Our Top 5 Paid Search Marketing Articles of 2021

Now that 2021 has wrapped, let’s look back at all the paid search marketing topics we covered in our blog last year.

We covered a lot of ground, ranging from innovative ways to use your Google Ads advertising to the special challenges of international advertising to our lobbying efforts to get “women-owned” included as an attribute in Microsoft Ads’ Marking with Purpose program (which succeeded!).  

It’s a lot to keep up with… so in case you missed any, here are our top five performing articles from last year: 

1. How to Scale Your Google Ad Program

The question of how to scale your Google Ads program isn’t an easy one to answer. 

Because there’s no one “right” or “wrong” way to scale. 

Instead, there are many, many factors that impact your ability to grow your PPC program. 

In this series of two articles, I explored 13 of the most important factors. 

In part one, I examined factors that are most often overlooked, such as focusing on long-term goals and having a baseline of trust in PPC as a marketing channel. 

In part two, I delved into other factors and strategies, such as exploring multiple ad formats, experimenting with shopping campaigns and testing Microsoft Ads.

2. How to Diagnose and Fix Google Ads Performance Issues

No one likes to see a big drop in performance in their Google Ads account—especially if they can’t easily attribute the drop to any recent change or event. 

Still, unexpected drops in performance aren’t unusual.

Because strong, consistent performance relies on many, many factors, and a change in any ONE of those factors can significantly impact your results. 

In this article, I break down what you can do to diagnose a sudden drop in Google Ads performance—and get it back on track—using a client account as an example. 

3. How to Use PPC at Every Stage of the B2B Conversion Funnel

Most people associate paid search marketing with the end of the buyer’s journey. 

They know your brand and have done a bit of research.

Maybe they’ve already watched a demo or signed up for your newsletter.

And so when your PPC ad impressions, they’re ready to click and convert.

But those end-of-funnel conversions are only a very narrow slice of what PPC can do. 

In this blog post, I walk through the B2B buyer’s journey and look at how PPC can be used at each stage—illustrating with a specific client example.

4. Is That a Google Rep Helping You? Or a Google Salesperson?

The quality of the advice and guidance we get from our Google Ads reps has steadily declined over the past five years or more. 

The decline is partly due to lack of real-life experience with Google products and paid search marketing. 

But it’s also partly due to inherent bias.

It’s easy to forget: Google reps are paid by Google. 

At the end of the day, they’ll always have Google’s best interests at heart, not yours.

In this article, I issue a warning to all advertisers—particularly new ones—to not blindly follow the advice and recommendations of their Google Ads reps

5. What Does Google Ads Optimization Look Like in 2021?

Not so long ago, “optimizing” your Google Ads program meant pausing underperforming keywords and/or watching time of day or day of week. 

How things have changed. 

Today, mostly due to automation, focusing on a single campaign element (whether keywords or bid adjustments) isn’t going to get you where you want to go. 

Instead, you need to look at every element separately and together to deliver good performance. 

Which means that optimization isn’t a “thing” you do once by following an established set of steps. 

It’s something you have to do holistically and continually. And the steps you’ll need to take will differ for every business and account.

In this blog post, I give a detailed play-by-play of how we helped one of our clients optimize their Google Ads program

Thank You for Reading!

A big thanks to everyone who’s taken the time to read our articles and share them with your colleagues. I hope you’ve found them helpful. 

And if you’d like these articles delivered to your inbox every month, feel free to subscribe to our PPC newsletter

Now on to 2022!