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Insights From Analyst Gary Illyes



Insights From Analyst Gary Illyes

In a recent statement on LinkedIn, Google Analyst Gary Illyes shared his mission for the year: to figure out how to crawl the web even less.

This comes on the heels of a Reddit post discussing the perception that Google is crawling less than in previous years.

While Illyes clarifies that Google is crawling roughly the same amount, he emphasizes the need for more intelligent scheduling and a focus on URLs that are more likely to deserve crawling.

Illyes’ statement aligns with the ongoing discussion among SEO professionals about the concept of a “crawl budget,” which assumes that sites must stay within a limited number of pages that search engines can crawl daily to get their pages indexed.


However, Google’s Search Relations team recently debunked this misconception in a podcast, explaining how Google prioritizes crawling based on various factors.

Crawling Prioritization & Search Demand

In a podcast published two weeks ago, Illyes explained how Google decides how much to crawl:

“If search demand goes down, then that also correlates to the crawl limit going down.”

While he didn’t provide a clear definition of “search demand,” it likely refers to search query demand from Google’s perspective. In other words, if there is a decrease in searches for a particular topic, Google may have less reason to crawl websites related to that topic.

Illyes also emphasized the importance of convincing search engines that a website’s content is worth fetching.

“If you want to increase how much we crawl, then you somehow have to convince search that your stuff is worth fetching, which is basically what the scheduler is listening to.”

Although Illyes didn’t elaborate on how to achieve this, one interpretation could be to ensure that content remains relevant to user trends and stays up to date.

Focus On Quality

Google previously clarified that a fixed “crawl budget” is largely a myth.


Instead, the search engine’s crawling decisions are dynamic and driven by content quality.

As Illyes put it:

“Scheduling is very dynamic. As soon as we get the signals back from search indexing that the quality of the content has increased across this many URLs, we would just start turning up demand.”

The Way Forward

Illyes’ mission to improve crawling efficiency by reducing the amount of crawling and bytes on wire is a step towards a more sustainable and practical web.

As he seeks input from the community, Illyes invites suggestions for interesting internet drafts or standards from IETF or other standards bodies that could contribute to this effort.

“Decreasing crawling without sacrificing crawl-quality would benefit everyone,” he concludes.

Why SEJ Cares

Illyes’ statement on reducing crawling reinforces the need to focus on quality and relevance. SEO isn’t just about technical optimizations but also about creating valuable, user-centric content that satisfies search demand.


By understanding the dynamic nature of Google’s crawling decisions, we can all make more informed choices when optimizing our websites and allocating resources.

How This Can Help You

With the knowledge shared by Illyes, there are several actionable steps you can take:

  1. Prioritize quality: Focus on creating high-quality, relevant, and engaging content that satisfies user intent and aligns with current search demand.
  2. Keep content current: Regularly update and refresh your content to ensure it remains valuable to your target audience.
  3. Monitor search demand trends: Adapt your content strategy to address emerging trends and topics, ensuring your website remains relevant and worthy of crawling.
  4. Implement technical best practices: Ensure your website has a clean, well-structured architecture and a robust internal linking strategy to facilitate efficient crawling and indexing.

As you refine your SEO strategies, remember the key takeaways from Illyes’ statements and the insights Google’s Search Relations team provided.

With these insights, you’ll be equipped to succeed if and when Google reduces crawling frequency.

Featured Image: Skorzewiak/Shutterstock

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How to Become an SEO Lead (10 Tips That Advanced My Career)



How to Become an SEO Lead (10 Tips That Advanced My Career)

A few years ago, I was an SEO Lead managing enterprise clients’ SEO campaigns. It’s a senior role and takes a lot of work to get there. So how can you do it, too?

In this article, I’ll share ten tips to help you climb the next rung in the SEO career ladder.

Helping new hires in the SEO team is important if you want to become an SEO Lead. It gives you the experience to develop your leadership skills, and you can also share your knowledge and help others learn and grow.

It demonstrates you can explain things well, provide helpful feedback, and improve the team’s standard of work. It shows you care about the team’s success, which is essential for leaders. Bosses look for someone who can do their work well and help everyone improve.


