Search PPC at 20,000′: #SESSF Stats, Tactics & Takeaways

Posted in Paid Marketing, SES San Francisco

Attendees of #SESSF’s Introduction to Paid Search session delivered by Brad Geddes(@bgtheory), founder of Certified Knowledge, were in for a treat of a presentation. Jam-packed with oodles of stats, titillating trivia, actionable tactics & tips of the trade, this session was must-attend for entry-level PPC marketers. Brad offered up valuable information from various big-wig providers and offered great advice on how to successfully implement a paid search program of your own. aimClear live tweeted this session via @ericasendros. Keep reading for a round-up of the tastiest takeaways.

Super nifty stats, facts and all-around trivia

  • 8-18 year old kids in the U.S. spend 25% of their media time using multiple avenues of media (mobile, computers, etc.)
  • 11-12% of worldwide advertising revenue is online, but the average person’s daily internet use is 4 hours
  • 20% of search queries are 5+ words in length
  • 70% of all online searches have NO exact match keywords
  • 20% of all online searches have not been done in the last 6 months, if ever

What do the numbers add up to? What does it all mean?
Online search is uninterrupted. It is the only avenue of media where a user seeking to find an answer to their question can search exactly for what they are looking for without the disturbance of commercials and other interruptions. The main reason a consumer submits a search query is because they are looking to have the question answered as quickly and with as little effort as possible. It is your job as the advertiser to answer their question by utilizing the most relevant keywords and by sending them to a landing page that will answer their question.

Some things to consider:

  • As a consumer progresses through the buying cycle, their queries become more specific.
  • “If you can make something more specific, make a new ad group,” Brad advises. Right on!
  • Put yourself in the place of the user typing in the search query. At what point in the buying cycle are keywords used?
  • Using your analytics and conversion metrics, optimize your ad campaigns.
  • If you see keywords that don’t bring any clicks to your site, make them negative keywords.

Tips and tricks of the trade

  • Define your target audience for both Search and Display.
  • Choose both positive keywords and implement negative keywords
  • Include both a feature and a benefit in your ads. To make a feature into a benefit, finish the sentence. What does the user get out of purchasing the product? How does it make their life better?
  • Utilize the Display network’s placement targeting to advertise on site’s that will lead traffic to your site

Most common mistakes new advertisers make:

  • Making their keywords too broad – be specific.
  • Using their home page as the landing page for an ad. People want to be directed to the page on your website that will answer their question. Don’t make them navigate through your site or they will leave.
  • Not having a way to track conversions. Utilize search query reports to learn what keywords are working and which ones aren’t.  How will you know which keywords and ad copies are successful if you’re not tracking them?
  • Leaving out a call-to-action in their ad. You want to direct people to your site, so use language that encourages this.
  • Starting out on the Display network. Until you’re comfortable with search, don’t delve into the Display network.

As Brad wrapped up, he remarked, “Advertising is not advertising when it is information.” Too true – if you help a possible consumer find the answer to their query, you’re not advertising. You’re giving them the information they asked for. This was by far one of the biggest takeaways from the session.

Write your copy and choose your keywords to trigger an action. Learn which combinations work and which don’t.

Big thanks to Brad for such a stimulating presentation! Stay tuned to aimClear Blog for more #SESSF conference coverage – and don’t forget to follow @ericasendros, @beebow, and @mannyrivas for in-the-action live tweets!