Blog >> SEM – Search Engine Marketing

Darcy Grabenstein Feb 1

How to Shorten the EMBA Decision-Making Process & Increase Your Program’s Bottom Line

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The decision-making process for a prospect to enroll in an Executive MBA program is painfully long. Statistics show that this process can take up to two years. So what can you do to speed up the process? Develop —  and implement —  a pull-through digital enrollment marketing strategy.

EMBA Decision-Making Timeline

                      Source: GMAC Prospective Students Survey 2014

Audience targeting is a key component of any successful marketing strategy, online or offline. Don’t throw a wide net; targeting will produce better results. Why? Because you will be delivering relevant content. If you bid on keywords that are too broad, you may be wasting your online advertising dollars. To promote a Healthcare EMBA program, for instance, both the keywords and the ad messaging must be specific. Otherwise, you may receive a great quantity of leads but not quality leads. Quality leads will be more interested in your EMBA program and, therefore, more likely to commit sooner.

Timing is everything. While you want your online ads to appear prior to your program deadlines, you also want prospects to see them at key stages in their decision-making process. Keep in mind that, although these two timelines may intersect at certain points, the overlap may be minimal. That’s why you should schedule ads throughout the calendar year, not just based on the academic calendar.

So what are some of the stages that prospects will go through on their path to enrolling? Here are a few common stages:

1. Considering an EMBA
2. Deciding what type of EMBA program
3. Seeking information
4. Applying
5. Enrolling

The Adult Audience Journey

Just because you get a prospect into the funnel, that doesn’t mean it will be smooth sailing. Bottlenecks can pop up anywhere:

• Cost of program (more important to self-financed than employer-sponsored prospects)
• Concerns regarding work-life balance
• Questioning ROI of EMBA degree

Your program positioning and digital marketing strategy must address and overcome these and other obstacles. You can kill two birds with one stone, so to speak, by offering incentives for early enrollment. First, financial incentives will help to bring down the overall cost of an EMBA. Second, incentives can help shorten the decision-making process.

What kinds of incentives can you offer? That depends on your program’s pricing and operations budget. Some programs offer scholarships, waive application or GMAT fees (some programs waive the GMAT altogether), or pay for textbooks. Other programs offer incentives to specific groups, such as military veterans.

If you find that work-life balance is an issue for prospects, take a look at your program format. EMBA programs must be willing to rethink traditional models in order to appeal to professionals with limited bandwidth. Programs with flexible scheduling will have an advantage over those with rigid formats, and may prompt commitments earlier in the decision-making process.

Your digital marketing strategy must demonstrate program ROI. How? Include testimonials on ROI from current students and alumni. If favorable, compare your tuition to that of other EMBA programs. Survey your alumni to find out how they moved up the career ladder (and how quickly) and how much their salaries increased post-graduation. Collect stats, and then use them to your advantage.

Digital enrollment marketing is more than just “setting and forgetting” a search engine marketing (SEM) campaign. Your strategy should be made up of many components: keyword optimization, banner and search ads, landing pages, search engine optimized (SEO) web content, social media advertising, retargeting campaigns and more. Your online campaign also should be consistent in visuals and messaging with offline marketing.

Don’t forget to monitor your campaigns. Tracking results will reveal which components worked best, and which fell flat. Then tweak your campaigns for optimal results.

A coordinated, consistent, ongoing marketing effort will produce the best results and, ultimately, shorten the prospect’s decision-making timeline.

Darcy Grabenstein is senior copywriter at Annodyne.

Darcy Grabenstein Sep 27

The ABCs of Effective CTAs

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When researching best practices in copywriting, you can find a plethora of articles about headlines, email subject lines, SEO content and more. An equally important (and perhaps more important) element to research and refine is the call to action (CTA). According to Unbounce, more than 90% of people who read the headline also read the CTA.

Why is the CTA so important? This is the desired action you want your target audience to take as a result of your communication. If your goal is to increase brand awareness, the CTA could be a simple “Learn More.” Want to sell products or services? Be direct with a “BUY IT” button.

