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Hot Topics in PPC

SMX West in San Jose this year provided a wealth of information for both novice and expert Internet Marketers and strategists. One of the sessions was about Hot Topics in Paid Search, and featured a strong panel of PPC Experts who provided insight on some of the hot trends in 2011.

The first to speak was Alex Cohen of ClickEquations. Alex explained the new types of advertising models online and the benefits of each. Alex spoke at length about the future of Paid Search including “Ads without Keywords”. Some of the key takeaways from Alex are:

  • The future of Paid Search will not include keywords. New advertising models such as Google Boost, Demographic Targeting, and Remarketing will shape the way we view paid search.
  • New monetization models of PPC are gaining steam – cost per lead (based off of comparison ads) and cost per acquisition are quickly becoming efficient bidding mechanisms for certain industries.
  • Moving past intent: We can now buy advertisements based on audience (Facebook), behavior (Remarketing), and business type (Google Boost).

Next up was Matt Hessler from Trada. Matt had a very compelling argument for the use of coupons in advertising. Coupons can help improve campaigns by creating calls to action and providing incentive to click through to your website. Here are some of Matt’s key points:

  • 2009 was the first time that coupon usage had increased year over year since 1992. Consumers are looking for bargains more than ever.
  • There were over 26 million “coupon” related keyword searches last year.
  • Offer specific coupon details in ad copy and match this on your landing page to gain consumer trust.

The final speaker was Tim Mayer, also from Trada. Tim inspired a group discussion about the use of man versus machine on Paid Search Campaigns. Should we be using automated tools in our ppc efforts, and at what stages of the campaign? The general consensus of the panel and the audience was that it is best to use a combination of both.

The creative side of paid search (keyword research, creating ad copy, and optimizing landing pages) should always be left to humans, but it is often helpful to let the machines automate the process of bid management and ad testing.

2011 is going to be an interesting year in terms of shaping the way we view Paid Search. The traditional version of keyword related paid search campaigns are now complimented by automated tools, new monetization models, and new advertising methods. Internet Marketers should stay on top of the latest trends in the Paid Search Industry to continue to grow their market share.


Alex Cohen, Senior Marketing Manager, ClickEquations
Matt Hessler, Account Director, Trada
Tim Mayer, Chief Strategy Officer, Trada

Contributed by: Marc St.Pierre, e-Strategist, Milestone Internet Marketing

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