Searching Beyond the Paid

Friday, August 26, 2011

More Great Marketers to Follow on Twitter

A couple of weeks ago, I published a list of the Top 10 PPC Experts to Follow On Twitter. Go check it out if you haven't already!

Hot off the press today is an awesome list from my friends at aimClear of 52 Mind Blowing Marketers We'd Love to Clone and Adopt. The list runs the gamut from SEOs to PPCers to social media pros, and is basically a Who's Who of online marketing. If you're looking for new experts to follow on Twitter, go check out the aimClear list.

Disclaimer: I'm on the list, and am humbled by the inclusion. Thanks to Marty and crew for including me!

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Friday, August 19, 2011

Adwords Reps – A Love-Hate Relationship

Since the dawn of Adwords, PPC managers have had a love-hate relationship with their Adwords reps. In my own experience, I love having someone who can go to bat for me when I need help pushing ad copy through editorial, solving a billing problem, or increasing the capacity of my account.

On the other hand, I’m not so fond of the frequency at which reps change: just when I feel comfortable that my rep understands our clients, we’re assigned someone new. I also have been almost universally disappointed with the “optimizations” provided by Google. The only thing they’re optimizing is Google’s revenue.

Late last year, Google announced that they were switching up their account rep structure for agencies. Instead of one rep per agency, reps would be assigned by vertical. Personally, I’ve found this to be a pain – I can never remember who I’m supposed to contact about which client. Furthermore, vertical support is only available at a certain spend level: as far as I can tell, the minimum is at least $15,000 per month. That’s a pretty hefty chunk of change for many advertisers.

To get support for clients below that budget level, we had to contact the generic Adwords support hotline. While I’ve always found the general support reps to be attentive and helpful, it’s still frustrating to have to re-explain a client’s business and goals over and over to a new person each time you call.

Just this week, though, I got an email from a rep who said he’d been assigned to our agency for this quarter, offering to discuss all of our clients. I agreed to a call, and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. He had obviously taken the time to review our client campaigns, and beyond that, he had looked at their websites to get an idea of the client’s business. He had several optimization ideas I was impressed with, as well. While most of the ideas weren’t new features, he had suggestions for new ways to use the features that I hadn’t thought of or heard of. All in all, I was quite pleased, and have spent a chunk of time this week implementing many of his suggestions for testing.

But that’s just me. In a recent PPC Chat, PPC’ers weighed in on the usefulness of Adwords reps. The overwhelming sentiment was that reps are only marginally helpful, and often are just trying to make more money for Google. I have to say that I’ve found this to be truer of the vertical reps than the agency rep I talked to this week. PPC Chatters also said they find it much more helpful to ask other PPC’ers via Twitter or online forums for help, rather than going to Google.

What’s your take? Is Adwords Support as marginal as ever, or is it getting better? Share the good, the bad, and the ugly in the comments!


Friday, August 12, 2011

10 PPC Experts to Follow on Twitter

The PPC crowdsourcing company Trada recently published a blog post listing their top 10 PPC experts to follow. While I agree with the majority of the names on the list, a few were puzzling: Danny Sullivan, a PPC expert?

Don’t get me wrong – Danny is a huge name in the SEM industry, and a personal friend. But he’s not a PPC guy. However, Search Engine Land, which Danny started, is a great PPC resource, and I highly recommend it.

Following a great discussion on Twitter about Trada’s list, along with an offline conversation I had with one of the Trada management team, I decided to create a list of the top 10 PPC experts to follow on Twitter. This list is in no particular order.

David Szetela

David is the founder of Clix Marketing and a veteran of the search marketing conference circuit. He’s also the author of PPC An Hour a Day, which is an invaluable resource for PPC managers. His Twitter stream is a great source of PPC info. David’s semi-retired now, but he still shares lots of PPC know-how.

Andrew Goodman

Andrew was one of the first PPC experts I paid attention to way back in 2002 when I was getting started with PPC. He already had an e-book published on Adwords at that time. Since then, we’ve gotten to know each other personally, and I’m honored to call him a friend. Andrew blogs at Traffick and tweets PPC brilliance.

Brad Geddes

Brad is another long-time PPC pro and author of Advanced Google Adwords. Brad also hosts the podcast Marketing Nirvana on He’s a prolific writer for SEM news sites, and his Certified Knowledge training is top-notch. Follow Brad to get the latest PPC news.

Robert Brady

I “met” Robert on Twitter and we’ve swapped tips ever since. Robert’s blog is also a must-read for PPC suggestions & tips.

John Lee

John works for Clix Marketing and is a faithful member of PPC Chat. If you have a tough technical PPC question, John’s your guy. He’s a great mind and his Twitter stream is engaging & fun.

Joe Kerschbaum

Yet another Clix Marketing guru, Joe is one of the smartest and nicest guys in PPC. Joe embodies the rare mix of technical know-how and creative thinking (he’s a poet, for gosh sakes) and it’s served him well. He’s another true friend and I owe him a debt of gratitude for all I’ve learned from him.

Pamela Lund

Pamela runs the PPC department at BlueGlass, and she’s always ready to lend a helping hand on Twitter. She also writes for SEM blogs, and is super smart and fun to follow.

Alex Cohen

Alex is another brilliant PPC mind who’s wrapping up his stint at ClickEquations and moving on to HBloom next week. His SEM articles are some of the best I’ve ever read (Alex, you can do my research for me any time!), and he is an all-around nice and funny guy. Follow Alex on Twitter for PPC nuggets.

Matt Umbro

I “met” Matt on Twitter and feel that we instantly became fast friends. Matt has the honor of launching PPC Chat which has been one of the best things to happen to PPC networking in a long time. Matt is a great engager on Twitter, so do yourself a favor and give him a follow.

James Svoboda

Yet another PPC Chat friend, James is a pro at PPC and conversion optimization. If you’re struggling with landing page optimization or conversion rates, he’s your guy. I met James at SMX Advanced in June, and really enjoyed sharing PPC knowledge.

Bonus: Anyone From the #PPCchat Group

Go to Tweetdeck right now and create a column for #ppcchat – and start following the contributors. Participate by asking & answering questions. Chances are someone will be ready and willing to help.

So there you have it, my top 10 list. Who would you add? Share in the comments!