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15 Tips To Increase Your Brand Awareness

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15 Tips To Increase Your Brand Awareness

Guest posting could rightly be called the black sheep of SEO strategies.

Its very name conjures up images of black hats and spammy link tactics the industry has long left behind.

Does this mean guest posting should be trashed?

In my experience, guest posting has created dozens of business opportunities and leads my company has been able to exploit for profit.

Instead of focusing on guest posting as a link-building strategy, we need to shift our focus to a brand-building strategy.

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In this article, you’ll learn guest posting tips to not only provide your site SEO value but to help build your brand, too.

Benefits of Guest Posting: Is It Still Worth It?

SEO practitioners have been “beating a dead horse” for so long that they should rank #1 for the term.

However, like link building and all of the other things in SEO we think are dead, guest posting is still a viable opportunity for thought leadership and awareness PR.

While links from guest posting are largely treated as nofollow links, I find that the business opportunities and brand exposure from posting on sites like SEJ and other prominent blogs are sufficient to warrant the effort.

I would list the benefits of guest posting as follows:

  • Increased brand awareness.
  • Viable backlinking opportunities (even if they are nofollow).
  • Thought leadership.
  • Increased site traffic.
  • Increased leads and business opportunities.

Furthermore, having your authorship spread across different publications develops your trust and authority more than a hyperlink back to your blog on someone else’s website.

Of course, if you want to engage in guest posting, you need to have the proper focus and expectations in place.

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That’s why I’ve listed 15 tips to maximize your guest posting campaign and increase your brand awareness.

1. Stick To Your Niche & Exploit Your Expertise

If you’re a digital marketer that focuses on content in your business, write about content.

Exclusive to video marketing? Offer guest content about video marketing.

True experts have a narrow focus and tend to stay in their lane.

The key to expertise is pretty simple: You should actually be an expert in whatever you are writing about.

If you write professionally about multiple subjects, you risk muddying your brand and confusing search engine evaluation of your content.

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For example, my main focuses for guest posting are content creation (such as this post), productivity, and time management.

I’m also an editor for a popular motorcycle publication, but I don’t guest post in that industry.

That’s a different story because it’s like being a staff writer at Search Engine Journal. You likely won’t find full-time staffers guest posting on other digital marketing publications.

There may be certain circumstances where you’ll write about something that’s not your full focus.

The odd exception is OK. But in general, stick to your area of expertise when guest posting.

2. Create All The Evergreen Content You Can

You want your work to stick around for as long as possible, so focus on creating evergreen content.

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Experts are often approached for opinions about newsworthy items.

Don’t deny those opportunities, but remember that guest posting is different. You aren’t necessarily going for a big splash, but longevity.

Create content that will have the same relevancy 10 years from now as it does today.

That may be challenging for ever-changing industries such as technology – but try to create as much evergreen content as possible.

Because I mostly write about creating content and productivity, much of my content can remain evergreen.

My personal rule is to aim for guest post content that is 90% evergreen and 10% newsworthy or trending.

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3. Target Relevant, Strong Websites

Many SEO professionals focus on the domain authority (DA) of a website. But that single element doesn’t tell the entire story of a website’s strength.

You’ll still see a lot of websites with higher DAs but thin web page copy. These may be loaded with external links that are irrelevant to the core focus of the website.

Mistaking a high DA for a good, relevant website can derail your guest posting efforts.

Don’t chase just a strong DA.

Look for high-quality websites loaded with reputable content written by experts.

Two things to ask upfront are for traffic metrics and whether the site buys links (or “exchanges” them for money, as the case may be).

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You should check their link profile or have an SEO pro do this for you before even pitching to a publication.

If the website links to irrelevant domains with unworthy content, save your energy and move on to the next target website.

Remember, once again, to concentrate on brand building first and link acquisition second.

If it’s not good for your brand, keep moving.

This will save you much energy as you wade through the web, searching for the best online outlet to amplify your content.

If you suspect anything scammy, especially with link building, let your fingers run and find you another prospective website.

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4. Build Your Relationship With Good Publications

When you find a strong website and your guest posts resonate with its audience, do as much as possible for that website.

Some SEO professionals don’t like this idea due to the diminishing value of more links.

