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Elena Terenteva

Discussing ADworld Experience with Brad Geddes

Elena Terenteva
Discussing ADworld Experience with Brad Geddes

On April 30 in Bologna, Italy, the best AdWords experts are going to share their experiences at the ADworld Experience conference.

We’re eagerly looking forward to this event for two reasons. First, Alexandra Tachalova from SEMrush is going to open the conference with “The Italian Way to AdWords.” Second, Brad Geddes, a good friend of ours and one of the best AdWords specialists, will be speaking.

In anticipation of this event, we spoke with Brad about the urgent AdWords issues and the latest developments.

You are going to talk about the evolution of AdWords techniques that changed in the last six months. What emerged as some of the biggest changes?

In the past several months, Google has changed how conversions can be counted, how ad rank is calculated, introduced affinity categories for display, added or changed how some ad extensions work and, of course, introduced enhanced campaigns. The latter contain ways to optimize mobile and desktops independently with the same base targeting methods. In one of my sessions, I'm going to go through many of these changes and show some case study data on how these changes have affected the data, and some items to think about when optimizing your own campaigns.  

Last year, the changes were so dizzying that they covered a large aspect of AdWords. Some of these changes were very large, like bid modifiers, and some were minor, like how conversion counting has changed. But each one of them can impact your data and how you make decisions. Some of the changes, like mobile optimization, permeate many options within AdWords, and some of them only affect very specific parts of the account, like in-market display buying.

Can you give us some spoilers?

There are many aspects to the presentation, but the one that I think a lot of people will find fascinating is how ad extensions can dramatically alter CTR. This is why Google made their first major change to the ad rank formula since 2005, which is when quality score was introduced.

On our blog, we like to share SEO tips for beginners and SMEs. What is the biggest difference between advertising for small businesses and large companies now?

There are probably two main distinctions between small and large companies. The first is data collection and usage. Larger companies can collect a larger data set that enables them to use remarketing, remarketing lists for search ads and ad optimization much more effectively than small companies. SMEs either can't collect enough data to make decisions, or must make compromises to their decision-making based upon their aggregate data.

The second biggest difference is the approach to the display network. With AdWords, you can now advertise based upon in-market buyers or affinity categories. These targeting options are very complementary to TV commercial buying, and allow larger companies to launch digital campaigns in similar ways they would launch TV campaigns. As most small businesses can't afford TV campaigns, or digital awareness campaigns, they often don't even try to compete in this marketing segment and instead really focus on beating large companies by taking advantage of hyper local campaigns.

Creating and managing a handful of hyper local campaigns isn't too difficult; however, as large companies usually have a much larger product set than small companies, creating hyper local campaigns for all their products often puts a time burden on them that they can't manage. Hence why the larger companies use different targeting methods than smaller ones.

Lastly, what should companies care about today so they will be ready for the future?

First off, mobile is going to continue to expand globally. At some point in time, you must develop a site that renders well in each screen. As multi-screening (using a mobile device while on a computer, using a computer or mobile device while watching TV, etc.) usage is also growing, companies will need multi-screen strategies in place to take advantage of users who are using multiple screens to make buying decisions. At the moment, the behavior is real, but the data is as much theoretical as it is practical; however, by thinking through strategies now and trying out various ones, as the empirical data becomes more available, you can then apply your models to the actual data to take advantage of the multi-screen process.

The second item is all about great data collection. If you aren't collecting the data, then you can never use it. Some of this is just implied in using an analytics system. However, many data points, such as emails, phone calls and even social sharing, is not linked to advertising methods. Therefore, the data can't be used in the future to understand how an advertising campaign truly affects your conversions. Just by having great data collection, storage and retrieval methods available to you, you will then be able to react much quicker than your competition when new features and methodologies become available.

Thanks, Brad!

Brad is the author of Advanced Google AdWords, the most advanced book written about Google’s advertising program. He is the founder of Certified Knowledge, and one of the first Google Advertising Professionals and Microsoft adExcellence members. Brad has written extensively about internet marketing for more than a decade. He was also featured in an SEMrush Pro talk on the blog.

You can buy your ticket to the ADworld Experience conference here. Even if you are not lucky enough to be in Bologna in April, you can attend the conference remotely. See you in Italy!

Elena Terenteva, Product Marketing Manager at SEMrush.

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