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Ask a PPC Live with Amy Bishop [Podcast]


Amy & Loren will be answering questions from Amy’s eSummit’s PPC Master Class, which can be viewed here :

Here is the entire transcript of the show (please excuse any transcription errors) :

Loren Baker (00:09):

Hi, everybody. This is Loren Baker, founder of Search Engine Journal. Today we have a special episode where we’re going to be talking about a lot of paid search or PPC. So with me today, I have Amy Bishop of Cultivative Marketing. Hi, Amy. How’s it going?

Amy Bishop (00:23):

Going well. How are you?

Loren Baker (00:26):

Great, thank you. Great. It’s been a long week. I’m looking forward to the weekend. How about yourself?

Amy Bishop (00:31):

Absolutely. We’re almost there.

Loren Baker (00:33):

Almost. A couple hours out. Well, anyway, this is really exciting to me because I am so engulfed in SEO. Everything I do, SEO is the core, whether it’s content marketing, whether it’s PR, whether it’s SEO. Like at the end of the day, it’s really to boost SEO organic traffic and revenue. But search marketing or digital marketing, as we all know, organic SEO is one component of that. And then over the past few years at SEJ, we’ve been really working on diversifying the amount of content that we’re putting out there and resources. And of course, obviously the other side of search marketing, which is paid search, is what we’ve been focusing on. So thank you for all the time that you’ve put in to our Ask the PPC section and things like that. Would you like to entertain our viewers today or listeners as well with a little bit of a background about yourself, and then also what you’re doing on the SEJ side? That would be helpful.

Amy Bishop (01:32):

Yeah, absolutely. I started in paid media in 2010, which feels like yesterday. And then at the same time when I realize it’s been over 10 years, I feel so old. So I really started in paid search back when Yahoo had its own platform. MSN was ad center. Google Ads was still Google AdWords. So many changes have happened since then, but I’m still thankful that I got in when I did. It’s been such a great career path. After that, I worked at a few different agencies and then did a stint in-house and now I do a consulting business. I actually work with SEJ on their paid media, and then I also just recently started helping out with covering some of that PPC news coverage, which is really exciting for me too because I totally geek out on it.

Loren Baker (02:22):

Yeah, absolutely. Are you also participating in the Ask PPC column as well?

Amy Bishop (02:32):

I participated in the eSummit Ask a PPC, but Navah Hopkins is holding down the fort on the Ask a PPC session on SEJ and she does an amazing job.

Loren Baker (02:42):

Yeah. Navah is pretty awesome. I mean, she’s going to be on next month as well. This is my first PPC show, but I hope to be a lot more educated on PPC by the time that I have Navah on after today’s episode with you, Amy. So thank you for coming on.

Amy Bishop (02:59):


Loren Baker (03:00):

The thing that really excites me about PPC is, and just a little bit about my background may be helpful to hear, is that when I first got started in marketing, it was more so media buying and PR. It was kind of before SEO became a big thing. And then I got into SEO over time. And part of media buying was paid search. So, and I’m dating myself here, and Overture, and then Google rolled on AdWords and things like that. But I’ve always seen getting in early or getting in with more of a broad stroke, digital marketing, I’ve always found it to be a benefit because the ability to see the thoughts connecting or to envision the dots connecting and bring it all together I think is something that is very difficult to do when you’re in your own silo.

Loren Baker (03:53):

One of the goals that I have with the show is not only for me to learn, but as I’m learning, everyone else gets to learn from guests like yourself and things like that. And also what’s exciting to me, and we had talked about this a little bit before the show, but SEO is SEO. And then you have content marketing and link building and stuff like that, which are components of SEO. But PPC is such a growing and broad, like when I was doing PPC, which we called paid search at the time, it was using ad words, which is advertising and keywords mixed together. But now it seems to me that in the world of PPC, Google and Bing are just one component of that with social media, with display and everything else. Like how much of your day-to-day is working within the search component of PPC and then working within everything else?

Amy Bishop (04:51):

Yeah, that’s a great question. Similarly, I used to think of paid search as just being keyword focus. But now most people that I know, even if they focus only on Google Ads, they still do at least display, and most of them do YouTube as well. So there’s not necessarily just a paid search crowd anymore. There is some delineation between folks that do, some do paid search and paid social, some just do one or the other, or Google Ads and Bing Ads versus paid social. I do pretty much anything as far as PPC goes, so paid search, paid social, display YouTube. I would say probably about 50% of it is really focused on search at this point and the other 50% is largely paid social, probably even more than display. I do a good amount of display, but a lot of folks are doing more in YouTube, Facebook and LinkedIn, even than Google Display at this point.

