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The Ultimate Tried & Tested Guide

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The Ultimate Tried & Tested Guide

Customer acquisition cost (CAC) can be enormous for many SaaS companies. A good way to reduce that is to balance advertising with cheaper and often more sustainable marketing channels and tactics. Your best bet here may be SEO and content marketing.

In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know to build a successful SaaS SEO strategy.

This strategy is based on two things: First, the success of Ahrefs, a $100M+ ARR SaaS company that has SEO as a main contributor to its growth. Second, my five years of experience working and consulting for global SaaS companies.

We’ll go through the following steps:

Let’s dive in.

1. Identify your organic search competitors

Not all websites that you compete with within organic search are your business competitors. In fact, your SERPs can be full of:

  • Affiliate websites.
  • Review websites (like G2 or TrustRadius).
  • Industry expert blogs.
  • Companies that at least partially target your audience by solving overlapping problems.

All these types of websites also want a piece of the “organic search” cake. You’ll need a list of these for further SEO research and to track your progress.

The best way to find your organic search competitors is to check keyword overlap reports. Plug your domain into Ahrefs’ Site Explorer and head to the Competing Domains report:

Competing Domains report results

This report shows a list of websites that ranks for many of the same keywords as the domain on the input.

Rinse and repeat this process with other dominant websites in your niche. Or you can start the research straight away on your closest business competitors if your website doesn’t drive any solid search traffic yet.

If you come across an unknown website, inspect it. Create a list of 10–15 most relevant websites competing in your space.

2. Analyze what works for your competitors (to reverse engineer that later)

We’ll make use of the list of your organic search competitors. Consider this an SEO competitor analysis.

The main goal here is to find out what works for your competitors in terms of the:

  • Best performing website sections.
  • Best performing pages.
  • Types of content that attract the most backlinks.

You should make notes so you can be inspired by your competitors and possibly execute the ideas even better than them. Let’s look into these points.

Best performing website sections

Do your competitors drive most of their organic traffic to a blog, product pages, tool pages, a knowledge base, or even some other type of content? What about their approach to website architecture, i.e., how do they structure their URLs?

You’ll find answers to these questions by plugging your competitors’ domains into Ahrefs’ Site Explorer and clicking through the Top Subfolders report:

Top Subfolders report results

We can already see in the report above that some of the most important subfolders are placed on HubSpot’s blog subdomain. Many other websites also have content on subdomains, so make sure to check the Top Subdomains report as well:

Top Subdomains report results

Best performing pages

Now that we’ve looked at the high-level picture of a website’s organic performance, it’s time to be more granular. In the end, you plan your content piece by piece, so knowing what pieces of content drive the most organic traffic to your competitors is invaluable.

To get this data, simply open the Top pages report in Ahrefs’ Site Explorer:

Top pages report results

Go through this report for every competitor and write down content ideas worth covering on your website as well.

However, keep in mind that oftentimes, pages that generate the most traffic don’t convert well because they cover top-of-the-funnel problems. Make sure those content ideas are relevant to your target audience.

Types of content that attract the most links

You’ve probably heard that backlinks are one of the most important ranking factors in SEO. It’s no wonder attracting and building good links to your content is hard.

Some pieces of content can get links much easier than others, though. In SEO, we call this linkbait content. This type of content doesn’t necessarily need to drive organic traffic, but it’s valuable, interesting, or unique enough to make other people reference it on their websites.

As with the previous reports in Ahrefs’ Site Explorer, you can also find out which of your competitors’ pages get the most links. Open the Best by links report, select the 200 status code filter to only show live pages, and make notes about the type of content that could be considered linkbait in your niche:

Best by links report results

We’ll talk about creating linkbait content later on.

PRO TIP

It’s worth pointing out a scenario where you may find out that your most relevant competitors actually don’t rely that much on organic search traffic.

I know this from firsthand experience. Would you have ever guessed the following website with just ~6.4K clicks from organic search a month belongs to a SaaS company generating over $100M in ARR?

Sometimes, a SaaS business offers products solving problems that have a negligible search demand and/or target such a niche segment of its market that there are more effective marketing channels than organic search.

It’s always a good idea to have a solid SEO foundation. But sometimes, it doesn’t make sense to invest into it that much.

3. Do proper keyword research

Getting inspired by competitors is essential in SEO, but so is coming up with your own ideas and research data. Keyword research is the most important part of this.

Keyword research is the process of understanding the language your target customers use when searching for your products, services, and content. It then involves analyzing, comparing, and prioritizing the best keyword opportunities for your website.

If you’re new to this, make sure to go through our beginner’s guide to keyword research. I’ll just focus on the SaaS SEO aspect here.

