SEMPO Hangout Paid Search Goodies

sempoI had the privilege of being invited to represent PPCers on a SEMPO hangout yesterday that was put together by their education committee. Never being able to turn down the chance to talk paid media geekery with other industry pros, I happily accepted, and had a great time! Here were the hot topics:

Keyword volume

Is less more? We all pretty much agreed that at this point, having thousands of keywords and trying to capture every possible permutation that’s out there isn’t always the best use of time. There is also the push to make things more contextually-based as opposed to tying success to one keyword. This is also further exacerbated by the cross-device challenges that come with how and what people search for on their desktop or their mobile phone, and which device the conversion actually happens on.

Immediacy and user expectations

Consumer’s expectations are now high in regards to how fast they get access to the information they are looking for. This has become exponentially more important with the rise of mobile, because not only are they wanting answers, they can ask their questions 24 hours a day. We are also seeing a difference in search queries when they are asked vocally by the user, which is another reason trying to capture every possible search query is getting to be harder and harder.

There’s also a growing trend with things like Google Now and Cortana for search engines to actually preemptively try and get you information to the questions it thinks you have, or will have in the future.

Paid Search Spend

SEMPO had a poll about the proportion of spend allocated to paid search, and there was an interesting discussion around how these numbers panned out. Some of us weren’t surprised by what we saw, while others thought the spend would be higher. This led to interesting discussions around the role that paid search plays in things like Google organic ranking shifts, and the real estate of the SERPs these days vs. back in Google’s younger years.

Client Education and Expectations

With how quickly things change in paid search, a shared challenge is client education. There are still misconceptions about how the auction environment works, so we find ourselves in the position of educator often, as opposed to simply being a media specialist. Trying to do that while new features come fast and furious can be a challenge, but it’s also part of the dynamic environment that makes up the digital advertising world!

For these discussions and other actionable tips and ideas, view the entire Hangout here.

What do you think, did we miss any hot topics you have other questions about?