Here are some practical examples of things I did early in my career to help mentor junior members of the team that you can try as well:

  • Hold “lunch and learn” sessions on topics related to SEO and share case studies of work you have done
  • Create process documents for the junior members of the team to show them how to complete specific tasks related to your work
  • Compile lists of your favorite tools and resources for junior members of the team
  • Create onboarding documents for interns joining the company

Wouldn’t it be great if you could look at every single SEO Lead’s resume? Well, you already can. You can infer ~70% of any SEO’s resume by spying on their LinkedIn and social media channels.

Type “SEO Lead” into LinkedIn and see what you get.

Searching for SEO Leads using Linkedin


Look for common career patterns of the SEOs you admire in the industry.

I used this method to understand how my favorite SEOs and people at my company navigated their way from a junior role to a senior role.

For example, when the Head of SEO at the time Kirsty Hulse, joined my team, I added her on LinkedIn and realized that if I wanted to follow in her footsteps, I’d need to start by getting the role of SEO Manager to stand any possible chance of leading SEO campaigns like she was.


The progression in my company was from SEO Executive to Senior SEO Executive (Junior roles in London, UK), but as an outsider coming into the company, Kirsty showed me that it was possible to jump straight to SEO Manager given the right circumstances.

Career exampleCareer example

Using Kirsty’s and other SEOs’ profiles, I decided that the next step in my career needed to be SEO Manager, and at some point, I needed to get some experience with a bigger media agency so I could work my way up to leading an SEO campaign with bigger brands.

Sadly, you can’t just rock up to a monthly meeting and start leading a big brand SEO campaign. You’ll need to prove yourself to your line manager first. So how can you do this?

Here’s what I’d suggest you do:

  • Create a strong track record with smaller companies.
  • Obsessively share your wins with your company, so that senior management will already know you can deliver.
  • At your performance review, tell your line manager that you want to work on bigger campaigns and take on more responsibility.

If there’s no hope of working with a big brand at your current job, you might need to consider looking for a new job where there is a recognizable brand. This was what I realized I needed to do if I wanted to get more experience.


Get recruiters on LinkedIn to give you the inside scoop on which brands or agencies are hiring. Ask them if you have any skill gaps on your resume that could prevent you from getting a job with these companies.


Being critical of your skill gaps can be hard to do. I found the best way to identify them early in my career was to ask other people—specifically recruiters. They had knowledge of the industry and were usually fairly honest as to what I needed to improve.

From this, I realized I lacked experience working with other teams—like PR, social, and development teams. As a junior SEO, your mind is focused 99% on doing SEO, but when you become more senior, your integration with other teams is important to your success.

For this reason, I’d suggest that aspiring SEO Leads should have a good working knowledge of how other teams outside of SEO operate. If you take the time to do this, it will pay dividends later in your career:

  • If there are other teams in your company, ask if you can do some onboarding training with them.
  • Get to know other team leads within your company and learn how they work.
  • Take training courses to learn the fundamentals of other disciplines that complement SEO, such as Python, SQL, or content creation.

Sometimes, employers use skill gaps to pay you less, so it’s crucial to get the skills you need early on…

Skills gap illustrationSkills gap illustration

Examples of other skill gaps I’ve noticed include:


If you think you have a lot of skill gaps, then you can brush up your skills with our SEO academy. Once you’ve completed that, you can fast-track your knowledge by taking a course like Tom Critchlow’s SEO MBA, or you can try to develop these skills through your job.

How to Become an SEO Lead 10 Tips That AdvancedHow to Become an SEO Lead 10 Tips That Advanced

As a junior in any company, it can be hard to get your voice heard amongst the senior crowd. Ten years ago, I shared my wins with the team in a weekly group email in the office.

Here’s what you should be sharing:

  • Praise from 3rd parties, e.g. “the client said they are impressed with the work this month.”
  • Successful performance insights, e.g “following our SEO change, the client has seen X% more conversions this month.”
  • Examples of the work you led, e.g. if your leadership and decision-making led to good results, then you need to share it.

At Ahrefs I keep a “wins” document. It’s just a simple spreadsheet that lists feedback on the blog posts I’ve written, the links I’ve earned and what newsletters my post was included in. It’s useful to have a document like this so you have a record of your achievements.

