Optimizing ETAs and expanding SEM efforts to increase conversions and drive ROI
The bounty of options available to SEMs continues to multiply. Expanded Text Ads (ETAs) were just the beginning. Audience targeting, automated ad testing and retargeting continue to evolve and promise higher conversions and ROI, but add complexity to the SEM’s role at an equally dizzying rate.
SMX West dives into the breaking updates in SEM with sessions focused on what Bing and Google have been up to: dynamic ads, RLSA, Google Customer Match, Sitelink Extensions and more. The conference agenda features sessions specifically designed to ensure you are taking advantage of new formats for your search advertising campaigns.
Search marketing experts from agencies and brands take center stage sharing actionable SEM tactics that accelerated their paid search performance.
Employing SEM tactics is just a single ingredient for success. Having quality, digestible data that provides deeper insights into your paid search performance only reinforces your (continued) investment in paid search. That’s why SMX offers a track with sessions completely dedicated to conversions, data and analytics — all crucial topics that prove the value of your SEM efforts.
Check out all the SEM and Analytics sessions below.
Go deep with SEM tactics and learn from the best in the business – real world practitioners and experts who can show you what works, and what doesn’t in the fast paced world of paid search. Select from more than 20 sessions on SEM topics.
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Thinking Outside The SEM Box
With so many changes coming at us all the time -- new ad formats, new bidding capabilities, new targeting possibilities -- it's hard to keep up much less take advantage of every new opportunity. In this session, our expert panelists will share ways they've thought outside the box to capitalize on recent changes that have helped them gain more leads, more sales and more success with SEM.
Advertising In Maps: Unparalleled Local Context
Advertising on map platforms (Google Maps, Bing, etc.) can help increase visibility to consumers searching for a location or activity. Most notably, Google's new ad placement in the "local pack" has changed local search advertising equation.
In this session, you'll learn when and why a map advertising strategy makes sense. You'll also see examples of recognizable brands making the most of map placements, hear best practices for execution and walk away with actionable tactics for scaling map placements across hundreds of locations.
The Nine Billion Ads Of Search
While it may seem that all the ads in the world have already been written and that no new ideas are left, the quest for better ads is at the core of search marketing success. And true SEM pros find new opportunities by testing, tweaking and improving their efforts for success.
You'll leave this session with best practices for crafting powerful new text and display ads, and more effective strategies for measuring and testing performance.
Inside The Amazon Shopping Engine
Are you selling on Amazon.com and looking to improve your sales and ROI?
This session focuses on the two core components of marketing on Amazon: the A9 algorithm and Amazon Marketing Services (AMS). You'll learn about the main components of the Amazon algorithm and how to optimize your products for it. You'll also get an inside view of how AMS functions and its targeting features, illustrated with case studies demonstrating how these techniques work to increase sales and maximize the impact of your marketing dollars.
Fun (And Profit!) With Dynamic Ads
Search advertisers dream of creating personalized ads for every potential customer. With emerging ad platforms and new capabilities and enhancements, the dream is becoming a reality. It's easier than ever to tailor your ads with customizers, create remarketing campaigns that include components of your website and semi-automate your ad and keyword selection with dynamic search ads.
In this session, we will examine the wide range of dynamic ad formats and give you strategies for implementing these tactics in your own accounts.
Paid Search Fundamentals
With searchers turning to Google and Bing 5+ billion times every day, paid search allows you to quickly and effectively generate quality traffic from search engines on a cost-per-click (CPC) or pay-per-click (PPC) basis.
This session covers the basics of how to purchase placement from the major search engines, including best practices for achieving success and profitability with your ads.
Findability & Shoppability Beyond Google
As consumers increasingly bypass traditional search engines on their quest for a specific product or brand, it's no longer enough to have page one Google rankings or a successful AdWords campaign. Marketers must take control of their presence on shoppable websites and develop paid and organic strategies for the sites that consumers are favoring over conventional search engines.
This session focuses on the shifting landscape and will help brands own their presence and drive online sales above and beyond the traditional search result page.
Always Be Testing To Always Be Closing
While ongoing testing is important for all advertisers, businesses can have a significantly more complex sales funnel, a longer buying process and special challenges that only apply in a B2B world.
In this session, we'll explore unique approaches for testing and managing B2B paid search accounts that go beyond traditional "click-then-buy" tactics.
Getting The Most Out Of Google & Bing Shopping
Many retailers generate up to 50 percent of their annual sales during holidays and special events throughout the year. Even those that don't make the most of their SEM-powered shopping campaigns to maximize revenue and fend off competition by successfully using the Google & Bing shopping platforms.
In this session, you'll learn how to take your shopping campaigns to the next level with insights from holiday season results, detailed feed optimization tricks, campaign structure insights and more. Plan your 2017 holiday campaigns early this year.
