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Top PPC Skills and Platforms for 2019 [Data + Commentary from Paid Media Experts]

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Top PPC Skills and Platforms for 2019 [Data + Commentary from Paid Media Experts]

Top PPC Skills and Platforms for 2019 [Data + Commentary from Paid Media Experts]

To help look ahead to understand what platforms and techniques will be trending in PPC in 2019, we’ve turned to 6 PPC experts from different countries to get insight into what changes we should expect in the coming year. Explore what skills you will need to be sought-after as a PPC expert in the nearest future.

WordStream Employee Spotlight: Patrick Henry Carrera

Internet Marketing Blog by WordStream
WordStream Employee Spotlight: Patrick Henry Carrera

WordStream has some impressive employees in our ranks: from industry influencers to marathon runners, from analysts to authors. The Employee Spotlight series aims to highlight the talented individuals who work here. Each month, we’ll be featuring an interview here on the blog and on our social accounts.

For this month’s Employee Spotlight, we talked with Patrick Henry Carrera. As the marketing analyst here at WordStream, Patrick Henry tracks our metrics daily and helps provide the data processing power behind projects, like the Google Ads Mobile Benchmarks.

Originally from the Boston area, Patrick Henry graduated from McGill University with a Bachelor of Commerce in marketing. He joined WordStream about a year ago, bringing his data analysis expertise, his enduring loyalty to David’s Tea, and his unparalleled sneaker game.

Patrick Henry Carrera, Marketing Analyst

How did you hear about WordStream? Why did you want to work here?

I hadn’t heard anything about WordStream before applying, but I saw this job posting and it seemed perfect. Then I visited the offices and heard so much about the business. I thought the industry was really cool and I thought what WordStream was doing was great. The size of the company, the culture, and everything, it seemed like kind of a great place to work. The interview was nice. I loved all the people I interviewed with. We talked for a long time, and recently Laura has said to me, “You know, you said some weird things in your interviews.” I don’t remember all of it exactly, but I kept telling everyone I wanted to have a dog the same size as me. I forgot I told everyone that in the interview. They asked me to share a personal dream. That is my personal dream.

What’s your favorite project that you’ve worked on here at WordStream?

My favorite project was redoing the website reporting. When I first came here, it was a document and a spreadsheet. The spreadsheet was filled with individual rows of data, and the document was just a written response to the individual rows. It was very old fashioned, but I had a lot of freedom in improving it. I really liked expanding it and creating a more automated online system full of visualizations that are interactive and looked into more of the data at our disposal.

Everyone told me to try what I thought was best — they said they’d tell me if they didn’t like it but to try. And that was really great. I remember at other companies every time I had an idea, it would have to be approved by a million people and half of them would forget, so it always got buried. But redoing the website reporting here was really nice. I really got a chance try to improve the process.

wordstream employee spotlight

Here’s an example. This table compares the week to week amount of first actions brought in by our various lead sources. For each source it pulls the amount of first actions for each of the weeks being compared, the difference week over week, the percentile growth week over week, and the lead sources share of total first actions for each week. My favorite thing about this table is that it sums up a lot of what happened week over week in one visualization and the end user can sort by any column header for their own analysis.

What’s the most challenging project that you’ve worked on here at WordStream?

I’d say the most challenging project I worked on was a landing page reporting issue. I created this Excel workbook that would help me split up and aggregate the landing pages could separate the page from all of the additional tags appended to the page path to properly track sessions and goal completes. Anson, an engineer at WordStream, taught me Python, and through that I was able to create a text passing script. Eventually it worked. It improved the accuracy greatly, and that means a lot to me.

What’s the best thing you’ve learned on the job?

Besides Python, that would be Tableau. WordStream paid for me to take classes and attend a conference so that I could learn as much as possible. Now we’re going to be moving to Tableau for website reporting. That’ll be my next challenge.

What’s the first thing you do when you get to work each morning?

Drink a glass of tea. After that, I refresh our ongoing metrics that display on our TV dashboard.

Patrick Henry's tea mug

What’s your workspace aesthetic like? Minimalist? Homey? Neat?

It’s usually messy. I’ve got David’s Tea cannisters all over the place. Underneath the desk is the best shoe game on the East Coast. But the top of my desk? It’s a mess. I like having all my notes within eyesight so it’s all causally percolating in my brain all the time. That’s how I write my notes, too. I shove as much as I can into one view or one page so that I learn it. Then every time I see the view again it reminds me of all of the concepts.

 

Patrick Henry's David's Tea collection

You need to put your head down and get some work done right away. Do you have a go-to song or sound?

I definitely listen to music or a podcast if I need to focus. If I really need to focus, it’s either classical music or battle rap. Jedi Mind Tricks is my favorite.

If WordStream announced a last-minute day off tomorrow, what would you do with your free day?

So this actually happened to me a few months ago. I came into work and thought everyone was at a company meeting or something. Then I saw one random guy, and I asked if the office was open. He said no.

