PPC Takeaways From PubCon 2012

Well, I’m back from another PubCon and excited about all the new stuff I learned and the new connections I made. This was my first time around as a speaker, and I really enjoyed being on the other side of the podium. Special thanks to Brett Tabke and the PubCon programming team for giving me the opportunity to present, my excellent co-panelists Kevin Lee, Jeff Lancaster, and Mona Ellesily, and to Ben Cook for his top-notch moderation. I just uploaded my presentation on launching international PPC accounts to my PPC Presentations page, so check it out.

Personal horn-tooting aside, I had a great time at the conference. I personally think that PubCon is the best of the bunch based on both the quantity and quality of the sessions offered, as well as the caliber of people who attend it. I found that some of my best insights came from impromptu conversations with my PPC peers at the lunch table or in the hallways between sessions (not to mention the happy hours…). But, the presentations aren’t too shabby either. Here are a few things I learned.

I’ve been hearing a lot of talk lately about bidding to the value per impression or value per click. Brad Geddes dropped some value-per-impression knowledge during his presentation in the Hardcore PPC Tactics panel. Brad suggests that when making bid decisions, you should first determine the value per impression (revenue/impressions) of each keyword to help inform your bidding. If you have a negative value per impression, you should think about reducing your bid. If you have a positive one, you should think about increasing your bid gradually to capitalize on profitable traffic, and eventually figure out the sweet spot between your average position, average CPC, and value per impression. The degree in which you’re further from zero in your value-per-impression metric should determine how aggressively you adjust your bid. As an aside, Brad is a consistently good presenter who appears at a lot of conferences, so if you get a chance to check out his speaking gigs, you totally should.

Another really interesting strategy I picked up revolves around Facebook PPC. In the Facebook Today panel, Marty Weintraub showed off his strategy of using Facebook ads targeted at specific company employees or journalists in order to gain public relations traction and link. He created a provocative blog post about GM ditching Facebook ads, then pushed out an ad promoting that post to both GM employees and journalists at certain publications. This resulted in not only a lot of referral traffic, but in some additional links and blog posts that helped gain SEO traction for the post itself. Brilliant!

PubCon Las Vegas was great, and I’m pleased to announce that I’ve also been accepted as a speaker at PubCon New Orleans in April 2013. I definitely recommend that you come out to attend (and not just because I’ll be speaking there). See you in New Orleans!

About Shawn Livengood

Shawn Livengood is a search engine marketing professional based in Austin, Texas. He has extensive experience managing pay-per-click ad campaigns for clients in various industries, from small home-based businesses to large international companies. You can connect with Shawn on Google+.
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