Google Launches Customer Match: How to Maximize the Opportunity

Google's Customer Match and finding look alikes in Paid SearchGoogle’s Customer Match announcement earlier this week is welcome news to advertisers who have run successful first-party digital advertising campaigns with other media partners such as Facebook, Twitter, and the DSPs.  Google’s new product will enable advertisers to target their first-party data in search, You Tube, and Gmail. Advertisers upload their email files into the AdWords interface, and then Google matches it to their log-in data. From there, ads show to matched individuals.

Google has enabled first-party targeting with RLSA for some time but never before allowed it for search, which they said was due to privacy concerns. Continue reading

Holiday 2015 Paid Search Best Practices: Bid Indexing

Bid indexing will improve paid search performanceNow that it is officially Fall and Holiday is fast approaching, it is time to dot every “I” and cross every “t” to make sure paid search campaigns are in top shape.  A surefire way to improve year-over-year paid search results during the critical six-week period from mid-November through December is to index daily bids based on prior year performance.  There are two reasons why indexing can help.

First is that there is always a crush of new entrants trying to win Holiday impression share on key terms.  Continue reading

SEM Best Practices for Voice Search

Best SEM practices for voice searchA look through search query reports reveals more than a few obvious voice search queries.  These searches originate from Siri, Google, or Cortana. When you spot these, they remind me of how someone sounds when speaking to an automated attendant: the communication is abrupt, different, and slightly rude.

The most obvious voice search queries appear with the word “Google” before them, such as “Google steakhouse in Muncie.”  Even without “Google” in the search term, they are still fairly easy to identify.  Continue reading

How to get Google Certified for Paid Search


Having just re-upped my Google Certification, I thought it might be helpful to pass along some tips.

Google offers three different certifications: SEM, Display, and Analytics. All three require passing 2 exams: A single Fundamentals test that is taken for all three certifications and an advanced exam that is specific to each certification area. For a search marketer, the Fundamentals exam is not difficult. You are allotted 90 minutes: I finished in about 30. I have not taken the Analytics or Display exams (yet) so the information covered in this post pertains only to the Fundamental and Advanced Search Exams. Continue reading

6 Ways to Say Goodbye to Last Click Tracking

Last Click Attribution causes channel overlapUsing last click attribution to evaluate the success of a digital campaign is an antiquated system. Most online marketers acknowledge this but use the model nonetheless.

If you break down the reasons why, they usually include some form of the following:

– CMOs are not in the day-to-day nor may they be digitally savvy depending on from where in the ranks they ascended. Continue reading

Can brands — and now Etsy — compete with Amazon?

Amazon launching Handmade to compete with EtsyI am not an Etsy shopper but am pained nonetheless to hear that Amazon is launching Handmade — a marketplace that will compete directly with Etsy.

The truth is that I am conflicted about being pained. In my personal life — and I know this is true for many of my industry colleagues — I buy many things from Amazon.

In my professional (digital marketing) life, though, I prefer to buy from brands direct because I’ve seen Amazon assert itself as a category killer, which is not good for competition and causes lots of angst in the industry. This was a big topic at  IRCE15, same as it’s been in prior years. Continue reading

Who Owns Management of Datafeed Programs?

structured data land grab by agenciesSince Product Listing Ads (PLAs) were introduced, there has been a land grab between the SEMs and the datafeed companies over ownership.

The back history is that the datafeed providers who fed to the comparison shopping engines (CSEs) also fed to the free Google Product Search program (which subsequently became PLAs). Continue reading