SEW Labs: a new session format at SES San Francisco

SEW Labs: a new session format at SES San Francisco

18th August 2010

Search Engine Watch Labs (SEW Labs) is a new format session for SES. It combines the popular site clinic approach with a crowdsourcing aspect. Each lab session is preceded by a primer session to prepare the attendees for the event.Today I visited the first PPC Lab. Well, to be honest, I didn’t go to the Primer session, but I went to the crowdsourcing part.The session, moderated by “the PPC Doctor” Search Engine Watch Director Jonathan Allen, started with a short presentation of David Roth from Yahoo Search Marketing in which he gave some tips about account management. Furthermore he presented some details about the Yahoo / Microsoft search alliance, which should be through at octobre 15th. After this presentation the real crowd sourcing / site clinic started.

PPC Doctors Jonathan Allen, Search Engine Watch, Christine Churchill, KeyRelevance and David Roth, Yahoo Search Marketing.

The first reviewed website was a website for Lasik. The account showed a campaign for golf. Actually the idea isn’t bad, but if you put golf keywords on search campaigns, broad matched, without negative keywords and without conversion tracking activated, it’s no surprise you get punished by a bad quality score and you are burning money. Probably a campaign like that could eventually work on the content network, but not in a search campaign when it’s setup in this way.

Next review was based on just a Google Analytics account, without Adwords connected. The problem was a high bounce rate, but at the end no solution was presented. Actually in my opinion the amount of data (642 visits in one month from search) was too little to draw conclusions on it.

After the break KeyRelvance’ Christine Churchill took a look at the Adwords account of a Vacation Rental company. The account structure was pretty mixed up, because the same keywords were in several adgroups. Christine suggested to restructure the account completely conserving the good keywords in ad groups and getting rid of the bad keywords. Furthermore she suggested that, if you have several products competing with each other (eg several hotels in one city), to take a category / productpage approach. Link your general keywords to category resultpages, and the specific keys to productpages.

In my opinion the PPC Lab is a nice idea, but the room, especially after the break was almost empty. People probably don’t like to share the insides of their search campaigns. Personally I like the crowdsourcing idea, because the audience gets more involved in the discussion. I’m curious about the SEO Lab tomorrow. I think the room will be packed……


Written By
Evert Veldhuijzen is consulting various international brands about different aspects of online marketing. His company Netlead is in affiliate business and develops websites for his joint-ventures.
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