Most days off I like to sleep in, though. I’m a bit of an insomniac. I never actually get sleep so sleeping is the most luxurious thing to me. It’s the happiest thing in the world when you wake up and then you can go back to sleep knowing that you don’t have anything to do.

If you didn’t work in marketing, what would you want to do?

I became a data analyst because I really liked the math, the logical thinking, and the visualizations. I did used to be a graphic designer, and I almost went to art school. I did mostly vector design, a lot of illustrator and cartoon images. The largest thing I ever did I was in Guatemala working for a nonprofit that released an operating system. It was all open source, and they had all these educational programs developed by professors from all around the world comprised into one operating system. It was amazing – the education was better than what I received as a kid, and I had a very good school system.

graphic design

What’s the first concert you ever went to?

Ratatat. I was 16.

What was the last movie you saw in theaters?

Ocean’s 8. My friend has been really into those fancy movie theaters so we went there and ordered food and drinks. It’s a lot of fun. Yeah. You press a button, and they deliver you wine, and you feel like a big shot.

Do you have any talents or hobbies?

I collect basketball shoes. I love the NBA. I’ve been a basketball fan for about eight years, and every year I realized I didn’t understand the game as well the year before. There are just so many micro things that happen in each play, and the story builds on through the quarters. Basketball also has the best portfolio of body art in the world, in my opinion. One of my other hobbies is designing my own tattoos. I am very into body art, and I like to have consultations with my tattoo artist to go over the design.

Those are the reason I love basketball so much: it’s a team sport and an individual sport at the same time, the players have amazing body art, and it’s a lot about attitude and different things like that, including great shoes.

sneakers

SearchCap: Google Search Console report change, Google Shopping expands & SinglePlatform with Moz

Search Engine Land: News & Info About SEO, PPC, SEM, Search Engines & Search Marketing
SearchCap: Google Search Console report change, Google Shopping expands & SinglePlatform with Moz

SearchCap: Google Search Console report change, Google Shopping expands & SinglePlatform with Moz
Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

Ad Extensions: To Automate or Not to Automate?

Internet Marketing Blog by WordStream
Ad Extensions: To Automate or Not to Automate?

Ad extensions are the perfect sidekick to ad copy: they can direct the user to a better landing page, they give context on pricing or offerings before the user clicks and costs you money, and they can facilitate conversation without ever making the user land on your landing page. Google knows the value that extensions bring to advertisers and will sometimes add in extensions on your behalf.

Han Solo and Chewy

Star Wars’ Han Solo and Chewy proving sidekicks are heroes in their own right!

Some extensions, like seller ratings, are a no-brainer for Google to add in. Others requiring copy and matching up the correct location or number warrant more control. It’s important to remember that extensions, like their name implies, are an extension of your ad copy. Google is already making a grab to write ads for you with debatable success, as well as automate your a/b tests with responsive search ads.

If you genuinely have no time to own your copy and have some brand messaging flexibility, this is awesome news! If your brand has strict guidelines and you have very specific messaging you need to adhere to, this could be a nightmare. Odds are most of us are in the middle and can pick and choose when we delegate “grunt” work to Google and when we take the time to own important strategic messaging. 

To figure out when to delegate and when to own your copy, you need to know the extension options available and how to use them. Here’s a guide to all extensions available and whether you can feel safe allowing Google to automate.

Sitelinks

automated ad extensions sitelinks

What are they?

Sitelinks are 25-character links to a page on your site. You can serve up to eight, depending on the search engine results page (SERP) and the device. These extensions can guide the user to a specific product or service grouping, to learn more about your team, to read or watch client testimonials, and to any other actions you’d like the user to do.

Will Google automate them?

Yes, Google will add sitelinks to your ads if you do not create your own.

Should you let Google automate?

NO! Sitelinks give your business the opportunity to guide users to additional landing pages that could lead to conversions. Relinquishing control means foregoing the opportunity to enhance your conversion rates and ensure messaging is brand compliant. Be sure to add in both description lines so you’re able to capture the full real estate on the SERP.

Callouts

automated ad extensions callouts

What are they?

Callouts are 25-character non-clickable statements designed to give additional information and context to your offering. They can highlight reasons a client should do business with you, what you’re near, special promotions, and other info you want the user to know.

Will Google automate them?

Yes, Google will automatically add callouts if you don’t build them.

Should you let Google Automate?

NO! Callouts, like sitelinks, enable you to add additional context to your ad in your brand voice. Additionally, automated callouts often leverage “action” terms like “Book online”:

automated ad extensions example of a callout

Image via Google

Structured Snippets

automated ad extensions structured snippet

What are they?

Structured snippets are collections of up to 25 characters of information that speaks to product offerings, locations, types, and more. These extensions can be a great way to highlight offerings that don’t have enough search volume to be keywords, as well as showcase full offerings when you don’t have budget to build campaigns for your entire business.

Will Google automate them?