Most guest posts only feature a link (make sure it’s followed!) in the bio to the contributor’s home page.

This typically means that the first link is the strongest, and each one afterward has a diminishing return on value.

However, if the publication is strong and you’re influencing its audience, forget about the link value. Focus on building your brand here instead.

Many have this backward, and they end up providing invaluable content that doesn’t resonate well with the audience just to get a link.

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5. Optimize Your Bio

Many websites will restrict your ability to link to personal websites throughout your blog, so focus on making your bio as strong as possible.

Most bios allow for a standard headshot, a link to your website, and a one to two-sentence description.

Use your bio to link to a website that will benefit most from it and will be most relevant to your audience. Then, create a description that best captures your brand and appeals to that audience.

You may not realize it, but your bio will often be the thing people click on when they want to learn more about you, so do your best to maximize its potential.

6. Never Forget About SEO

Some guest contributors forget about SEO when creating a guest post (even those within the digital marketing space).

I’ve written multiple articles here about SEO writing if you want to dig in, but the absolute basics include:

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  • Target one or two keywords per guest blog.
  • Use target keywords in an approximately 55-character title.
  • Use numbers; headlines with numbers are typically popular with readers.
  • Use of brackets or parentheses in the title; Research by HubSpot and Outbrain showed that headlines with bracketed clarifications performed 38% better than those without them.
  • Use target keywords in meta descriptions of about 150 characters, with a marketing message and clear call to action (CTA).
  • Use related keywords naturally infused into the content.
  • Properly use header tags with keywords (related keywords work nicely here).
  • Use bold, italics, and bullet points judiciously to make reading easier, improving UX and increasing on-page reading time.
  • Offer internal/external linking recommendations.

Again, don’t forget about SEO.

You don’t want to sabotage the chances of that guest post actually being discovered.

7. Go Long And Mention Other Relevant & Link-Worthy Sources

Don’t skimp on length.

Search engines want to represent articles with serious value, and it’s much easier to provide value with longer posts.

That doesn’t mean anything fluffy, but well thought out and written.

Our in-house evaluation of clients’ blog content (Disclosure: I’m the founder of ContentMender) showed that a minimum word count of 1,200 words was required, though most guest posts we do are around 1,500 words.

I recommend going even longer at 2,500 words per piece, which is, on average, what I do here at Search Engine Journal.

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Quote other experts within your article, especially if they write for the publication where you’re guest posting.

Want to get even better results?

Try to get a direct, unique quote from an author or expert within your industry.

8. Remember To Amplify

Like writing without SEO in mind, not exploiting a guest post is another huge problem.

Once a story goes live, push it out on all of your social channels and try to influence others to share further. Make sure to tag the publication and every person mentioned.

Another tactic that works well is linking to the article on your main website. I do this through an “In The Media” page on my WordPress website that uses a Nooz plugin.

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Beyond this, I recommend fairly traditional strategies, even sharing posts on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and appropriate Reddit communities that could benefit.

9. Refer To Your Other Published Guest Posts

If you have more than one guest post published in the same niche, try to link to the other articles as much as possible.

Sometimes the publications won’t allow links, especially if they are directed toward a competitor, but most times, you will get them linked.

This creates synergy between all of your guest posts across the web and helps search engines connect all of your guest posting efforts.

10. Find Guest Post Opportunities & Perfect Your Pitch

Finding opportunities online is easy.

Simply Google the following, preceded by your industry keyword (e.g., “SEO guest post guidelines”):

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  • Guest post submissions.
  • Accepting guest posts.
  • Guest post guidelines.
  • Submit a guest post.

Once you find the ideal publication, the next challenge is the pitch.

Here are a few points to consider when pitching as a guest poster:

  • Make each pitch personal. Find out who the managing person is and call them by their first name. Research that person to get a feel of their language. Do they use big words? Small words? Hobbies? Etc.
  • Talk informally. You do not want them to feel like they are reading a script.
  • Keep your initial email short and to the point.
  • Provide a list of topics you are proposing.
  • Provide some credentials of work you had published online (the more relevant to the publication, the better).
  • Let them know you understand how to create search-friendly content.
  • If a previous post is ranking highly on Google for a target keyword, share that info within the pitch. Say something like, “If you search Google for content writing trends 2021, you’ll see how my latest guest post is doing.”