First of all, we should talk about search intent. It’s the “why” behind a search query. Search engines always try to provide the most relevant results—be it a news article, a regular blog post, a guide, an interactive tool, a YouTube video, and so on.

For example, the keyword “how to check backlinks” has two search intents, according to the top 10 search results—searchers want a guide that tells them how to do this (in blue) and/or a tool that checks backlinks right away (in green):

In general, keywords in SaaS can be divided into four main categories, each representing a type of content that appears on the SERPs:

  • Blog posts – “saas seo guide” or “how to build links”
  • Knowledge base pages – “ahrefs domain rating” or “4xx error meaning”
  • Product and service landing pages – “backlink checker” or “free seo tool”
  • Comparison and review pages – “best seo tools” or “ahrefs vs moz”

Anytime you do keyword research or stumble upon a list of keywords relevant to your business, save the keywords to a list that you’ll come back to later when planning content.

We’ll be working with the aforementioned content categories, so labeling the keywords like this right away can save time.

Here’s how it looks like in Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer, but you can do the same in Ahrefs’ Site Explorer reports too:

Related terms report results

There will be many overlapping keywords with mixed search intent, e.g., “saas seo” is relevant to both guides like this and agencies/freelancers offering SaaS SEO services. Stick with the label (search intent) more relevant to your business.

You can also label each keyword with its intent in the more traditional sense as navigational, informational, and transactional searches. But the SaaS-specific labels are much more useful when you get back to your keyword research.

That’s it for creating a list of keywords that you’d like to rank for. We’ll be building on this foundation in the next steps.

4. Focus on producing product-led content

Now it’s time we start turning all the research and competitive analysis into content creation.

This whole guide is a great example of product-led content. In this case, it isn’t possible for me to write this guide without mentioning Ahrefs tools.

In fact, product-led content marketing is our main marketing tactic. Our blog drives more than 300K organic visits every month to articles like the one you’re reading now. In our articles, readers learn about a certain SEO or broader marketing topic while discovering how our products can help them:

Overview of Ahrefs' blog in Site Explorer

If your keyword research unveiled tens, hundreds, or even thousands of different topics people are searching for that relate to the problems your product is solving, you can leverage on organic search and make it your #1 marketing channel as well.

Of course, the degree to which you can pitch your product within an article varies. It’s always better not to mention your product if it feels unnatural or too pushy.

That’s why we internally use a metric called “business potential.” For every keyword we’re thinking about covering on our blog, we give it a business potential score. This score is an estimation, showing to what degree a keyword can let us naturally pitch our product.

Business potential: Table with scores 3 to 0. And explanation of criteria to meet each score.

Obviously, this isn’t the only metric we pay attention to when prioritizing content creation. There are three more aspects we take into account: traffic potential, keyword difficulty, and the value we can provide to the reader.

You may be used to the idea of judging a keyword based on its search volume. But there’s a better approach.

That’s because every piece of content ranks for many keywords with different search volumes. And the one keyword you’re looking at may contribute to just a tiny fraction of the overall traffic.

This is when the first aspect, traffic potential, comes into play.

Overview of keyword "content marketing strategy" in Keywords Explorer

Here you can see the overview of the keyword “content marketing strategy” from Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer.

Our Traffic Potential metric tells us that the page currently ranking at the top for “content marketing strategy” gets 11K organic traffic a month. That’s much higher than its search volume of 1.8K in the U.S. and comparable to its 12K global search volume.

Secondly, there’s the Keyword Difficulty (KD) metric on the left. It’s an estimate of how difficult it is to rank for the given keyword on a scale from 0 to 100. The lower the score, the easier it is to rank at the top for the keyword.

And lastly, we have the expertise and value aspect.

Look at the content currently ranking in the top 10 SERP positions. Then ask the following: Can you write a better piece of content than that? Can you provide unique insights or add comparative value in any other way? It’s always much easier to rank well with content that’s objectively better than what you can find on the SERPs.

Let’s sum things up here.

Your “low-hanging fruit” content opportunities are found in topics with high traffic potential, reasonable keyword difficulty, and high business value that can reflect your expertise.

However, in reality, you’ll almost never find a keyword that meets all these criteria, so you’ll have to make compromises. Be prepared for that.

5. Develop free tools as landing pages

Now we’re onto the product pages. Many companies have found making products (or just a fraction of them) accessible without any friction to be a successful marketing tactic. These landing pages can drive traffic, attract backlinks, make people familiar with your product, generate leads, and even convert some visitors.

At Ahrefs, we have seen significant success in offering free tools. These also play an important part in our SEO strategy and overall growth. So far, we’ve released 13 free SEO tools that you can try right away:

Excerpt of page showing Ahrefs' free tools for keyword research and link building

All these landing pages of free tools combined generate around 365K organic traffic per month:

But the huge traffic potential isn’t the only benefit of having a spin-off of our product as a landing page. Our tools can also act as linkbait, which we explained earlier.

