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PPC Rising Stars of 2021



PPC Rising Stars of 2021


In efforts to continue amplifying folks in the PPC community, we are here with our 2021 Rising Star list. When crafting this list we asked some of our Top 25 Influential PPC Experts for their advice and dived into what each star has contributed to the industry in terms of content creation, social media engagement, participation in virtual/in-person events, and webinars. Congratulations to all the finalists and keep up the solid work. Your voice is making a difference! 

About our Rising Stars 

Juntae DeLane | Juntae DeLane is a sought-after strategist, thought-leader, and influencer. He is the Founder & CEO at Digital Delane, a full-service digital agency, the Founder of Digital Branding Institute. He is often noted as a Top Social Media and Content Marketing Influencer and has spoken around the world advancing the practice of digital branding.  If you can’t catch him on stage or online, you can probably find him at the gym, doing his 1,000th push-up. #notreally

Christine Zirnheld | Christine is a Digital Marketing Manager at Cypress North, the host of the weekly podcast “Marketing O’Clock” and the author of The Ultimate Google Ads Playbook.

Zenia Johnson | ??Zenia Johnson is an experienced digital marketer who has guided the paid media strategy for emerging brands across various verticals, including media, video streaming, cosmetics, real estate, and finance. While well-versed in all of the major digital publishers and tactics, paid social media is her passion because of its unique balance of data and creativity, as well as the opportunity it affords brands to truly connect with their most engaged customers. She has contributed to Search Engine Land, Marketing Land, and has spoken at Janes of Digital, SMX Advanced, SMX East, and Social Media Strategies Summit. Now the Director of Performance Marketing at Outside, Zenia works to share the brand’s belief that life is best spent outside experiencing healthy, connected, and fulfilling lives. In her free time, you can find her outside (likely grilling or walking her dogs), reading a book, or on Twitter chatting with other PPC experts.

Glenn Schmelzle |
Glenn is the founder of the agency, Marketing What’s New. As the host of the podcast, Funnel Reboot, he shares strategies B2B firms can use to grow revenue.

Emma Franks | Emma is a puzzle-loving nerd with degrees in Economics, Marketing, and Business Management. She lives on canine cuddles, mystery novels, and dessert.

Brett Bodofsky |
A digital marketer who is obsessed with all things PPC (Google Ads, Microsoft Ads, Amazon Ads, Apple Ads, 3rd party integrations), education, and community.

David Green | David Green is the Founder/CEO of Devslove Digital, a leading digital marketing and e-commerce strategy agency located in Toronto, Canada that specializes in Google Ads & Shopify design, development, and strategy. A serial entrepreneur, and self-taught web developer with 10+ years of sales experience, in 2016 David started his agency to help growth-focused SMEs scale. He built Devslove with a focus on transparency, candor, relentless effort, and not shying away from admitting when wrong. Outside of paid search, you’ll likely see him reading, meditating, on a Peloton, trying to learn how to surf, or jamming to almost any genre of music.

Jessica Budde | Jess manages strategy for her clients at Cypress North, is co-host of the Marketing O’Clock podcast, and co-owner of Brewed & Bottled Craft Beer Shop.

Becky Hopkin | Becky heads up Digital Gearbox, a UK-based specialist PPC agency. She is also the co-host of the PPC Burrito, an exciting PPC & marketing-centric podcast.


Nechama Teigman | Nechama leads the Strategy and Analytics team for AdVenture’s top clients, including multiple publicly traded companies and firms with billion-dollar market caps. She is a winner of the INTERPUBLIC GROUP MARKETING AWARD and was also a member of the Baruch Sigma Alpha Delta Honors Society.

We want to thank all the finalists for their continuous contributions to the PPC community. Your work has made a direct impact on us and we look forward to seeing where you all go next. To our readers, we appreciate your support and hope this motivates you to continue working your way up in the industry. Congrats to our Rising Stars! 

Are you or know someone up and coming in the PPC industry who is making strides? You could be on the 2022 Rising Star list! Email us and let us know why you should be featured next. 


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How Can PPC Help Inform a Powerful Link-Building Strategy



How Can PPC Help Inform a Powerful Link-Building Strategy


If you’re just setting out to create a marketing strategy, then you may have read a lot about the power of link building, and how much it can supercharge an SEO campaign.

Though link building is certainly a powerful discipline, like any marketing technique, it shouldn’t exist in a vacuum. In today’s post, we’ll look at the relationship between PPC and link-building, and how the insights you glean from PPC campaigns can inform your link-building strategy for greater success.

How to Succeed in PPC Marketing

Before we get into how you can leverage PPC findings for better link-building, let’s go over some of the fundamental principles of PPC marketing success…

Effective Keyword Research: Just like when creating content, choosing the right keywords will determine whether or not your PPC ads will be seen by a particular audience segment. Researching, testing, and tweaking your keyword selection as you incept and manage a campaign will magnetize your audience, and ensure that you’re getting a good return on investment from your PPC budget.