Yes, Google will automatically make structured snippets.

Should you let Google automate them?

Yes! Google has structured snippets that are exclusively available (highlights) when you go with dynamic structured snippets. Additionally, sometimes structured snippets created by humans can face disapprovals that are time intensive to solve for (using the wrong header, etc.). That said, if you have specific copy you want to leverage, absolutely take the time to create your own.

Call Extensions

automated ad extensions call extensions

What are they?

Call extensions are a clickable number on mobile devices and non-clickable number on desktop and tablets. The call extension can be set up to be tracked as a conversion by using a Google call forwarding number.

Will Google automate them?

Yes, Google will create a call extension on your behalf if it appears the goal of the site is to get phone calls.

Should you let Google automate them?

It depends! If you have a single location and phone number on your site, then there’s no harm in letting Google do that grunt work. It gets trickier if you have multiple numbers and objectives on your site. The safest path is to set up call extensions yourself, and then ensure the call extension is routed to the right campaign.

Message Extensions

automated ad extensions message extensions

What are they?

Message extensions serve on mobile ads, allowing prospects to text or email you. For advertisers who have long sales cycles, this extension provides a means to communicate and win business, without typing up phone leads of prospects who are ready to close. It also honors the growing population who prefer to text over call.

Will Google automate them?

Yes, Google will create a message extension on your behalf if you created a call extension or have a phone number on your site and it appears the goal is to drive calls.

Should you let Google automate them?

NO! If you’re not aware the extension is running, you may be getting folks funneled to you that you’re not prepared for. Worse, the number may not be right. Additionally, you need to manually configure the extension to forward to emails.

Location extensions

automated ad extensions location extension

What are they?

Location extensions take the data from your Google My Business and turn it into a clickable link giving directions to your business, as well as access to additional ad spots.

automated ad extensions location example

Will Google automate them?

Yes, Google will automatically create the extension when the query warrants a location. This can mean your extension won’t always serve.

Should you let Google automate them?

YES! Between giving additional context to your business, as well as access to additional ad formats, there’s only good that can come from having a location extension. Be mindful that when you connect your Google My Business, all locations attached will be synced, so be sure to audit your campaigns and get rid of multiple locations in any one campaign.

Promotion Extensions

automated ad extensions promotion extension

What are they?

Promotion extensions allow you to highlight specific discounts and offers that can be related to an event or not. These allow you to create flash sales and “urgency” without editing your winning ads, as well as taking up additional real estate on the SERP.

Will Google Automate them?

No, Google won’t create promotions for you.

Is it worth it your time to make them?

YES! Promotion extensions protect your ad copy data by letting you run promos alongside the ads instead of removing them with an edit. In addition, the scheduling feature allows you to build out your entire promotional calendar without having to make last-minute copy.

Price Extensions

automated ad extensions price extension

What are they?

Price extensions are clickable links to product or service landing pages, giving a price preview before the user engages. These are an invaluable way to ensure your clicks are only going to folks who have bought into your pricing, as well as directing that highly transactional user to where they can spend their money. Service providers can leverage them as well – price extensions include the qualifiers “from,” “up to,” “hourly,” “nightly,” as well as others.

Will Google automate them?

No, Google may suggest you create them but will not make assumptions on which parts of your business you want to draw attention to.

Is it worth the time to set-up?

YES! Price extensions can only benefit you by qualifying your users and offering targeted messaging. While it’s true some businesses offer unique quotes for every customer, it still helps to give a baseline price. Gone are the days where customers will blindly contact a business, and hiding pricing is only giving your prospects an excuse to choose your competitors.

Some Final Takeaways

Extensions can help you cover parts of your business that need attention, but they aren’t profitable enough to dedicate specific budget to. While it’s true that running an extension won’t make you come up for the specific search, you can highlight your additional offerings on campaigns with cheaper auction prices like branded campaigns.

Extensions can have their own unique schedule, which is vital if you don’t want folks calling you at 2 a.m. looking for service. Unless you’re a DUI lawyer with a dedicated late-night team, a 24-hour locksmith, or a pizza shop owner located near vibrant nightlife, odds are that call will be wasted spend. Set schedules on extensions that involve communicating with your prospects.  

automated ad extensions scheduling for extensions

Automated extensions aren’t inherently bad, but you do need to be mindful of when they’re happening and assess the data. Be sure to audit by click type every month or so to see if there are any “surprises” or any “hidden conversions,” like phone calls or directions.

automated ad extensions hidden conversions

And, finally, make sure that you’re not wasting extension copy repeating messaging in your ads – use the opportunity to add additional context making you irresistible to your prospects.

SearchCap: Google Analytics with Search Console bug & old Search Console reports

Search Engine Land: News & Info About SEO, PPC, SEM, Search Engines & Search Marketing
SearchCap: Google Analytics with Search Console bug & old Search Console reports

SearchCap: Google Analytics with Search Console bug & old Search Console reports
Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

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