August 05, 2014

Search Exchange Internet Marketing Conference - Day 1

There were some tremendous presenters at Search Exchange Charlotte this year. A few of my favorites from Day 1 (PPC) included Larry Kim from Wordstream, Vincent Ammirato of Command Partners and Seith Lytton from Resolution. Many of these presenters had a lot of valuable takeaways for us in attendance. Remarketing was a hot topic covered by many of the presenters and was reported at one point shown to double conversions! Especially popular was discussions around targeted remarketing, where viewers are shown banner ads specific to a page they visited. Another running theme was the days of surviving purely on strong organic results are gone. With the changing search landscape, it’s more important ever to use various paid placements that work in conjunction with organic or “natural” search.

Wow, pretty bold PPC ad pictured right? This is an extreme example but it makes a great point. Often as online marketers, we focus our research and efforts on what our competition is doing, as opposed to standing out in the crowd. This was an example from Larry Kim on how he would stand out in the sea of 'Divorce Lawyer' searches. He used the term hitting the PPC Jackpot because often when you perform a search, the Google paid search ads all have identical headlines.

Larry Kim from Wordstream’s presentation was very entertaining and full of useful tips that at face value seem like common sense, but on the other hand, many were techniques most marketers likely don’t attempt in their managed campaigns. One of his ‘‘Crazy PPC Strategies’ involves deleting the bottom 3rd of your campaigns and reallocating this money to other places, such as targeted remarketing campaigns.

He also discussed the importance of Quality Score. Often this can be easily overlooked because if you see your client has an above-average click-through rate, an average ad position of 1.5 and the ads are generating conversions than you may assume you have a solid campaign. With a higher quality score, you can actually achieve a higher ad position with a lower bid than your competition with a higher bid, but lower quality score. It’s also been shown that higher Quality Scores, lead to higher impression shares.

So, how do you achieve the magical 10/10 quality score? There's a plethora of techniques and different ways to improve your quality score, but below are a few suggestions.

  1. Create emotional ads that are unique and different from your competition!
  2. Go after keywords with high commercial intent. In other words, bid on keywords that are more actionable than informative. “Best Internet Marketing Software.”
  3. Use targeted landing pages and test these landing pages with different offers.
  4. Use Ad Extensions – You can get approximately a 10% boost in CTR by having all the proper ad extensions (call extensions, site links, etc.) So not a huge jump, but of course worth having. Call extensions are especially important for mobile devices.
  5. Think about your customers! Who is their best friend? Who is their enemy? Who is their competition?
  6. Test, Test, Test. Test 100 different ads across your campaigns! Often when A/B testing ads we are all guilty of just rearranging the text on the ads. We need to dramatically change the ads for testing purposes to see which ads really stand out.

Of course, the main goal of anyone in Digital Marketing is creating leads and conversions. Many of the presenters also touched on ways to optimize your PPC spend for conversions. Some of these ideas involved changing your landing page offer, using Product Listing Ads for eCommerce, choosing when and when not to use PPC for branded keywords and much more.

Overall, it was a very productive conference and I look forward to next year. If you have any questions on how E-dreamz can help market your business using Paid Search and other internet marketing techniques, please contact us today!