Reporting from Pubcon 2014 - PPC + SEO

Digital Marketing

Passionate marketers migrated to Las Vegas this week for Pubcon,  the premier social media and optimization conference.

Our Senior Online Marketing Consultant, Cheryl Hill, is in attendance and reporting on all the PPC + SEO knowledge. The conference continues today, but here are some of Cheryl's takeaways so far...

In-House SEO Training Session

Simon Heseltine, of AOL and the Huffington Post was an amazing speaker, and the big takeaway is pretty obvious but almost always overlooked: SEO training should never stop and everyone should be trained, but more specifically, everyone needs to be trained for their role in SEO.

While most of our developers are trained on sitemaps, canonical URLs, robot.txt(s), schema/microformats, site architecture, using templates, CMS specific issues, and to organize refreshers (especially when Google makes changes) for SEO, we can't forget about the rest of the team.

Content creators need to be educated on how to write article titles, headlines, and descriptions, as well as the actual content, that contribute to SEO, eg. internal linking, and adding image ALT tags. This training needs to be topped up every six months to keep up with the changing landscape of SEO.

Project managers need a mix of editorial, technical, and reporting & analytics training in SEO metrics and SEO reporting.

Executives need to be big picture focused, and be aware of their in-house success stories and unrealized opportunities. It's a competitive landscape, and execs need to know how to analyze reporting to be able to figure out what is working, what isn't working and why.

Mobile Design + SEO

Jenny Halasz and Micheal Martin brought a ton of knowledge to the table, and their focus was primarily on Responsive Web Design (RWD) vs Dynamic Serving.  It was really interesting and sometimes painfully logical.

The goal of RWD is a site that seamlessly transitions between devices, offering the same content without negativity effecting the overall user experience. Dynamic Serving design on the other hand will serve targeted content based on intent (keyword & device combination).

The big takeaway is that Responsive Web Design is good to scale but Dynamic Serving gives you an edge.

View Jenny's Slide Share deck here.

Advanced PPC Tactics

Lisa RaehslerKevin Adams, and Marc Poirier shared some master-level paid search topics such as rules, scripts, shared libraries and other advanced Adwords features, ad extensions, and mobile strategies for PPC.

Cheryl's favourite tips to customize your PPC ad extensions for best performance.

  • Use location extensions in conjunction with call extensions to become super local. Route call to store locations

  • Create a calendar for site links and call outs with differentiated messaging. Use scheduling

  • PPC and social can work together. Link to your social profiles, but be sure that text defines what visitor will find when they click (eg. "Watch our video" and the link goes to YouTube.)

PPC Masters Use:

Scripts - Automated (test heavily)

  • Pause at spend limit

  • Broken link finder

  • Compare ads

  • Dynamic ad variables

  • Change mobile bid modifier at ad group or campaign level

Automated Rules

  • Easier to use than scripts

  • Can pause or activate terms ads or campaign based on time cost etc.

  • Increase & decrease budgets

  • ie - pause everything that gets a quality score of 2 or lower


Shared Library

  • Shared ads

  • Bid strategies

  • Campaign negative lists

  • Campaign placement exclusions

Hardcore PPC Tactics + PPC Scripts & Tools

"I loved loved loved these two sessions because they just show how far PPC has really come over the years," Cheryl raved about these sessions that she placed together, as they covered similar topics.

Marketers can be doing amazing things with some of these tools, especially when it comes to targeting specific content to specific audiences at specific times.  Brilliant stuff.

One third party tool intrigued Cheryl, the normally anti-third-party-tool marketer, called Supermetrics.  This Google docs plug-in pulls on API's from many different platforms including Adwords, Facebook, etc.  We predict that this will be a game changer in the 'saving time' department and keeping a finger on the pulse of what is happening with multiple clients across the board.

Big takeaway: currently average site abandonment is 68%. 

This leaves a huge audience to retarget! This also means 32% of traffic has already bought, so advertisers can save money by choosing not to target this audience by using 'negative audiences,'  Negative audiences work the same as negative keywords do.  Not showing your paid ads to this audience also gives your organic listing the chance to pick up more traffic.

Remarketing + Retargeting

Pubcon favourite Greg Boser presented a couple of controversial tips for remarketing and retargeting to a packed house, as most 'best practices' for retargeting state the opposite.  (Looks like the only answer will be to test!)

Be Aggressive - Set impression caps to unlimited

Be Everywhere - Create ads in all formats and sizes

Be Persistent - Extend your membership duration to 3x sales cycle

We still have one more day of learning ahead! We're excited to share this current knowledge of the ever changing landscape, but more importantly we're keen to implement these tools for our clients.


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