Example of wins spreadsheetExample of wins spreadsheet


Junior SEOs sometimes talk about the things “we” achieved as a team rather than what they achieved at the interview stage. If you want the SEO Lead role, remember to talk about what you achieved. While there’s no “I” in team, you also need to advocate for yourself.

One of my first big wins as an SEO was getting a link from an outreach campaign on Buzzfeed. When I went to Brighton SEO later that year and saw Matthew Howells-Barby sharing how he got a Buzzfeed link, I realized that this was not something everyone had done.

So when I did manage to become an SEO Lead, and my team won a prize in Publicis Groupe for our SEO performance, I made sure everyone knew about the work we did. I even wrote a case study on the work for Publicis Groupe’s intranet.

Silver prize winning at publicis groupeSilver prize winning at publicis groupe

I’ve worked with some incredibly talented people, many of whom have helped me in my career.

I owe my big break to Tim Cripps, Laura Scott, and Kevin Mclaren. Without their support and encouragement, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Even before that, David Schulhof, Jodie Wheeler, and Carl Brooks let me mastermind some bonkers content campaigns that were lucky enough to succeed:

Digital Spy Coverage for emoji campaignDigital Spy Coverage for emoji campaign
Some of the coverage I got for a stag and hen do client, back in the day.

I wasn’t even an SEO Lead at that point, but they gave me the reins and trusted me.

So, how can you find your tribe?

  • Speak to recruiters – they might hold the ticket to your next dream job. I spoke to many recruiters early in my career, but only two recruiters delivered for me—they were Natasha Woodford, and Amalia Gouta. Natasha helped me get a job that filled my skill gap, and Amalia helped me get my first SEO Lead role.
  • Go to events and SEO conferences, and talk to speakers to build connections outside of your company.
  • Use LinkedIn and other social media to interact with other companies or individuals that resonate with you.

Many senior SEO professionals spend most of their online lives on X and LinkedIn. If you’re not using them, you’re missing out on juicy opportunities.

Example of Linkedin recruiter messageExample of Linkedin recruiter message
Example of a recruiter message I got just after I joined Ahrefs.

Sharing your expertise on these platforms is one of the easiest ways to increase your chances of getting a senior SEO role. Because, believe it or not, sometimes a job offer can be just a DM away.

Here’s some specific ideas of what you can share:

I’ve recently started posting on LinkedIn and am impressed by the reach you can get by posting infrequently on these topics.

Here’s an example of one of my posts where I asked the community for help researching an article I was writing:

Linkedin post exampleLinkedin post example

And here is the content performance across the last year from posting these updates.


I’m clearly not a LinkedIn expert—far from it! But as you can see, with just a few months of posting, you can start to make these platforms work for you.

Godard Abel, co-founder of G2, talked on a podcast about conscious leadership. This struck a chord with me recently as I realized that I had practiced some of the principles of conscious leadership—unconsciously.


You can start practicing conscious leadership by asking yourself if your actions are above or below the line. Here are a few examples of above and below-the-line thinking:

Above and below the line thinkingAbove and below the line thinking

If you want a senior SEO role, I’d suggest shifting your mindset to above-the-line thinking.

In the world of SEO, it’s easy to blame all your search engine woes on Google. We’ve all been there. But a lot of the time, simple changes to your website can make a huge difference—it just takes a bit of effort to find them and make the changes.

SEO is not an exact science. Some stakeholders naturally get nervous if they sense you aren’t sure about what you’re saying. If you don’t get their support early on then you fall at the first hurdle.

Business plan with no detailBusiness plan with no detail

To become more persuasive, try incorporating Aristotle’s three persuasive techniques into your conversations.

  • Pathos: use logical reasoning, facts, and data to present water-tight arguments.
  • Ethos: establish your credibility and ethics through results.
  • Logos: make your reports tell a story.
Persuasive techniquesPersuasive techniques

Then sprinkle in language that has a high level of modality:

Modality of languageModality of language

Some people will be able to do this naturally without even realizing it, but for others, it can be an uphill struggle. It wasn’t easy for me, and I had to learn to adapt the way I talked to stakeholders early on.

