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March 13-15, 2018
San Jose Convention Center

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Five questions for AdWords expert Brad Geddes

Even with all of the new marketing channels that have opened up over the years, AdWords is still the core of many companies’ interactive campaigns. If your PPC campaigns are not running efficiently, it can have a drastic impact on your bottom line. Brad Geddes talks about his full day of AdWords education and discussion that will teach you not only the best practices, but also advanced concepts and strategies that are based upon a decade of research and testing.

Who should participate in your workshop?

The workshop is designed for all experience levels. However, each person will have different takeaways and to-do items based upon their experience level.

For instance, if we look at the audience targeting section, this is what each group will learn:

Beginners will learn what audiences are, why they are important, and gain enough knowledge to create their first few audiences with good segmentation so they find great results with the options.

Attendees with an intermediate level of knowledge will see the full scope of audience targeting and all of it’s options. They will take away new ideas for segmentation and strategies for implementing these new audience targeting ideas.

Experts will see how enterprise campaigns running large audience campaigns do their segmentation. In addition, they will see how audiences fit into larger business goals. They will take away the thought process and strategic breakdown of audiences they can put to use in their own AdWords campaigns.

We see experts attending just to find the latest changes in AdWords and make sure they are doing things correctly, and beginner and intermediate attendees hungry for new knowledge and ways of improving their accounts. So while the different groups sit in the same workshop, their takeaways and knowledge reinforcement is very different.

What makes your workshop unique? What will attendees get that they can’t easily find elsewhere?

I’ve been doing paid search since 1999, so I’m in my 19th year of working with PPC. Over those years, I’ve been involved in building an agency from scratch, growing a large agency, working in-house, helping grow one of the largest PPC resellers (42,000 PPC accounts and 110,000 SEO clients) to being a tool provider for PPC managers. I’ve worked on accounts that spend under $25 a month and others that spend over $100 million annually on PPC.

So I can see paid search from many perspectives. As people have questions or need to relate something to their business type, I can generally see the angle they are coming from and then translate that information into how it’ll work in their own business.

In addition, I’ve been teaching AdWords for 13 years. So by being both a teacher and a PPC practitioner, I understand how both teaching concepts and AdWords concepts fit together so that we can layer in more and more advanced concepts throughout the day so that everyone has actionable takeaways and an understanding of the material.

Describe three actionable takeaways attendees will be able to put to work in their own search marketing campaigns.

First, you’ll understand how to fill your marketing funnel with AdWords. We’ll cover how the funnel works and the channels and methods to use for each step of the funnel throughout the day as we brand into various concepts. So if you’re trying to fill the funnel, pull more conversions from the bottom of the funnel, or work on post-conversion interactions, you’ll have takeaways on where to focus for your business.

Second, you’ll leave with a ton of new ideas and strategies for testing. Ads are the only part of your account that consumers see. Being able to test ads in one ad group or across 100,000+ ads at a single time to gain customer insights is crucial for any advertisers. Attendees will have both ideas and strategies on how to evaluate and test their own messaging at scale, or for a single ad group to improve their ad strategy.

Third, you’ll come away with more tactics for effectively managing bids, Quality Score and budget. Those are the three big levers to pull in terms of increasing impressions and account efficiency. Attendees will be able to quickly evaluate their own accounts to see what lever they should focus on for their own account, as well as gaining a solid understanding of how to increase their own quality scores and ad ranks.

What is a search marketing mistake you made that others can learn from?

Oh wow, there are so many mistakes I’ve made over the years it’s hard to pick one. The biggest is probably blindly trusting “best practices” to always work and not always segmenting the data and doing due diligence and analysis to realize that best practices will sometimes utterly fail and that you need a new strategy. The solutions have ranged into some strange tactics that have worked like lowering quality score on purpose to increase conversion rates to bidding CPA in ecommerce and ignoring ROAS to achieve better results to using large amounts of broad match in countries where the queries often include multiple languages to capture additional conversions.

Everyone is going to make mistakes – that’s just part of being human. It’s the ability to realize there is a mistake being made and then finding a solution that makes one a great PPC manager.

Time to gaze into your crystal ball and tell us what you see in the future – what does the search marketing landscape look like in five years?

We will have more automation and machine learning – that’s not really anything new in the predictions arena. However, we’re going to see two trends emerge from AI and automation.

First, humans are more important than anyone realizes. Machines lack empathy. Machines can’t act without data. Machines don’t understand humans. Marketing is all about connecting with other humans. The creative and strategic levels of marketing will be a PPC analyst’s largest role. We will need to know the options to feed into the machine. We will need the creative aspect of new marketing campaigns and ideas. Machines will let us do our jobs faster and more efficiently, but humans will still be critical to success.

Second, machines make mistakes and people need to audit the machine and add a layer of common sense to the equation.
If a landing page goes down for three days you have no conversions. If the machine does it’s job and lowers your bids, and the human needs to reset the expectation that the data set needs to be ignored and reset the data. For example, say that it’s February right now and I still see ads that mention Christmas shipping times. A human knows these ads should not be running; a machine has to wait for the data to act. Did you know that the total revenue generated by arcades perfectly correlates with computer science doctorates awarded? It’s a clear trend, so if you are running an arcade a machine might think your budgeting should be based upon this random correlation as the trend held steady for 10 straight years.

Machine learning and AI will continue to grow in the next few years. It will not cost PPC managers their jobs. Their jobs will continue to evolve as they have for the last 20 years.

Tell us something about yourself that few people know.

Most people probably don’t know that I got married in Ireland. My wife’s family roots are Irish, mine are the Norwegians that raided, and then settled, in Ireland. Neither of us had been to Ireland before; so we rented Glin Castle along the Shannon river for an entire week, just for friends and family usage, and had a wonderful time touring the country.

Thanks Brad!

Don’t miss out on this exciting opportunity to learn from one of the most experienced pros in the industry! Read more about Brad Geddes AdWords workshop at SMX West, and register today!

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