September 9, 2015 / #SEMPOchat, Paid Search, PPC 101

Last month’s Google Hangout on August 25, 2015, focused on SEM/Paid Search. Participants included:

-Eric Coach, Client Training & Development Manager at Bing Ads at Microsoft

-Jessie Dearien, Regional Director of Paid Search at iProspect

-Jack Porter-Smith, Managing Director & Google Top Contributor at WSI Paid Search

-Susan Wenograd, Senior Manager of Accounts & E-Commerce Strategy at Clix Marketing

The purpose of the SEMPO Hangouts is to empower audiences across the globe with a deeper understanding on complex subjects. Unlike a webinar, the unstructured format, streaming video, and conversational tone provide a sense of shared space with the audience and a more familiar “face” for in-depth technology-based discussions. Below are some of the most important insights from the panel.

Key Takeaways

1. User behavior on Search is changing.

-Cross device management is growing, allowing PPC experts to follow users’ journeys.

-Demographic targeting on social network display advertising is allowing for deeper segmentation of audiences.

-In the next few years paid search platforms must allow for social and demographic targeting to be used to further advance our understanding of our audience.

-There has been a major shift to mobile. Consumers are moving at pace we are not typically used to. PPC advertisers must adapt as users seek a more real-time experiences.

-Retail is advancing with the attachment of inventory to Google Shopping, allowing users to get the most up-to-date information.

2. Are budgets for Search Marketing increasing?

-More competition.

-Targeting is constantly improving, allowing advertisers to create a more personalized experience for searchers. The specificity of targeting gives advertisers more confidence that they are reaching a qualified audience, allowing them to be more confident in their Search Marketing spend.

-New tools are constantly being introduced, leading to more real estate on search results and more opportunity for users to convert easily.

-Measurability is also improving, giving search marketers more insight into how there budget is performing.

3. Biggest misconception among clients about paid search?

-Clients searching for their own ads: Search results are not static and depend on numerous factors, such as location, device, and time of day.

-How many keywords are you putting in my account? The more the better, right? Segmentation has a higher importance than the volume of keywords.

-Paid search is its own tactic and should operate individual to other tactics.

-Paid search needs to be tied to all marketing and business efforts, this is not just an isolated part of digital marketing.

-Skeptical of paid search providing results:

a. Do more brand bidding; it does more than most clients think.

b. Results will not be immediate, especially in an account starting from scratch. To get the program running at is full potential can take from 90 – 120 days.

-Paid vs. SEO? These should be working with each other, not against each other.

Notable Discussion Points:

Keyword Lists:

-Break out ad copy as granular as possible into keywords. Allow consumer trending to evolve the keyword lists over time.

-Try different match types and dynamic ads. Leverage all tools available.

Is it worth being mobile if you can’t be number 1 or 2?

-Ask yourself, how hard can you make your budget work? Call-only campaigns are a great new feature that basically provides a conversion (phone call) for every click, so you know exactly what you are paying for.

How has the consumer shift to mobile impacted SEM?

-With voice dictation search, users are using more lengthy searches from mobile devices.

What impact does technology have on paid search?

-Technology has always been involved with Paid Search, for example we are seeing more and more third party management platforms. (Programs to help with cross-engine management: Kenshoo, Marin, Acquisio)

-The big shift will come with real time integration of data sources, allowing advertisers to react almost instantaneously with searchers.

Metrics should be based around the business goals of paid search as a tactic.


-Analytics driven remarketing is allowing us to learn more about user behavior.

-This is a really good way to close final sales. For example, someone signs up for 30-day trial, we can hit them again with 10 days left to remind them about the expiring trial

-It allows for additional segmentation and deeper targeting. This all provides further insight into consumer behavior.

1 tip for someone who is new to paid search?

-Understand match types of keywords to avoid running through your budget quickly.

-Double check campaign settings.

-Before diving into the complicated tools and tactics of paid search, understand the purpose of why you are using digital marketing and use PPC to implement that purpose.

-Start slow, test often, always have your goals in mind, and triple check your campaign settings.

Poll Results:

Question: Paid Search (SEM) makes up what percent of your or your clients’ digital marketing budget?0% = 7%

1-25% = 33%

26 – 50% = 18%

51 – 75% = 22%

76 – 100% = 20%


The next SEMPO Google Hangout will be on Tuesday, October 20, 2015, 2pm ET and will cover the State of Search.




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