Meet the Judges of the Search Engine Land Awards 2021

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UPDATE: APPLICATIONS ARE NOW CLOSED. WINNERS WILL BE ANNOUNCED ON OCTOBER 18, 2021.

Your last chance to industry-wide recognition, awesome social buzzand one a boost to company morale fast approaching: Search engine prices 2021 the registration period ends at the end of this week — Friday, September 3 at 11:59 p.m. PT to be exact!

There is still time for you to submit your application, especially since the submission process is faster and easier than ever. But before you begin this entry, take a moment to meet the judgesa fabulous panel of seasoned professionals across the entire SEO and PPC spectrum, led by editorial experts at Search Engine Land

…and look over their first-hand advice for what makes a winning SEO or PPC campaign, and therefore, a winning entry for the Search Engine Land Awards.

Azim Ahmad

For me, a successful campaign starts at the end. Yes, you read that right. What I meant by that statement is that for a campaign to be successful, you absolutely have to decide what the measure of success is and what success looks like to you. Getting started without clarity often does more harm than good to the company.

There’s nothing wrong with just saying “we want more traffic”, but great campaigns go further and say “with this campaign, we’re looking to increase leads from [x] for [y] – or one [%] Annual growth – by implementing these strategies. »


Crystal Carter

What makes the difference for a good SEO campaign is a clear understanding of the target audience – what you have to offer and what is most valuable to those users. SEO provides a wealth of user data and information to support content, advertising, promotion and technical improvements. Making good use of this targeting makes all the difference.


Emilie Mixon

My advice for a successful PPC campaign is negative closing, especially when you’re in a niche product category, and with all the recent match type updates and close variations. Crucial to maintaining, and most importantly improving, effectiveness, campaigns must be structured to maintain control over keyword targeting and exclusions in an environment where automation takes over.

To get started, start with a phrase-only campaign with a few select keywords that you know will have a wide range of search queries associated with them. For example, if you sell kitchen appliances, you can target “ovens” and “ranges” and then collect data around all search queries that match them over a period of time. It is essential to set a cadence for this and stick to it, otherwise the number of search queries to sift through could become unmanageable. My cadence, on a good week, is every Monday, pulling the last 7 days of data.

Next, identify search queries that drive high conversion volume and add them as exact match keywords in an exact match-only version of the campaign. Don’t add them as exact phrases to your exact phrase campaign. The goal here is to funnel traffic to exact match keywords, for which you can customize specific and relevant ads and landing page experiences (ex. [double oven wall unit] Where [stainless steel gas ranges]). Phrase match keywords have done their job at this point in identifying search query conversion.

Last but not least, add the new exact match keywords from your exact match campaign as negative exact match keywords in the phrase match campaign. This helps ensure that those queries hit the exact keyword, which should have a better Quality Score and CPC than phrase match, and frees up phrase match keyword budget for find more search query variants.

Also, while combing through the SQR, be sure to add irrelevant search queries such as “driving areas” or “dutch ovens” in this example, as negative keywords to the campaign for help reduce unnecessary expenses.


Anu Adegbola

As for what I think makes for a successful campaign… a few things immediately come to mind: good structure based on either site structure, keyword performance, types match (Broad vs Phrase vs Exact). Clear indication of ongoing testing (ad content, bidding strategies, match types, etc.). Robust use of different bidding strategies (but based on performance, not just a one-size-fits-all solution.

Varied use of ad copy types – extensive text ads, alongside search-response ads, dynamic ads, as well as the use of additional features such as countdown timers, IF statements, etc. Indication of regular analysis of current search queries. Use of automation as needed.


Brett Bodofsky

What makes a PPC campaign effective (especially Google Ads and Microsoft Ads) is a robust structure that allows for ads that are highly tailored to their targeting. Targeting and copy/creation work together, in unison, to help achieve a clearly defined business objective (obtaining leads, sales, customer retention, building brand awareness). The landing page also plays an important role in the success of a PPC campaign.

A campaign with fine targeting, bidding, and creative can drive highly qualified traffic to a page. If the page traffic is being sent to isn’t what a user would expect, has poor functionality, looks unprofessional, it can seriously hurt the effectiveness of a PPC campaign.

Conversion action is a factor put in place outside of campaigns similar to landing pages that can impact effectiveness. For smart bidding decisions and iterations to be made, campaigns need an appropriate conversion action to operate on.

Another factor that can make a PPC campaign effective is time. It sounds so simple, but time allows data to flow in, which helps machine learning make more informed decisions.

  • It’s the sum of many aspects that create an effective campaign (settings, targeting, bidding, budget, creative, messaging, proper follow-up, experimentation, demand, landing page, competition, etc.). Any of these, in one way or another, can damage the integrity of your campaign and make it less effective.
  • A campaign may not always be effective right from the start or even in the first week or two, but in due time, with more data at hand, it could become effective through means of machine learning. having more to optimize and any manual optimizations/iterations done by the practitioner.

Remember: The final deadline is this Friday, September 3 at 11:59 p.m. PT. Standard entrance fees are $595 per request — and you can submit to as many categories like you want.


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