Many of these pages have a high URL Rating (UR) that is a proxy metric to a page’s link profile strength:

List of URLs with corresponding data; notably, all pages have high UR ratings

The same principles of prioritizing content creation apply here as well. Some tools will be more valuable than others because they may attract a more relevant audience. Some SERPs will already be full of tools that do more or less the same thing, so it will be difficult to get to the top if you don’t innovate.

On top of the regular SEO prioritization criteria, you’ll also need to think about developer resources. They’re scarce for us SEOs, so you’d better allocate them to a page that can pay off nicely in the future. Luckily, most of these pages are an SEO gold mine.

6. Create comparison pages

Signing up and paying for a SaaS product usually requires quite a bit of research. It’s no wonder there’s a solid search demand for keywords with product comparison search intent.

Just take a look at these examples of keywords with comparison search intent that one of the biggest software review websites, G2, is ranking for:

Organic keywords report results; notably, pages have high monthly search volumes

To be honest, we did resist creating a comparison page for a long time. It’s a piece of content that’s easily manipulated. (A big thing for us is being ethical with our marketing efforts.)

With this in mind, we eventually gave it a shot and created our version of a comparison page.

Excerpt of Ahrefs' comparison page against Semrush and Moz

While the keywords may not have the most impressive search volumes and traffic potential, one thing is for sure: These pages are incredibly valuable because people looking up these keywords are close to making a purchase.

As hinted earlier, you should be careful with the copy here. Most SaaS businesses’ comparison pages are centered around a table with features and prices designed to make their products look better than the alternatives.

Of course, this usually involves cherry-picking and/or omitting better products from the listing altogether. You can do better than that.

If you want inspiration to create something different, check our comparison page. There, we focus on word-of-mouth marketing and emphasize our unique data and features.

7. Dig into your data to publish industry insights and studies

We’ve covered the main use cases for keyword research. But there’s still a type of content that doesn’t necessarily need to be driven by traffic potential: industry insights and studies.

The beauty of SaaS businesses is that they often have tons of data that can be analyzed and interpreted into industry insights. For example, one of my latest data studies is about the way Google handles title tags after one of its controversial updates:

The study isn’t supposed to drive any organic traffic. But it is a great opportunity to get more links that can help our regular title tags article (and others) rank better on the SERPs, thanks to the backlinks it got (and will get).

We’ve published quite a few of these studies and insights. They’re without a doubt the best type of linkbait content on our blog:

Best by links report results

It’s no surprise. Claims with data or interesting findings are pieces of information that find their way into many articles.

As with the free tools, this is a type of content that a writer can’t usually produce alone. You’ll probably need help from your data science team. Just make sure that the hypotheses and potential findings truly stand out; this will help you achieve your desired SEO outcomes.

One more thing. Content distribution plays an even more important role here (as compared to content distribution for your standard articles). In the end, if there’s no search volume, then you need to actively push the content in front of people’s eyes to get clicks. Here are a few tips for that:

  • Plan an outreach campaign to get backlinks and/or exposure from prominent people in your niche
  • Promote the content using social media ads on top of the standard organic social posts that usually have limited reach
  • Share it with your email subscribers
  • Repurpose your content into social media posts, answers on Quora, newsletters, etc., and then share repeatedly
  • Update your internal links so readers of your other articles can click through and pages can pass their link equities

8. Build on solid SEO foundations

Last but not least, we have to talk about technical SEO briefly. Everything that we went through so far is related to on-page and off-page SEO for SaaS businesses.

But if your technical foundation isn’t right, it may be all for nothing—no matter how good your content is or the links you get.

You need to make sure that search engines can easily access and properly process the content that you want to rank with on the SERPs. Yes, this can involve many things, but it isn’t rocket science.

The best thing you can do is to set up regular crawls in Ahrefs’ Site Audit (free in Ahrefs Webmaster Tools). Our crawler will go through your website and create a comprehensive report that will tell you what’s possibly wrong and how to fix it:

All issues report results

A good proxy to your overall state of technical SEO is then the Health Score:

Site Audit overview showing health score of 98

You’re also in luck here. SaaS websites aren’t usually complex from a technical SEO perspective because they’re generally rather small. Anyone who does e‑commerce SEO and works on websites consisting of millions of pages will likely laugh at our technical SEO problems.

Final thoughts

Providing the best SaaS SEO tips I can think of is one thing. But making sure that all of this makes sense in the big picture of marketing is another.

Make sure that everything you do pertaining to SaaS SEO aligns with your overall marketing strategy and objectives. It’s also important to track your SEO progress.