Using Paid Search & Social Together To Deliver The Ultimate Knock-Out Punch
Multidisciplinary search marketers (yes, that means you!) are best prepared to handle the growing complexity of digital advertising and fulfill the omnichannel promise. If you've mastered scripts, bid modifications and elaborate combinations of extensions, using paid search and social media together could be your next big move.
In this session, you'll learn how to apply your hard-earned expertise to marrying search and social media advertising, creating the ultimate combination of push and pull.
Conversion Rates & The Law of Diminishing Astonishment
We all know how exhilarating it can be to optimize new campaigns when double-digit returns are relatively easy to achieve. Eventually, though, growth flattens, and gains are tougher to come by. Grasping at straws with untested tactics and ideas is not the way to ensure continued success.
Our panel of experts will share conversion optimization strategies that reinvigorate the performance of mature campaigns. You'll learn the tactics, processes and best practices that have worked to minimize the "Law of Diminishing Astonishment" and find new ways to reignite growth in your campaigns.
Your Mobile PPC Sucks (But It Doesn't Have To!)
Many PPC marketers have tried opting into mobile search and have seen poor results, including low CTR, poor SERP visibility, underwhelming conversion rates and higher CPAs. How can you justify investing in paid search on a device that doesn't see parity with desktop performance?
In this session, you'll learn how to take your SEM campaigns to the next level with best practices, case studies and approaches that take advantage of the unique opportunities available to mobile advertisers.
Your Retargeting Sucks (But It Doesn't Have To!)
Retargeting can be powerful but frustrating for both the advertiser and consumers. After all, how often have you seen an ad for a product you've recently purchased or been forced to see ads for prom dresses your daughter viewed on your shared tablet? These are just two common mistakes that needlessly waste budgets and annoy potential and existing customers.
In this session, you'll learn how to carefully fine-tune your retargeting efforts for maximum impact and how to tailor various campaign settings such as viewing caps, audience segments, cookie duration, day parts and other parameters to make sure your ads aren't creating a negative impression.
Your Programmatic Sucks (But It Doesn't Have To!)
The programmatic media buying segment of the digital advertising universe appears to be expanding and contracting simultaneously, thereby defying the laws of the known universe. Programmatic media buying is immensely popular, yet the entities involved seem to be at war with one another. The issues at hand are transparency and making the industry move forward and all the controversy is dragging the industry down. It doesn't have to be this way, and in this session, our speaker will discuss best practices, positive outcomes and putting this buying and planning framework on the right track for you.
Survive & Thrive With SMB PPC
Creating a successful SEM campaign for a small or medium-size business (SMB) is challenging and becoming more complex as platforms add new formats, options and targeting capabilities. Small budgets and low traffic can make these tools and features challenging to use.
In this session, we will identify the main challenges with SMB PPC (pay-per-click) and discuss ways to be successful. Topics include:
- setting your account up for success
- targeting with an SMB budget.
- budgeting with an SMB limit.
- reporting tips & tricks for the SMB advertiser.
Attribution Success In A Cross-Device World
With mobile ad clicks now exceeding mobile on many channels, marketers face an even more complex challenge of attributing the impact of their various campaigns. Google, Microsoft, Facebook and others all have various approaches for measuring and reporting cross-device impact.
In this session, we'll take an in-depth look at how marketers are addressing cross-device and multi-touch attribution, including Google's total conversions reporting, proper modeling and tagging for better cross-device attribution.
Intelligent Bidding Using Non-SEM Marketing Data
There are many tools that help advertisers determine bids available directly within ad platforms. But great search marketers know there is also a wealth of conversion data from other marketing channels (email, display, affiliates, etc.) that can also be used to increase revenue and save costs in SEM campaigns.
In this session, you'll hear how Groupon introduced a bid modifier based on data from these non-SEM sources and improved campaign performance. Using these non-SEM data sources, they were able to identify high-performing items quickly, even before they demonstrated significant performance in search results.
The Lowdown On Google Customer Match
When it launched in late 2015, Customer Match was lauded as a game-changer for Google, allowing advertisers to target users based on email addresses. This opened up new possibilities for targeting, messaging, bidding and landing pages; and it has been powerful for reactivating dormant buyers and email list unsubscribers for advertisers.
This session explores the challenges of Customer Match with building lists that meet Google's minimum audience size requirements (particularly for B2B brands), and compares potential volume and value to the more established RLSA products. You'll learn how to maximize the use of these tools and discover where the best value lies.
Advanced Audience Targeting
Audience targeting allows you to be precise in choosing who sees your ads. Google provides the fundamental audience targeting tools, but you can enhance your targeting through remarketing lists, custom combinations and affinity lists. You can also fine-tune by excluding groups that fall outside your targeted demographic or other criteria.