The strongest way I found was to appeal to emotions and back up with data from a platform like Ahrefs. Highlight what competitors have done in terms of SEO and the results they’ve earned from doing it.



You don’t have to follow this tip to the letter, but being aware of these concepts means you’ll start to present more confident and persuasive arguments for justifying your SEO strategies.

When I started in SEO, I had zero connections. Getting a job felt like an impossible challenge.

Once I’d got my first SEO Lead job, it felt stupidly easy to get another one—just through connections I’d made along the way in my SEO journey.

I once got stuck on a delayed train with a senior member of staff, and he told me he was really into Google Local Guides, and he was on a certain high level. He said it took him a few years to get there.

Local Guides is part of Google Maps that allows you submit reviews and other user generated content


When he showed me the app, I realized that you could easily game the levels by uploading lots of photos.

In a “hold my beer” moment, I mass downloaded a bunch of photos, uploaded them to Local Guides and equaled his Local Guide level on the train in about half an hour. He was seething.

Google Local Guides Screenshot Level 7Google Local Guides Screenshot Level 7

One of the photos I uploaded was a half-eaten Subway. It still amazes me that 50,974 people have seen this photo:

1713812167 453 How to Become an SEO Lead 10 Tips That Advanced1713812167 453 How to Become an SEO Lead 10 Tips That Advanced

This wasn’t exactly SEO, but the ability to find this ‘hack’ so quickly impressed him, and we struck up a friendship.

The next month that person moved to another company, and then another few months later, he offered me an SEO Lead job.


Build connections with everyone you can—you never know who you might need to call on next.

Final thoughts

The road to becoming an SEO Lead seems straightforward enough when you start out, but it can quickly become long and winding.


But now armed with my tips, and a bucket load of determination, you should be able to navigate your way to an SEO Lead role much quicker than you think.

Lastly, if you want any more guidance, you can always ping me on LinkedIn. 🙂

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7 Content Marketing Conferences to Attend in 2024



7 Content Marketing Conferences to Attend in 2024

I spend most of my days sitting in front of a screen, buried in a Google Doc. (You probably do too.)

And while I enjoy deep work, a few times a year I get the urge to leave my desk and go socialize with other human beings—ideally on my employer’s dime 😉

Conferences are a great excuse to hang out with other content marketers, talk shop, learn some new tricks, and pretend that we’re all really excited about generative AI.

Without further ado, here are the biggest and best content marketing conferences happening throughout the rest of 2024.

Dates: May 5–7
Prices: from $795
Location: Cleveland, OH
Speakers: B.J. Novak, Ann Handley, Alexis Grant, Justin Welsh, Mike King


CEX is designed with content entrepreneurs in mind (“contenpreneurs”? Did I just coin an awesome new word?)—people that care as much about the business of content as they do the craft.

In addition to veteran content marketers like Ann Handley and Joe Pulizi waxing lyrical about modern content strategy, you’ll find people like Justin Welsh and Alexis Grant exploring the practicalities of quitting your job and becoming a full-time content creator.

Here’s a trailer for last year’s event:

Sessions include titles like:

  • Unlocking the Power of Book Publishing: From Content to Revenue
  • Quitting A $200k Corporate Job to Become A Solo Content Entrepreneur
  • Why You Should Prioritize Long-Form Content

(And yes—Ryan from The Office is giving the keynote.)

Dates: Jun 3–4
Location: Seattle, WA
Speakers: Wil Reyolds, Bernard Huang, Britney Muller, Lily Ray
Prices: from $1,699

Software company Moz is best known in the SEO industry, but its conference is popular with marketers of all stripes. Amidst a lineup of 25 speakers there are plenty of content marketers speaking, like Andy Crestodina, Ross Simmonds, and Chima Mmeje.


Check out this teaser from last year’s event:

This year’s talks include topics like:

  • Trust and Quality in the New Era of Content Discovery
  • The Power of Emotion: How To Create Content That (Actually) Converts
  • “E” for Engaging: Why The Future of SEO Content Needs To Be Engaging

Dates: Sep 18–20
Location: Boston, MA
Speakers: TBC
Prices: from $1,199

Hosted by content marketing OG HubSpot, INBOUND offers hundreds of talks, deep dives, fireside chats, and meetups on topics ranging from brand strategy to AI.

