Every year, PPC Hero releases The Top 25 Most Influential PPC Experts. We develop and share the Top 25 list to show our gratitude for those in our industry who continue to spend time and resources educating us and sharing insights to help us excel at our jobs.
While you all anxiously await the Top 25 list (which will be released in a few weeks), we want to share the Top 50!
The Top 50 is based solely on votes from you all. Only those with the most votes got in the Top 50 and will be scored for the final Top 25 list. For the Top 25, experts will be scored based on factors like their engagement on social, speaking gigs, podcasts and webinars they’ve been featured on, and articles they’ve written.
The Top 50 is listed in alphabetical order. Where a name resides on this list has nothing to do with the number of votes a person received.
Without Further Ado …
The Top 50 Most Influential PPC Experts
Aaron Levy – Tinuiti
AJ Wilcox – B2Linked
Akvile DeFazio – AKvertise
Amy Bishop – Cultivative
Amy Hebdon – Paid Search Magic
Anders Hjorth – Innovell
Andrea Cruz – KoMarketing
Bill Leake – Apogee Results
Brad Geddes – Adalysis
Bryant Garvin – Groove Life
Byron Marr – Aira
Christi Olson – Microsoft Advertising
Dan Saunders – Ingenuity Digital
Dan Wardrope – Flexxable
Elizabeth Marsten – Tinuiti
Etgar Shpivak – Fixel
Fernando Constantino – Clever Ads
Francine Rodriguez – Wordstream
Fred Vallaeys – Optmyzr
Gavin Dickinson – Neo Media World
Gianluca Binelli – Booster Box
Holly Niemiec – Wordstream
Isaac Rudansky – AdVenture Media
JC Hite – Hite Digital
Jeff Sauer – Data Driven U
Joe Martinez – Clix Marketing
Joel Bondorowsky – PPC Designs
John Lee – Microsoft Advertising
John Sargent – Think VEN
Jon Kagan – MARC USA
Julie Bacchini – Neptune Moon
Kim Barrett – Your Social Voice
Kirk Williams – ZATO
Liam Wade – Impression
Manuel Suarez – Manuel Suarez Training
Mark Irvine – Wordstream
Mark Meijs – iProspect
Marty Weintraub – Aimclear
Michelle Morgan – Clix Marketing
Mike Rhodes – WebSavvy
Navah Hopkins – Hennessey Digital
Patrick Gilbert – AdVenture Media
Purna Virji – Microsoft Advertising
Sam Ruchlewicz – Warschawski
Samantha Noble – Biddable Moments
Sanja Jovanovic – Victora
Steven Johns – Door 4
Susan Wenograd – Aimclear
Tom Walkden – WMG
Wijnand Meijer – TrueClicks
Congratulations to everyone that made the Top 50!
Below you’ll find some graphics you can use on social media and on your website to promote that you made the list.
The Art and Science of PPC Account Structures
With the rise of machine learning and the relentless march toward large-scale automation, digital marketers are now finding themselves in the middle of a perfect storm where they have less control over their campaigns, higher costs, and lousy results.
To state the obvious, Google’s goals are not your goals.
Over the last few years, Google introduced and pushed PPC automation while also removing many of the controls marketers typically used to prevent wasted spend.
Here’s just a small list of what they’ve done:
- They killed off match types – As a result, keywords are no longer granular enough and Google’s understanding of “close” variants and “similar” intent fluctuates between terrible and horrific.
- They Added Audiences – Google has made significant efforts over the past few years to replace keywords as the primary PPC control lever; audiences (+ the derivatives thereof) have been the most successful of these so far.
- They introduced and pushed “smart” features – Google’s “optimization score” and “smart shopping campaigns” were the first major efforts; now, we have Performance MAX, the end of ETAs, and much more on the horizon.
- They introduced auto-applied campaign changes – because who doesn’t want a Roomba running their account?
- They removed the majority of search term data – of course, the claim was that this was for “privacy”…but does anyone believe that?
As a result, CPCs and CACs are spiking across the board and we’re left with the perfect recipe to waste a LOT of money.
The pace of change has left many PPCers wondering how to adapt to this brave new world, with a few approaches becoming more and more pervasive:
- Lean Into The Automation – give the machines what they want – control and volume! Consolidate everything into a couple of campaigns, turn on Broad Match, and away we go.
- Old School – focus on keeping granular control with a rigid, EM-based structure and negatives everywhere.
- Shanty Town – some weird fusion of the two – where there are some EM campaigns, some full broad, maybe some audiences or DSAs sprinkled in…, and a heaping helping of confusion.
Unfortunately, the automation approach will have you wasting money, the old school approach will have you going crazy trying to maintain control in the face of RSAs, bidding strategy, and match type changes, and the Shanty Town delivers the worst of both worlds.
The only thing that HAS stayed the same is the desire to find the right account structure that balances scale with control, spending with results, and predictability with discovery. Too much to ask for? No!
Six Things to Keep in Mind When Setting Up PPC Campaigns
Automation is here to stay. The increasing role of automation will have an impact on PPC account structures, and this isn’t good or bad – it just is. Our job as marketers is to set the machines up for success and defend against their flaws.
The structure is about people. Campaign structure is the “how” you connect your organization’s marketing to the people you want to target. Keep your audience in mind when you structure your PPC campaign and put yourself in the mind of the audience.
Better Data = Higher Probability of Good Outcomes. Don’t focus only on conversion data. Make sure that each platform you use (not just Google, Microsoft, and Facebook) has the business and financial data it needs to maximize your chances of a good outcome. In short, efficiently leverage your data and help the machines be smarter!
Exclusions are more important than inclusions. Be liberal in your campaign exclusions to ensure machines focus on what you want (and don’t make bad inferences that blow your budget).
Be Machine Learning-friendly. Resist the urge to hyper-segment everything. Build a structure that is ML-friendly while still being sufficiently refined. You might end up with fewer ad groups, but that’s ok!
Be brilliant at the basics. Do the little things extremely well – align your ads to the intent of the user, deliver a relevant message and have a delightful on-page experience.
Want to learn more? I’ll be speaking at HeroConf London on July 18 at 10:15 am on the Main Stage. During my session, “The Art and Science of PPC Structures,” I’ll dive deep into the essential account and targeting structures and how they can be used to prevent automation from running wild.
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