?
Ask any digital marketer about the prerequisites for a successful campaign, and undoubtedly many of the answers will revolve around obtaining or making use of data points.Simply put, marketers — especially digital marketers — love data.(What, you thought you were the only one dreading that Monday morning number pull?)Some of the most common reporting issues result from good intentions.If the report is watered down, people will skim it or ignore sections (and maybe eventually the entirety).This is a slippery slope — even if they continue to consume part of the report, they could miss out on things that you really wanted them to see.
I’ve seen AdWords accounts with almost awe-inspiring intricacy.AdWords Smart Bidding looks at specific queries (and the context of those queries)Overly segmented account structures are attempting to approximate something that Smart Bidding already does: bid to a user’s specific search query and adjust bids for devices, time of day and audiences to control the impact on the advertiser’s objective.AdWords Smart Bidding considers dozens of additional signals and the combinations of them, like mobile devices at nighttime in a specific area.This may sound insane, but here’s how I think campaigns should be organized:Organize your ad groups around what ads you want to serve to groups of users.
Previously, we discussed how to find good PPC candidates for your particular company, but now it’s time to evaluate those candidates.It comes down to this: You’ve held dozens of interviews with candidates almost impossible to tell apart.They’ve worked in the right industry or environment, have used similar tools to what your paid media team uses and didn’t hesitate to answer your questions.What tasks would this person be expected to complete daily, weekly or monthly?If you’re a SaaS (software as a service) startup in need of speed and growth, you simply cannot afford to hire someone who hasn’t been through that; bringing on PPC manager from a local digital agency won’t get the job done.Your hire will need to understand how to deliver a plan of upcoming experiments at scale and execute on them quickly.
Google My Business (GMB) has been one path to help brands solve the latter issue.GMB serves a similar function to business listings, much like Yelp or Yellow Pages, but has the added benefit of being tied directly to the tech giant’s search engine.Customers search for your business, and Google My Business returns a customizable listing to go along with other search results.GMB’s rocky road to excellenceOver the years, it hasn’t been all unicorns and rainbows for Google My Business.If several stores — maybe even hundreds, in some cases — have inaccurate geocodes, a relatively simple process becomes an arduous time sink.
Halloween is just around the corner.Soon you’ll be seeing little ghosts, goblins, witches and Donald Trump wannabes wandering your street in search of treats.SEO is a lot like these trick-or-treaters: If you’re brave enough to go into the scary dark night and knock on strangers’ doors, you could be rewarded with goodies!For SEO professionals, this means higher rankings on search engine result pages (not full-sized candy bars).This month, in honor of Halloween, I thought it would be ghoulishly fun to talk about some SEO strategies that you should start implementing — or face the nightmarish consequences.[Read the full article on Search Engine Land.]
If you run a PPC agency, you’ll know it’s not that unusual for clients to occasionally bring in an outside auditor to review their PPC accounts.Sometimes, your client will let you know in advance; sometimes, you’ll find out when you see a request to access the account.And sometimes, you won’t find out until after the fact, when the final report is forwarded to you for discussion!I completely understand why some clients like to have an outside audit of their PPC accounts.For some companies, it’s simply part of their due diligence.For others, an executive will come up with the idea and push it through.
Shopping ads are great, and they continue to improve.If you’re looking to get more out of your Shopping campaigns, there are some straightforward actions you can take.Some of these have been true since Shopping campaigns were introduced back in 2013, while others are relatively new.Regardless of where you are on your Shopping campaign journey, here are the top seven things I’d recommend to take your campaigns to the next level.Establish clear lines of communication with other teamsA Shopping ad assembles a bunch of data to deliver an ad to a user.
Whether you’re new to paid search or an old pro, one of your biggest challenges is figuring out the right keywords.Pick the right keywords and your business will thrive.Pick the wrong keywords, and you might as well be flushing your ad spend down the toilet.Now, with enough time, effort and money, most advertisers can usually put together a decent keyword list.The only problem is, this takes time, effort and money — something most businesses are a little short on.Wouldn’t it be nice if there were a way to make the process more efficient?
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