Loren Baker (05:52):

Out of all of those different fields, what are you most excited about in terms of growth? Like this is going to be the 2021, even though we’re already almost, well, three and a half months in right now, two and a half months in, that it’s going to be the year of this. Like I was reading today about AR picking up. And when I think of AR, I think of Snap. Snap is Snapchat. So ahead of the game that they default on that side. I also read something that Hockfield shared earlier today about Reddit expanding their advertising options within their network as well. So what really excites you about what’s going on right now in the world? It doesn’t have to be a specific channel or platform, but just trend or anything along those lines.

Amy Bishop (06:38):

The thing that excites me the most is, where I see the most potential but also it’s also the scariest, is automation just in general. Some of the things that have helped these platforms to grow as much as they have are just having really great bidding algorithms. So I’m kind of like apprehensive at times about Google’s automated bidding, but I have seen it perform really well if it has good data to back it up. Facebook’s bidding algorithm typically out of the box generally does phenomenal. And I think that that’s going to be the key thing for some of these other smaller social platforms to grow is to get their bidding algorithms sort of lined out to where they can perform as well because the audiences are there.

Amy Bishop (07:25):

The audiences are there on Twitter, on Snapchat, on Pinterest, and those can all work, don’t get me wrong, but if they can get their bidding algorithms to where Facebook is now, I would see a ton of people jumping into those. That’s where I see the most hesitation with people is just not necessarily seeing them as having a low funnel ability to drive results as the platforms that are kind of the biggest players right now. So I would say that’s what excites me the most, but at the same time I would say also just audiences, like you and I were talking about before the show.

Amy Bishop (08:01):

It’s really neat and it’s also borderline scary for consumers that don’t really understand advertising or that just don’t like being tracked. The fact that the actions that you take online can allow them to deliver really hyper specific ads to you just based upon the things that you’ve been doing, and you see an ad and you realize I can see where I’m getting that ad and I am a good fit for that ad. And it’s not a remarketing ad, it’s based upon their third party audiences. So it’ll be really interesting to see how those grow over time, especially with some of the privacy changes that are rolling out in the future.

Loren Baker (08:46):

Yeah. So I’m getting watch ads all the time. And I also spent like the last 20 minutes before jumping on here watching Salt Bae videos because apparently Salt Bae is trending on Twitter. I’m wondering what kind of ads I’m going to get later today after immersing myself in Salt Bae for the past 20 minutes or so. So automated bidding, that does not necessarily just mean like suddenly all of the money is out of my checking account on day one of running an ad campaign correctly. It seems like when that started, there was a lot of complaining out there. People were testing it out and then suddenly the numbers went through the roof, the numbers being like PPC like way over target and things like that. So it sounds like those have really settled and have become more beneficial or more good than harmful in a way.

Amy Bishop (09:46):

Yeah. They’re performing much better than they originally did when they rolled out. And I would say, I also kind of have a strategy for the way that I like to test those things. For me, max conversions typically tells the platform, hey, I’m willing to pay. I just want to get as many conversions as possible. It’s not the most cost efficient strategy and it’s not ideal for most advertisers. And if you’re willing to scale your budget, then what winds up happening is you’re saying I’m willing to pay and here’s more budget and here’s more budget. And so then the platform kind of takes out as they’re willing to pay, they don’t really care about the cost per conversion, they just want conversions, which is not what most advertisers… most advertisers would not agree with that statement.

Amy Bishop (10:33):

But the reason that I initially will use it is if there’s a campaign that’s just not getting traction, sometimes just to get some initial data coming through at a low budget, it can be worthwhile. And then at that point, I would typically either switch it over to Target CPA or Manual CPC now that we just at least have some data on what keywords are working and the different dimensions, devices, geographies, all that kind of stuff once we start to get some of that data in, because getting the data is initially the most difficult part. And then at that point, I’m usually testing between Manual CPC and TCPA using an AB experiment within the platform to really see apples to apples which performs best.

Amy Bishop (11:14):

I still really like manual bidding and a lot of times it still outperforms in my opinion. But I think the thing that you have to be careful with about automated bidding and kind of why I started going down this path and explaining this is just that if you use the wrong strategy at the wrong time, you’re giving the wrong signals, and then you probably won’t be happy with the results. So you have to be really mindful about when to use each and how to use each and what results that you’ll get from that.

Loren Baker (11:42):

So it sounds like to start out, you can utilize the automated bidding to identify possible surprises or trends that weren’t in your original keyword research or your original target audience research. And then from there, you can switch it over to manual and then optimize accordingly based upon conversion only. Now, can I kind of launch a campaign saying, hey, I have a $25 cost per user acquisition, therefore this is my Target CPA, run a campaign around this, and then it begins type thing; or does that CPA have to start at a higher level and then drop and optimize over time?