It does not matter whether your focus is B2C, B2B or what channel/tactic you use — email, direct mail, website, banner ad — a strong CTA is crucial. And it does not matter what industry you’re in — hi-tech, higher ed, pharma, tourism, retail — you still need a compelling CTA.

What’s not a compelling CTA? “Click here,” for starters. You’ve got to give them a reason to “click here.” From an SEO standpoint for web content, “click here” does nothing. And from a user experience (UX) perspective, it’s not exactly user friendly. Change it to “Learn more about our EMBA programs” and you’re on the right track. Adding a sense of urgency (“SHOP NOW”) can boost the click-through rate (CTR). All caps (“FIND OUT HOW”) vs. lowercase (“Find Out How”) can also increase response.

Design is another key component of a successful CTA. A button calls more attention to the CTA than a simple text link. Color, shape, icons (such as an arrow) and positioning of a CTA can impact its CTR. And don’t forget mobile. Buttons should be at least 44 pixels square to avoid errant clicks by large thumbs.

Here are several examples of click-worthy CTAs:


When it comes to CTAs, there definitely can be too much of a good thing. On a landing page, where your goal should be to generate leads, you should have only one CTA. On the thank-you page, where you want to drive visitors back to your site, it’s OK to go hog-wild with links.

How do you know if your CTA is performing? Make sure you include a tracking code on the URL you’re linking to. Then check your analytics for click-throughs.

When in doubt, test. You could say that’s my mantra. But be sure to test only one element at a time to avoid skewing your results. After you test, apply those learnings to your next project.

Darcy Grabenstein is senior copywriter at Annodyne.

Diana Altobelli Aug 28

4 Ways to Get the Most out of Your Facebook Ad Campaigns

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Have you been thinking about marketing on Facebook? Or have you used Facebook ads but are not getting the results desired? Whatever the case, you have an opportunity to get a better return on investment by incorporating these four tactics into your social media campaigns.

Before I begin, I will jump on my soapbox and for a moment remember the days of Facebook being ad free and CEO Mark Zuckerberg saying it will remain that way. Well, like all those with a great idea (no matter if it starts out free), Zuckerberg wanted to get paid for his brilliant idea. I can’t say I blame him. However, let’s think for a second how this transitioned our lives forever once advertising began on social media. For example, I have a particular design taste. The shabby-chic, French cottage, one-of-a-kind décor that you can’t seem to find at your Pier 1 Imports or Wayfair (and if you did it’s way above what I’m willing to pay).

Through Facebook’s algorithms, however, I have been able to find more local small business owners and boutique shops, thanks to Facebook advertisements, remarketing and suggested pages to “like.” This has given me the opportunity to find entrepreneurs who make the handcrafted pieces that I am seeking. Normally, I am not one to congratulate the social media giant because I like to find things on my own, but Facebook has helped me greatly these past few months.

Anyway, back to the meat and potatoes of what this blog post is all about.

1. Split Test Your Facebook Ads

Whether you use Google AdWords or Bing, split testing is necessary to see what works. We all know this is a best practice, but the time and discipline required to set this up and then analyze the data after tests can become dreary. Stick to it, though, because the work you put into your Facebook campaign will yield a return on your investment. Simply change a variance in your ads and measure to see which one gets the best results. This could be different keywords, images, text, calls to action or even types of ads. You have multiple options on Facebook: right-hand side ads, newsfeed ads and carousel/multiple image ads. Once you test this and refine your ads, you’ll lower your cost per click (CPC), resulting in less-expensive conversions.

The ads are not the only thing you should vary. Don’t forget to test different target audiences and demographics. You might realize the interests and behaviors you are targeting are not associated with the type of user who will convert on social media. You might want to start with the little things first: keywords, images and text. Start them on the same day with similar conditions to get the best possible results. Then lead to demographics.

2. Use Facebook Conversion Pixel

Now you may think installing the Facebook conversion tracking pixel is a waste of time but, believe me, it is not. Facebook wouldn’t offer it if it weren’t helpful. It does exactly what is says, tracks conversions on Facebook. This will allow you to determine how much you are paying and what you are getting in return for those dollars spent.

