4 important lessons learned at Heroconf 2013

First, I want to point out that I know I’m writing this two weeks after the conference. In my defense, I attended the conference immediately after my honeymoon (and the week of work I took off) so I’m still digging myself out of a hole. Thus, this post is coming a little later than usual.

What I Learned

  1. Enhanced Campaigns is NOT popular among professional PPC folk – I’ve always felt like Google had the concerns of large PPC advertisers pretty close to their hearts. With all the sophistication and advanced options it seemed like the product team listened to them a lot. However, with Enhanced Campaigns I get the feeling that the AdWords team made a deliberate decision to NOT listen to large, sophisticated advertisers. Let me explain.

    The burden for a small, unsophisticated advertiser to switch to Enhanced Campaigns is small. They don’t have a ton of campaigns usually and they probably weren’t doing a lot with mobile and tablet. The additional bidding flexibility and ad group level sitelinks are a big plus. However, the burden of switching to Enhanced Campaigns for large advertisers is immense. Many had a mobile campaign, tablet campaign and desktop campaign for every major theme & geography. They probably have mobile optimized pages and maybe even tablet optimized pages. While ad group level sitelinks are a boon, with thousands of ad groups, creating and managing all of them becomes a large task.

    Basically, Google seems to have said, loud and clear, that the revenue gained from switching over all the small & medium advertisers to Enhanced Campaigns outweighs the trouble it causes large advertisers. And you know what? I think they’re right. Large advertisers will complain, but ultimately AdWords traffic is too big and important to not use. Painful, but true.

  2. Test, even if it seems it won’t work – This observation came from the session on optimizing your CTA. John Lee was sharing results of an ad copy test where the objective was to test one ad with a CTA and one ad without a CTA to see which did better. Seems like a dumb test because, of course, the ad with the CTA should do better (that’s best practice after all). But it didn’t. And you need to run the test on your own campaigns to know if that is the case for your industry/product/company.
  3. LinkedIn PPC is the red-headed stepchild of the PPC industry – Obviously AdWords was a major focus. Bing attended in force and showered swag upon attendees like manna from heaven. Facebook PPC had a full session talking about it. The most talk I heard about LinkedIn PPC was at a roundtable discussion on Day 2. I do quite a bit of LinkedIn PPC and I know some very large companies that spend a large amount of money there with good results. However, it doesn’t seem like it’s getting the love yet.
  4. Excel is more awesome than you can imagine – They did an entire session on Excel skills and Sean Quadlin made the seemingly dry topic hilarious. Microsoft should hire the guy to do a series of Excel training videos because I have never seen anyone bring that kind of enthusiasm to the topic. But more importantly he showed off some seriously cool stuff you can do.

There you have it folks, what I learned at Hero Conf 2013. If you have questions, leave them in the comments below.


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