On top of that, it’s useful to broaden your skills and knowledge in other areas related to SaaS SEO. So if you like this article, you’ll also find the following articles helpful and relevant:

Got any questions? Ping me on Twitter.




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New Google Search Ads Resemble AI Assistant App

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New Google Search Ads Resemble AI Assistant App

A keynote at Google’s Marketing Live event showed a new AI-powered visual search results that feature advertisements that engage users within the context of an AI-Assisted search, blurring the line between AI-generated search results and advertisements.

Google Lens is a truly helpful app but it becomes unconventional where it blurs the line between an assistant helping users and being led to a shopping cart. This new way of engaging potential customers with AI is so far out there that the presenter doesn’t even call it advertising, he doesn’t even use the word.

Visual Search Traffic Opportunity?

Google’s Group Product Manager Sylvanus Bent, begins the presentation with an overview of the next version of Google Lens visual search that will be useful for surfacing information and for help finding where to buy them.

Sylvanus explained how it will be an opportunity for websites to receive traffic from this new way to search.

“…whether you’re snapping a photo with lens or circling to search something on your social feed, visual search unlocks new ways to explore whatever catches your eye, and we recently announced a newly redesigned results page for Visual search.

Soon, instead of just visual matches, you’ll see a wide range of results, from images to video, web links, and facts about the knowledge graph. It gets people the helpful information they need and creates new opportunities for sites to be discovered.”

It’s hard to say whether or not this will bring search traffic to websites and what the quality of that traffic will be. Will they stick around to read an article? Will they engage with a product review?

Visual Search Results

Sylvanus shares a hypothetical example of someone at an airport baggage claim who falls in like with someone else’s bag. He explains that all the person needs to do is snap a photo of the luggage bag and Google Lens will take them directly to shopping options.

He explains:

“No words, no problem. Just open Lens, take a quick picture and immediately you’ll see options to purchase.

And for the first time, shopping ads will appear at the very top of the results on linked searches, where a business can offer what a consumer is looking for.

This will help them easily purchase something that catches their eye.”

These are image-heavy shopping ads at the top of the search results and as annoying as that may be it’s nowhere near the “next level” advertising that is coming to Google’s search ads where Google presents a paid promotion within the context of an AI Assistant.

Interactive Search Shopping

Sylvanus next describes an AI-powered form advertising that happens directly within search. But he doesn’t call it advertising. He doesn’t even use the word advertising. He suggests this new form of AI search experience is more than offer, saying that, “it’s an experience.”

He’s right to not use the word advertisement because what he describes goes far beyond advertising and blurs the boundaries between search and advertising within the context of AI-powered suggestions, paid suggestions.

Sylvanus explains how this new form of shopping experience works:

“And next, imagine a world where every search ad is more than an offer. It’s an experience. It’s a new way for you to engage more directly with your customers. And we’re exploring search ads with AI powered recommendations across different verticals. So I want to show you an example that’s going live soon and you’ll see even more when we get to shopping.”

He uses the example of someone who needs to store their furniture for a few months and who turns to Google to find short term storage. What he describes is a query for local short term storage that turns into a “dynamic ad experience” that leads the searcher into throwing packing supplies into their shopping cart.

He narrated how it works:

“You search for short term storage and you see an ad for extra space storage. Now you can click into a new dynamic ad experience.

You can select and upload photos of the different rooms in your house, showing how much furniture you have, and then extra space storage with help from Google, AI generates a description of all your belongings for you to verify. You get a recommendation for the right size and type of storage unit and even how much packing supplies you need to get the job done. Then you just go to the website to complete the transaction.

And this is taking the definition of a helpful ad to the next level. It does everything but physically pick up your stuff and move it, and that is cool.”

Step 1: Search For Short Term Storage

1716722762 15 New Google Search Ads Resemble AI Assistant App

The above screenshot shows an advertisement that when clicked takes the user to what looks like an AI-assisted search but is really an interactive advertisement.

Step 2: Upload Photos For “AI Assistance”

1716722762 242 New Google Search Ads Resemble AI Assistant App

The above image is a screenshot of an advertisement that is presented in the context of AI-assisted search.  Masking an advertisement within a different context is the same principal behind an advertorial where an advertisement is hidden in the form of an article. The phrases “Let AI do the heavy lifting” and “AI-powered recommendations” create the context of AI-search that masks the true context of an advertisement.

Step 3: Images Chosen For Uploading

1716722762 187 New Google Search Ads Resemble AI Assistant App

The above screenshot shows how a user uploads an image to the AI-powered advertisement within the context of an AI-powered search app.

