PPCChat is off and running as the inaugural event drew many attendees to discuss several prominent PPC topics. Seven of the ten questions were asked in the hour and ten minute chat as we saw many great points raised. Among the topics discussed were:
Audience Based Targeting
Many pointed out that Google’s Display Network (GDN) is making good improvements, but still lacks the user volunteered content that Facebook and LinkedIn have at their disposal. Managed placements are still the best way to target audiences in the GDN. Gathering user content could be the reason for Google’s recent social ventures, including +1 and better Gmail ads. David Szetela also brought up the notion of “audience-need targeting” being better than keyword targeting, but again, not as effective as managed placements.
This topic was the elephant in the room as many are not fond of adCenter’s interface and features. Interestingly enough, some advertisers have seen poorer performance since the Yahoo/Bing search alliance. Szetela mentioned turning off Yahoo Search Partners to combat this issue. Chris Kostecki also mentioned that adCenter conversion tracking is convoluted. Many also made note that we should be able to have separate bids for Yahoo and MSN, something that Melissa Mackey argues for strongly. The consensus is even though adCenter has a much less friendly UI than AdWords, the platform is still a player in the PPC industry. Andy Groller noted that adCenter warrants attention due to less competition and lower cost-per-clicks (CPCs).
Another hot topic was AdWords quality score (isn’t it always?) Low quality scores aren’t desirable, but many argued that as long as these keywords provide a solid ROI, conversion rate, and/or CPA they are fine to keep in the account. My words were “If a keyword has a great conversion rate or is bringing in much revenue but has poor QS I’m keeping it.” We all know that click-thru-rate (CTR) is a primary factor that Google uses to determine quality score, but Szetela debunked the landing page factor. He states there is almost zero correlation between landing pages and quality scores.
AdWords Ad Extensions
Everyone was in agreement that ad extensions lift CTR and help overall campaign performance. Sitelinks allow you four more chances to include additional benefits and calls to action while product listings qualify traffic prior to the click. Perhaps the biggest benefit of ad extensions is that they take up more real estate and contain more links to your site.
The first PPCChat is in the books, but we’re going to do it again next week, same day and time!