The beginning of the week has been a little hectic for SEOs in the UK who attended [tag]SMX London[/tag] 2007, as catching up with Client Work is always a priority and most of us are very busy right now…
But we have managed to put some time aside to do some follow-up writing on what happened during the very interesting and lively sessions of the first Search Marketing eXpo in London.
If you haven’ t done it yet, check out our SMX London Comic Coverage, but this is the more ‘informational’ write up.
As Kelvin was persuing the ‘advanced organic track’, I followed the advanced ‘paid search track’ to make sure that we came away from [tag]SMX[/tag] with as much information as we could. This first session to be covered was called “What’s new with Search Advertising”, and was a resume of the new features rolled out by search marketing advertisers (YSM, MSN, but no sign of the G…) combined with tasty little hints into what appear during next year…
The Panel was composed of:
Richard Gregory – Latitude
Richard Firminger – Yahoo Europe
Mel Carson – Microsoft
Alex(is) Sitaropoulos– Miva
Richard Gregory from Latitude(“World Leaders in Search Marketing”…) opened the session, and explained that the days of micro-bid management were over. He explained nowadays, the creative of your ad is so much more important than your bid, as the Quality Score is now in charge of linking the two together. (Good ad = high CTR = lower min CPC). Richard also underlined the new features of Google’s AdWords Editor which are very useful in managing and optimising large campaigns: the Duplicate Keyword Finder; the Keyword Grouper; and the Website Optimiser.
Richard Firminger from Yahoo(NE) had a lot to go through in very little time. A lot because Yahoo has morphed into Panama (or is it the other way round?) and very little because presentations are only 12 minutes. So here are some of the features Yahoo rolled out this year to reduce the gap between their market and their main competitor’s:
Retraction of competitor bid knowledge to increase the quality of ads
Day Parting tools so you can split your campaign throughout the day
And more recently:
Discount Pricing which is a a pricing relative to the quality of the advertiser and conversion rates (sounds like another name for Google’s Smart Pricing)
A Traffic Quality Centre
Yahoo Video Content, Yahoo aims to deliver multimedia search results instead of simple text search.
Mel Carson from Miscosoftalso explained the new features rolled out or planned for MSN AdCentre, which included:
A Microsoft Test for Advertisers, much like the Google Advertiser Accreditation Test (GAAT)
Daily Budgets can now be set, as well as Negatives (campaign level)
An Ad Copy best practicesection to let advertisers know what MSN AdCentre likes ans dislikes in its ads.
Day Partingis now also available on MSN.
Furthermore, Mel set out MSN’s vision of future, outlining the key routes that Microsoft wants to go down in the few years. These include:
Getting AdCentre ads on pretty much all the products that bear a microsoft or MSN logo. This included OfficeLive, Live Search, MSN etc…
Reporting(and therefore targeting) with geography and demographics. I understand how to do the first one, but to report on demographics is going to be pretty hard if you are not going to have a page asking these questions directly to the user… but let’s see what the Microsoft geniuses have in store for us!
Alex Sitaropoulos from Miva explained that PPC and Branding are increasingly interlinked. Therefore, your ads should stand out from the competition and speak out for your brand. Makes sense, I hope no one was doing anything else previous to the presentation! Alex also talked about the new Facebook advertising schemes, and explained that although it was very early days, it was likely to be beneficial for both parties involved.
So there we are nothing very very new, but it’s always good to hear the same thing from different voices and points of view. It gave me something to think about over the weekend, and I have come up with some ingenious ways of increasing productivity and value within my PPC campaigns.