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The Ultimate Guide for an SEO-Friendly URL Structure

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To many, URLs are just seemingly inconsequential addresses to webpages. However, how you structure URLs for SEO matters.

They may seem less important than the title and heading elements but URLs can be a powerful tool for achieving SEO success.

Are Keywords in URLs Used for Ranking?

There’s no clear answer to whether keywords in the URL are used for ranking. Here’s why.

2010: Approach Keywords in URL Like a User

In 2010, Google’s Matt Cutts published a video where he discussed keywords in the path name versus keywords in the filename.

The path name is:

/tools/wood/drills.html

The multi-hyphen filename is:

/tools-wood-drills.html

Cutts recommended approaching the problem from the point of what a user might prefer.

He stated that the multi-hyphenated version may appear spammy to users.

He then affirmed that there is no multi-hyphen algorithm that will penalize multiple hyphens, doubling down on the approach of looking at it from a user perspective.

Cutts implied that there was a user impact effect in the following statement:

“As far as search engine ranking, I’m not sure that there’s really that much difference between the two.

But you might want to be a little careful because of the user experience of having a really long filename that’s just stuffed with hyphens. People might not like it if they see dash, dash, dash, dash, dash, dash and so they might not click on it.”

Matt didn’t address the ranking factor aspect.

It could be that what he wanted to stress was that the user experience part – what people would click on in the search engine results pages (SERPs) – was more important than any ranking factor-related benefit.

2011: Keywords in Domain are Ranking Factors

In 2011, in a somewhat related video about keywords in domains, he stated that Google was thinking about turning down the influence of keywords in the domain.

Like keywords in URLs, keywords in domains were also ranking factors.

But they were downplayed in terms of how important they were.

Matt downplays their ranking factor role in favor of other factors related to user experience and marketing – which is similar to how he also downplayed keywords in the URL.

2016: Google Says Keywords are Very Small Ranking Factor

In a Webmaster Central hangout in January 2016, John Mueller did in fact acknowledge that keywords in the URL were a ranking factor.

However, he minimized the importance of that as a ranking factor, describing its influence as being “very small.”

Mueller:

“I believe that’s a very small ranking factor, so it’s not something I’d really try to force. And it’s not something where I’d say it’s even worth your effort to kind of restructure your site just so you can include keywords in the URL.”

Calling it “very small” lines up well with what Cutts had been saying all along – that there are other areas of a site that are more important to focus on.

2017: Keywords in URL are Overrated

Mueller continued to minimize the importance of keywords in the URL as a ranking factor.

In 2017, he called them overrated.

2018: Don’t Worry About Keywords in URL

As recently as 2018, Mueller continued to downplay keywords in URL as a ranking factor, saying that they’re not even seen by users.

(Presumably, he’s referencing URLs invisibility in the Google SERPs.)

Keywords in a URL may be a ranking factor but judging from Googler statements, it’s a very minor one.

Are Keywords in Bare URL Links Used as Anchor Text?

There’s an idea around that if someone links to your site with just the link, Google will at least use the keywords in the URL as anchor text, which will help that site rank better for that anchor text.

That kind of link is sometimes called a naked link.

It’s called naked because it is a link in the form of a URL instead of hidden in an anchor text.

Bare URL:

http://www.example.com/

URL in an anchor text:

Click here!

Mueller said (How Google Handles Naked Links, September 2020) that naked links do not pass anchor text information.

This is what he said:

“From what I understand, our systems do try to recognize this and say well, this is just a URL that is linked, it’s not that there’s a valuable anchor here.

So we can take this into account as a link but we can’t really use that anchor text for anything in particular.

So from that point of view it’s a normal link but we don’t have any context there.”

Can Keywords in a URL Increase Clicks From SERPS?

There’s an old SEO idea that says using keywords in the URL will help stimulate a higher click-through rate (CTR) from the search results pages (SERPs).

This might have been true in the past.

It’s less true today, particularly for sites that use breadcrumb navigation and/or breadcrumb navigation structured data.

Google is instead using the category name in the search results for sites that feature breadcrumb navigation or breadcrumb navigation structured data.

The keywords in the URL are not visible.

Screenshot of Google search results with no discernible URLsScreenshot of a search result where Google does not show the URL

For sites that don’t use breadcrumb navigation or the breadcrumb structured data, Google does display the URLs with keywords in them.

But Google does not highlight them.

If Google did highlight the keywords in the URL, it might have helped to draw the eye to the listing—but this is not the case.

Screenshot of a keyword showing in Google's search engine results pages aka SERPsScreenshot showing that keywords in the SERPs are not highlighted

What Use Are Keywords in a URL?