The Word “App” Masks That This Is An Ad

Screenshot of interactive advertisement for that identifies itself as an app with the words

Above is a screenshot of how a user uploads a photo to the AI-powered interactive advertisement within the context of a visual search engine, using the word “app” to further the illusion that the user is interacting with an app and not an advertisement.

Upload Process Masks The Advertising Context

Screenshot of interactive advertisement that uses the context of an AI Assistant to mask that this is an advertisement

The phrase “Generative AI is experimental” contributes to the illusion that this is an AI-assisted search.

Step 4: Upload Confirmation

1716722762 395 New Google Search Ads Resemble AI Assistant App

In step 4 the “app” advertisement is for confirming that the AI correctly identified the furniture that needs to be put into storage.

Step 5: AI “Recommendations”

1716722762 588 New Google Search Ads Resemble AI Assistant App

The above screenshot shows “AI recommendations” that look like search results.

The Recommendations Are Ad Units

1716722762 751 New Google Search Ads Resemble AI Assistant App

Those recommendations are actually ad units that when clicked takes the user to the “Extra Space Storage” shopping website.

Step 6: Searcher Visits Advertiser Website

1716722762 929 New Google Search Ads Resemble AI Assistant App

Blurring The Boundaries

What the Google keynote speaker describes is the integration of paid product suggestions into an AI assisted search. This kind of advertising is so far out there that the Googler doesn’t even call it advertising and rightfully so because what this does is blur the line between AI assisted search and advertising. At what point does a helpful AI search become just a platform for using AI to offer paid suggestions?

Watch The Keynote At The 32 Minute Mark

Featured Image by Shutterstock/Ljupco Smokovski

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How Do I Get A Job With A PPC Agency

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Conversion Tracking In PPC Campaigns

This month’s “Ask A PPC” question is particularly significant because the job market has been quite volatile.

“How do I get a job with a PPC agency when I have only worked in-house. What experience would they want?” – Karl Toronto

It’s understandable that people want to know which skills employers seek when hiring for a PPC team. There can be a disparity between what people think they need and what the market actually demands.

We’ll delve into some data and commentary to explain why various traits are valued.

It’s crucial to understand that the ideal candidates will be versatile and have an aptitude for all aspects of digital marketing.

However, no one can excel at everything, so leveraging your strengths or preferences is beneficial.

Ensure that you’re securing the best role for yourself while the company hiring you finds the best fit for them.

Here Are The Essential Skills

  • Analytics.
  • Creativity.
  • Ad network knowledge.
  • Willingness to test/learn.
  • Culture fit.

Discrepancy Between Market Demands And Perceived Needs

I conducted a poll on my LinkedIn to gauge the skills desired by current employers and practitioners.

Screenshot from author, LinkedIn, April 2024

Analytical skills emerged as the most sought-after trait. Employers seek individuals who can interpret numbers and discern the story behind them.

However, relying solely on analytical prowess may overlook the importance of creativity.

Creative skills are vital in today’s ad networks, especially emphasizing visual content like videos and campaign types that force visual content (Performace Max/Demand Gen). Neglecting creativity can hinder a company’s branding efforts.

Unexpectedly, ad network skills and cultural fit were deemed far less critical than analytical skills. Brands should prioritize team cohesion for long-term success, yet this aspect is often undervalued.

The disparity between job descriptions and actual skill requirements contributes to the difficulty in the job market.

Agencies that hire for how PPC used to work will be left wanting. Practitioners who only focus on popular skills instead of needed ones will be made obsolete by the privacy-first era obscuring data and AI owning creative.

Analytical Skills

Analytical abilities involve knowing where to find relevant data sources and understanding how they contribute to success.

While PPC historically relied on measurable outcomes, the landscape is evolving, necessitating adaptability in data analysis. Technical proficiency and strategic acumen are crucial for navigating different data sources.

These include:

  • Customer relationship management (CRM) systems.
  • Google Analytics 4 (GA4).
  • Ecommerce platforms.
  • Content management platforms (CMS).

Empathy for various ad channels improves your candidacy, and knowing how to work with post-click data will give you an edge over those who can only work with ad platform data.

While being highly technical isn’t required, having empathy for coding and scripts will give you a better chance to stay current with evolving data mechanics (especially as APIs become even more important for accessing data blocked by privacy-first regulations).

Here are some takes from PPC experts on why analytics is the most important:

A screenshot of a LinkedIn comment by Georgi Zayakov, who describes himself as analytical Screenshot from author, LinkedIn, April 2024
A LinkedIn post by Kathryn B., a paid media specialist at a PPC agencyScreenshot from LinkedIn, April 2024
Screenshot of a LinkedIn post by Nikolaos B., discussing how marketers must become data-savvyScreenshot from author, LinkedIn, April 2024

Creativity

Creativity is essential for crafting compelling ad content, yet many PPC agencies struggle in this area.