Amy Bishop (12:25):

You can. I haven’t had much success in starting out with TCPI, just like starting right out of the gate with TCPI, unless you already have a really established account. And in some cases, if you have a really established account and you kind of know what’s going to work, like for instance if I have a display campaign that’s been running in these geographies over here, and now I’m going to launch it over here, I have a sense of what’s going to work and starting that with a TCPA can work and that can work well. But if it’s a brand new account and there’s no data, starting out with TCPA, generally it just seems like you will stifle some of the traffic. You just won’t get as much data to begin with.

Amy Bishop (13:03):

So I typically will start with Manual CPC, but if we don’t get enough traction with manual CPC, then that’s when I’ll test max conversions just to try to get some data flowing, knowing that it’s not going to be the most cost efficient strategy, but just to get some conversions in. And then I start testing other bid strategies to get to the point of cost efficiency.

Loren Baker (13:23):

Awesome. We’d talked a little bit earlier how you had hosted the Ask a PPC session at SEJ eSummit not too long ago. We had a lot of questions come in during that session and during the masterclass, sorry, so the masterclass as well, all about PPC and all about everything else that you were going over. On the SEO side, and again, in SEO, you have everything. Like on PPC, you have everything. You have so many different ad networks and platforms and devices and device targeting and dayparting and all that stuff.

Loren Baker (14:05):

SEO, we don’t necessarily have it. What we do have is Google and Bing, and then a little tiny bit of DuckDuckGo. I know when I’m running through reports for my clients, I typically find that even though Bing has less traffic, the quality of the traffic is usually better than we have on the Google side. By quality I mean time spent on site, pages per visit, and then the most important factor really at the end of the day is conversion rate and average order value. I think that has a lot to do with just like targeting and age and things like that on the Bing side. But I wanted to get a feel from you of, do you see similar differences in performance when you’re doing ad campaigns within Google ads or within Bing ads, and what are they?

Amy Bishop (14:58):

Yeah, great question. And it’s probably kind of similar to what you see. Typically what I’ll see with Bing ads is that CPCs tend to be way less expensive. There’s usually a lot less competition over there, which is really surprising to me because we generally see lower CPLs over there. We don’t typically see as much volume as what we can see from Google, but something that’s really interesting to me is that recently one of my clients was actually taking the data from their CRM and looking at the close rates between both of the leads and the Bing leads were closing better. And that was even of qualified leads. Like take out the fact of any junk leads coming from either platform and just looking at qualified leads compared to qualified leads, and the Bing leads were closing better.

Amy Bishop (15:44):

The only thing that we could kind of come up with as far as why that would be, other than potentially demographic, was that maybe there’s less competition over there. And so maybe if somebody on the Google side, maybe they’re going to multiple landing pages, filling out multiple forms and getting multiple quotes, maybe on the Bing side, with there being less competition, there may be less competition in the pipeline as well.

Loren Baker (16:08):

Yeah, that makes sense. That definitely makes sense. I know I’m guilty of filling out multiple different forms and clicking on just about everything when I’m doing research. It is really interesting that the qualified lead is more valuable at the end of the day, not just the CPL or the CPA and everything else, but the qualification of the lead. I’ve never heard that before. It’s pretty amazing.

Amy Bishop (16:32):

Yeah, it was really interesting to me too because I would have thought if you looked at cost per qualified lead compared to cost per qualified lead, that that would be a fairly even playing field as far as measurement goes. But it was really interesting to me to see that actually one has a better close rate than the other. Yeah, that’s the only reason that we could think of of why that was, but considering it’s also typically the more cost efficient platform as far as getting the leads initially, that’s a huge win all the way through.

Loren Baker (17:01):

I could even think that maybe the ads are highly relevant compared to the search results for some queries as well. So maybe you’re getting a more qualified lead coming in through ads that you might see clicking on the organics over Google. I’m not sure, but definitely I’ll look into that a little bit more. What was the industry, did you see that?

Amy Bishop (17:27):

It is B2B maintenance.

Loren Baker (17:31):


Amy Bishop (17:31):

It’s about like who would be on a PC and that likely wouldn’t change their browser and would probably stick with Bing in their completely original setup, they fall perfectly into that category of people that probably wouldn’t change their browser or change their search engine. That probably makes Bing a little bit of a win too. I’ve seen that as well in industries like healthcare where people are predominantly using PCs and either don’t have the ability or… What’s the word I’m looking for? It’s not necessarily that they don’t know how, but sometimes their IT teams regulate that they don’t want them downloading different software or changing things. So they just use the default browser, they just use the default search engine. They don’t make any other changes. And so I’ve seen Bing work especially well in those industries. This one is, it’s B2B maintenance but it’s industrial maintenance. So it looks like the perfect audience for Bing.