Aside from a very minor possible ranking factor weight, there are clear benefits to site visitors for keywords in a URL.

Keywords in the URL can help users understand what a page is about.

Even though those keywords might not always show up in the SERPs, they will show when linked as a bare URL.

Example of a bare URL:

https:www.example.com/widgets/best-widgets

When in doubt, optimize for the user because Google always recommends making pages useful for users.

This tends to align with the kinds of webpages Google wants to rank.

Best Practices for URL Structure

Standardize Your URLs in Lowercase

Most servers don’t have problems with mixed case URLs.

Even so, it’s a good idea to standardize what your URLs look like.

URLs are commonly written in the lowercase “like-this-dot-com” as opposed to mixed case “Like-That-Dot-Net” or in all uppercaseLIKE-THIS-DOT-BIZ.”

It’s best to do that as well if only because that’s what users expect and it is easier to read than all caps.

Keeping your URLs standardized will help prevent linking errors within the site and from outside of the site, too.

Use Hyphens, Not Underscores

Always use hyphens (-) and not underscores (_) because underscores cannot be seen when the URL is published as a bare link.

Here’s an example of how underscores in links are a bad practice:

Animated GIF showing how underscores are invisible when formatted within a linkUnderscores are invisible when formatted in a link. This means that users are unable to accurately see what the URL is.Animated GIF showing how underscores are invisible when formatted within a link

Use Accurate Keywords in Category URL Structure

Using a less relevant keyword as the category name is a common mistake that comes from choosing the keyword with the most traffic.

Sometimes the highest traffic keyword isn’t necessarily what the pages in the category are about.

Select category names that truly describe what the pages contained within it are about.

When in doubt, pick the words that are most relevant to users who are looking for the content or products that are contained within those categories.

Avoid Using Superfluous Words in URL Structure

Sometimes a CMS might add the word /category/ into the URL structure.

This is an undesirable URL structure.

There is no justification for a URL structure that looks like /category/widget/.

It should simply be /widget/.

Similarly, if a better word than “blog” exists for telling users what to expect out of a section of your site, then use that instead.

Words guide users to content they are looking for.

Use them appropriately.

Future Proof Your URLs

Just because a date is in the title of the article doesn’t mean it belongs in the URL.

If you intend to create a “Top xxx for 20xx” type of post, it is generally a better practice to use the same URL year after year.

So instead of:

example.com/widgets/top-widgets-2020

Try removing the year and simply go with:

example.com/widgets/top-widgets

The benefit of updating the content and the title year after year and keeping the same URL is that all of the links that went to the previous year of content remain.

Anyone who follows the old links will find the updated content.

It’s possible to create an archive of previous years, as well.

That’s up to you.

Trailing Slash or No Trailing Slash

A trailing slash is this symbol: [ / ].

The Worldwide Web Consortium (W3C) the group responsible for web standards – recommends best practice is that the trailing slash should be used to indicate a “container URI” for denoting parent/child relationships.

(A URI is used to identify resources in the same way as a URL, except those resources may not be on the web.)

A parent/child relationship is when a category contains numerous webpages.

The category “container” is the parent and the webpages contained within it are the children documents that are contained within the category.

This is what the W3C states in the section called, Linked Data Platform Best Practices and Guidelines:

“2.6 Include a trailing slash in container URIs
When representing container membership with hierarchical URLs, including the trailing slash in a container’s URI makes it easier to use relative URIs.”

In HTML, the trailing slash is supposed to indicate the presence of a directory or a category section.

In 2017 Google’s John Mueller tweeted that apart from the home page, a URL with and a URL without a trailing slash are different web pages.

For example:

https://www.example.com/widgets

can be a different page from:

https://www.example.com/widgets/

/widgets denotes a page while /widgets/ represents a directory or category section.

Mueller’s tweet in 2017 reaffirmed an official Google blog post from 2010 (To Slash or Not to Slash) that made similar statements.

However, even in that 2010 blog post, Google pretty much left it up to publishers to decide how to use trailing slashes.

But Google’s adherence to a common trailing slash convention reflects that point of view.

Google Is Flexible on Trailing Slash Best Practices

Here’s an example of how Google codes URLs.

This URL features the .html at the end and is clearly a web page:

https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2020/11/timing-for-page-experience.html

This URL ending with a trailing slash is a category page:

https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2020/11/

And this is the container for the month year of 2020:

https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2020/

The above examples conform with the standard recommendation to use trailing slashes at the end for a category directory and to not use it at the end of the URL when it’s a web page.

Google URLs Lacking Trailing Slash Altogether

However, other sections published by Google don’t conform to that standard.

