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The Best Advice For Search Professionals

I always love the start of a new year because of the fresh beginning it brings. It gives us a chance to reflect on what worked and what didn’t work and begin anew. Here are the three resolutions I think will get search professionals off on a fresh start in 2018.

Audit Accounts More Frequently

With every account audit I have done, something is amiss -- from incorrect or inconsistent settings to issues with negative keywords (or lack of negative keywords) to one ad per ad group, and one of the bigger issues involves accounts that were transferred directly from Google to Bing without updating the handful of settings that differ between them.

Develop An Audience And Remarketing Strategy

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Audiences are only becoming more important to augment marketers' keyword targeting. Most companies have pieced their audience strategy together without thinking about how it all ties together holistically. Search marketers need to take a page from their display counterparts to create an audience strategy that encompasses everything from in-market audiences, custom audiences, customer match, and cross-campaign audiences using tracking codes to set-up RLSA targeting, to RLSA campaigns based on actions within the customer journey.   

Think Conversationally

Voice search and conversational agents have reached the tipping point where they are no longer just used by the hip early adopters. This means we will see an increase in consumers using them to find products and services. Marketers must be prepared.

  • Make sure that your paid-search campaigns aren’t using question words as campaign negatives. (Or if you are, do it selectively based on your performance targets and goals)  
  • Use Broad and Phrase match terms to capture the voice search queries.
  • Begin exploring chatbots as a conversational way to engage with your customers. Chatbots are the intelligent agents that can help digital assistants like Cortana, Alexa, Siri and the Google Assistant go from “Question and Answer” to “Question and Action.” What actions are your customers trying to take and how can you use chatbots to help them get there verbally, this includes the customer experience. Can your chatbot link to account information so that a customer could make a purchase or reservation without having to manually fill out the forms.
  • For organic search, begin using structured data and conversational tone and voice in the on-page copy.

Finally, as a reminder -- voice search is not monetized yet, but there is no doubt that this will be coming soon. 

My search resolutions include being a more prolific reader and writer. While I currently read quite a few industry publications and blogs, I would like to write about what I’m learning and my favorite search and excel hacks and tricks, like three of my favorite paid-search personalities Mel MackeyKirk Williams, and Julie Bacchini.

This year, I also plan to step up my AI game and learn how to create an end-to-end stack of AI solutions so I can be more helpful in explaining how search marketers can use AI for automation and testing in 2018.

 

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