Though I don’t see the author tag becoming a relevant ranking factor , the more mentions you have online, the stronger your brand and associated businesses will grow.

Remember, links are the added benefit to the work of guest posting – so make sure you’ve also planned a proper link building strategy by focusing on higher return on investment (ROI) pages on your website(s).

11. Protect Your Guest Posts

Guest posting is a portion of an overall awareness PR strategy that should also involve other means of brand exposure.

Remember that although you have contributed the guest post, you don’t own that asset.

Publications can fold or change their content marketing strategies quickly, and poof – your work can disappear.

The solution is two-fold.

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First, always keep a final copy of your guest posts saved somewhere.

I did work for a publication over a decade ago and found out a few years ago that the publication ran out of funds and disappeared from the web. Thankfully, I had all of my original stories and was able to refresh and reuse them without the penalty of duplicate content.

Make sure you search the article to ensure it wasn’t scraped and used on other websites.

Secondly, put more effort into your “home base” content. This is content you own that is published on your own platforms: books, ebooks, and your web pages/blogs.

12. Engage With Posts

Cultivate greater engagement on your posts by reacting to comments on the post itself and on social media.

Similar to reviews, be sure to track your posts across social media and engage with all comments to generate a buzz.

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Even though that post is being used on another person’s website, it’s your brand that is getting most of the recognition.

13. Track Your Posts

Tracking your guest posts can be a helpful way to organize your project management and see what leads and results you are getting.

SEMrush provides a Post Tracking tool that tracks social media engagement, links, and keyword rankings of various guest posts.

It’s never a bad idea to link to posts you’ve written on other sites on your own blog – or other sites!

Creating a flourishing ecosystem and breadcrumb trail of thought leadership will help you develop your brand and authority.

14. Stay On The Right Side Of Google’s Guidelines

One word of caution: Google released some guidelines to be aware of when contributing content to other online publications.

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Here’s what Google is against:

  • Stuffing keyword-rich links to your site in your articles.
  • Using or hiring article writers that aren’t knowledgeable about the topics they’re writing about.
  • Using the same or similar content across these articles.
  • Duplicating the full content of articles found on your own site (in which case use of rel=”canonical,” in addition to rel=”nofollow,” is advised).

Search Engine Journal’s Roger Montti wrote a great piece about Google penalizing websites that accept guest posts, which has some insight into why you must do your due diligence before pitching content to a publication.

Adam Riemer has also written about when you should mark guest posts as sponsored. In short, if you are paying for a guest post spot, you probably should.

Do your homework!

15. Continue To Leverage Guest Posting

With that said, I recommend improving your guest posting strategy by doing it more frequently.

The more publications you can spread your authorship to, the more awareness you’ll generate.

Implement consistent guest posting into your marketing strategy to increase your thought leadership and site traffic.

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In Conclusion

Guest posts can offer great value to your link-building and branding strategies if you are willing to invest the time.

While the links may not be that valuable from an SEO perspective, they are invaluable from an overall marketing and brand perspective.

More resources:


Featured Image: Roman Samborskyi/Shutterstock



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Reddit Post Ranks On Google In 5 Minutes

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Google apparently ranks Reddit posts within minutes

Google’s Danny Sullivan disputed the assertions made in a Reddit discussion that Google is showing a preference for Reddit in the search results. But a Redditor’s example proves that it’s possible for a Reddit post to rank in the top ten of the search results within minutes and to actually improve rankings to position #2 a week later.

Discussion About Google Showing Preference To Reddit

A Redditor (gronetwork) complained that Google is sending so many visitors to Reddit that the server is struggling with the load and shared an example that proved that it can only take minutes for a Reddit post to rank in the top ten.

That post was part of a 79 post Reddit thread where many in the r/SEO subreddit were complaining about Google allegedly giving too much preference to Reddit over legit sites.

The person who did the test (gronetwork) wrote:

“…The website is already cracking (server down, double posts, comments not showing) because there are too many visitors.

