Hardcore PPC Tactics at #Pubcon

The Hardcore PPC Tactics session at PubCon promised to share cutting edge PPC techniques and explain innovative PPC tactics that you can implement to further your online marketing presence and increase the odds of overall success. Here are the tips straight from three PPC industry experts.

Testing in AdWords

brad-geddes-pubcon-2012Brad Geddes, founder of Certified Knowledge, believes most companies use the wrong numbers in testing, such as CPA, conversion rate, ROAS, ROI, or similar numbers. Percentage numbers don’t take volume into consideration. The most important question is: how do we make more money?

Many companies also start testing but don’t define what they want to accomplish with the testing or define testing goals such as lowest CPA or number of conversions.

Geddes recommends CPI or conversion per impression. This is calculated by:

conversions / impressions

Testing should start from the impression, not the clicks, although most people start with the click. It’s important to accommodate CPC and cost, because CPC can vary by ad and keyword greatly.

Take into account PPI or profit per impression. This is calculated by:

PPI = (revenue-cost)/(impressions)

If you have margins, hard costs, etc, remove these before calculations.

As a final note, Geddes recommended using the ad setting “rotate ads indefinitely “ to choose the ad that performs best. Other settings allow Google to decide.

Latest Changes in AdWords Google Display Network

SEM author, speaker and consultant David Szetela discussed the new display network interface tab, targeting moved to ad group level, multiple targeting options beyond “keyword” and “placements”, and exclusion settings.

He explained broad reach and specific reach. Broad reach shows ads for the primary targeting method, where specific reach displays ads on the pages, but only if the keywords also appear on the page as well. New flexible reach enables targeting and bid options at the ad group level and allow more fine control.

In targeting topics, you can further target by age and gender. Data for this comes from the interest category targeting area in AdWords.

There are seven different display targeting methods all of which can be combined in various ways. Szetala said, “This gives you power, but it’s also complex and hard to wrap your brain around”


John Ellis, CEO and owner of Crescent Interactive, dug into the “creep factor” of retargeting, defining audiences, gaining interest, and using social media to retarget.

Since retargeting serves ads to people as they surf the web, they may get a sense they are being followed. He suggested three tips for being less creepy:

  • Use Multiple ad sizes and mix up the design so the ads don't look repetitive
  • Frequency capping can help to limit the number of times a person is served an ad
  • Combining and excluding audiences to pull back some consumers

There are several audience types to consider targeting:

  • Site visits
  • Interest (such as in a specific product)
  • Abandoned cart
  • Buyers or converters

A great tip to reach more qualified site visitors is to target them from email marketing, surveys, or Facebook ppc. This shows the visitor has more interest and will drive interested traffic.

About the author

Lisa Raehsler is the founder and principal strategist at Big Click Co. , an online advertising company and Google AdWords Certified Partner, specializing in strategy and management of SEM and PPC for search engines, display, retargeting, and social media ad campaigns. More than just passionate about search, Lisa has led strategy on dozens of PPC accounts and puts her experience into practice every day as a thought leader in integrating clients' search campaigns with ecommerce websites, behavioral targeting strategies, and web analytics.

In addition to agency work, she has led successful online marketing programs at Thomson Reuters in search marketing, merchandising, and ecommerce strategies at the enterprise level.

Lisa frequently lends her expertise to the search industry through organizational involvement, speaking, and writing. She has participated extensively in the local interactive community, as well as at national search engine marketing conferences. Lisa's recent speaking engagements include SES, OMS, MIMA, HeroConf, and SMX conferences, as well as numerous private and public training engagements. As a columnist for ClickZ, she writes on the topic of paid search. She holds a BA in Economics from Valparaiso University and is a Google AdWords Certified Partner.