Loren Baker (18:36):

That’s really interesting because most enterprise companies that I work with, or I guess larger companies, or even companies that are just getting their communications organized, they’re mostly using Teams. Like in the past year, there’s been so many, I guess, integrated Teams and then Bing is very integrated in the teams as well. I usually think of Bing as being a B2C search engine. So when you just brought that up, a light bulb went off in my head because Microsoft has Teams. And I mean, once you’re on Teams, it’s encouraged not to get off of Teams. Maybe it’s a rule or maybe it’s whatever. But then there’s also LinkedIn integrated at the end of the day too. Okay. Let’s not make this a Microsoft show though, but that is really interesting, because the last show I did was Microsoft show. This could be a part two, but maybe we’ll get into that in a future episode. But besides Bing or Microsoft ads, thank you Breighlyn for the correction on that front. Are there any other search surprises or search-based surprises in the world of PPC that may be overlooked typically?

Amy Bishop (19:51):

Oh gosh. That’s a good question. I would say I don’t know if it would be a surprise or not, this is probably something that’s been talked about a lot, but depending on how familiar viewers are with paid search, one thing to keep a really close eye on is search terms because of course those have been masked, so you don’t have as many to take a look at as you once did. With the advent of close variants and with the changes around match types that recently rolled out, we’re definitely seeing matches that wouldn’t have happened in the past. So like in our branded campaigns, starting to see competitors showing up as close variants for our branded search terms, which is incredibly frustrating.

Amy Bishop (20:40):

Adding proactive negatives definitely helps a lot, but then also just keeping a really close eye on search terms. Search terms have always played a big role in PPC, don’t get me wrong. But at that point you were at least negating things that were matching to your keywords for a reason. And now they’re matching because Google thinks that they should match. And so you kind of have to be constantly on your toes. It’s almost like they say defense wins ball games, it’s like negative keywords win at paid search campaigns at this point. It defaults in defense.

Loren Baker (21:17):

That’s true. And it’s really interesting sometimes looking at campaigns that have not set up negative key terms and then all the traffic and all of that budget that’s being put into just some of the most untargeted and/or not useful traffic at the end of the day. In addition to going out and promoting within traditional search or driving traffic to traditional sites, what about anything that you’ve done in the world of advertising mobile apps within a search or within the app stores themselves? Because it’s my understanding that there is the ability to run ads within the app stores based upon search terms or relevant other apps and things like that. How does that work at the end of the day?

Amy Bishop (22:11):

Yeah. I actually worked really closely with the Google rep to set up this kind of ongoing process for promoting apps. Typically when I get a feedback from a Google rep or suggestions, it’s kind of like, that’s almost like the what not to do. But in this case, the Google rep is awesome. She comes from an agency background. She totally knows what she’s talking about and she understands what advertisers are trying to accomplish and she’s great. I was a little skeptical when I first heard the process, but this is the process and it actually works and it works really well. First, you start by targeting first open. As opposed to targeting installs, target first open, which should be like a default option when you connect your apps to Google to be able to optimize to that.

Amy Bishop (23:05):

And so you optimize to that and then assuming that you’re an app that has any kind of like registration or trial period or any kind of like pay for a membership or whatever, where you’re trying to actually get more engagement, you run on optimizing toward first open for roughly like three to four weeks and you run on that and then you start to shift budget over week by week by about 25% at a time after that to getting to the next step in your funnel. So if that was like creating an account or registration or whatever it might be, you just start to slowly shift budget from your first open campaign to this new campaign that’s optimizing to the next step in the funnel. And you should have a big pool of people that you can target now because you’ve been running that first open campaign.

Amy Bishop (23:57):

So then you start targeting them with this first step. And then once you’ve run that for a few weeks, then you go to the next step. So if that was registration, maybe your next one is like to actually convert them to a paid account. Depending on how long your trial is, you would want to run those ads for roughly that long so that people are at the end of their trial. And then you start running the next step, which is actually to get people to pay to use your app, and then you start running that. And so then you can run that for a while. And if you feel like that campaign is starting not to work again, you essentially take it from the top and you get more first opens and then you move kind of slowly down.

Amy Bishop (24:32):

You can, if you want, and if you feel comfortable with it, you can keep that first open campaign running and you could keep each stage in the funnel running. But if you have any hesitations and you just want to like dip your toe into it, that’s the initial process that you go through that pushes them down the line, and it really does work. I can’t say exactly why you don’t just turn one off and turn one on, you have to shift budget slowly, but it really does work. So highly recommend that. And then I’ve actually found Facebook works really well too for both app installs and for app engagement. They have a lot of options for remarketing people based upon the actions that they’ve taken and creating lookalikes and things like that. That has proven really valuable. I actually haven’t used the actual app stores, but I have heard clients say that they’ve had good results from those two. So definitely something to check out.

Loren Baker (25:24):

It’s really interesting. I was expecting you to talk about installs, but instead we’re actually talking about what those touch points are along the customer journey of them becoming an active or paid user of the app itself, right?