3. Keep Mobile and Desktop Ads Separate

You might be wondering why you shouldn’t just use every ad location available for your new Facebook ad set. Well, here’s why: By separating them, you will have more control and the ability to optimize your ads, bids and conversions by device. Calls to action and text also display differently on desktop versus mobile. By catering your ad copy toward the device will allow for great conversions and a better end-user experience.

4. Set Up a Remarketing Pixel

Remarketing seems to be all the rage right now. What is it? It’s when potential customers have visited your website but did not convert. After visitors leaving your site, it’s easy for them to forget about your business. This is where Facebook remarketing comes into play. You then have the ability to target them after they have visited your site., creepily following them online and serving ads to keep your company top of mind.

This is all just the tip of the iceberg. You also can maximize your ability to target on Facebook through income, behaviors, look-a-like audiences, test calls to action and more. Social media advertising can be highly profitable if done right. Facebook enjoys a significant amount of traffic, and it can be directed toward your website or landing pages if ads are set up correctly.

What do you think? Will you use some of these starter strategies to increase the effectiveness of your Facebook ad campaigns? Leave your comments below!

Diana Altobelli is a search marketing specialist at Annodyne.

Marisa Albanese Jul 23

In Search of a More Perfect Algorithm…

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Today, we’re going to discuss erroneous algorithms in machine learning (this term is used to describe computer-based predictive analytics). To set up the context, I’m going to share a little something I learned back in my political science days as an undergrad. OK, something I learned besides where on campus was the best place to take a nap. (For any Temple University students — SAC, upper level, near the conference rooms. You’re welcome.) There is a central question nearly everyone has asked within the poli sci realm: Is there a perfect form of government? Short answer: No. I will not bore everyone to tears by detailing why not but there is a very simplistic way to understand this dilemma: Government was created by people, people are flawed and, therefore, government will naturally be flawed. Side note: Please do not turn the comments section into a political thunderdome over this proclamation.

This brings me back to the topic of algorithms. Recently, The New York Times published an article that pulled from various studies completed about bias in online marketing ads based on algorithms. An algorithm is a formula. It’s what Google uses when a person types in “best running shoes for beginners” to produce search results. A person creates algorithms, using the principles of predictive analytics, usually some calculus and a dash of black magic. Machines, however, learn from human behavior and adjust algorithms over time. This is known as a learned algorithm.

The Times article gives a great example. When you type into Google or Bing “best running shoes” it auto-completes the thought. But the crux of the article was how search results are being corrupted by the negative, and deeply stereotypical, side of society. For instance, ads targeting applicants for high-paying executive jobs appeared in the search results for men over double the rate as they did for women. A separate study revealed ads for arrest records appearing in searches for African-American-centric names.

People are leaning on machine learning data and calculations because we see this way as the ultimate truth. Machines have no prejudice and will just report the facts. But if they are implanted with bad search algorithms, not necessary created with malice but lack of social understanding, this is like building a house on a cracked foundation.

This sets up the discussion “Oh my God, this is how Skynet started” (this is a reference to the storyline for the “Terminator” series). The machines are learning without us! Artificial intelligence! Before you start building that underground bunker, keep in mind a few things. For starters, data scientists are still trying to understand this phenomenon. It has been suggested if an algorithm shows signs of this behavior to rewrite it. These signs would be present during testing. Ah, yes! That magical thing I suggested a few blogs ago: Always create a test plan.

Test your algorithms. Then test them again. Also, I’m going to drop some additional poli sci knowledge. Niccolo Machiavelli, who wrote The Prince, did not fake his own death. He simply wrote about it. So to everyone who thinks Tupac Shakur faked his own death because he named one of his posthumous albums Machiavelli, this is wrong. But “California Love” is still an awesome song.


This cat is re-creating my most common activity during college.

 Marisa Albanese is database marketing analyst at Annodyne.

