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Where To Invest In SEO For Maximum Impact

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You’re a savvy marketer.

You know the importance of changing with the times, adopting new technology, and taking advantage of new opportunities.

So, it’s no surprise you’ve recognized the importance of search engine optimization (SEO).

After all, SEO is on an epic rise and helping businesses of all types find new customers.

And, if you’re in the process of expanding and targeting new markets, or just considering it, SEO should be a vital part of your marketing strategy.

But, you may find yourself wondering just how you should get involved in this field. Is it really worth the time, energy, and investment? Unequivocally, yes.

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We have all the information you need to know about why you need SEO, how to invest in it, and everything else you might need to convince hesitant stakeholders in your organization.

Is SEO Worth it?

Every business in the 21st century needs a website. And because you need a website, you need SEO to help customers find you.

It’s the best and most cost-effective way to both understand and reach customers.

The primary source of the traffic to most websites, it helps build your credibility and gives you a clear understanding of what your customers are searching for.

Good SEO means better traffic from more qualified leads, increased engagement, and more conversions.

SEO Amplifies Your Marketing Plan

Your brand doesn’t exist in a vacuum.

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And because the internet in general and mobile devices, in particular, continue to be the primary tools for customer research, your online presence is paramount.

SEO works in conjunction with your other marketing initiatives, amplifying your results.

Imagine, for example, you’re a window company sending out a postcard mailer to potential new customers in your area.

One customer is interested in getting a quote for installation, but he accidentally threw away your collateral. And he can’t quite remember the name of your business.

So, he does a search for “window installation in my area.”

Thanks to your investment in SEO, your company shows up at the top of search engine page rankings (SERPs) and he contacts you instead of one of your competitors.

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In this example, both your flyer and your SEO investment have done their job, with each performing better than they would have on their own.

It’s A Growing Field

According to a study by The Business Research Company, the global search engine services market grew at a compound annual growth rate of 16.7% from 2015 to 2020, reaching a value of nearly $46.7 billion.

This rapid growth trend is expected to continue, with the market for SEO services reaching $217.8 billion by 2030.

It should also come as no surprise the biggest name in this field remains to be Google.

According to Similarweb, Google is visited more than 89 billion times a month. This gives it by far the largest market share, accounting for 92% of all searches.

If your website isn’t ranking highly in SERPs, however, you’re missing out on a lot of business.

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Effective SEO opens the door for exponential growth and helps you stand out from your competition.

SEO Creates Positive Experiences

No matter how brilliant you are at marketing, and we’re sure you’re amazing, consumers will always view your campaigns with some degree of skepticism.

That’s because they know your goal is to present your brand in the most positive light possible.

After all, McDonald’s wouldn’t sell nearly as many burgers if their slogan was “Eh, it’s okay,” instead of “I’m loving it.”

Regardless of which tagline is more accurate, customers know when you’re pumping sunshine – and that’s what makes reviews so important.

Studies have found as many as 82% of consumers say they read online reviews for local businesses, with 91% saying positive reviews make them more likely to use a business.

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Not sure what reviews have to do with SEO?

The link between Google Reviews and SEO rankings has been long established, as positive reviews are a strong signal to search engines about your site’s trustworthiness and authority.

Now that we’ve covered the benefits of SEO, let’s take a closer look at the nuts and bolts of an SEO campaign.

What Is A Typical ROI For SEO?

Every successful business has one thing in common: They keep their balance sheet in the black. And an important component of that is making smart decisions with money.

Let’s put it on the table: SEO is not free.

Even if you’re willing to do all the work yourself, you’re still sinking a considerable amount of time into doing all the things it requires.

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And that’s time you could have spent on other business initiatives. But trust us, SEO is worth it.

There are several different metrics you can use to measure the return on investment (ROI) of your SEO. You can measure your campaign’s success using things like:

  • Organic search – your page’s ranking in Google or other search engines.
  • Organic traffic – your share of non-paid search engine traffic.
  • Business metrics like backlinks, impressions, or clickthrough rate, among others.
  • Business profitability – conversions into sales (though you may also find value in opportunities and/or qualified leads).

SEO has been proven by some agencies to attract leads at 25 cents on the dollar when compared to paid search.

How Much Should You Invest In SEO?

By this point, it should be clear that your business needs SEO.

And that means earmarking part of your marketing budget for it. But how much, exactly?

If you don’t know where to even begin answering this, you’re not alone.

Unfortunately, there’s no clear-cut answer.

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Depending on where you’re starting from and where you want to go, there’s a huge amount of variance.

But there is one truism: Like mattresses and car batteries, you get what you pay for.

If you try to take a budget route, you’re probably going to get budget results.

You could contract with one of the many SEO scammers with “Guaranteed First Page Results!™” only to fall victim to a bunch of black hat tactics that end up getting you penalized and effectively erasing your site’s visibility.

But if you don’t have a massive SEO budget, don’t worry. You can still get good results just by focusing on a few of the most important factors, namely:

  • Site architecture: Ensure good crawlability, follow webmaster guidelines, and pay attention to user experience.
  • Good content: Regularly add fresh, keyword-rich content that matches search queries and satisfies user intent.
  • Quality backlinks: Natural backlinks (not link farms) from high trust-high authority sites can help you shoot up the rankings.

