Continuing on with another UAE Digital Marketing Interview, I talk to Freya Jones who is an SEM, PPC and Performance specialist who hails from the UK and has been working in Dubai since 2011.
How did you get started in PPC?
I started my digital journey almost 10 years ago in 2006. Whilst at university, I desperately needed a way to pay off my student loans, so I got this cool part-time job at Digital Clarity in Guildford where I studied and learnt about the world of PPC and SEO and then I guess you can say the rest is history after that point.
What do you love most about PPC over other aspects of online marketing?
Being a PPC marketer, I guess you could say I am a bit biased when it comes to thinking of reasons why I love PPC but here’s what I love the most:
Not to sound ‘creepy’ but you have a lot of control – there are very few mediums of online marketing where you have COMPLETE control over your users in a sense.
Another reason why I love PPC is that I can test things very quickly and easily which allows us to take immediate action on problem areas with campaigns, last minute promotions or new locations/languages strategies.
Lastly, PPC is extremely cost efficient and results driven which is amazing for UAE businesses. With the right methods, you can easily track down to the exact conversions or leads with PPC and it’s easily scalable for UAE companies, as they have the world at their fingertips and are able to reach markets with PPC that before may never have been possible due to the high traditional marketing costs required to penetrate those markets.
What’s the biggest challenge with PPC in the region?
I feel that there is a lack of qualified and knowledge professionals the PPC industry in Dubai. It would amaze you how many times we’ve received enquiries from clients that have been burnt in the past due to poor quality work carried out by inexperienced PPC people.
Because of this, a huge issue is securing enough digital budget for PPC from our side. About one third of B2B and B2C companies also consider securing enough budget a challenge. This challenge links closely with the ability to measure ROI. When an acceptable ROI can be proven, most reasonable business owners will have no problem investing more.
With the latest changes to Keyword Planner which has been the go-to keyword research tool for search professionals, what’s your take on this change?
Google really doesn’t have a responsibility to provide this data publicly for free and since I work on campaigns with sizeable budgets, I am personally not affected by this change. Prospect sites need more validation than keyword volume so I’d recommend widening your research.
What other tools do you use for keyword research?
WordStream’s Niche Finder, WordTracker and SEMrush are my alternative keyword research tools. I highly recommend digging into Search Console and Analytics as part of a wider research project as you’ll be amazed at what you can learn.
Where do you see search marketing going in the region?
Search Marketing has grown a lot in the region, especially with content marketing. Many brands since 2014 have started investing budgets from normally traditional marketing tactics into digital media and inbound marketing channels such as Facebook, AdWords and Display. The digital competition is still relatively low so there are opportunities for brands and businesses to grow and excel with online marketing in the region.
Got any pro tips for anyone looking to get into PPC or search marketing?
Search Engine Marketing is a constantly evolving landscape. Whether it’s new competitors entering the market or Google adding a new feature, or even a new tool coming along to help you deal with all of the changes. The key is to stay up to date on the latest changes and continously challenge the status quo. Join digital communities, easiest route is Twitter start following conversations around #PPCChat.
Learn more about Freya Jones:
Freya runs regular workshops and mentorship sessions at The Bureau Dubai in Downtown Dubai and has upcoming modules spanning across Big Data, Google Analytics, PPC and Social Media. She has worked on all sorts of campaigns for a wide range of clients on equally diverse budgets. Freya is a certified Google Partner offering ROI focused SEM and PPC services and training via her agency, Digital AdDoctor.