Diana Altobelli Jan 22

The Struggles With Higher Ed Marketing and How To Overcome Them

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As if digital marketing weren’t already tough enough, the search engines don’t seem to be easing up any time soon. Not only that, but higher education keywords and phrases are getting to be quite expensive. Here at Annodyne, we service many higher education institutions. Using online marketing strategies such as search engine marketing, we have seen great success with our clients in filling the seats of MBA and EMBA programs.


With that being said, it can be even more difficult for institutions with small to medium-sized programs to gain online recognition and traffic. The price tag for higher ed to attract potential students via paid search continues to increase, costing anywhere from $50 and up per click.

As paid search becomes more expensive and with limited budgets, it is important to spend your marketing dollars wisely and in a space where you can compete. Let’s talk about content marketing, for example. If you ask me, the term is getting a bit irritating at this point but bear with me.

Institutions are challenged to come up with a great key message that will stand out among the rest, one that will resonate with potential MBA and EMBA students (or any student, for that matter). Only a fraction of colleges and universities are nationally ranked, or have the funds to pay for rights to use the badge signifying their ranking.

All the rest must determine what makes their program truly unique. Why not start with alumni and faculty? Learn what professors and teachers at the college are doing internally, then create stimulating ad copy that will resonate with students. Whether you create case studies, white papers or even infographics, you will engage the end user and capitalize on your marketing efforts by providing relevant information.

What would be even greater is if the potential student engaged with that content. Micghael Schrange from MIT sums up what engagement is really all about. “Engagement is smack at the intersection of commanding attention and taking action.”


For example, views and traffic are great, BUT… that does nothing for your campaign if no one is interacting with your posts, photos or videos. Let’s think of it in reference to search engine optimization. You are getting tons of traffic to the website, but no one is filling out lead forms. You might want to check your bounce rate; is there enough content to keep the reader engaged for awhile? These are all questions you need to ask yourself when looking to keep the end user engaged.

The same goes for social media. You can post 2-3 times a day, but if no one is sharing, liking or commenting on your material you may want to think twice about what you are doing. Or if you are just starting out maybe you want to assign some team members as social media ambassadors to help increase the engagement with like users who may be interested. Do you see where I’m going with this?

Now since, search engine marketing maybe not be the greatest avenue to bring in leads for your Executive MBA programs, leveraging your social media pages might do the trick. Yes, it is becoming even more of a struggle to gain the reader’s attention, but having an active presence on a platform where a majority of users spend their time can create conversions.

As with Google AdWords, you still have the ability to target your audience on social media. With Facebook, you can target by interests, behaviors, location, age, gender and more. This not only allows for more effective targeting but can be much cheaper than the search giant.

The bottom line is developing an end goal, a marketing strategy so that you can properly measure, track and gauge how your social media or search engine marketing campaigns are doing. Once that is laid out, it can be much easier to determine which tactics and platforms to use when it comes to higher education marketing. Make sure they are aligned with the institution’s objectives as a whole!

Diana Altobelli is a search marketing coordinator at Annodyne. 

photo credit via AZ NetMarketing

The Social Network gif via The Other Hubby

Crewe Fox 

Diana Altobelli Jan 8

New Year’s Resolution/Spring Cleaning for PPC Campaign

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Many strategies for search engine marketing have come and gone. Launching new campaigns can leave a lingering remnant of disorganization after a whole year of fiddling with details, either impacting your PPC in a negative or positive way. So now it’s time to clean it up a bit and start fresh.


The “remnant changes” that you may or may not have kept track of are those alterations made on the account that were left active. PPC is a fast-moving world. With strategies and new versions of Editor upgrading daily, it’s easy to miss the tiniest detail (yes, even for those who have the keenest of eyes). Working on multiple accounts, maneuvering in and out of campaigns daily, can produce these remnants.

Seasonality is one example. A majority of your client’s budget was heavily geared to the Christmas season. Post-Christmas is the client’s slow time, so you adjust budgets accordingly to spend those dollars wisely. Another prime example is gym memberships in January. You run a special promotion to be heavily marketed in the New Year, as everyone heads to the gym for resolutions (how long they last, well, that’s up to you!).