…It only takes few minutes (you can test it) for a post on Reddit to appear in the top ten results of Google with keywords related to the post’s title… (while I have to wait months for an article on my site to be referenced). Do the math, the whole world is going to spam here. The loop is completed.”

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Reddit Post Ranked Within Minutes

Another Redditor asked if they had tested if it takes “a few minutes” to rank in the top ten and gronetwork answered that they had tested it with a post titled, Google SGE Review.

gronetwork posted:

“Yes, I have created for example a post named “Google SGE Review” previously. After less than 5 minutes it was ranked 8th for Google SGE Review (no quotes). Just after Washingtonpost.com, 6 authoritative SEO websites and Google.com’s overview page for SGE (Search Generative Experience). It is ranked third for SGE Review.”

It’s true, not only does that specific post (Google SGE Review) rank in the top 10, the post started out in position 8 and it actually improved ranking, currently listed beneath the number one result for the search query “SGE Review”.

Screenshot Of Reddit Post That Ranked Within Minutes

Anecdotes Versus Anecdotes

Okay, the above is just one anecdote. But it’s a heck of an anecdote because it proves that it’s possible for a Reddit post to rank within minutes and get stuck in the top of the search results over other possibly more authoritative websites.

hankschrader79 shared that Reddit posts outrank Toyota Tacoma forums for a phrase related to mods for that truck.

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Google’s Danny Sullivan responded to that post and the entire discussion to dispute that Reddit is not always prioritized over other forums.

Danny wrote:

“Reddit is not always prioritized over other forums. [super vhs to mac adapter] I did this week, it goes Apple Support Community, MacRumors Forum and further down, there’s Reddit. I also did [kumo cloud not working setup 5ghz] recently (it’s a nightmare) and it was the Netgear community, the SmartThings Community, GreenBuildingAdvisor before Reddit. Related to that was [disable 5g airport] which has Apple Support Community above Reddit. [how to open an 8 track tape] — really, it was the YouTube videos that helped me most, but it’s the Tapeheads community that comes before Reddit.

In your example for [toyota tacoma], I don’t even get Reddit in the top results. I get Toyota, Car & Driver, Wikipedia, Toyota again, three YouTube videos from different creators (not Toyota), Edmunds, a Top Stories unit. No Reddit, which doesn’t really support the notion of always wanting to drive traffic just to Reddit.

If I guess at the more specific query you might have done, maybe [overland mods for toyota tacoma], I get a YouTube video first, then Reddit, then Tacoma World at third — not near the bottom. So yes, Reddit is higher for that query — but it’s not first. It’s also not always first. And sometimes, it’s not even showing at all.”

hankschrader79 conceded that they were generalizing when they wrote that Google always prioritized Reddit. But they also insisted that that didn’t diminish what they said is a fact that Google’s “prioritization” forum content has benefitted Reddit more than actual forums.

Why Is The Reddit Post Ranked So High?

It’s possible that Google “tested” that Reddit post in position 8 within minutes and that user interaction signals indicated to Google’s algorithms that users prefer to see that Reddit post. If that’s the case then it’s not a matter of Google showing preference to Reddit post but rather it’s users that are showing the preference and the algorithm is responding to those preferences.

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Nevertheless, an argument can be made that user preferences for Reddit can be a manifestation of Familiarity Bias. Familiarity Bias is when people show a preference for things that are familiar to them. If a person is familiar with a brand because of all the advertising they were exposed to then they may show a bias for the brand products over unfamiliar brands.

Users who are familiar with Reddit may choose Reddit because they don’t know the other sites in the search results or because they have a bias that Google ranks spammy and optimized websites and feel safer reading Reddit.

Google may be picking up on those user interaction signals that indicate a preference and satisfaction with the Reddit results but those results may simply be biases and not an indication that Reddit is trustworthy and authoritative.

Is Reddit Benefiting From A Self-Reinforcing Feedback Loop?

It may very well be that Google’s decision to prioritize user generated content may have started a self-reinforcing pattern that draws users in to Reddit through the search results and because the answers seem plausible those users start to prefer Reddit results. When they’re exposed to more Reddit posts their familiarity bias kicks in and they start to show a preference for Reddit. So what could be happening is that the users and Google’s algorithm are creating a self-reinforcing feedback loop.

