Good morning, Marketers, we hope you got some downtime this weekend (and please let us know if you discovered anything great on Netflix).

Should you be investing in upper-funnel awareness and branding campaigns or performance advertising right now? That question is being hotly debated in a lot of places, including major earnings reports, as we noted last week.

Performance seems to be winning. By nature, it’s more immediate. Often, it’s more measurable. But what are companies overlooking when they pull back on top-of-funnel brand marketing?

New consumer data from Survata makes a strong case for brand marketing and argues that trusted brands are winning during the pandemic. That survey and other evidence point to brand visibility being more important than ever — and that brands that continue to build awareness will emerge stronger.

This was the heart of a discussion on Friday’s Live with Search Engine Land, led by our own Greg Sterling.

Amy Bishop, owner of digital marketing agency Cultivative, said she’s been seeing lower CPMs for many of her clients’ higher funnel campaigns. “If you’re not running upper funnel, this might be the time to try because there is less competition and it’s cheaper [right now],” said Bishop. Watch the full episode on demand here.

This week on Live with Search Engine Land, Barry Schwartz will be chatting with Google’s Martin Splitt, so mark your calendars for 2:00 p.m. ET Friday!

Read on for a Pro Tip on adapting to customer needs and more.

Ginny Marvin

Pro Tip

Our client's new pain points require an updated strategy

“You need to take a closer look at your customer and refine your strategy around their new pain points,” explains John Lincoln of Ignite Visibility. “For example, we have seen searches drop dramatically for ‘near me’ terms and spike for ‘delivery’ terms. We have seen YouTube grow 15% in traffic, while at the same time ad revenue has gone down. Agencies need to modify the way they take clients to market with their services and pricing for doing so.”

Read More »


Your 5 biggest Google Ads challenges & how to solve them

Paid search is more competitive than ever. Search marketers need to be proactive and learn how to get the best out of the right tools to stay on top of their PPC ‘A-game’ (A for automation). Adthena created this guide to address the top challenges and offer solutions that will help you get better results and make your life easier.

Get it now »

Search Shorts

Privacy vs pandemics.

Privacy trumps pandemic. Two new surveys reflect smartphone user concerns about the privacy implications of contact tracing initiatives proposed by public health authorities, Apple and Google. One survey by Cybernews found 52% of Americans believe personal privacy is more important than giving it up to fight the pandemic. A second poll by the Washington Post found 50% of users would not use a contact tracing app for privacy reasons. These views are a major obstacle to using smartphones to track the spread of the virus.

Google exists for users, not advertisers. Danny Sullivan from Google lashed back on a statement that said Google only exists because of advertisers. Danny said “No. That’s fundamentally not how we operate. Google exists because of users. Users don’t benefit if we prioritized solving issues only for those who could pay for it.”

Many soft-404s. If you have many soft 404s in Google Search Console, it might be an issue. John Mueller said “My feeling is if a site has a lot of soft-404s, then it might be that it’s linking to those resources internally in a way that suggests they may be web pages. It’s usually not critical, but it’s kinda suboptimal (for users & bots).”


Are you traveling in Q4?

For most marketers, attending in-person events is a key component to their professional development. But COVID-19 has significantly impacted the ability to travel, at least for now. How are you thinking about and planning your fourth quarter event schedule?

Take the survey »

What we're reading

We've curated our picks from across the web so you can retire your feed reader

7 Organization Tips for SEOs + Additional Resources – Siege Media

Building Better Customer Experiences – Best of Whiteboard Friday – Moz

Google app tips to stay connected from home – Google Blog

Google Optimize Helps Businesses Adapt to the New COVID-19 Digital Reality – Cognetik

Google Question Hub – What Is Your Question Is Wider Than COVID-19 Searches – Search Engine Roundtable

Google Shopping Ads: 3 Reasons Why Google is Now Giving Away Ads for Free – Search Metrics

Reach your audience where they are now with Display & Video 360 – Google Blog

What Is Publisher SEO? | 7 Publisher Website SEO Struggles – Botify