If you ask me, I am glad the holidays are over. I felt out of the loop during my time off. Don’t get me wrong, it was great! I had little downtime and got to spend it with family. For me, however, there is no better feeling than having a fresh start.

It’s easy to make many changes and forget you enhanced the campaign, made some bid modifiers for devices or locations. So now is a good time to go back and review those changes to see if they are still relevant.

Following is a list of items to quickly check in your campaigns that will help keep your clients happy and make you look like a pro when following up with them:

• Geo targets and bid modifiers – When was the last time you took a look at the targeting in your search engine marketing campaign? Now, after analyzing Google Analytics data and where the traffic is coming from, does it correlate with your target location? Or could you venture into new areas of service to capture a broader audience? This could be something to review and adjust.

• Mobile modifiers – Mobile is huge right now. Some of my clients’ traffic to landing pages and websites is anywhere from 50 percent to 75 percent mobile, depending upon the industry, of course. This could be a great way to target those on tablets and phones, making your campaign efficient on every device.

• Ad copy – Do you test ads all the time? If no,t it might be a good time to start testing. Start by reviewing tired ad messaging in your account, making sure it is still relevant and that all destination URLs are active and working properly. There is nothing more frustrating than going to a dead-end page.

• Landing page – Your keywords and ad copy can only get you so far. Through continuous testing throughout the year you also want to make sure your landing page content pertains to your marketing goal which may have shifted over time.

• Negative keyword lists – Sometimes, without you even realizing it, negative keywords may have been implemented campaign wide, when really they should have just been applied to the ad group. Be sure you are not hindering your campaign by creating unnecessary negative keywords. You could be sabotaging your own campaign!

The list can go on for items to check, refresh and delete when it comes to cleaning up a search engine marketing campaign. So I hope this brief checklist helps you get your SEM life in order, with no lingering errors that may affect your performance.

Happy New Year!

Diana Altobelli is a search marketing coordinator at Annodyne.

Diana Altobelli Dec 3

All I Want For Christmas Is A Successful PPC Campaign

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Ho! Ho! Ho! If you haven’t started shopping yet, you are way behind. Just kidding! You’ve got about 2-1/2 weeks and counting to hit the overly packed malls or shop from the comfort of your home the good ol’ digital way!

For me, well, I am done my holiday shopping. I know, don’t hate me. So with a majority of people completing their shopping online, what better way to prep your search engine marketing campaigns for the season of spending.

holiday shopping humor

If you have invested in PPC for quite some time, take a look at last year’s campaign performance. See what performed well and what didn’t. This will allow you to know where to invest your marketing dollars.

Another great way to optimize your ads is to cater to the buyer. Create some holiday-specific ad copy. This will instantly increase the effectiveness of your holiday marketing campaign. Then think about when your target audience would be searching for your product. For retailers, evenings and weekend mornings see a lot of traffic. On Cyber Monday, however, the entire day was fair game.

This way, your ads will show during peak times for optimal performance. You can then create a monthly plan to finish out the remainder of the year. Will you have any promotions? Time-sensitive sales can help create a sense of urgency, making the shopper pull the trigger a bit faster, so to speak.

One thing that some might forget when it comes to search engine marketing is scoping out the competitors. Check out what kind of deals they are offering. Are they running a promotion? Free shipping? Or even a free gift with a purchase? These are some ideas that might push a consumer to choose your competitor’s ad over yours.

Oh, and before I forget, do not decrease mobile bids because you think people will not convert. Many holiday shoppers will research and look for deals on their smartphones then execute using a desktop.  See below this infographic from About Performance Blog.

holiday trends for mobile device shopping

So before you give up on holiday shoppers altogether, take a quick look at the remaining budget for 2014, update holidayesque ad copy, and add some holiday keywords to your ad groups. Don’t be a Scrooge! Update the ad copy, keywords, site links, promotions, mobile friendliness and give it to consumers when they are actually shopping!

