Ben Childs
By Ben Childs | Uncategorized | January 9, 2014

The Changing State of Paid Search

One of the fun things about working in any internet marketing discipline is that the landscape is always changing. And, while the paid search snow-globe certainly doesn’t get shaken up nearly as much as it does in SEO-land, it changes nonetheless. Paid Search is affected by changes in other disciplines as well (this is something we’re seeing more and more).  Change isn’t inherently good or bad; it just is.

Internet Marketing is becoming more synergistic

Actually, nobody likes that word, so let’s use dependent. It used to be that your PPC was your PPC, your SEO was your SEO and… well.. social media wasn’t a thing yet. Now everything is relying on each of the other disciplines as each realm of internet marketing starts to lean on the others. Consider the recent shifts in Google’s SEO algorithm, and the effects that they’ve had:

  • In a (Not Provided) world, a strong PPC strategy (along with good reporting) is the most basic work-around to understanding search volume and keyword behavior.
  • Content marketing not only became more important to SEO, some would argue it became SEO. Or did SEO become content marketing?
  • Think content couldn’t possible veer into paid placement? Have you ever tried outbrain?
  • Social networks are coming up with new ways to be used like paid media every day.  Already, part of crafting a  “strategy” is knowing how much you’re going to spend. Wasn’t social media supposed to just be the occasional retweet or Facebook post?

Here’s the point: these days, you need a holistic strategy. It’s a unique challenge for businesses, and it’s an even bigger challenges for internet marketing agencies. Agencies are businesses too, and they face the same in-house, outsource, what-am-I-going-to-be-great-at decisions that every other business faces.

our world

I’ve read so many “in a not provided world…” SEO blog posts that I couldn’t resist.

This doesn’t have to be a bad thing

OK:  there’s paid search, paid display, retargeting, paid video and paid content strategy and budgets. There’s SEO, content creation and on-site development strategy and budgets. For social media there’s another slew of strategies and budgets barking for attention. What does it all mean for people in paid search (or really, in any internet marketing discipline)?

  1. A chance to learn. You can no longer say that your work stands above the rest and not sound disingenuous.
  2. A chance to play nice. You’ll be judged not only by how well you perform, but how well you can synergize with a client’s assets and needs. Someone who plays nice will stick around much longer than someone that doesn’t understand the pressures a client is under.
  3. A chance to show value. In a crowded vertical, marketplace and world, you need demonstrable value more than ever. A client’s account can have a lot of fires to put out, but show that client that your X action provided Y amazing result, and they’ll love you. That’s another way of saying “have good, in-depth reporting.”

What it’s about

The President of the USA once said, “Crisis is a time of great opportunity.” I used to joke that I kept myself “willfully ignorant” of other forms of internet marketing in order to focus on paid search, but educating myself (and hiring experts across multiple fields) in those realms has become important like never before.
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