Know your Audience: Although PPC is heavily data-driven, and a far cry from more creative, traditional advertising techniques, you’ll still need to craft your ads based on a firm understanding of your audience. By going into PPC campaigns with a clear picture of your customer personas, the audience segments they feed into, and how this should inform your copy, you’ll be able to enjoy stronger results right off the bat.

Leverage Automation: All major PPC platforms now offer automation tools you can use to bring in more leads, improve your conversion rate, and enjoy a stronger ROI, all while saving your team time and energy. PPC automation algorithms are also capable of analyzing countless data sets to inform decisions, based on your past performance, budget, and goals.

Strategies to Follow When Building Quality Links

Now that we’ve looked at the key components for success in PPC marketing, it’s time to run through some of the most effective link-building strategies you can employ for a successful campaign. Here are our top 3 for the current SEO climate…


3 Main Link-Building Techniques to Use in 2022

1. Digital PR

Digital PR refers to applying proven PR tactics to earn organic backlinks. This means creating linkable assets, such as long-form blog posts, infographics, and interactive content, then promoting these assets to journalists or publications in a way that encourages them to write about your company or assets and link to them. 

This tactic is fairly challenging because you’ll need to come up with some truly great content to earn a link. However, if it’s successful, you can gain some hugely valuable link equity.

2. Contributed Content / Guest Posts

Contributed content and guest posting have been popular methods for link building for some time, and for a good reason: it’s a great way to generate the kind of trust and quality signals that Google favors when ranking websites. 

“Providing valuable, optimized content to real businesses’ websites via guest posting allows [business] to build natural references from related websites in the industry,” says link-building agency Hive19. “Like all marketing activities, there are good versions of this – and bad. [S]pecialise in working closely with editors to provide editorials that seamlessly fit with their brand voice and editorial calendar.”

3. Reclaiming Unlinked Brand Mentions, Broken and Lost Links

Sometimes, all the necessary legwork is done in the way of gaining a link, and all you have to do is reach out to the right contact. There may be instances where a blogger has mentioned your brand, but not linked to it. 

In other cases, there may be links pointing to dead pages that had previously hosted content in your topic or niche, which can be reclaimed by creating a similar piece of content and reaching out to the referring domain’s webmaster. Sometimes backlinks are lost through routine maintenance of a referring domain, and a simple email to the webmaster can be enough to replace it. 

Combining these kinds of low-hanging fruit can be a great way to supercharge your backlink profile, and require very little effort! 

How PPC Analytics Can Help Inform Your Strategy

For many marketers, PPC data is used to inform current and future PPC campaigns, and their usefulness stops there. Though you may not be aware of it, there are a number of ways PPC data analytics can be used to inform and optimize your link-building strategy.


Use PPC Data to Identify your Strongest Landing Pages

If you’re managing a large website with large PPC campaigns, then it may be hard to know which pages will be the most prudent to target in a link-building campaign. PPC analytics suites offer a quick and easy way to see a complete breakdown of your landing pages, keywords, and how they’re being received by your target market.

Simply drill down to the destination URLs in your campaign, and analyze metrics like conversion rate, clickthrough rate by keyword, etc. By carving off a proportion of the highest-performing landing pages, you’ll easily be able to prioritize target pages for your link-building campaign.

Use PPC Data as a Starting Point to Recycle Content

To flip the previous technique on its head, PPC data can also be used to identify pages that aren’t performing well but show masses of untapped potential. Let’s say, for example, that you’re running a campaign advertising a free ebook for your marketing agency. You may have a great clickthrough rate for a keyword like “content marketing guide”, but see that a poor proportion of people are actually downloading the ebook. This shows that although people are finding your copy compelling, they’re not convinced by the content on your pages. 

These kinds of scenarios can be a fantastic starting point for you to recycle content, and attract new links through quality, authoritative pages.

Look for Spikes in Demand to Inform Topical Content

Finally, analyzing both your own ads and the average CPC for certain keywords can be a great source of inspiration when you’re looking for topical content. If a certain ad suddenly gains a much higher-than-average click-through, and trends in your other ads discount a universal jump in your brand equity, it may be time to ride the buzz around a certain topic by meeting it with relevant content. 

Suggested CPC can also be a good indicator of when a certain type of content is gaining traction, giving you a useful advance warning to get ahead of the game and publish popular content before everyone’s talking about the same trends.

In Conclusion 

This article has given you the fundamentals of leveraging PPC insights for a more targeted and data-focused link-building strategy. 

We’ve discussed the relationship between PPC and link building and how these valuable insights can help guide and inform your link-building strategy for greater success. 


Adopting link-building strategies such as digital PR and guest posting to reclaiming unlinked brand mentions, using your PPC data will help inform and optimize your marketing strategy going forward. By identifying your highest and lowest-performing landing pages through PPC insights, you’ll be able to prioritize the most valuable pages for link building and see higher ROI for your marketing efforts.


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