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.

Related reading

Facebook campaign budget optimization how marketers must prepare for September 1, 2019
search reports for ecommerce to pull now for Q4 plan
Effective Amazon PPC How to get the most out of Amazon PPC campaigns on a limited budget
Five ways to target ads on Google that don’t involve keywords