Day 1 Afternoon Sessions #SMX #SMXMilan

Day 1 Afternoon Sessions #SMX #SMXMilan

7th November 2013

Many of the afternoon sessions were in Italian and although SMX Milan did an amazing job with the provision of translators and headsets, I found it difficult to concentrate and take notes and pictures – as such the English speakers or those with some English notes got the most coverage! 😀

SEA //Fast And Easy SEA Analytics

Moderator: Matthias Weth, Managing Director & Partner, Catbird Seat GmbH (@Semplicity)


What we are all going to need to do is leverage Big Data…we no longer hear as much as we used to hear about is keyword research – we can be a lot lazier about some things due to Big Data – Andrew Goodman

andrew-goodmanAd testing – what’s your method?

Instead of thinking we know – focus on the methodology – how can we get better?

What’s your KPI?

  • CPC/ CPA
  • Conv rate should be consistent
  • ROAS (revenue/cost) – better for e-commerce
  • CTR
  • Do you run your own test or let Google take over?

Actively testing? Rotate indefinitately

Which KPI wins?

  • Statistical confidence interval…
  • Many times you are not there yet – check the confidence level – keep testing
  • There can be anomalies – test for longer
  • Low CTR can be harmful – keep testing
  • Partial factorial analysis –


  • Run tests until result is certain otherwise it is not a test
  • Large account? This could be automated – be alerted when long tail ad groups have winning tests
  • You can’t test 20 ads with low traffic volume – if low volume, test a few
  • Can we unite Ad testing campaign or account wide? – Prove that “buy now” works better than “order now”

Is is all about QS?

Ou rank – Determines Ad rank – where you rank whether you are eligible to attaing lower CPC

How do we deal with it?

  • Don’t listen to heresay – consult documentation (google help files)
  • Company intent vs consumer intent – Intent  can affect QS – put a lot of words in the string – but on broad QS will be less

Are most campaign techniques that  benefit you also good for QS?

  • Yes mostly
  • Better campaign architecture for relevance
  • Keyword selection based on likely conversion
  • Conversion testing and best practices on site
  • Key tension is often when you boost CTR to boost QS you make google happy but not your accountant!

Dynamic remarketing

  • Pricing formula  black box
  • QS never reported
  • Multiple refinements

Brad Geddes – How to use Analytics to enhance your campaign


  • Long Tail analysis
  • Bounce Rates
  • Bid Adjustments by everything – most mistakes are due to Ad scheduling
  • Dimensions Tab does not allow segments in UI
  • Build GA report segment day of week by hour of day
  • Baseline 35% Bounce
  • Measuring interaction goals
  • GA can solve a lot of problems

SEO // What SEO Performance Metrics Are Truly Important?

Stephan Walcher, Head of SEO Consulting, Catbird Seat GmbH(@stephanw)


  • Richard Baxter, CEO, SEOgadget (@richardbaxter)
  • Marco Loguercio,CEO, Find S.r.l. (@marcologuercio) – not covered
  • Stephan Walcher, Head of SEO Consulting, Catbird Seat GmbH(@stephanw) – not covered

SEO data does not correlate in the real world – jargon does not convince clients that you are doing a great job – Richard Baxter – SEOGadget

richard-baxterWhat inputs should we be measuring?

Care about where you are mentioned – editorial – journos – who uses the data?

Monthly marketing grid – what can we do to get the mentions?

  1. New links built – links with back seogadget for excel – find new and lost links majestic seo API
  2. Track which sites in a SERP has the highest ‘delta’
  3. Just discovered links – open site explorers
  4. Ahrefsseo-gadget-monthly-matrix

Tracking new mentions that don’t link

  • ScrapeBox
  • Topsy
  • Talkwalker
  • Track Engagement with YouTube Analytics
  • Network referrals in GA
  • Track heavy user interaction
  • Social crawlytics
  • Followerwonk
  • Vimeo
  • Track Mentions on Twitter and Google
  • Track follower growth
  • Track presentations
  • Track growth in demographics
  • Track growth important conversion events
  • Event tracking in Google Analytics

SEA // Forget What You Know About SEA – Best Practices Debate

Stephan Walcher, Head of SEO Consulting, Catbird Seat GmbH(@stephanw)


Richard Baxter, CEO, SEOgadget (@richardbaxter)
Marco Loguercio,CEO, Find S.r.l. (@marcologuercio)
Stephan Walcher, Head of SEO Consulting, Catbird Seat GmbH(@stephanw)

brad-geddes-2Brad Geddes, Andrew Goodman and Richard Baxter take the stage again but this time to talk about best practices for paid search.

Brad Geddes walked through the importance of the use of ad extensions. Google announced a change in how they calculate their ad rank, this change has also created the demand for increased quality in their use which means that testing has become ever important.

Quality Score optimization is also still important but be mindful not to get obsessed with it; if your Quality Scores are good (70% are 7 – 10) don’t lose sleep over them. Additionally, It’s important that you put your data in perspective (e.g. segmenting by device). Some takeaways from Brad:

  • No one seems to know how ad extensions will influence Ad Rank calculations, having said that it’s important not to underestimate their impact. Another great reason to implement them!
  • Quality Score optimization is still a reality every account manager phases
    • Create tightly themed ad groups
    • Test ads
    • If poor landing pages, work on landing pages
    • Examine search queries
    • Add new queries or negative keywords
  • Examine bounce rates by device for landing page issues
  • Don’t use too many ads when you’re testing so you don’t distribute ad serve to thin.

Andrew Goodman walks through 7 common myths he hears and emphasises on the importance of planning, thinking outside of the box and not taking the easy way out.

  1. “We’re testing all the time! Just look at the huge number of tests running…” – watch out not to include too many ads in their ad groups to get actionable statistics
  2. “Test by the book” – What book? When you create tests watch out that you don’t limit yourself by best practices. Constant innovation is key to identify new opportunities and sometimes the strangest idea/test works the best. Try to stand out!
  3. “Set up hundreds of campaigns, so you can manage mobile & geo segments 8 days a week” – Segmentation is key but if you become too granular you might end up fragmenting your data making them not as statistically actionable
  4. “Outside of the UK, our strongest markets are Australia, China, and the USA” – By limiting your markets (because of handful/limited data) you limit your chance of incremental sales.
  5. “I never use Google’s new, complicated products. I don’t understand them!” – Before writing off new products like Dynamic Search Ads (DSA) you should at least test them, they might be a great addition to your current marketing effort
  6. “I can’t get that data. Google hides it.” – AdWords is full performance data as well as ways to slice and dice all that information, start by looking at your dimensions tab or use segments
  7. “Remarketing is easy to set up. It’s mainly about the targeting (audience definition) – Running successful campaigns means hard work and remarketing campaigns are no exception to that. Campaigns require the right message, eye-catching creative as well as good audience definition.


Written By
Haukur Jarl Kristjánsson, a.k.a “the Hawk” (@haukurjarl), is a well-rounded PPC strategist, SEM consultant and trainer based in Reykjavik, Iceland.
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