Required Reading: Gina Valo

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Name: Gina Valo (@ginavalo)
Classes Taught: Introduction to AdWords

Gina’s online advertising career began in 2006 when she joined the first group of new-hires to start Google’s office in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She spent three years as an AdWords account strategist on Google’s inside sales team, building and optimizing new campaigns. Gina also spent three months in Hyderabad, India training fellow Googlers and expanding the team. Gina later returned to India, this time with Clickable, to launch and manage a team of highly skilled SEM strategists.

Gina is glad to be back in New York City working as a freelance SEM and digital advertising consultant and playing a lot of softball. Here are some of her top SEM resources:

  • Secret of Googlenomics (Wired Magazine 17.06) – Hands down, this is the best explanation of how the Google AdWords auction actually works. Steven Levy wrote this easily digestible article highlighting Hal Varian, Google’s Chief Economist, and the genius of AdWords. It was published a few years back, but the information is still accurate and relevant. This is recommended reading for any student who takes my classes.
  • Search Engine Land – The most comprehensive coverage of industry news. The site itself is messy and overwhelming, but do yourself a favor and subscribe to their daily email. A quick scan of the headlines each morning will keep you up to speed on breaking news and any changes that might affect you.
  • SEMPMO – The Seach Engine Marketing Professionals Organization is a massive non-profit organization serving the industry. Their website is chock full of great resources and events. There are also a number of SEMPO meetups, which are great for connecting with other SEM professionals in your area.
  • Inside AdWords Blog – This is the best way to keep up with the myriad of changes Google introduces to the AdWords product on a regular basis. It’s not the most interesting or exciting material, but I find it helpful to scan the articles here every couple of weeks to keep tabs on what’s changing.
  • Web Analytics 2.0 by Avinash Kaushik – I tell all of my students that paying for traffic is a waste of time and money if you haven’t yet optimized your website. Author Avinash Kaushik is a web analytics guru and writes extensively on the topic. His latest book is an eye-opening read for newbies and worth a scan for advanced marketers. Plus, 100% of the proceeds are donated to charities like The Smile Train and Doctors Without Borders, which makes me like Kaushik that much more.