In this session, learn to use advanced audience targeting to identify prospects and customers, and maximize the ROI of your campaigns.
Brands Talk Search Marketing
Brands face unique challenges when it comes to search marketing, including:
- maintaining their brand image within restrictive headline and description requirements.
- ensuring that testing takes into account other branding efforts.
- following trademark guidelines and more.
Brands also face major SEO challenges, such as coordinating the ownership of keywords, content and other assets with other marketing groups.
In this session, you'll hear from brand SEO and SEM experts about how they are handling these and other challenging issues in their search marketing campaigns.
SEM Tune-Up Clinic With The SMX Mechanics
Just like your favorite old car, paid advertising campaigns can use a tune-up every now and then to keep them running well.
In this hands-on clinic, our certified (and certifiable!) SMX SEM Mechanics will offer you their best expert advice on your PPC ads, bidding tactics and anything else on your mind. Bring your toughest paid search questions! Based loosely on the hilarious NPR radio show, "Car Talk," this session is guaranteed to be as fun as it is informative.
How To Find, Hack & Build Great AdWords Scripts
AdWords Scripts are a powerful addition to your SEM toolkit. You can use scripts to:
- create and automate delivery of custom reports.
- alert you to issues in your account.
- calculate and implement bid changes.
- manage ads, keywords, campaigns and ad groups.
- integrate external data sources such as your Twitter feed, product inventories and weather forecasts to form a more complete picture of site activity and conversions.
In this session, we'll demonstrate the capabilities of scripts, discuss best practices, and provide detailed instructions for creating and implementing scripts in your AdWords campaigns.
Protecting Your Brand In The Era Of Fake News
Fake content and information is a growing problem for advertisers in 2017. Both Google and Facebook have taken steps to address the challenge of false news, but advertisers using other automated platforms may be unaware that their ads are displayed on sites that spread disinformation, foster partisan ire or promote hateful or discriminatory views. To avoid "guilt by association" brands need to understand and take steps to control where their online ads are displayed. Attend this session to learn how to avoid getting stung by this unfortunate online phenomenon.
Consumer-Led Change: How To Stay Relevant & Build Success
Let's talk about what motivates the always-online, always-connected consumer. We'll examine examples of brands who have managed to attract their attention and look at some of the seismic shifts approaching us, such as: the sharing economy (and what it means to your business), where their time is being spent and data footprints coupling with mobile & personal assistants to produce more personalized experiences that find us when needed. Going forward, location and context will be paramount to success.
We'll look at strategies and search-based tactics you can employ in your own marketing plans as we move forward into this brave new future.
How Brands Test Their PPC Ads
Brands have special challenges when it comes to ad testing. They need to monitor their brand terms closely while often working with a large set of ads that might not always get many impressions or clicks. They must also test which ads are best for their brand terms vs. generic terms. This session explores best practices and practical considerations that all brands must take into account when managing their SEM campaigns.
Maximizing Performance By Testing And Optimizing Paid Search Ads
Smart marketers know testing is critical to improve ad performance. ROI and conversion increases are achievable by testing multiple ad variations for a single product or service, all based on the same set of keywords. Testing is even more important now that Google has introduced expanded text ads, the next-generation format designed for a mobile-first world with both users and advertisers in mind.
Pedro Paredes from Viator, a TripAdvisor Company, has tested thousands of ads, and will share case studies showing how the company optimized ad creatives to see which ads resonated with customers and performed best.
SEO & PPC In Trademark Law: The High Price Of What You Don't Know
The application of trademark law in the digital marketplace is redefining the rules of engagement for everyone. SEO and paid search tactics could shift from what has traditionally been considered acceptable use into a zone that incurs liability. Attorneys and search marketers may be unaware of the risks involved in pushing the envelope within existing and future campaigns.
In this session, expert witness Chris Silver Smith discusses the outcome of a landmark PODS/U-Haul lawsuit, with some additional examples of other cases and situations. Chris will also illustrate the evolving landscape of trademark use and search marketing.
Updating Your SEM Toolbox With New Shiny Tools
Managing SEM campaigns without the right tools is like hammering nails with a screwdriver. You can do it, but it's not going to be pretty.
Our SEM experts will tell you what SEM tools they rely on, what tools they've ditched and what shiny new tools they are most excited about. You are going to want to take notes in this session!
Best Of Show / Key SMX Takeaways
After three days of thought leadership, meaningful insights and tactics, you'll have your own list of top takeaways, favorite sessions and speakers.
We know you wish you could have attended every session, but have no fear! In our "Best of Show" session, speakers and fellow attendees will share their top SMX takeaways.
Analytics & Conversion Sessions
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