Clients are often tasked with providing creative materials due to cost or complexity constraints.

You’ll get a competitive edge if you have these skills:

  • Video Editing: With the rise of PMax, as well as many ad networks leaning heavily into connected TV, having video editing chops will be a huge asset for any team. If you’re not comfortable using conventional editing tools, AI tools like Descript are a great way to take on those tasks.
  • Graphic Design: No matter the ad network your potential employer is hiring for, you will need some ability to design static images. Whether you use stock photos or AI-generated images or come up with the creative yourself, the days of purely text ads are over. Tools like Canva can help bridge the gap for less technical designers, but don’t discount ad network AI.
  • Content Creation: While the first two categories leaned toward visual content, written content is still important (i.e., most ad formats include some text). Having the ability to understand how diverse audiences prefer to be addressed while respecting the specific requirements of each format is a great skill to hone.

While some roles may prioritize analytics or ad network knowledge, emphasizing creative abilities can distinguish you during the hiring process.

Here are some experts who value creativity:

A screenshot of a LinkedIn post by Erik PetersonScreenshot from author, LinkedIn, April 2024
A screenshot of a Linkedin post by Amy HebdonScreenshot from author, LinkedIn, April 2024

Ad Network Knowledge

Ad network expertise is valuable, but adaptability is paramount as platforms evolve rapidly.

Some agencies will have specialists, while others hire folks they expect to be passable at every network they service. It’s important to understand what workflow will enable you to succeed.

If you’re happy working with all platforms, then don’t shy away from it. However, if you do better in focusing on one aspect of PPC, that’s totally valid. Just know it might limit your ability to get hired into smaller “familyesque” agencies.

Understanding auction dynamics and bidding strategies is crucial.

Many of us who entered the industry when manual bidding was more popular have an unfair advantage over those who came in during the Smart Bidding era (i.e., anything from 2020).

This is because manual bidding requires you to think about the mechanics of each ad platform’s auction and how you could use those mechanics to your advantage in building account structure.

Knowing what to track and allocating appropriate budgets are key considerations.

Understanding that some networks require more conversions than others to run (e.g., Meta Ads’ 50 in a 7-day period vs. Google Ads’ 15 in a 30-day period) should influence what you choose to track, as well as how you report the data.

Additionally, if you are under or over budget, you’ll set yourself up to fail. Knowing which channels require a big investment upfront and what the breaking point for each network is (either on underspending or spending too much) is critical.

Awareness of potential pitfalls, such as false positives or negatives, enhances campaign effectiveness. For example, it’s important to know how to check if automatically applying recommendations is on and what tasks it’s on for.

It’s worth noting that none of the experts who chimed in on the poll made a clear case for ad network knowledge specifically.

Willingness To Test

Success in PPC requires openness to experimentation and a willingness to adapt. While this wasn’t one of the criteria in the poll, it was one of the most popular traits experts look for in hiring.

Perfectionism can hinder progress in a fast-changing environment. Testing new ideas and embracing failure as an opportunity for growth are essential.

While analytical skills aid in test design, empathy and creativity are equally vital for devising effective experiments.

Here is an expert who favors a willingness to test:

Screenshot of a social media post by Mike RhodesScreenshot from author, LinkedIn, April 2024

Cultural Fit

Cultural alignment with an agency fosters productivity and job satisfaction. However, you can only achieve that by being honest with yourself about what you want and the mechanics of how you work.

Agencies demand intense effort and collaboration, making compatibility with colleagues crucial.

Anyone looking to make the shift from in-house to agency needs to be prepared for a much faster pace of work and a lot more agency.

Open communication with leadership regarding preferred management and learning styles will ensure a positive working relationship.

Respect for peers and a supportive atmosphere contribute to a fulfilling work environment.

Here are a few thoughts on cultural fit from polled experts:

The image shows a LinkedIn post by David Zebrout containing text discussing the importance of integrating PPC network knowledge with intertimed optimizations in generating profitable growth.Screenshot from author, LinkedIn, April 2024
LinkedIn post by Lisa Erschbamer discussing the importance of cultural fit and individual personality in team dynamics for effective performance at a PPC Agency.Screenshot from author, LinkedIn, April 2024
A screenshot of a LinkedIn post by Aaron Davies discussing the importance of cultural fit, individual skills, and team communication in marketing for a PPC agency. The post has reactions and a question comment by NavahScreenshot from author, LinkedIn, April 2024

Final Thoughts

Navigating the current job market can be challenging, but understanding industry needs and honing relevant skills increases your chances of success.

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Why Every Marketer Should Be On Reddit

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Why Every Marketer Should Be On Reddit

In its nearly 20 years of existence, Reddit has built a robust, dynamic, and highly engaged community.

