After almost 7 great years at the Rimm-Kaufman Group, I have seen a bunch of changes in the industry. Back in 2004, there wasn’t as much paid search competition so CPCs were modest, the number of variables was limited, and the available controls were relatively few. Our systems were set-up smartly, focused on a comprehensive keyword list, tight copy, targeted landing pages, and smart bidding logic. We were diligent about adding negatives and adjusting match types to improve conversion. This is still the case, and we have only improved our systems to make the process smoother and more flexible. Today, the core is still core! The phrases we bid on, copy we write, landing pages we use, and bid algorithm and rules we use are all still the essential ingredients for success. The game has not changed. These pieces have only become more important as competition has become fiercer. The difference today is that there is a bunch of new noise. Google now offers Sitelinks, Product Listing Ads, Product Extensions, Seller Ratings, and more! The number of controls has also increased tremendously. These new bells and whistles are the hot topics in blogs and search conferences, but it is the core PPC program that pays the bills. Many agencies and advertisers are apparently distracted with the latest engine offerings and are not focused on the fundamentals, as we often see when taking over existing programs. Yes, many of the new products do add value and we are happy to manage and track these initiatives. Yet, in all these offerings, we need not lose sight of the driving factor for our clients – a strong, well built out and managed PPC program. What was core is still core!
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