Pubcon PPC Tips

Pubcon in Las Vegas is one of the most fun conferences you can attend. Obviously there are the myriad entertainment options in Las Vegas and all the awesome after-hours networking events, but I’ll focus on the main reason I was there; the conference itself.

Pubcon Day 1

The first session I attended was by Mona Elesseily and she was talking about default settings in AdWords that you need to change. My favorites were these:

  • Ad rotation – Set to rotate indefinitely
  • Mobile is NOT desktop – Bid down mobile appropriately. Write mobile specific ads
  • Keyword matching – Do not include close variants

During a slow session time I went down to the live review room and had Kate Morris, Steve Hammer & Kate O’Neill look at a campaign I’m running right now. Many of their observations were in accordance with what we’re currently planning to do, but as I answered a few questions about the offer, they pointed out a benefit that I had been overlooking.

Takeaway: Get another set of eyes on your accounts & campaigns.

Hardcore PPC Tactics was the best PPC session of the conference, which is expected when you’ve got Brad Geddes, John Ellis & David Szetela on the same panel. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Too many ads/ad group confuses Google and hurts your QS, but…
  • Have mobile specific ads to control for CTR
  • For reporting look into App Script, specifically the GA Report Automation (it’s Magic) script in the gallery. Pulls data into a Google spreadsheet so you can pretty it up and schedule it to go out as frequently as you need
  • Max. CPA bidding is going away soon. Get transitioned to CPA (target) bidding
  • Conversion Optimizer (CO) cancels out bid modifiers, but it’s probably worth it
  • Category exclusions can be a quality lifesaver (but keep Parked domains/error pages because that can be a hidden gem)


Pubcon Day 2

The first session I attended was by Andrew Beckman and he has some great stats:

  • 70% of search queries in the US have no exact match keywords
  • 20% of daily search queries have never been seen by Google
  • 54% of search queries in the US have 3 or more keywords

These stats point to the fact that you should be building out long tail ad groups and you should be creative. There is still opportunity out there.

The second session featured Brad Geddes again, this time talking specifically about display campaigns. He mentioned that interest categories target people while topics are targeting based on the content of the sites where ads are being placed. He also recommended keeping separate campaigns for different targeting types. So keep all your topic targeting in one campaign, your interest targeting in another, etc.

For the afternoon and Day 3, here are some quick tips:

  • Want to block your ads from showing on tablet & mobile apps? Add as a negative placement and Voila! they’re gone.
  • True View Ads on YouTube are a great way to promote video assets. Cost/view could be as low as $0.10-$0.15
  • Look at micro conversions as well as the big conversions. Social shares, views of a video, etc.
  • Review extensions allow you to place a 3rd party quote in with your ad. Links to source of quote. All accounts should have it by now so go try it!

Any other Pubcon attendees out there have additional tips? Let us see them in the comments.