PubCon Without Pity

Greetings from fabulous Las Vegas! I just finished attending PubCon 2010, representing my current employer, uShip. There were a lot of PPC pros in attendance, and I got some great information from a lot of panels. Here are a couple of key takeaways for the PPC folks who couldn’t attend:

From Hardcore PPC Tactics:

The efficiency of a broad-match keyword can be determined by the number of unique queries that it generates. Run a search query report for a sufficient time period, then calculate the number of unique queries generated for each broad-match keyword you’re bidding on. If the number of uniques is greater than 50, it’s probably an inefficient keyword and you need some negative keywords, or you need to break out some of those unique queries into their own keywords.

Google Sets is a great tool to determine relevance issues related to quality score. Type in a few of the keywords in your ad group into the tool, and Google will give you keywords that it thinks is relevant to them. You can then use these suggestions within your keyword selection, ad text, or landing page to improve quality scores that have been hurt by words that Google thinks is irrelevant to the rest of your ad group elements.

From The Best Tactics In Landing Page Optimization:

70% of all clicks occur above the fold on a webpage. 80% of a user’s time is spent above the fold. If you have something important to say in a landing page, say it above the fold.

From Keyword Research, Selection, and Optimization:

Most effective keyword combinations only contain nouns. The exception is the use of verbs like “buy,” “find,” etc. and modifiers like “in” and “near.”

Users also search for plurals on items that will be purchased individually (i.e. someone will search for “buy bicycles” when they only want to buy one bike). Don’t forget these plurals in your keyword lists.

Google Instant and Google Suggest can give you great ideas for both negative and positive keywords.

From Neuromarketing: One of the Hottest Topics In Marketing:

High prices can activate the pain center in the brain, since people find paying too much can be painful (maybe not related directly to PPC, but I thought it was fascinating nonetheless).

From Information Architecture:

People will follow whatever conversion process you give them, but you must provide them an “information scent” at each step to assure them that they are on the right track to finding the information they need.

You should only present a maximum of seven choices at a time, since this is the maximum number of options the human brain can process at once without breaking down.

From Tools For Competitive Intelligence:

To find out what web properties and AdSense ads your competitors are running, just look at their source code, copy out their Google Analytics UA number or Google AdSense publisher number, and then look it up on a search engine. You should then get a list of all the other sites these numbers appear on.

From Post-Click Marketing: Landing Page Optimization:

Attention Wizard and Feng-GUI are two excellent tools for predictive heatmapping of landing pages. It’s not as good as analyzing an actual human, but the computer algorithms that read your layout and predict eye and click movement can give you a good starting point for diagnosing design issues with your landing page.

This is only a small sampling of the things I learned from the conference. I would highly recommend any PPC professionals to attend. There are a lot of people there who are at the top of their game in the search engine marketing space, so you’re bound to pick up some new tricks. Maybe I’ll see you there next year!

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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One Response to PubCon Without Pity

  1. Hi Shawn, thanks for the recap. My SEO colleague was at PubCon, but I wasn’t able to attend. If your readers are interested in learning how to breakout those search queries you mentioned in your post they might find the current series I’m writing for WordStream interesting. I will be writing five posts on advanced search query mining over the next few weeks.

    Also, checkout Alan Mitchell’s broad match generator:

    Thanks again for the post!