Jan 62011

The Core is Still Core

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!


8 Responses to "The Core is Still Core"
Kenny says:
amen and amen. Seen lots of blog posts in the past week about the top new offerings from Google that you've never heard of and should be using, etc. Sure, if you already have a well-built account. Otherwise, it's the old lipsticked pig.
Pappy says:
There is so much truth to this blog post. While the bells and whistles might provide a supplement to a well run program, they are not substitutes and can distract and detract from allocating the requisite focus and resources on the core. The only component, in addition to a strong system and bid algorithm, tight copy, targeted landing pages, appropriate negatives, etc. is the most important part...an awesome Analyst who has a comprehensive yet intimate handle on the client's objectives and business. It's amazing how the attributes above can, over time, be taken for granted by some clients. The day-to-day "miracles" that can be produced by such a competent and engaged partner can become viewed as commonplace and allow the focus to stray from a significant core business to what is in fashion, often at the expense of that core. Great advice, thanks.
Words of wisdom, Pappy. Would love to catch up with you sometime! George
Right on, Kenny and Pappy. Glad we are not the only people that feel this way! Joy
Enno says:
So true! Finally someone, who finds and honestly writes about the neccessary pragmatic approach! Thank you, Enno
Thank you, Enno. Honestly, it benefits Google to push for a solid PPC program too. That is where the real money is!


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