Here’s the recap video:

I’ve attended my fair share of INBOUNDs over the years (and even had a beer with co-founder Dharmesh Shah), and always enjoy the sheer choice of events on offer.

Keynotes are a highlight, and this year’s headline speaker has a tough act to follow: Barack Obama closed out the conference last year.


Dates: Oct 22–23
Location: San Diego, CA
Speakers: TBC
Prices: from $1,199

Arguably the content marketing conference, Content Marketing World has been pumping out content talks and inspiration for fourteen years solid.

Here’s last year’s recap:

The 2024 agenda is in the works, but last year’s conference explored every conceivable aspect of content marketing, from B2C brand building through to the quirks of content for government organizations, with session titles like:

  • Government Masterclass: A Content Marketing Strategy to Build Public Trust 
  • A Beloved Brand: Evolving Zillow’s Creative Content Strategy 
  • Evidence-Based SEO Strategies: Busting “SEO Best Practices” and Other Marketing Myths

Dates: Oct 24–25
Location: Singapore
Speakers: Andy Chadwick, Nik Ranger, Charlotte Ang, Marcus Ho, Victor Karpenko, Amanda King, James Norquay, Sam Oh, Patrick Stox, Tim Soulo (and me!)
Prices: TBC

That’s right—Ahrefs is hosting a conference! Join 500 digital marketers for a 2-day gathering in Singapore.

We have 20 top speakers from around the world, expert-led workshops on everything from technical SEO to content strategy, and tons of opportunities to rub shoulders with content pros, big brands, and the entire Ahrefs crew.

I visited Singapore for the first time last year and it is really worth the trip—I recommend visiting the Supertree Grove, eating at the hawker markets in Chinatown, and hitting the beach at Sentosa.

If you need persuading, here’s SEO pro JH Scherck on the Ahrefs podcast making the case for conference travel:

And to top things off, here’s a quick walkthrough of the conference venue:

Dates: Oct 27–30
Location: Portland, OR
Speakers: Relly Annett-Baker, Fawn Damitio, Scott Abel, Jennifer Lee
Prices: from $1,850


LavaCon is a content conference with a very technical focus, with over 70 sessions dedicated to helping companies solve “content-related business problems, increase revenue, and decrease production costs”.

In practice, that means speakers from NIKE, Google, Meta, Cisco, and Verizon, and topics like:

  • Operationalizing Generative AI,
  • Taxonomies in the Age of AI: Are they still Relevant?, and
  • Out of Many, One: Building a Semantic Layer to Tear Down Silos

Here’s the recap video for last year’s conference:

Dates: Nov 8
Location: London
Speakers: Nick Parker, Tasmin Lofthouse, Dan Nelken, Taja Myer
Prices: from £454.80

CopyCon is a single-day conference in London, hosted by ProCopywriters (a membership community for copywriters—I was a member once, many years ago).

Intended for copywriters, creatives, and content strategists, the agenda focuses heavily on the qualitative aspects of content that often go overlooked—creative processes, tone of voice, and creating emotional connections through copy.

It’s a few years old, but this teaser video shares a sense of the topics on offer:


This year’s talks include sessions like:

  • The Mind-Blowing Magic of Tone of Voice,
  • The Power of AI Tools as a Content Designer, and the beautifully titled
  • Your Inner Critic is a Ding-Dong.

(Because yes, your inner critic really is a ding-dong.)

Final thoughts

These are all content-specific conferences, but there are a ton of content-adjacent events happening throughout the year. Honourable mentions go to DigiMarCon UK 2024 (Aug 29–30, London, UK), Web Summit (Nov 11–14, Lisbon, Portugal), and B2B Forum (Nov 12–14, Boston, MA).

I’ve focused this list solely on in-person events, but there are also online-only conferences available, like ContentTECH Summit (May 15–16).

Heading to a content conference that I haven’t covered? Share your recommendation with me on LinkedIn or X.

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10 Paid Search & PPC Planning Best Practices




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.


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.


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.


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:

  • 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:


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.


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: 


Featured Image: Vanatchanan/Shutterstock

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