Caitlin Halpert will be speaking on Paid Search at Engage which will take place March 7–8 in Portland Oregon. For more information or to purchase tickets, please click here.
1) Please give us your background and let us know what you do for a living.
I started working in search advertising in 2011 for a little company called iSearch Media in San Francisco. Over the years I gained experience building SEM campaigns for a variety of clients from eCommerce to subscription services to B2B lead generation at iSearch Media, Dealer.com, and finally 3Q Digital. In 2018 I moved into a more strategic role that allows me to best drive growth, efficiency, and new ideas for clients at the agency. I develop unique strategies for potential clients and help to build new digital marketing solutions for the agency.
2) Can you please share the current best practices for testing ads in AdWords (that many people still don’t know)?
Many people have failed to notice that ad testing in Google Ads is on its way out. As machine learning takes over, you’re actually more and more likely to hurt your account’s performance by attempting to build a poorly designed test. It’s much more important to optimize ad copy, rather than attempt a controlled A/B test. We can no longer outsmart the AI built into Google’s ad optimization algorithm and it’s a waste of our strategic effort to try. Use the “optimize” ad rotation setting and feed Google as many meaningfully different ad variations as possible, at least 5-7 per ad group. Try all the new ad units, get creative with ad customizers, but don’t get caught up in A/B testing. When you stop worrying over little ad copy tests you can use your strategic thinking to get more impactful with your marketing experimentation.
3) What are some typical ancillary marketing challenges that are faced by many of the AdWords clients you’re working with?
I often see clients suffer from diminishing returns as their SEM campaigns become more mature. This is most often the case when brands focus too much on levers within campaigns rather than thinking more holistically about their marketing programs. Brands should remember to invest in their website, and the all-important conversion flow, but they should also invest in truly understanding their customers. That deeper customer understanding can help inform a more diversified marketing program and enable better communication with current and potential customers through ad messaging.