From Bend, Oregon, David Merrick dipped his toes into pay-per-click campaigns by heading up campaigns for several startup companies. After several years of paid search expertise, Merrick wanted to try his hand at other types of campaigns. Spotting a paid search campaign Trada was running in Facebook, Merrick applied to Trada and was accepted as an optimizer in November 2009 after completing Trada’s certification process.
As Merrick has grown his search engine marketing expertise, one piece of advice he has for small- to medium-sized business owners is not to be intimidated by search. “While it’s easy to get overwhelmed, it comes down to people searching for relevant information. The more you segment that information, the easier it gets to understand what they’re looking for.”
He also advises small- to medium-sized businesses to understand the metrics associated with pay-per-click marketing. All numbers aren’t created equal when it comes to performance metrics. As Merrick notes, conversion rates are an average and it’s hard to chart averages. Instead, he believes it’s important to drill down on the click-through rates (CTR) on ad and ad level.
One aspect keeping Merrick engaged in the Trada marketplace is the continued commitment to user feedback. As a Trada optimizer, he notes that you always receive a response back and many optimizer’s suggestions are put into play. The recent implementation of UserVoice has provided another platform for the experts in the Trada community to provide additional feedback and weigh in on other suggestions. Merrick was also selected as one of three moderators in the Trada community of paid search experts where he helps answer community questions and provide feedback to optimizers.
One of Merrick’s strengths in working on pay-per-click campaigns is not assuming anything about a new market he is working on. According to Merrick, PPC experts can think they know what techniques work, but when you switch into a new market, you really must listen to what they’re looking for. It’s counter intuitive but listening and understanding how to segment your market is more important than using past successful strategies.
Merrick looks forward to continue to working with Trada in the future as he expects to see Trada capitalize on the opportunity for immense growth. As he notes, advertising is in the midst of a huge shift towards efficiency. He also believes Trada democratizes paid search, making it easier for both SMBs and big businesses to get involved with long-tail keywords. While long-tail keywords are very profitable, it makes it hard for one single search expert to target all of those money-making keywords.