Paid Search expert-author Brad Geddes shares four paid search best practices with OMCP in less than six minutes. Brad has contributed quite a bit to the OMCP standard. A lot of the questions on the OMCA certification exam and OMCP certification exams are based off the competencies that Brad’s given us in combination with surveys of hiring managers. Listen up and apply these to your exam preparation. A transcript of Brad’s answers is added below.
Best Practice for Funnel Definition
Q: What are some low dispute best practices that people can use in paid search?
Brad: I love the term “low dispute,” so what works for everyone, right? So we’ve seen so many new features in the engines the past few years that, a lot of times, it’s hard to figure out what to spend your time on. And so we’ve gone back to saying, “What is our marketing funnel? Marketing 101, what is our marketing funnel? How do people do with us?” And then be brutally honest with yourself. How are we doing at each stage? Because you will have weaknesses, it’s just part of marketing, right?You’ll have some weaknesses. And then you can evaluate new things coming out and saying, “Does this help us with where we’re weaker.” Which is important because if you have all this awareness and you have nothing at the buy phase, you’re not doing too well from a revenue standpoint.
But to understand this funnel correctly, you have to track everything. And this is difficult. Most people track website visits or website based conversions, some track phone calls. But when you get into SMS tracking, chat tracking, in-store tracking, it falls down. And when you’re not tracking things, you, of course, are making decisions off of inefficient and under-reported data.
Best Practices for Data Collection
Q. Can you give us a few pointers on how to get that data collected and in the right place?
Brad: Yes. So it always starts with the user journey, right. What are the user touchpoints? And then from there, you say what is our technology at those user touchpoints? And then what allows us to follow the user through to whatever we’re tracking our conversions? So if you’re, you know, doing something where it’s a lead gen, well, you need to get your data into whatever CMS, CRM system you’re using. So Google and Salesforce, where you send the deals, so you can follow GCLID ID to Salesforce. If you’re using a different system, you may need to use UTM codes, it could be GCLIDs, it could be your own base cookie. But you need to know your marketing stack, user flow, data flow and then ensure that you have a way of closing that loop.
Best Practices for Negative Keywords
Q. Can you share a best practice that relates to negative keywords?
Brad: So negative keywords, obviously, are fantastic. When do you NOT want show one? I mean, that’s just as important as when you show one? And everyone’s become more sophisticated, which is great. And the features like negative keyword lists, really useful because you can take all these negatives you don’t wanna show for, put them in a list, share it across your campaigns, you’re great to go.
But marketing is a living thing. It changes. And so what happens is someone says, “We now want to do this.” And so they create these ad groups, these campaigns, they do things according or match how they normally do it. And then they never show. And it’s due to them actually blocking themselves. And I find that more people need to do negative keyword audits to say, “Do we really not wanna show for this anymore? And are we blocking the things that we actually want to show for?”
And so negatives aren’t just about blocking things, it’s also about letting things live, that need to be out there in the wild, as well.
Best Practices for a Paid Search Career
Q. For somebody just entering the paid search field… do you have some advice for the newbies who are coming in?
Brad: Yeah, so when we think of paid search, we’ve got targeting. This says, show an ad or don’t show an ad, keywords, audiences, whatnot. We have the ads themselves, the marketing. What is your message to the consumers? And then we have our feedback loops for analytics which then form our bids and the mathematical part of this. So everyone has a place they’re usually naturally very good at. They’re good with math, they like the bids. They’re a creative writer, they love the ads. So that’s a great place to focus, initially, right? Two out of three pieces, one’s done really quickly. Now, next shouldn’t be your second best. All right, it should be “what is my weakness” and face the weakness down. If you love writing, you probably hate the math. You know, the advantage is, you can automate the math. But you have to know it before you should automate it, right. So, go learn how it works and say, “All right, I now understand it. Let me automate this and not do it anymore.” All right, but pick something you’re weak at, too, because that’s one way to get better.
So your strengths and your weaknesses, face them both and you’ll be a great marketer.