Amy Bishop (25:42):

Yeah. That first step, when it’s optimizing towards first open, it actually is driving installs, but it’s not just driving installs, it’s actually the install and then actually like ideally opening the app and starting to engage with it a little bit. But they told us to optimize towards that instead of optimizing just toward installs. It did prove to perform better. We did seem to get better results from doing that, which was interesting.

Loren Baker (26:11):

Well, I would assume that that’s kind of a quality of traffic orient. Like you have to install to open, but there’s probably a large amount of folks that start that install, maybe they have a bad WiFi connection, maybe they forget about it. Maybe it’s so many apps on their phone that it’s just hidden at the end of the day. I know I can’t even find my Amazon app now but it’s turned to like a Brown paper bag image on my phone. So that does happen quite a bit. Then along the line, so are a lot of those ads… Okay. If I download Slack, and maybe I’ve used it once and I have this big plan, yeah, we’re going to install Slack. Everybody at the company is going to use it, going to become the most productive company ever. No more email, communication’s amazing. I download it. I open it once. I forget about it. So I have it on my computer or I have it on my phone, and then… So you’re saying that you run ads like on Facebook and different networks to remind me, or incentivize me, to continue that journey essentially?

Amy Bishop (27:24):

Yeah, exactly. And also let’s say that you’re like a power user and you use it all the time. Then I’m going to build an audience and create lookalikes off of that because I don’t want to just target people that look like people that have installed it, I want to target people that look like power users, look like have the same types of habits and browsing habits that the people that tend to really go into heavy usage of that app are because I want to make sure that I’m spending my money on people that are most likely to continue to use and have a good high lifetime value within the app.

Loren Baker (28:01):

It’s interesting because I’m not a Slack power user, but I’m definitely a Grubhub power user. I have noticed that there are a lot of postmates and other ads that are popping up within my mobile experience and my social experience as well. So, do these companies have the ability to identify me as a power user of Grubhub or maybe I’m a part of a lookalike or something like that? Like how typically that work?

Amy Bishop (28:28):

You could be part of a lookalike. Facebook also has a lot of just interest-based audiences for those types of companies, food delivery companies. So they probably have you in a group. I know, I work with a company that is, they’re technically CPG but they partner with restaurants and groceries. And so sometimes we do promos with the other, with the restaurants that are targeting people on either DoorDash or Grubhub or things like that. And we have those interests at our disposal to target people in that way. So it could be that as well.

Loren Baker (29:00):

Nice, nice. Yeah, I’ll use all those specialists as I see them on my ads and become a multiple power user across the board. When you’re running an ad campaign, let’s get back to like more, I guess, traditional advertising that drives users to specific websites or maybe landing pages on a website. If you’re running an ad campaign, do you find it more beneficial to have like a single landing page set up, maybe like a click funnels or a Zipify or something like that on a sub domain or a different domain that is highly optimized for the paid search target to go to and then find exactly what they need to get into the funnel? Or do you run those ads to the more traditional landing pages that are part of the organic site experience? What do you find to be more beneficial long-term with what you’re doing on that side of the house?

Amy Bishop (30:05):

Yeah. I’m so glad that you asked that. I’ve seen both work and it kind of depends on what you’re marketing and who you’re marketing it to. If it is something that is really straightforward and it’s easy to create a highly contextual landing page, and especially if the website kind of sucks, then creating landing pages through a landing page software can perform worlds better than sending people to a website where they don’t know what to do next. The main problem that I see with single page landing pages is that people use them as a way to try to pigeonhole people onto this one page as if they won’t know what to do next. So then they’ll just fill out the form because they don’t know what else to do.

Amy Bishop (30:51):

It just doesn’t really work like that. Maybe at one point it did, but users are pretty savvy now. So they’ll either typically click the logo to go back to the homepage or they’ll just bounce. And the problem is that if we try to pigeonhole people, and especially if it is a journey that takes a lot of research and a lot of consideration, the problem with some of those single page landing pages is that they’re designed to be pretty as opposed to designed to be really informational. And so then what happens is that people get there, they look around, they’re not sure what to do next. So they wind up bouncing and then if they bounce, the problem is for remarketing standpoint, we don’t really know anything about that user other than they clicked our ad. So they came to that landing page, but everybody’s going to have a 100% bounce rate that didn’t already fill out the form. And we’re not going to have time on site because the bounce rate is 100%.

Amy Bishop (31:41):

So if you’re using Google Tag Manager, maybe you can create some audiences off of squirrel, but they didn’t visit any other pages either. So we don’t necessarily understand why they were interested in the first place beyond what campaign that they came from versus if they go to a website that has really nice pages on it that are also optimized for conversion on the website itself, if they navigate around… I’m a mom, let’s say that I go to the Pampers website. If I go to pull-ups versus the small diaper, that tells you something about me and how old this child is that I’m caring for. So if you were going to retarget me with something else, you would know exactly what to retarget me with. And maybe that’s a bad example because that’s not really a long buying cycle.