Is it possible that Google’s decision to show more user generated content has kicked off a cycle where more users are exposed to Reddit which then feeds back into Google’s algorithm which in turn increases Reddit visibility, regardless of lack of expertise and authoritativeness?

Featured Image by Shutterstock/Kues

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WordPress Releases A Performance Plugin For “Near-Instant Load Times”

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WordPress speculative loading plugin

WordPress released an official plugin that adds support for a cutting edge technology called speculative loading that can help boost site performance and improve the user experience for site visitors.

Speculative Loading

Rendering means constructing the entire webpage so that it instantly displays (rendering). When your browser downloads the HTML, images, and other resources and puts it together into a webpage, that’s rendering. Prerendering is putting that webpage together (rendering it) in the background.

What this plugin does is to enable the browser to prerender the entire webpage that a user might navigate to next. The plugin does that by anticipating which webpage the user might navigate to based on where they are hovering.

Chrome lists a preference for only prerendering when there is an at least 80% probability of a user navigating to another webpage. The official Chrome support page for prerendering explains:

“Pages should only be prerendered when there is a high probability the page will be loaded by the user. This is why the Chrome address bar prerendering options only happen when there is such a high probability (greater than 80% of the time).

There is also a caveat in that same developer page that prerendering may not happen based on user settings, memory usage and other scenarios (more details below about how analytics handles prerendering).

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The Speculative Loading API solves a problem that previous solutions could not because in the past they were simply prefetching resources like JavaScript and CSS but not actually prerendering the entire webpage.

The official WordPress announcement explains it like this:

Introducing the Speculation Rules API
The Speculation Rules API is a new web API that solves the above problems. It allows defining rules to dynamically prefetch and/or prerender URLs of certain structure based on user interaction, in JSON syntax—or in other words, speculatively preload those URLs before the navigation. This API can be used, for example, to prerender any links on a page whenever the user hovers over them.”

The official WordPress page about this new functionality describes it:

“The Speculation Rules API is a new web API… It allows defining rules to dynamically prefetch and/or prerender URLs of certain structure based on user interaction, in JSON syntax—or in other words, speculatively preload those URLs before the navigation.

This API can be used, for example, to prerender any links on a page whenever the user hovers over them. Also, with the Speculation Rules API, “prerender” actually means to prerender the entire page, including running JavaScript. This can lead to near-instant load times once the user clicks on the link as the page would have most likely already been loaded in its entirety. However that is only one of the possible configurations.”

The new WordPress plugin adds support for the Speculation Rules API. The Mozilla developer pages, a great resource for HTML technical understanding describes it like this:

“The Speculation Rules API is designed to improve performance for future navigations. It targets document URLs rather than specific resource files, and so makes sense for multi-page applications (MPAs) rather than single-page applications (SPAs).

The Speculation Rules API provides an alternative to the widely-available <link rel=”prefetch”> feature and is designed to supersede the Chrome-only deprecated <link rel=”prerender”> feature. It provides many improvements over these technologies, along with a more expressive, configurable syntax for specifying which documents should be prefetched or prerendered.”

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See also: Are Websites Getting Faster? New Data Reveals Mixed Results

Performance Lab Plugin

The new plugin was developed by the official WordPress performance team which occasionally rolls out new plugins for users to test ahead of possible inclusion into the actual WordPress core. So it’s a good opportunity to be first to try out new performance technologies.

The new WordPress plugin is by default set to prerender “WordPress frontend URLs” which are pages, posts, and archive pages. How it works can be fine-tuned under the settings:

Settings > Reading > Speculative Loading

Browser Compatibility

The Speculative API is supported by Chrome 108 however the specific rules used by the new plugin require Chrome 121 or higher. Chrome 121 was released in early 2024.

Browsers that do not support will simply ignore the plugin and will have no effect on the user experience.

Check out the new Speculative Loading WordPress plugin developed by the official core WordPress performance team.

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How Analytics Handles Prerendering

A WordPress developer commented with a question asking how Analytics would handle prerendering and someone else answered that it’s up to the Analytics provider to detect a prerender and not count it as a page load or site visit.

