SMX East: Recap

SMX East hosted in New York, at the Jacob Javits Convention Center, is the world’s largest Search Marketing Conference and Exposition. This year, there was a huge selection of talks across all search disciplines, ranging from Ad Copy Testing to Mobile Call Tracking to Re-Targeting.

Here, I will write a quick roundup for a couple of interesting, PPC focused topics:

Getting the Most Out of AdWords and Bing Reporting Tools

Three experts in their fields delivered a veritable smörgåsbord of ideas for heightening the power and intricacy of your PPC reports:

Caitlin Halpert – Account Director, 3Q Digital

  • Use Auction Insight reports to plot changes in competitor behaviour over time. To do this, segment the data before downloading using a time component.
  • Use time lag reporting, either from AdWords or Analytics (Analytics is more detailed) to understand the conversion cycle and adjust your remarketing audience lists appropriately.
  • Understand the Search Partner Network by adding this segment to reporting in both Google and Bing. This information can help you decide whether to turn off this targeting method across your campaigns. Bing allows you to turn off specific domains, giving you even more control over this setting.
  • Use the new(ish) dimensions report called ‘Campaign Details’ and ‘Ad Group Details’ to see important stats across campaign and ad group levels, such as number of Sitelinks and Ads active. This can allow quick identification of issues, faster than downloading the data and manipulating it in excel.
  • Use the AdWords Paid and Organic report to understand the incrementality value of your brand activity.

John Gagnon – Bing Ads Evangelist, Microsoft

  • Install the Bing Power Maps add-in for Excel, it marries excel data with great visual map overlays.
  • Don’t just use the change history for understanding fluctuations in performance trends historically, use it as an account Health Check tool when conducting account audits. When you remove the ‘Bid’ option from the change history report, the report delivers only the substantial account optimisation changes over time.
  • Install the Bing Ads Ad-Intelligence add-in for Excel.
    • Get more insights about the Age and Gender of the search traffic clicking your ads.
    • Understand the CPC and CTR% across every position in the SERP, from Mainline to Sidebar in order to make better decisions when running bid management.

Kiko Correa – Online Marketing Manager, Porch

  • Save time by using the new Reporting Editor in AdWords to create quick and insightful tables and charts, with the ability to drag and drop metrics and dimensions into the editor.
  • Create schedules to automate these reports in order to get fresh insights into your inbox whenever you want.
  • Install the Google Analytics add-in to Excel, which can be used like an API without the need to code. Initial setup is required, but can be powerful once it is connected correctly. Get the ability to slice and dice the data however you want.

How Dynamic Ads Can Supercharge Your SEM Campaigns

Here the panel examined how to create, use and launch dynamic ads to boost the performance of your search advertising campaigns.

Matthew Mierzejewski – EVP of Client Service and Delivery, MerkelRKG

DSA’s are back. They’ve been around for years but have never taken hold. When they first came out many advertisers were disappointed with their accuracy and matching algorithms, claiming that in many cases the results were not strong. However, it seems that recently these wrinkles have been ironed out and the performance of DSA’s has improved.

Matthew urges people to use DSAs, not only to take advantage of their search query mining capabilities, but also the cheap CPC for longtail. Matthew found that many long-tail low volume keywords which did not get shown in normal search campaigns were matching and won through DSA campaigns instead – it suggested a lower threshold for matching risk on DSA campaigns compared to search in Google’s matching algorithms.

Optimising for DSA is done via a Website Schema, it’s almost SEO for DSA. The more detailed the schema and microdata in the webpages, the higher ‘quality score’ a DSA ad will have and therefore ad rank will improve.

Watch the DSA space for new features coming soon.

Elizabeth Marsten – Director of Paid Search, Commerce Hub

Dynamic Remarketing is a great way to show products people already viewed to searchers around the GDN, it can also be used to show similar related products in order to cross-sell.

Elizabeth is a big proponent of the ‘Optimise for Conversions’ setting when running Dynamic Remarketing campaigns as this works really well in order to control the performance, she found through testing that it works better than ‘Rotate Evenly’.

The more specific the audience, the better the performance and relevance can become, so be sure to use the right copy for the right audiences when running Dynamic Remarketing campaigns.

Ad Templates in AdWords can be a bit off-putting for many advertisers, especially if the brand has strict policies about their imagery. Customise the ad templates, using branded imagery to improve the brand recognition and keep brand style guidelines in check.

Steven Hammer – President, RankHammer

Dynamic keyword insertion has been superseded by Ad Customisers. Using smart customisations can make your ad copy really relevant at the right time, especially for location and urgency type messaging.

For example, a countdown timer can be used in conjunction with different locations across different time-zones. So, you know that promo you have which ends at midnight across every continent in the world? Problem solved with Ad Customisers. Just enter all the details into a spreadsheet and use AdWords Scripts to upload and update the info automatically.

Business data can be augmented to help create compelling strategies in your customised ads; prime-time TV spot airing at 21:30 tonight? Get related PPC ads live at the same time to capture the extra demand using Ad Customisers. As creative marketers, you’ll begin to see that the opportunities here are endless.

I hope you found this snapshot of SMX East interesting, if you have any questions or comments, please get involved below. Hope to see you there next year!


Snapshot SMX


Robert Davis

Robert Davis is a teamlead of ten PPC experts at crealytics. A PPC veteran with over 8 years working in the PPC industry, Robert has driven successful projects across multiple industry verticals. Specialised in the latest and greatest ecommerce search and Shopping strategies, he pushes the envelope when delivering performance.