so your ppc agency is certified they say and is your SEO actually working?

This blog post is filed under the personal rant section for a reason. This is all opinion, little research and a good old fashion vent, or bitch fest depending on how you want to look at this. It all stems from personal experience, my doctoral studies in marketing and being surrounded by the same ole’ same ole’ day after day. It’s all opinions…

There are a few things in marketing today that really bother me. Lack of creativity, advertising experts who reference Google AdWords and set it and forget it SEO companies hoping something will stick. There’s probably more, but as far as I can remember these are the big three. Again, I will digress back to this being a fun, personal rant and topics that are of interest (negative interest) to me. So let’s burn the match stick from both ends and burn this baby down.

When I decided to go down the marketing path I was at a crossroads in my educational career. I had two loves at the time, mathematics and economics. These two are a perfect blend that work well together and are really, really enjoyable to me. As I was going through college though I was getting less enjoyment out of classroom economics and started to fall in love with another… marketing. I have always been interested in knowing why people follow and how blind they are to marketing and advertising techniques. What seems so obvious and is highly annoying to me is what makes marketing so profitable, A CONSISTENT MESSAGE. Come to find out, marketing wasn’t even formally taught as a course at the turn of the 20th century and actually stemmed from behavioral economics and advertising. But why do these three things annoy me more than anything else about marketing? Because outside of sales (marketing is not sales, sales is sales), these are what people and consumers are starting to trend towards and think of when discussing what a marketing person does. Maybe I care more about pricing and business strategies than I should…

When a marketing team or individual isn’t being creative they are being lazy. I could be completely off base, but I believe that a marketing team should target, segment and then market to that particular market. They should then tell advertising who to advertise too and the sales manager whom to focus on. A good marketing manager should send his minions out into the business world and tell them who to target the message too. So why does a lack of creativity bother me so much? Simply put, “It’s your fucking job to get people excited!” If a marketing manager were to gathering information about consumers on their website or off, they should come up with creative ways to do so. I guess having the ‘Join Now’ message could keep popping up when you hover over the back button or go to close the browser, because yeah… it’s so creative, but then again I digress back to what I mentioned earlier, ‘A CONSISTENT MESSAGE’.

Now depending on how the company decided to set up their middle and upper management, there may be very little crossover between departments. Or… departments can bleed into each other so much that one doesn’t know where one department starts and the other ends. If a marketing manager is in charge of websites and layout design, they should refrain from looking like everyone else. Stand out, don’t follow the trend, start the trend. I can’t tell you how many doctors and dentists have the same pages with different names. A lot of this is pure laziness, using the same templates time and time again. I thought marketing was supposed to be creative. Unfortunately though a lot of marketing teams are about as creative as a pop song.

Axis of Awesome… and the simplicity of music.

If lack of creativity is a killer, than pure laziness is probably even worse. On July 24, 2018 what was formerly known as Google AdWords was no more and was replaced with Google Ads. If you never knew that, I don’t blame you because it’s only been about eleven months since this writing and your not alone. Professional advertising agencies, individuals creating advertisements and others who are collecting money to run a Pay Per Click (PPC) campaign are still calling it AdWords. What’s the big deal though if they do? Well, they are either lazy or in eleven months have refused to do any research on PPC and stay up to date on the latest trends, such as the name change of THE WORLD’S LARGEST ADVERTISING PLATFORM. But hey, who am I to pass blame? This guy will help your live a life of luxury and set up a Facebook Business Manager account (if he can remember certain things, in the video that he uploaded, to tell you how easy it is to make money…)

Worse than all of this though is the dreaded snake oil salesman. He has answers for everything and will sell you the cure. The best part is he’s certified. There are actually two different types of Google Ads certifications and the individual one is ridiculously easy to get and can be completed in just a few hours (depending on how many courses you want to take). It bothers me that individuals will advertise the certification that is easily attainable and walk around like it’s a MBA of advertising and only a select few can achieve such an honor. This is and isn’t the U.S. Marine Corps because it is thought to be The Few and The Proud, but in reality it’s a very, very large field of individuals from all walks of life that are in attendance and invitations aren’t hard to come by (I am a former Marine, I can say it). Are you interested in getting certified in Google Ads? Here are the steps on an instant certification.

  1. Go here or find your own Google Partners image.
  2. Right click
  3. Save image as…
  4. Post image on your website

Now that your company is certified and meets all of the qualifications I would like to be the first to say congratulations. Your time and effort is invaluable. Unlike your stockbroker though, we cannot verify you through a system designed to be transparent like FINRA. Maybe one of these pesky clients though will ask for more, maybe an actual paper certification with a name and date on it telling them how much time and effort you put into this. Well, your in luck because Google doesn’t change anything with their online education program. It’s so bad in fact, they actually refer to themselves as AdWords still and just cross it out or write on screen, “Formerly AdWords”. A (almost) trillion dollar company is just as lazy as you and I. But with that comes advantages, such as the same old tests used time and time and time and time (millions of times) again. So you want instant certification, here’s the steps…

  1. Go here and pick your course.
  2. Go to Google and type in the ‘class name answers’ into Google (let them tell on them self).
    Google Search: Google Ads Fundamentals Assessment answers
  3. Achieve a score of 80% or more.

Now I don’t condone cheating. I actually think it’s lazy and uncreative, but the reality is it does happen A LOT. If you are looking for someone to create an online advertising campaign for you through Google Ads I would look for the “Google Ads Certified” button and anything related to AdWORDS on the page. Like I stated earlier, i’m not sure if it is pure laziness or lack of research, but there was a name change about a year ago. Eh… maybe I just delve into the details a little to much. Must be the research studies in me. Just be weary… Nana can get certified on the Google in 90 minutes if she knows how to navigate between screens.

Last, but certainly not the least is lazy SEO. There is perception about SEO where you do a little keyword research, title tag, meta tag and H1 tag that word, write a little bit of content using that word and that’s it. Let it sit and simmer for a bit and then one morning you wake up and your web page is on the first page of Google. First off, BEWARE OF GUARANTEES . If a website guarantees you a first page Google listing (especially within a certain amount of time) RUN. Seriously, go up to the back button as fast as you can, then close their floating box that shows up and says something like “Wait! Before you go sign up for our newsletter”. Anyone who guarantees you anything with SEO is a liar and a thief for taking your money and either not doing anything with it or utilizing black hat techniques that are going to get you banned from Google, Bing and Yahoo search results.

I was able to get our website, Mark Marketing SB to not only get on the first page of Google, Bing and Yahoo for certain keywords, but was able to do so in about 45 days using Google’s Steps to a Google-friendly site. I’ll get more into SEO and keywords in another article, but lets just say that i’m happy with my 45 day results seeing as how I’ve launched a website for a business that does SEO for other businesses and am competing against professionals who offer SEO for other businesses and have been around for YEARS while my site went active on April 15, 2019. Essentially I’m in the hardest field to score a good SERP on because theoretically every digital marketing agency should be competing for first page bragging rites. Whatever… I think it’s cool.

Like I said, I’m a rookie in a league of veterans but I’m coming up fast. Which is why lazy SEO bothers me so much. They let this happen to themselves. There is more to SEO than just keyword research and content creation. A good SEO company should always be working on your backlinks, social media accounts, gathering user information and using the data generated from analytics to make sound decisions for the clients next move. If you just set it and forget it, than you can expect the SERP’s to forget about you.

So in short, buyer beware. Please do your research and check pricing before getting started. Make sound decisions and ask good questions. But as I stated, it’s just a personal opinion.

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