Fortunately both Google Analytics and Google Publisher Tags (GPT) both are able to handle prerenders. The Chrome developers support page has a note about how analytics handles prerendering:

“Google Analytics handles prerender by delaying until activation by default as of September 2023, and Google Publisher Tag (GPT) made a similar change to delay triggering advertisements until activation as of November 2023.”

Possible Conflict With Ad Blocker Extensions

There are a couple things to be aware of about this plugin, aside from the fact that it’s an experimental feature that requires Chrome 121 or higher.

A comment by a WordPress plugin developer that this feature may not work with browsers that are using the uBlock Origin ad blocking browser extension.

Download the plugin:
Speculative Loading Plugin by the WordPress Performance Team

Read the announcement at WordPress
Speculative Loading in WordPress

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See also: WordPress, Wix & Squarespace Show Best CWV Rate Of Improvement

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10 Paid Search & PPC Planning Best Practices

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10 Paid Search & PPC Planning Best Practices

Whether you are new to paid media or reevaluating your efforts, it’s critical to review your performance and best practices for your overall PPC marketing program, accounts, and campaigns.

Revisiting your paid media plan is an opportunity to ensure your strategy aligns with your current goals.

Reviewing best practices for pay-per-click is also a great way to keep up with trends and improve performance with newly released ad technologies.

As you review, you’ll find new strategies and features to incorporate into your paid search program, too.

Here are 10 PPC best practices to help you adjust and plan for the months ahead.

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1. Goals

When planning, it is best practice to define goals for the overall marketing program, ad platforms, and at the campaign level.

Defining primary and secondary goals guides the entire PPC program. For example, your primary conversion may be to generate leads from your ads.

You’ll also want to look at secondary goals, such as brand awareness that is higher in the sales funnel and can drive interest to ultimately get the sales lead-in.

2. Budget Review & Optimization

Some advertisers get stuck in a rut and forget to review and reevaluate the distribution of their paid media budgets.

To best utilize budgets, consider the following:

  • Reconcile your planned vs. spend for each account or campaign on a regular basis. Depending on the budget size, monthly, quarterly, or semiannually will work as long as you can hit budget numbers.
  • Determine if there are any campaigns that should be eliminated at this time to free up the budget for other campaigns.
  • Is there additional traffic available to capture and grow results for successful campaigns? The ad platforms often include a tool that will provide an estimated daily budget with clicks and costs. This is just an estimate to show more click potential if you are interested.
  • If other paid media channels perform mediocrely, does it make sense to shift those budgets to another?
  • For the overall paid search and paid social budget, can your company invest more in the positive campaign results?

3. Consider New Ad Platforms

If you can shift or increase your budgets, why not test out a new ad platform? Knowing your audience and where they spend time online will help inform your decision when choosing ad platforms.

Go beyond your comfort zone in Google, Microsoft, and Meta Ads.

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Here are a few other advertising platforms to consider testing:

  • LinkedIn: Most appropriate for professional and business targeting. LinkedIn audiences can also be reached through Microsoft Ads.
  • TikTok: Younger Gen Z audience (16 to 24), video.
  • Pinterest: Products, services, and consumer goods with a female-focused target.
  • Snapchat: Younger demographic (13 to 35), video ads, app installs, filters, lenses.

Need more detailed information and even more ideas? Read more about the 5 Best Google Ads Alternatives.

4. Top Topics in Google Ads & Microsoft Ads

Recently, trends in search and social ad platforms have presented opportunities to connect with prospects more precisely, creatively, and effectively.

Don’t overlook newer targeting and campaign types you may not have tried yet.

  • Video: Incorporating video into your PPC accounts takes some planning for the goals, ad creative, targeting, and ad types. There is a lot of opportunity here as you can simply include video in responsive display ads or get in-depth in YouTube targeting.
  • Performance Max: This automated campaign type serves across all of Google’s ad inventory. Microsoft Ads recently released PMAX so you can plan for consistency in campaign types across platforms. Do you want to allocate budget to PMax campaigns? Learn more about how PMax compares to search.
  • Automation: While AI can’t replace human strategy and creativity, it can help manage your campaigns more easily. During planning, identify which elements you want to automate, such as automatically created assets and/or how to successfully guide the AI in the Performance Max campaigns.