Amy Bishop (32:29):

But like let’s say vehicles, for instance. If you send me to a single page landing page and I leave, now you lost an opportunity to learn about what I care about; if it’s safety ratings, if it’s seeding, if it’s speed, if it’s engine cylinders, or whatever car people talk about. I don’t know enough about cars to go down that path.

Loren Baker (32:49):

You got it nailed. You nailed it.

Amy Bishop (32:53):

But that’s what I see is the problem with single page landing pages. So if they were going to be in use, either… I wouldn’t say either. It’s more of and situation. It has to have a fairly deep amount of content relative to however much research that they need to do. It needs to be highly contextually relevant, which is the case for any landing page regardless of if it’s a single page or you’re sending them onto the site. But I would still say giving them options to either watch videos or interact with things that you can track gives you at least some data points for if you were going to remarket them and try to bring them back both to start a separate who actually has intent from who didn’t, who clicked through and realized like this wasn’t what I was looking for at all, but also to be able to re-engage them and try to continue to move them down the funnel.

Amy Bishop (33:42):

So if you find that you’re using single page landing pages and they don’t seem to be working, maybe even kind of turning them into like a micro-site or having some different navigation options or downloadable options or videos or different things that they can play with that you can track could help you to understand what it is and what information is missing that people need in order to feel comfortable converting. A lot of times if I see really low conversion rates for single page landing pages, it’s because there’s not enough information or it’s not the right information. And that’s the risk, I think, of single page landing pages versus a more robust option. But that said, like I said, if the site is not optimized for conversion or if it’s just a really easy decision for them to make, to fill out the form, they can work well. So that’s not to say they can never work.

Loren Baker (34:33):

That’s really interesting. I hadn’t thought of that. Like the ability to add, because it does make sense. You go to the landing page, say for example it’s like a supplement or something. And then you’re like, well, before I buy this, I want to find out more information about it. This landing page only has like this offer where I can get a free sample sent to me. Then I know I’m going to be able to sell in the future once I get my credit card or whatever. But you know what, even before that, I want to find out more information. Nothing on the landing page. I’m going to hit the back button, maybe search for that, things like that.

Loren Baker (35:07):

So then we have a scenario where you might not even lose that whole attribution because maybe you’ve cookied that individual and you can track that, but you lose a component of it because suddenly it’s not necessarily the PPC campaign alone has led to that sale. It’s PPC plus organic plus social plus everything else that goes within that buyer decision. However, even if you can identify that you’re not converting the people going to the site and looking for that information, then you know which information to add to your SLPs, I would imagine, right?

Amy Bishop (35:39):

Yeah. Taking a look at site search can be really, really helpful for what type of content people are interested in. And I would say too the risk is also that maybe you don’t get that second click, so maybe they hit the back button and they search again and then maybe they go somewhere else. Like if you think about, for instance, a lawn care company, let’s say that I were interested in having someone come mow my lawn but I also want them to spray for dandelions and I want them to set up an irrigation system or something like that. I just want to work with one company that can do all those things. And so I search for lawn care and then let’s say it takes me to a landing page that’s just all about mowing.

Amy Bishop (36:17):

And so I’m like, well, I don’t really know if they do the irrigation piece. And so I really just, I don’t want to work with multiple companies, I just want to work with one. So then I either click to their homepage or I wind up backing out and I try to do another search that better qualifies. It’s almost like to me if I were searching for shoes and a company took me to a one shoe page but with no navigation, they were just like you want to choose, these are shoes. You need to buy these shoes. It’s just kind of crazy to me to think that that Legion operates so differently that they’re like, we’re going to just force you down this path regardless of if you’re ready or not.

Loren Baker (36:53):

Right. Also what I like about that too is if you can identify that that individual chose video to educate themselves over maybe like a PDF or whatever resources are on the page, then you know that you can re-target them via video. If they’ve [crosstalk 00:37:11] Google Tag Manager, then that should be a video convert because they prefer it, right?

Amy Bishop (37:18):

Exactly. Yeah. Just getting a sense of what types of content that your customers prefer is really useful in terms of how to remarket them and what content to show them next.

Loren Baker (37:30):

Yeah. Or even how to retain the customer. I could see that same data be very useful for email segmentation in the future, or post-purchase follow-up for reviews or something like that. So if they like video more, then why would I send them an email with a bunch of links to articles and things where I can send them up on email with a video embedded in it or links to video, or maybe I just want to get a review from them in the future through like one of the different review platforms out there. Well, if video review is a component or an option and they prefer video, why not? So I could see that data being very valuable down the road.