Diana Altobelli is a search marketing coordinator at Annodyne.

Diana Altobelli Nov 5

How to Compete with Big Brands on Google AdWords

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When it comes to paid search, you might think it’s just for the big dogs. How in the world can I compete with companies like Nike if I am Jenkintown Running Company or any other local shoe store, for that matter? Nike sure does have endless budgets to simply get the top first-page bid.

Even though your small to medium-sized business may not have the funds to compete with big brands, that doesn’t mean you’re out of luck. Believe me, I love a good underdog story in any sport or aspect of life. So when it comes to search engine marketing and budgets, here are some great tips that will allow you to compete for the same real estate on top search engines like Google.


  1. Make sure your keyword selection is on point. This is a great way to compete against companies who have millions of dollars dedicated toward their online marketing strategy. You need to be as strategic as possible when it comes to selecting the keywords you want in your campaigns. By using long-tail keywords, you will have the opportunity to produce higher quality leads and not spend as much.

    What is a long-tail keyword? It’s a search phrase of three or more words. “Shoes,” for instance, is a short-tail keyword. “Women’s running shoes” is an example of a long-tail keyword. Since long-tail keywords are less competitive, do keep in mind that they will receive less traffic.

  2. Take the time to do the proper keyword research. This will allow you to obtain good quality leads that are not as expensive. Broad keyword terms that have high search volume can seem like shooting in the dark for a small owner.

  3. Re-evaluate your ad copy. If you haven’t yet created your AdWords campaign, take the time to write specific ad copy for keywords and ad groups. Especially when outbidding isn’t an option, you need to come up with other ways to stand out. What deals are you offering? Free shipping? Half off? By offering enticing promotions and writing headlines with keywords in your campaign, you will create ads that stand out from the rest. Include keywords in your ad headline and bold the search phrase to automatically drawing the end user’s eye to your ad.

  4. Advertise on different platforms. For example, Facebook and even Bing can be a great alternative. Although Google may have the most traffic, it also is going to be the more expensive option. There are pros and cons to every network, but you may be able to get cheaper keywords on other networks. Don’t limit your options. Pan out to target all users, not just the most.

  5. Use ad extensions. Those on a tight budget need to take advantage of every single opportunity out there. By implementing extensions, you give the end user more information about your business such as telephone numbers, locations, reviews and more. Displaying this information can increase your click-through rate and even entice a user to complete a landing page form.

In all, paid search can be very expensive, but it doesn’t have to be if you do the right research and use the tips I’ve provided. Don’t let big brands like QVC, Nike and Apple scare you away, no matter what your industry. The possibilities are there when it comes to search engine marketing, so work smart with your budget!

Diana Altobelli is a search marketing coordinator at Annodyne.

Diana Altobelli Nov 3

Here’s How to Pass Google AdWords Fundamentals

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Are you looking to become Google AdWords certified? Well, you are in luck. I took the Fundamentals exam last week and passed! No need to toot my own horn, but this is a big milestone for me as I begin to learn the in-depth skills and tactics when it comes to search engine marketing. I will be honest; I studied for a few hours and took practice tests on Way To Exam and, let me tell you, it helped tremendously. What’s even better is that it is now FREE. It used to be $50 to take and if you didn’t pass, well, that’s a total bummer because then you were out some cash.

After the Google AdWords Fundamentals exam you will then need to take the Advanced Search or Advanced Display to become fully certified. But that post is for another time. So to start, here is an overview of the exam:

• 90 multiple-choice questions

• 85 percent or higher to pass

• 120 minutes to complete the exam

• Once you’ve passed, certification is valid for two years



Oh, and one more thing that brought me a sigh of relief: Your screen is no longer locked when taking the test. You can simply open up another browser and essentially have an open-book test. Now, although this is great I DO NOT recommend winging it because, trust me, you will not have time to complete it if you looked up every answer.



1.   Create a dummy AdWords account. If you have never logged into an AdWords account, you may want to so you can understand the interface and core concepts. The certification process not only tests you on questions about running an effective campaign but also being able to use the tools.