It has cemented itself as not only one of the key influencers for the internet culture we have come to know today, but also as one of the top 10 social media sites in the world, with more than 500,000 monthly visitors across more than 100,000 active communities.

Despite its size and influence, marketers have long avoided, overlooked, and failed to establish a presence on what is arguably one of the most influential social media sites today.

To be fair, Reddit has always been known as one of the hardest communities to have marketing success with, requiring months (if not years) of dedicated commitment to actually being a part of the community and engaging with your audience through meaningful, genuine, and honest interactions.

To many, that is just too much risk and too much work, but let’s be honest – most amazing things take risk and hard work. And for all of you who put in that work to be successful on Reddit, you already see the payoff it brings.

Regardless of the reasons, marketers who continue to overlook Reddit’s potential are missing out on an extremely influential community with ideal targeted demographics, where authenticity and genuine connections lead to valuable information, positive branding, and marketing success.

Not convinced? Let’s take a closer look at Reddit!

Reddit Stats You Cannot Ignore

Reddit users are dedicated to their use of the platform, with a reported 82 million (16.4%) of its 500 million users visiting the site daily, sharing over 1 billion posts, with over 16 billion comments across 100,000+ active communities, making it easily one of the top visited and most active sites in the United States today.

The user base is so loyal that they spend, on average, 20 minutes on the platform each day (and over 45 minutes a day for long-time users of more than 7 years) and, in many cases, are inactive on other social platforms.

This makes Reddit one of the only places to actually get in front of this massive audience, with 32% being inactive on Facebook, 37% on Instagram, 41% on TikTok, and 53% on X.

When it comes to demographics, a 2019 survey concluded that the overall Reddit audience was majority male (59%), ranged in age (36% aged 18-29; 25% aged 30-49), and well educated (42% college degree; 31% some college) making them an ideal audience many businesses looking for success.

They also helped Reddit improve revenues by 21% to $804 million in 2023, with a global addressable market for advertising estimated at $1.4 trillion by 2027.

Thought by many to be mostly a North American audience, Reddit claims more than 50% of its traffic comes from international users, a rather impressive climb from its earlier years.

It is important to remember, though, that Reddit is a platform that allows communities to grow and thrive, so those demographics change from subreddit to subreddit.

If that isn’t enough to grab your attention, surveys have found that 75% of users find Reddit a trustworthy source for making purchasing decisions.

For years now, it has been included heavily and prominently in Google search results, which have become even more visible due to reports following their inclusion in SGE results and with Google’s recent $60 million a year deal with Reddit to have real-time access to Reddit content and to use its content to train Google’s future AI models.

Speaking of Reddit’s visibility in Google’s search results, let’s take a closer look at why that deal is so important, especially to search marketers.

Reddit In Google Search, SGE, And Google’s Reddit Deal

For years, Reddit results have been prominently displayed in Google’s search results – so much so that users have even started adding the term “reddit” to the end of their search queries.

So often, you will see Google suggest search lines with the term “reddit” prefilled at the end.

Screenshot by author from search for [are purple mattresses good], Google, May 2024

Even without selecting the query that includes “reddit,” you will notice Reddit’s prominent placement in two places: discussions and forums, and Reddit sitelinks, which are both just below the ads and the first organic result.

Reddit resultsScreenshot by author from search for [are purple mattresses good], Google, May 2024

This was amplified by Google’s recent Helpful Content Update (HCU), which allowed platforms like Reddit and other forums to show up more frequently in search results,

Reddit’s ability to be helpful in satisfying a user’s search for information is so successful – in combination with reported shortages in new content for AI models from all major platforms – it is not surprising Google struck a deal with Reddit to show its content faster in search results and to use the content in training future AI models.

Since news of the deal between Reddit and Google was reported, there has been a lot of additional focus on Reddit’s visibility in Google’s search results.

Experts throughout the search industry report an increase in not only the total visibility of Reddit going up within search but also the speed at which a Reddit post is indexed and shown to users.

Google responded to concerns about Reddit showing up more in search results, saying that “some of the SEO folks who tend to be vocal on this platform (X) really dislike seeing more forum content in our search results. But actual searchers seem to like it. They proactively seek it out. It makes sense for us to be showing it to keep the search results relevant and satisfying for everyone.”

Google responded to concerns of Reddit showing up more in search resultsScreenshot by author from X (Twitter), May 2024

Although disputed by Google, Roger Montii wrote about one report of Reddit content being indexed within five minutes.

ChatGPT to Surface Reddit Content

Adding to the deal Reddit made with Google, it was recently reported that OpenAI has partnered with Reddit to surface their content in ChatGPT, adding to the clear value that both OpenAI and Google see in Reddit’s content today and in the future.