Amy Bishop (38:14):

Yeah. And that’s exactly the point. The more options that you have for them to engage, the more data points that you can collect. That’s not to say to prioritize it over the conversion metrics. Still keep that as far as hierarchy goes, so keep that front and center. But if they’re not ready to take that action, then giving them other options to engage at least allows you to collect data. And it doesn’t have to be an all or nothing situation, either they fill out the form or they don’t and you get nothing. It’s more of like a, I’ve always heard I’m not good at pool at all, playing pool, but I’ve always heard that the people that are good at it are always setting themselves up for the next step that they’ll take. So they hit one ball in the pocket and then it will be in a place where they can then hit another one in the pocket. I can’t do that, but from a remarketing standpoint, that’s always what I’m trying to do.

Loren Baker (39:05):

Exactly. I can’t do it either, but I like that strategy at the end of the day. So that makes perfect sense. So while you’re making that decision, you’re setting it up to get value down the line from that as well. And with all of these different platforms, they’re always changing. Twitter’s rolling out new additions, Snap’s rolling out new AR where you can view what a store looks like, view what your avatar would look like wearing the outfit from the store or whatever. So there’s a lot of innovation going on between multiple different social media channels, between multiple different search channels, publishing, et cetera, et cetera. I imagine you can’t just set and forget a PPC campaign. How often do you typically complete or go into a comprehensive audit or review of your digital strategies? Is this a daily thing, monthly, annual. How does that typically work? Could you walk us through those steps?

Amy Bishop (40:12):

Yeah. As far as identifying new types of things, like new channels and things… Oh, sorry. I think I cut it off.

Loren Baker (40:21):

You were out just for a second, but you’re back.

Amy Bishop (40:24):

Okay, awesome. As far as identifying new channels and expansion opportunities, that’s always something that’s top of mind, but at least monthly when we’re regrouping over results, that’s something that we’re always talking about as far as like, what are our other options? Would we need to move budget or is there more budget? And then how do we prioritize testing the new things versus what we know is already working, and that various on a client by client basis depending on how interested in testing they are and how kind of comfortable they are, I guess, with risking some of the new tests. But that’s something that we’re always looking at.

Amy Bishop (41:00):

And then as far as like a really deep audit, that’s something that we’re always doing, at least if not like every other month, then at least quarterly, depending on how big the account is and how much data that they have. But yeah, that’s something that you should always be digging into. A lot of times when I get contracted to do audits for companies, it’s not necessarily that somebody was doing anything wrong, it’s just that as a structure grows, it just changes. As a company starts to mature and evolve, a lot of times the paid search structure doesn’t keep up with that. And so it’s not necessarily anything that anybody did wrong.

Amy Bishop (41:38):

It just it’s almost like it gets overgrown a little bit in terms of like if you were thinking about it from like a gardening metaphor, and sometimes you just need to go in and sort of start to clean things up, take things out, restructure if needed. And then just looking at some of the things that were implemented that don’t make sense anymore. So like maybe at one point they weren’t doing much business on mobile, but now they have restructured their site and now mobile performs really, really well. And they still have almost negative 100 bid modifiers in for mobile across the board. Just things like that that if it’s the same person kind of looking at it over a long period of time, sometimes it just is easy for some of those things to go unnoticed. So just getting a fresh set of eyes can be helpful.

Loren Baker (42:28):

Very cool. Very cool. So for the next couple of minutes, let’s do a speed round of questions that are the results of your PPC masterclass at SEJ eSummit. Also for any of the listeners who are currently on our live filming of today’s podcast of the SEJ show, please feel free to enter some questions into your comment box, either on Facebook or on YouTube. Let me go down here. Have you seen success using the form features with Google Ads?

Amy Bishop (43:02):

Unfortunately we have gotten leads to them, but they’ve been just kind of junk quality. Somebody on the masterclass in the comments mentioned that they’ve seen them perform really well with their YouTube videos in higher ed. I haven’t tried that with YouTube. It might be worth something, it might be worth a test.

Loren Baker (43:20):

Awesome. We have a question that actually came in from a live viewer. Can we get your take on LinkedIn ads for B2B, and also… Well, let’s start there. So LinkedIn ads for B2B. I’m not familiar with LinkedIn ads, all that I’m familiar with is LinkedIn mail ads. What are the options out there? How useful are they to B2B companies?

Amy Bishop (43:43):

I love LinkedIn for B2B companies. It is typically a higher CPC, but the targeting options for B2B are just second to none. I haven’t generally seen as much success with the InMail targeting. That’s something that everybody’s always super excited about to try and I’d love to hear in the comments if somebody else had a different experience. But what I’ve found is that people just don’t send Teams to engage with them. And I know myself personally, when I get sponsored InMail, I just typically ignore them. What I’ve seen work really well are the Legion forms that are part of the ad unit. Those seem to perform incredibly well. And so I highly recommend testing those if you haven’t.

Loren Baker (44:23):

And also what’s your take on Outbrain and Taboola PPC ads? Effective, not effective.

