Tuesday, August 16, 2011

SES Conference: Search Engine Strategies Live. Day One

I've just finished day one of Search Engine Marketing University..... an action-packed day at the SES Conference during CONNECTED Marketing Week. Today was a deep dive into search engine marketing and related areas. More tomorrow. Between the SEO and PPC presentation tracks it was a full and richly educational day. I had no time for the other tracks on Social Media, Accelerator and Kick Start topics. There is just too much to absorb, unless you send a team. I've never been able to attend an SES conference before due to timing and logistics.... finally did it, and I can say SES was well worth the wait. If you have to pick one mega-conference on Online Marketing, go to an SES Conference. You will learn literally hundreds of tactics, ideas, options and strategies to help make your marketing more effective and efficient. And there are two more days to go! 
SES Morning Session.
There were so many useful bits of expert knowledge broadcast to the large audiences today that I can only give you the briefest of outlines:

The Tools of the Trade for PPC:
Moderator: Kevin Lee, Co-Founder & Executive Chairman, Didit
"Better ad targeting can save up to 30% in costs without losing conversions."
"Don't look at Search as a silo. Look across channels."
"PPC audit process - look at structure, creative, tracking."
"Utilize Negative search terms"
Try "Match Type" campaigns to further target.

The Tools of the Trade for SEO:
Google and Symantec Exhibit Booths at SES.
  • Moderator:Rob Garner, Vice President Strategy, iCrossing
  • Speakers:
    Bruce Clay, President, Bruce Clay, Inc.
    Jamie Smith, CEO, Engine Ready
  • "First set your website priorities and KPIs."
  • "Review of Keyword research tools, SEO tools, Paid Search tools." 
  • "Visibility = Impression / Rank / Position"
  • "Search marketing SERPs are changing, thanks to local search, instant search, etc."
  • "Multichannel Analytics Beta available from Google. Ask your Google Rep about it."
  • SEOToolSet Version 5 now out - - excellent presentation by Bruce Clay.
  • "Social Media is emerging. Facebook has organic and PPC search sectors."
  • "Search Engines enjoy higher conversion rates."
  • "If you want to be in the top three organic search results, you better study the guys in those spots and BEAT them at their own game."
  • Google and Links: "Trust Score getting more weight. Page Rank getting a bit less. All in an effort to reduce spam results."

  • Insider Tips to Ad Optimization:
  • Moderator:Bryan Eisenberg, SES Advisory Board and NYTimes Bestselling Author, bryaneisenberg.com
  • Speakers:
    Nicholas Gadacz, Director of Search, CafePress.com
    David Greenbaum, Founder and CEO, BoostCTR
    John Yi, Marketing API Program Manager, Facebook
  • "Get a copy of 'Ad Magic' from your Google Rep."
  • "Use a team of Ad writers for better results - - reduces the blind spots."
  • "Test Test Test - - - CTR and Conversion"
  • "Facebook is optimizing for 'word of mouth' - - we're only 1% finished!"
  • "Facebook is about a 'Friend's voice', not a 'brand voice' in terms of influence.
  • "Facebook will provide more metrics for advertisers, they're coming."
  • "Use resources to find those WORDS that SELL."

  • Google Adwords Author, Expert and Trainer Brian Geddes was spotted during the morning sessions.
  • Website SEO Expert and Author Matt Bailey was spotted at SES, and he hosted a table during lunch.

  • Crossing the Digital Divide: The Leap from Search to Display:
  • Moderator: Chris Sukornyk, CEO, Chango, Inc.
  • Speakers:
    Emily Iverson, Director of Display Media, Booyah Online Advertising
    Bill Leake, President and CEO, Apogee Search
  • Yes, Display Ads do matter and they are going to play an even bigger role. And you can bid on them like Adwords. Search is "Pull" advertising. Display is "Push" advertising. You benefit from having both.
  • DSPs are Display Side Platforms - - Services you can use to coordinate and bid on Display Ad space across many websites. Use only one DSP agency at a time or you'll bid against yourself.
    DSPs can be very cost effective compared to massive display campaigns negotiated with large sites like Yahoo, NYT, etc.
  • "Use auction driven display ad options - be smart."
  • The "Lift Factor"
    Search + Display Ads running: +119%
  • Search Only: +82%
  • Display Only: +16%
  • "Google will be a winner in Display Ads."
  • "Display + SEO + PPC = the biggest lift." Integrate them all.
  • Display Ads are the best tool to fight market lack of awareness and low visibility challenges."
  • "Exploit Google Trends for potential niche targeting and brand awareness."

    Here in one day, four sessions, is plenty to think about and act upon. And I'm not including the sessions I missed from the other simultaneous tracks.... SES is huge and offers a lot to absorb.