While exploring new features, check out some hidden PPC features you probably don’t know about.

5. Revisit Keywords

The role of keywords has evolved over the past several years with match types being less precise and loosening up to consider searcher intent.

For example, [exact match] keywords previously would literally match with the exact keyword search query. Now, ads can be triggered by search queries with the same meaning or intent.

A great planning exercise is to lay out keyword groups and evaluate if they are still accurately representing your brand and product/service.

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Review search term queries triggering ads to discover trends and behavior you may not have considered. It’s possible this has impacted performance and conversions over time.

Critical to your strategy:

  • Review the current keyword rules and determine if this may impact your account in terms of close variants or shifts in traffic volume.
  • Brush up on how keywords work in each platform because the differences really matter!
  • Review search term reports more frequently for irrelevant keywords that may pop up from match type changes. Incorporate these into match type changes or negative keywords lists as appropriate.

6. Revisit Your Audiences

Review the audiences you selected in the past, especially given so many campaign types that are intent-driven.

Automated features that expand your audience could be helpful, but keep an eye out for performance metrics and behavior on-site post-click.

Remember, an audience is simply a list of users who are grouped together by interests or behavior online.

Therefore, there are unlimited ways to mix and match those audiences and target per the sales funnel.

Here are a few opportunities to explore and test:

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  • LinkedIn user targeting: Besides LinkedIn, this can be found exclusively in Microsoft Ads.
  • Detailed Demographics: Marital status, parental status, home ownership, education, household income.
  • In-market and custom intent: Searches and online behavior signaling buying cues.
  • Remarketing: Advertisers website visitors, interactions with ads, and video/ YouTube.

Note: This varies per the campaign type and seems to be updated frequently, so make this a regular check-point in your campaign management for all platforms.

7. Organize Data Sources

You will likely be running campaigns on different platforms with combinations of search, display, video, etc.

Looking back at your goals, what is the important data, and which platforms will you use to review and report? Can you get the majority of data in one analytics platform to compare and share?

Millions of companies use Google Analytics, which is a good option for centralized viewing of advertising performance, website behavior, and conversions.

8. Reevaluate How You Report

Have you been using the same performance report for years?

It’s time to reevaluate your essential PPC key metrics and replace or add that data to your reports.

There are two great resources to kick off this exercise:

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Your objectives in reevaluating the reporting are:

  • Are we still using this data? Is it still relevant?
  • Is the data we are viewing actionable?
  • What new metrics should we consider adding we haven’t thought about?
  • How often do we need to see this data?
  • Do the stakeholders receiving the report understand what they are looking at (aka data visualization)?

Adding new data should be purposeful, actionable, and helpful in making decisions for the marketing plan. It’s also helpful to decide what type of data is good to see as “deep dives” as needed.

9. Consider Using Scripts

The current ad platforms have plenty of AI recommendations and automated rules, and there is no shortage of third-party tools that can help with optimizations.

Scripts is another method for advertisers with large accounts or some scripting skills to automate report generation and repetitive tasks in their Google Ads accounts.

Navigating the world of scripts can seem overwhelming, but a good place to start is a post here on Search Engine Journal that provides use cases and resources to get started with scripts.

Luckily, you don’t need a Ph.D. in computer science — there are plenty of resources online with free or templated scripts.

10. Seek Collaboration

Another effective planning tactic is to seek out friendly resources and second opinions.

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Much of the skill and science of PPC management is unique to the individual or agency, so there is no shortage of ideas to share between you.

You can visit the Paid Search Association, a resource for paid ad managers worldwide, to make new connections and find industry events.

Preparing For Paid Media Success

Strategies should be based on clear and measurable business goals. Then, you can evaluate the current status of your campaigns based on those new targets.

Your paid media strategy should also be built with an eye for both past performance and future opportunities. Look backward and reevaluate your existing assumptions and systems while investigating new platforms, topics, audiences, and technologies.

Also, stay current with trends and keep learning. Check out ebooks, social media experts, and industry publications for resources and motivational tips.

More resources: 

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Featured Image: Vanatchanan/Shutterstock

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