Interview with Eric Morris from Google

Here is an interview I’ve made with Eric Morris from Google for the french seo blog Go-Referencement.

We’ve decided to put the original version of the interview here, so people can read the original interview.

1) How often do you come across industries or niches where the Google search network is not effective?

I’ve been at Google for nearly six years, and have never come across an industry or niche where Google search marketing is not effective. In my experience, search marketing always works — it’s really a
matter of how well it works compared to other online and offline channels. That being said, effectiveness can vary industry to industry, and marketer to marketer. Give two companies the same keywords, same creative, and same bids, and campaign performance will vary. The search click is an important part of the equation, but other factors like landing page content and design, strength of the marketer’s brand, and criteria for measurement also impact effectiveness.

2) How savvy would you judge large advertising agencies (working with Google) to be? Do you find they have their heads wrapped around the modern world of interactive advertising, or is it often the case that they think too traditionally, perhaps slowing or limiting their ability to take advantage of the medium?

Large ad agencies in Canada are making changes, and quickly. Interactive marketing teams within traditional agencies have more people and resources, and more clout both internally and with clients. These days I’m not seeing many ad campaigns planned from traditional agencies that don’t have an online component. With regard to search, many traditional agencies in Canada have moved toward an in-house search manager, overseeing all search strategy and executions. Traditional agencies have been instrumental in shifting the focus of online marketing from not simply direct response to more traditional marketing objectives such as brand building and awareness, and in understanding the value of online in the context of broader marketing objectives.

3) The news that Quality Score will now include load time as a variable is making the circuit – do you think this is truly relevant in anything other than extreme cases?

Broadly speaking, Google believes that an excellent experience on the advertiser’s site is essential in earning the continued trust of our users. Users value ads that bring them to the information they want as
efficiently as possible. Fast load times benefit advertisers as well, since users are less likely to abandon a site that loads quickly.

4)How much of the ‘optimization’ and fine-tuning of accounts do you do for major advertisers? Do you act more like a full-service agency might, or do you make training a top priority?

Our role with major advertisers has evolved over the last few years. When our Toronto office first opened, we provided full Google support to nearly every advertiser— from keyword selection to creative recommendations and campaign summary reports. For most major companies we work with, their search traffic is simply too important not to have other stakeholders — in-house search managers and/or
agencies — involved in campaign changes, creative testing, and close measurement. As a result, our role has evolved to more of a training or support role — providing the latest industry-specific research,
case studies and best practices, and training. Training is important for a couple reasons. First, it empowers marketers and their agencies to do more — and typically, the more you put into your search campaign, the more you get out of it. Training is also embraced by the marketers we work as search engine marketing has become a core online marketing skill and tactic — and can open up new career opportunities within in an organization or elsewhere.

5) With the slow up-take in attracting television and radio advertisers into the Google system, what plans does Google have for the future of these channels? And what channels are you tackling next, and which hold the most potential in your opinion?

Google Print Ads, Google Audio Ads and Google TV Ads are advertising programs
designed to bring new efficiencies and accountability to the buying and selling of traditional media. All three of our offline programs are currently available to United States-based advertisers. However, Google is a global business so we are always looking at how we can scale our programs and add value for users, advertisers, agencies and partners worldwide.

6) Word on the street is that Google recently farmed out its largest Adwords advertisers to a handful of GAAC partners – what motivated this move, and do you feel a more egalitarian approach could have been taken?

Our Google Analytics Authorized Consultants (GAACs) offer tailored professional services to businesses of all sizes, including but not limited to Google AdWords advertisers. Since Google is not a professional services company, we engaged our GAACs to help Google Analytics customers implement the product in the way that makes the most sense for their businesses and their objectives. More information is available on the Google Analytics website:

7) If you have to give one piece of advice to a company starting to use AdWords, what would it be?

I’ll give three pieces of advice:

1) Identify your marketing and search marketing goals: are you looking for website traffic? sales? leads?
2) Measure your results: Google Analytics is a free tool we provide to help you measure which sources of traffic, and which clicks, best achieve your marketing objectives
3) Start broadly: Market more than one product or service. Test different keywords and creative. Ensure bids that rank your ads competitively. Run as targeted a campaign you can, but ensure you also generate volume that produces results and impacts your business.

Eric Morris will be one of the speaker at SES Toronto June 16-18


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