Search Marketing - Course

Strategy and Planning

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Digital Marketing - Study Notes:

Personnel requirements

Although the market we operate in is very focused on technology, a strategy won’t go too far without the right personnel behind it.

And we can categorize this broadly into four main areas:

  • Day-to-day account management: These are the people who would be working on the account in Google Ads or they may be working on the SEO strategy or reporting. But you need to understand how many of those people you’re going to need. This is an area where you must plan ahead.
  • Data analysis: Pretty much everything that we do is based around data. So, you need to have the right people in place to make sure you’re making decisions based on accurate data that reflects the strategy that you’ve undertaken.
  • Account strategy: So, will it be revisited weekly, monthly, or quarterly? These are things that are quite difficult to do once your strategy is underway. So, it’s best to get this done up front.
  • Technical support: For SEO and PPC in particular, there are technical requirements for your strategy. For SEO, that might be you want to increase site speed for paid search. It may be to do with a bid management platform that you want to invest in. All these discussions are best had before you start setting your objectives.

Technical requirements

So, going into more detail on the technology requirements, and this is focusing mainly on paid search at this stage.

Bid management

Before you choose the right platform, you need to know what KPIs you’re working towards. Each bid management platform will have different benefits and drawbacks. If you know what you’re trying to achieve, that will be easier to decide. You also need to decide what will be automated through scripts. We’ll get onto this a little bit later, but in certain areas, you’ll want to bid manually and you won’t actually want to let your bidding platform take control. But we’ll look at that in a little more detail.

Tag management

You must ensure that your tags are firing correctly and that they record all the data that you need. On the other side of that, you need to consider whether that will affect page load speed. Page load speed can affect your quality score in paid search, but it will also affect your rankings for SEO. So that you can have too much of a good thing in that sense.

Performance tracking

So, depending on your industry and your budget you may need to allocate more hours to tracking performance. It’s important you can identify as early as possible how frequently you need to be in the accounts and assessing performance. When tracking performance, you need to be able to identify which metrics are the most important and which ones directly your business’s KPIs.


Reporting tech should be evaluated as a central consideration. This is where a lot of the stakeholders in your business will go. This is where they will make their judgments on a weekly and monthly basis of whether your strategy is successful and whether they should invest further.

Variable requirements

As much as we can plan ahead when preparing a search marketing strategy, there are a lot of variable requirements, which can at times make it exciting, and at times make it slightly frustrating when you’ve got all of your media plans and budgets set for the next 12 months. But it’s the nature of the game, and it’s something that we can take advantage of.

Increased and decreased budgets: Depending on your account performance, you may want to increase your budget. If you can scale at a certain ROI that your business has set, you might want to keep doing that. On the other side, you may find that the cost-per-click has been increased, because there’s a lot more competition. So, you need to be prepared for that and you need to have those discussions early on so that everyone in the business knows that you may have to have a fluid budget.

Account management requirements: Account management may be front-loaded for the first months; in, say, an account transition and strategy stage, you might require four people. As the account moves forward, you may need 1.5 people.

New technology and required support: So, this is where we see the real benefits of the industry that we’re in. There’s always new technology out there which is fantastic, if you can avail of that. The early adopters are often those who succeed. On the flip side of that, of course, you need more support. There may be new players that come into the game. You need more account management support and your business may need to support you in order to secure that. So, that’s something to consider.

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Clark Boyd

Clark Boyd is the VP of Strategy at Croud, a global digital marketing agency with clients including Netflix,, DKNY, and the Guardian. Clark has eight years of search marketing experience setting strategies for American Express, ASOS, and General Motors.

Clark Boyd

Data protection regulations affect almost all aspects of digital marketing. Therefore, DMI has produced a short course on GDPR for all of our students. If you wish to learn more about GDPR, you can do so here:

DMI Short Course: GDPR

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Strategy and Planning
Clark Boyd Clark Boyd
Skills Expert

This module covers the key steps for planning and implementing a search marketing strategy for your organization. It addresses the key components in an effective search marketing strategy and outlines best practices for planning and research. It also covers how to execute a strategy and evaluate the performance of a search marketing campaign.

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