The following examples are categories and webpages that do not use a trailing slash.

  • This is a URL for a category section:
    https://developers.google.com/analytics
  • This is a web page:
    https://developers.google.com/analytics/devguides/integrate
  • And this is another web page:
    https://developers.google.com/analytics/devguides/collection/firebase/android

All of those webpages and category pages look similar because they don’t use a trailing slash.

Google Is Flexible in Use of Trailing Slash

The above examples show that yes, there are best practices.

But this is one of those best practices that can be ignored.

As far back as 2010, Google’s advice on the use of trailing slashes was flexible.

According to Google:

“…you’re free to choose whichever you like.”

Perhaps the most important point about trailing slash in the URL is that you choose one way of doing it and sticking with that so you can avoid confusion.

It also makes it easier to redirect non-trailing slash URLs to the trailing slash, etc.

URLs for SEO Purposes

The topic of SEO-friendly URLs is deeper than one may suspect, with many nuances to it.

While Google is increasingly not showing URLs in the SERPs, popular search engines like Bing and DuckDuckGo still show them.

URLs are a good way to signal to a potential site visitor what a page is about.

The proper use of URLs can help improve click-through rates wherever the links are shared.

And keeping URLs shorter makes them user friendly and easier to share.

Webpages that make it easy to share are helping users make the pages popular.

Don’t underestimate the power of popularity for ranking purposes because some of what search engines do is to show users what the users are expecting to see.

The URL is a humble and somewhat overlooked part of the SEO equation but it can contribute a great deal to helping your pages rank well.

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Image Credits

Featured image and screenshots by author, November 2020

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Google’s AI Overviews Go Viral, Draw Mainstream Media Scrutiny

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Google's AI Overviews Go Viral, Draw Mainstream Media Scrutiny

Google’s rollout of AI-generated overviews in US search results is taking a disastrous turn, with mainstream media outlets like The New York Times, BBC, and CNBC reporting on numerous inaccuracies and bizarre responses.

On social media, users are sharing endless examples of the feature’s nonsensical and sometimes dangerous output.

From recommending non-toxic glue on pizza to suggesting that eating rocks provides nutritional benefits, the blunders would be amusing if they weren’t so alarming.

Mainstream Media Coverage

As reported by The New York Times, Google’s AI overviews struggle with basic facts, claiming that Barack Obama was the first Muslim president of the United States and stating that Andrew Jackson graduated from college in 2005.

These errors undermine trust in Google’s search engine, which more than two billion people rely on for authoritative information worldwide.

Manual Removal & System Refinements

As reported by The Verge, Google is now scrambling to remove the bizarre AI-generated responses and improve its systems manually.

A Google spokesperson confirmed that the company is taking “swift action” to remove problematic responses and using the examples to refine its AI overview feature.

Google’s Rush To AI Integration

The flawed rollout of AI overviews isn’t an isolated incident for Google.

As CNBC notes in its report, Google made several missteps in a rush to integrate AI into its products.

In February, Google was forced to pause its Gemini chatbot after it generated inaccurate images of historical figures and refused to depict white people in most instances.

Before that, the company’s Bard chatbot faced ridicule for sharing incorrect information about outer space, leading to a $100 billion drop in Google’s market value.

Despite these setbacks, industry experts cited by The New York Times suggest that Google has little choice but to continue advancing AI integration to remain competitive.

However, the challenges of taming large language models, which ingest false information and satirical posts, are now more apparent.

The Debate Over AI In Search

The controversy surrounding AI overviews adds fuel to the debate over the risks and limitations of AI.

While the technology holds potential, these missteps remind everyone that more testing is needed before unleashing it on the public.

The BBC notes that Google’s rivals face similar backlash over their attempts to cram more AI tools into their consumer-facing products.

The UK’s data watchdog is investigating Microsoft after it announced a feature that would take continuous screenshots of users’ online activity.

At the same time, actress Scarlett Johansson criticized OpenAI for using a voice likened to her own without permission.

What This Means For Websites & SEO Professionals

Mainstream media coverage of Google’s erroneous AI overviews brings the issue of declining search quality to public attention.

As the company works to address inaccuracies, the incident serves as a cautionary tale for the entire industry.

Important takeaway: Prioritize responsible use of AI technology to ensure the benefits outweigh its risks.



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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.

Balancing technical proficiency with creativity and cultural fit is essential for thriving in a PPC role. By aligning with market demands and showcasing your strengths, you can secure rewarding opportunities in the field.

Have a question you’d like us to address? Fill out the form!

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Featured Image: Paulo Bobita/Search Engine Journal

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