But, what does that mean in terms of dollars and cents? The short (and admittedly frustrating answer) is “it depends.”

SEO takes time and if you’re expecting overnight results, you’re going to be disappointed.

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You should budget for a minimum of six months to see results. And that will vary depending on your needs.

A first-class SEO agency running a local campaign may run you $500/month.

If you’re setting your sights on loftier goals, an international campaign will require a budget five to 10 times that.

But of course, the most cost-effective way to handle SEO is simply to become an expert yourself by reading articles like this one.

For a more in-depth walkthrough on how to determine your SEO budget, read this article.

How Do You Invest In SEO?

The first step in investing in SEO is determining your goals.

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Are you looking to expand your sales funnel? Increase customer awareness? Show up in a specific number of searches per day?

Figure out what you want to achieve, and then decide on your strategy.

Once you’ve landed on a plan of attack, you can work out which tactics you need to achieve that strategy.

Confused by the difference between strategy and tactics? The easiest way to remember it: tactics are small scale, whereas strategy is large scale. Strategy is why and tactics is how.

For example, Napoleon wanted to invade Belgium to drive a wedge between his British and Prussian enemies. That was the strategy behind his Waterloo campaign.

The attack of the French cavalry in an attempt to break the British center at the Battle of Waterloo was a tactic used to help achieve that greater goal (which failed, as any high school history teacher could tell you. Sometimes tactics are unsuccessful, though they don’t always derail an entire strategy as they did in this case).

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In case that just muddied things up further, we have a handy piece that does a much better job of explaining it than a ham-fisted example from 19th-century warfare.

Need help developing a comprehensive SEO strategy? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered there, too.

If you have the budget to cover it, there are a number of paid SEO tools that are well worth the money.

From keyword research to evaluating backlinks, these programs can provide you with clearer insights into your campaigns and help you boost overall SEO efficiency.

For a breakdown of some of the best-paid SEO tools on the market, click here.

Should You Invest In SEO Or PPC Ads?

SEO has a better average ROI than pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, so that’s what you should be using, right? No.

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Both are valuable, and ideally, you should have a mix of paid and organic search campaigns that make sense for your company and your current assets. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses.

While you could write a book on just this topic, we’ll attempt to give you a very brief overview of the benefits of each and what you’ll be investing your time and money in.

Advantages Of SEO

  • Website traffic: SEO can help increase the total number of people who visit your site and land more clicks overall.
  • ROI: As previously discussed, SEO is more cost-effective than PPC, though be warned: Neither is cheap or easy.
  • Branding and awareness: Organic search puts your business in front of potential customers based on search queries, increasing visibility around search terms, and exposing people to your brand.
  • Credibility: Ranking highly in SERPs can play a large role in building trust. Many users skip right past the paid ads and click on organic results instead.
  • Longer-lasting results: While SEO takes some time to begin seeing results, it also takes longer to drop off. An optimized site can maintain a high ranking long after a PPC campaign has been deactivated.
  • Stability: Similarly, whereas PPC ad positioning can change according to bids from the competition, a site with good SEO will hold a relative position even if you forget about it for a while.

Advantages Of PPC

  • Faster results: Once you launch a paid campaign, you should begin seeing more traffic, clicks, and conversions right away.
  • Algorithm changes don’t affect positioning: PPC is bidding for the top spots on a SERP, which means you don’t have to rethink content and strategies every time Google updates its search algorithm.
  • More control: Because you have control over your spending, you’ll always know what kind of returns you are getting, which in turn makes budgeting easier.
  • More accurate targeting: Paid search ads let you target based on an entire range of factors including demographics, geography, and time of day, so you can more accurately go after an audience.
  • You can use visual ads: People are more likely to click on images of the product they’re searching for. You can do this with PPC, but not with organic search.

Your SEO Investment

What exactly are you spending your budget on with an SEO campaign? In short, architecture and content.

If you’re handy with HTML and CSS, you need to evaluate your site to ensure it’s well-built.

That means improving crawlability and structural issues, ensuring it creates good user experiences, loads quickly, and doesn’t have 404 links.

If you don’t know your way around code, you should be able to hire a professional to handle this for you for a reasonable price.

The content is a bit more straightforward.

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You want to ensure your website has the information your targets are searching for. Effective and meaningful content will drive the traffic you want and improve your overall ROI.

For your convenience, we’ve provided a guide to developing an SEO content strategy and information on how to create evergreen content that will continue to drive traffic for months or even years.

How Should You Structure Your SEO Investment?

By this point, it should be clear that you need SEO. Now it’s just time to figure out where your budget should be going.

As with nearly everything SEO-related, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution here.

What works for your business depends on a lot of factors, including your market, goals, and overall marketing budget.

However, if we could make a suggestion, it would behoove you to hire a strong SEO team.

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There are a wealth of professionals out there skilled in various aspects of SEO, including technical SEO, keyword research, and content creation.

Don’t have the budget to hire anyone? Never fear, these are all skills you can master yourself with some research and hard work.

Just keep in mind common traits SEO professionals share and work on cultivating those skills yourself.

Conclusion

Don’t kid yourself – SEO is a massive undertaking. But it’s not overwhelming. You have already taken a great first step just by reading this article.

There’s a lot that factors in, but with the right attitude and a clear strategy, you can get the results you want, no matter what your budget is.

Now, get out there and start working on your ranking.

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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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