Of course, this has sparked a lot of interest in companies of all sizes. They want to figure out how their brands can participate and succeed on Reddit in hopes of increasing their visibility in Google’s search results, SGE, and ChatGPT and building their brand’s visibility amongst one of the most influential audiences on the internet today.

**Quick warning: Reddit requires genuine, long-term engagement and a strategy for success. So, I would definitely advise individuals and businesses to avoid trying to game, spam, or blindly jump into marketing on Reddit and take the time to really understand the platform, its audience, and your place of value within its communities.

Let’s look at how some major brands have been successful on Reddit in the past.

noosa Yoghurt

Noosa Yoghurt’s 2021 back-to-school campaign on Reddit was a great example of tapping into niche audiences to create engaging, user-driven content.

To capitalize on Reddit’s community of vocal yogurt enthusiasts, noosa launched a Flavor Poll that invited Redditors to upvote their favorite noosa flavors in the comments. This created a sense of community and interactivity around what could have been a standard poll.

Noosa Yoghurt’s 2021 back-to-school campaign on Reddit.Screenshot by author from Reddit, May 2024

After tallying the upvotes, noosa published a Promoted Post that showcased the results using a sleek custom infographic, highlighting the community’s favorites while also giving the brand important insight into consumer preferences.

Noosa published a Promoted Post that showcased the results.Screenshot by author from Reddit, May 2024

The results:

  • 49% increase in brand recall among Reddit users who were exposed to the campaign.
  • 30% increase in brand favorability.
  • 39% increase in purchase intent (15X the typical lift observed in the food vertical).
  • 50+ billion monthly views.

Sony Pictures Germany

To drum up excitement around the release of “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” in Germany, Sony Pictures Germany crafted a Reddit campaign that combined organic and promoted content to engage the platform’s robust fan communities.

The brand created a Reddit account under the protagonist’s name, u/MilesMorales, and used it to share exclusive content directly within Spiderman-related subreddits.

It also organized an AMA with the German voice actor Miles Morales to create a more personal connection with fans and promoted video posts featuring the movie trailer to amplify the excitement.

Sony Pictures Germany crafted a Reddit campaign.Screenshot by author from Reddit, May 2024

The results:

  • Sony Pictures Germany achieved a click-through rate (CTR) that was 344% higher than that of its standard paid media.
  • 831 upvotes.
  • 618,000 impressions.
  • The film remained No. 1 on the German movie charts for three consecutive weeks.

It is important to note that promoting your content and your brand on Reddit is definitely not the only value Reddit can bring you and your business.

Reddit is an amazing place to get honest feedback.

Whether you are trying to figure out what your target audience wants from your brand, test out a new feature or concept before investing and launching it openly, or even just to have continued open communication with your customers to support them and keep them connected to your brand, Reddit can help you succeed in an amazing way.

Transamerica Helping Reddit Make Dollars Make Sense

Transamerica’s campaign on Reddit is a great example of a company identifying an opportunity to connect with its target audience on the subreddit /r/finance.

This allows the company to better understand its customers’ needs and focus on content creation and future marketing plans.

Transamerica’s campaign on RedditScreenshot by author from Reddit, May 2024

Aligning itself with its audience by demonstrating awareness of the topics around personal finance happening in the subreddit, as well as acknowledging the Redditors working at the company, it asked what topics it could create “specifically for the reddit community” around the topic of finance.

It stayed involved and engaged throughout the campaign, responding to threads and maintaining a lighthearted and sometimes humorous tone.

Transamerica’s campaign on RedditScreenshot by author from Reddit, May 2024

After getting all the feedback it needed, it created content around the more popular requests, going as far as branding and designing them similar to Reddit.

IRA vs 401K venn diagramScreenshot by author from Reddit, May 2024

It even took the time to individually comment a link to the published content on its site, bringing attention back to the overall campaign and the content it created.

This campaign was 10 years ago, and it is still referenced as a core example of engaging on Reddit as a brand in a respectful, thoughtful, and meaningful way.

Why You Should Be On Reddit Wrapup

TL;DR: If your brand has something meaningful to say and is interested in truly connecting with your audience, then yes, you should be on Reddit.

These successful brand campaign examples showcase Reddit’s power when used correctly. With research to understand the specific communities you want to reach, Reddit can have exceptional performance compared to other channels.

The stakes are high to get it right because Reddit communities can be highly negative toward self-serving promotion. But if you put in the effort and solve people’s needs and problems, Reddit has the potential to be a high-performance channel.

Edit: Updated daily active users figure based on Reddit’s Q1 Earnings Report

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Featured Image: Julia Tim/Shutterstock



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