Amy Bishop (44:38):

It depends on what the objective is from like an awareness standpoint, getting in front of a lot of people. They can be useful from a more of like a direct response standpoint. I like other platforms better. Most of my clients are pretty Legion focused. And even when we talk about awareness, it’s awareness with the goal of connecting that dot, specifically like remarketing video views, things like that, connecting that dot specifically to a lower funnel campaign. So, haven’t seen much success with that from those platforms, but I think there can be value in them from just a broader awareness play.

Loren Baker (45:15):

Yeah. I think they’re also useful from an ad arbitrage model, which seems to be a lot of. I have 12 lists, one item of the list on each tile, try to find the arrow surrounded by ads type thing. Okay. What types of campaigns are found to be the best for top of funnel that you’ve found for building that awareness or getting that initial lead information or for retargeting in the future?

Amy Bishop (45:43):

Yeah. I love this question and the options are endless, so I’ll try to go through this quickly. Generally speaking, I think video works really well. Video is a great way to make a lasting impression, literally a lasting first impression, and also to educate at the same time. There are some really cost efficient ways to get that exposure, like only paying for the skippable ones. If people skip, you don’t have to pay for those, or on Facebook, like optimizing towards a certain view length. But just a few examples. One of my clients was finding that when they initially started marketing, they were kind of creating a new category. So there really wasn’t search volume for them to play on. So they started with Facebook initially.

Amy Bishop (46:27):

We were seeing people click through and their heat maps were showing that people were actually scrolling to the bottom of the page. On average, people were revisiting multiple pages, but they still weren’t converting. And so to us, the hypothesis was they’re interested but they need more information. It was kind of a big purchase. And so we started running video views campaigns, and we remarketed those as well and we saw two things happen. One is that we started getting more consistent conversions at a lower cost. And then we also started seeing more assisted conversions of people that were clicking through, doing their research later on other sites as well and then coming back and actually converting at that point. And then another client of mine that was completely brand new brand, didn’t have any branded search volume. We started running YouTube and as they started to really hammer down in YouTube, you can see that branded search follows just that exact trend line. So I am a big believer in video ads.

Loren Baker (47:22):

Nice, nice. That’s big. And for all your SEOs that might be out here too, I know you love branded search. The ability to build awareness at the end of the day builds a branded search, which helps tremendously from an SEO standpoint because it’s one of the easier to rank for. Okay. One final question. Have you ever used Gmail targeting audiences?

Amy Bishop (47:45):

I have, and it can work really well. The one thing that I would want to just throw out there as a caveat is that they are sunsetting Gmail Ads as its own campaign type this summer. So if you’re just starting to dip your toe into Gmail, I would actually look at discovery ads because they do deliver on Gmail as well. If you start running Gmail Ads now, you have just a couple months before they’re going to go away. So it might make sense to start optimizing your discovery campaigns instead. A really nice starting point is to look at audiences and targets that have worked well for your display and your YouTube campaigns.

Amy Bishop (48:18):

If you haven’t run those, take a look at your audience insights to get ideas of which of your first party audiences, what third party audiences that they fall into. And you can do that in analytics as well by looking at your demographics reports, and you can see some kind of ideas for in-market audiences and affinity audiences. And I also have found that custom intent can perform really well. So take a look at your top performing keywords, maybe you create some custom intent audiences based upon your competitors, plug those in, and those can work really well too.

Loren Baker (48:52):

Excellent. Amy Bishop, it’s been a pleasure having you today. I had a chance to drop your Twitter handle in here, your LinkedIn, and then also I highly encourage folks to, if you want to learn more about paid media, join Amy’s newsletter. I’ve dropped the link to I found that in your bio, so really happy to share that with our viewers as well. And if you’re listening, again, it’s to get more wealth of PPC information from Amy. Is there anything that you’d like to say before we sign off for today?

Amy Bishop (49:36):

Just thanks for joining. I’m so glad that I got to be on today. It was so fun.

Loren Baker (49:42):

Yeah. It’s such a pleasure and such a nice way to end the week. So I really enjoy doing these. It’s great to have you on, because we’ve talked a couple of times on SEJ meetings and things like that, but I think this is the longest that we’ve talked one-on-one in person and I’ve learned a lot today as well. Like I said, I just enjoy these shows because I get to learn a lot about some things that I don’t do at all and it just helps me at the end of the day, just like I hope bringing it helps our viewers and listeners as well. So thanks so much, Amy. Thanks for sharing all of this information, either on SEJ, on eSummit, or here on the Search Engine Journal show. And on that note, we’re going to close things out for this week. Bye, everybody.


Category SEJ Show
SEJ STAFF Brent Csutoras Managing Partner / Owner at Search Engine Journal

Managing Partner / Owner at Search Engine Journal with over 18 years experience in Digital Marketing, specializing in Reddit, Search ...

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