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Digital Marketing - Study Notes:

Ongoing and iterative process

We started by discussing the importance of all stakeholders buying in to one cohesive strategy and that remains true once we get to the Learn stage. What we also need to understand is that this is an iterative process. Even if you have a perfectly optimized paid search campaign, it will need to be tweaked. Whether that’s just through creative fatigue or new technological advances, you will have to do so and the way that we do this is in four stages. We launch, then we review, we adjust that and we relaunch, and it continues to go on in that fashion. From a pragmatic point of view, internally, you’ll want to set up meetings on a weekly basis to sit with your team and understand who can really help with this. What insight have we taken from the last week’s performance or in the case of SEO, most likely the last month’s performance.

What we shouldn’t be afraid of though is that a campaign that had performed exceptionally well last month may simply not perform the following month. It doesn’t have to be through fault of the strategy or the targeting or the tactics. What we shouldn’t be afraid of as search strategist is that something that performed so well for us yesterday might not do so today or potentially tomorrow. That’s not through fault of the strategy that we’ve set out with. It can be due to seasonal campaigns; it can be creative fatigue. We shouldn’t be worried about the fact that sometimes we simply have to discard what we’ve done before. The important thing is to make sure that we’ve learned something from it, that we can feel confident about the next iteration is going to be even more successful than what we did before.

Stages of the process

So, to bring the process of measurement to life, there are five main areas. And these are the areas that we started with in the prepare phase.

Technical SEO

Measuring this is actually quite a complex task because websites are living things, in a digital sense. There are always new pages, there are pages that are obsolete, and that hygiene area of SEO is incredibly important. So set up weekly reports to make sure that you’re on top of everything that’s going on technically.

SEO content

Your SEO contents can be measured on a weekly basis. It depends on the nature of the page. If it’s an acquisition-focused page you will want to look at it weekly. Trends there can tell you something about whether you’re matching search intent. Someone searching for a credit card for example, if the bounce rate is incredibly high, you’re not getting that intent right on the page so you will want to revisit that. If you’re looking at a creative campaign, the lag time there may be a month before you want to decide whether it’s something you continue with or perhaps discard.

Paid search

Paid Search is normally looked at on a daily basis, but much more frequently than that in fact. And this is where a lot of the personnel costs come into it and you can adjust things quite frequently based on the traffic and the engagement and the conversions that you see. It’s one of the richest areas of data that we have, and as such it allows us to react very quickly.

Display advertising

Depending on whether you wanted to prospect or re-market, or simply target people that are new, but you’ll still want to revisit that display strategy and look at the measurement on a frequent basis. It depends on the strategy you’ve taken. If you’ve decided to prospect in the hope that customers will later search for your brand and convert, the lead time on that is quite long. If you were hoping that you could retarget people and serve them dynamic ads, if those aren’t working within a couple of days you might want to revisit those.


Again, it depends on the way that you’ve chosen to use this channel, but it’s very quick. You can see very quickly whether people have liked the video or not, whether they’re viewing it or not. If you’re comfortable that you’re targeting the right audience, then you might want to think about the creative. If you think the creative is right but the engagement rates are low, try different targeting options. But as long as you’ve got measurement set up for daily reports to come through and you’re comfortable with the segmentation of your audience you can make those changes very quickly.

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Clark Boyd

Clark Boyd is CEO and founder of marketing simulations company Novela. He is also a digital strategy consultant, author, and trainer. Over the last 12 years, he has devised and implemented international marketing strategies for brands including American Express, Adidas, and General Motors.

Today, Clark works with business schools at the University of Cambridge, Imperial College London, and Columbia University to design and deliver their executive-education courses on data analytics and digital marketing. 

Clark is a certified Google trainer and runs Google workshops across Europe and the Middle East. This year, he has delivered keynote speeches at leadership events in Latin America, Europe, and the US. You can find him on Twitter (X)LinkedIn, and Slideshare. He writes regularly on Medium and you can subscribe to his email newsletter, hi,tech.

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:

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Strategy and Planning
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.