2.   Study the Google AdWords Fundamental exam study guide. This guide contains a ton of information and it can seem overwhelming. However, it has everything you need to know in order to pass.

3.   Review topic areas. These are the given topic areas that you will be tested on. Become BFFs, and you will pass with flying colors.



4.   Be prepared and stay calm. No two exams will be the same. The 90 questions that are given to you are pulled from a pool of questions. You might end up with some Display questions, Search questions, who knows! With that being said, be prepared.

I found myself taking practice exam after practice exam and psyching myself out. This is normal; don’t be alarmed. Haven’t always been the best test taker but I wanted to be prepared and pass on the first try. (I can’t say the same for my driver’s permit test….)

5.   Think like Google. Yes, choosing the best and right answer is important but, to be brutally honest, “What would Google think the right answer would be?” is how I began to think. I believe this method helped me in the long run. After all, you are taking Google’s test.

6.   Read carefully. During my practice exams I found I was rushing to take it. First off, because it didn’t count and I was just running through it to see what the questions would be like. Then I began to get questions wrong that I thought were 100% right. However, after reading carefully all of the multiple choice options I found that some of the wording can be extremely similar. Then after reading what the correct answer was I was like, oh duh, why didn’t I pick that one to begin with?

7.   Keep an eye on the clock. If you aren’t prepared (which I previously advised), then you might want to keep your eye on the clock. The time will be ticking down in the lower right corner. Don’t be alarmed, though, there is more than enough time. If you’re prepared you should have time left over.

8.   Know that you will be faced with similar questions. I noticed a couple of questions seemed very familiar in wording in that both had the same answers. Do not be fooled; just because you answered this way once before doesn’t mean it’s wrong the second time around. Google is not tricking you. Go with your gut.

Passing the Google AdWords Fundamentals exam gets you one step closer to becoming certified. It not only is great to have for your company but personally as well. Certifications build trust and let others know you have taken all the requirements needed to successfully manage search engine marketing campaigns for optimal performance.

So if you are a first-time test taker, I hope this helps. Let me know if you have passed or will be taking the test soon! Advanced Search, you’re up next.

Diana Altobelli is a search marketing coordinator at Annodyne.

TJ Kropp Sep 15

What do Apple, Bing and your privacy have in common in the mobile department? DuckDuckGo!

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In the ever-evolving digital world, small changes can still make big future impacts. Currently Google is at the top of the food chain for search engines. It dominates the market; users want to search on its platform and advertisers want to be seen. Oftentimes we rely on the usability of Google without thinking about the privacy we are giving up. In the digital space, this is becoming a growing concern.

So what does Apple have to do with any of this? Apple currently holds the second largest market share to Android in terms of handheld devices. Knowing that Google claims 80 percent of the market via Android, it is easy to assume (and true) that Android’s default search engine is Google. This is already bad news for Bing as only 20 percent of market share is left, and Bing claims only 4 percent of it with its mobile devices. Microsoft even lags in the overall search space at just 18 percent as compared to Google’s 67 percent. Keeping in mind that Microsoft dominates the market in Windows operating desktops, the numbers are relatively low. But that is getting off track and better saved for a later blog post.

global smartphone market share


comscore search share report

Being that Bing is in a vulnerable position to hold the slim market share it has, Apple’s recent announcement to offer DuckDuckGo as a primary search engine can create a harmful blow. Apple’s offering appeals to users who want more privacy and a cleaner-looking search engine for their mobile devices.

While all of this sounds like bad news for Bing, it’s actually great news! DuckDuckGo needs to generate revenue, and the obvious way is through digital advertising. While it would not make sense for DDG to create its own platform, it can certainly offer its web space at a nominal fee for others to use. So the good news for the folks at Bing … it’s their platform! Ads being run on DDG are generated from the Bing network, allowing Bing to collect on DDG advertisement clicks. Bing and Google may not want to completely lose market share, but they are not in a bad spot to give up a little.

TJ Kropp is a Search Marketing Specialist at Annodyne.