Top 5 Takeaways From HeroConf 2016

There was lots of great content this year’s HeroConf 2016, a PPC-centric conference hosted on our opposite coast out in Philadelphia, PA. It was also a blast to be a presenter myself this year, talking about Advanced International PPC and Advanced Competitor Intelligence. Didn’t get a chance to attend my sessions? Download my presentation slides & blog recaps!

Did I eat a delicious Philly cheesesteak while visiting? Of course! Did I also hear from smart, innovative speakers about new strategic ways to approach PPC? Absolutely!

Below, in the medium of tweets, are my top 5 best takeaways from HeroConf 2016!

#1: Mobile calls are on the rise

Mobile continues to grow in the search space, as advertisers analyze how their target audiences use and engage with ads on mobile devices. But don’t forget what phones were meant for in the first place – calls! As people continually go to their smartphones while they’re out and about to find on-the-go, on-demand answers, it’ll be crucial for campaigns to be opted into mobile and prepped to demonstrate their local relevancy with available call options.

#2: Quality Score is not worth pulling your hair out over

How many days have you spent worrying and obsessing over Quality Score? John Gagnon of Bing Ads spent his whole session breaking down what role Quality Score has in determining ad rank (hint hint – the formula is not simply Max CPC * QS) and how important it is for paid search marketers to see Quality Score as a health metric and not the end-all be-all determinant of how you optimize your PPC campaigns.

#3: Google’s Smart Lists are great to leverage for PPC remarketing

There continues to be a lot of talk about audience targeting options within paid search and how it can best be utilized to grow PPC campaigns. Paid search is moving away from being only keyword-focused, as advertisers realize how much more they can achieve when layering audience data with keyword intent. One great feature Google AdWords has for finding new, lower-funnel audience volume is with Smart Lists, which uses algorithmic data practices to identify users who are most likely to convert

#4: Excel is a powerful tool – use conditional logic formulas to create awesome optimization dashboards!

I can’t do justice in trying to sum up how awesome Amy’s presentation was at HeroConf — it was so great, she was voted into the top 4 best sessions! For those who love to geek out over Excel’s capabilities and how to apply that to PPC analysis, this is the slide deck for you. Amy shows how to set up dashboards, use macros, and save time on your repeat SEM tasks.

#5: Don’t get lost in making things pretty. Listen to your clients, keep data presentation clean & simple

As someone who has agency perspective top of mind, one of my favorite sessions was a panel featuring large enterprise brands who discussed what they look for in their PPC agency partnerships. The answers they shared was a great reminder in what all advertisers are really looking for in their agency – expertise, partnership, and transparency. It pained me to hear their stories about agencies they’d fired due to hidden data or performance misleadings. Overall, the big takeaway – listen to your clients. Don’t get lost in making things look shiny and perfect, but instead present data that is accurate, actionable, and clean.

So Many New Learnings!

What were you favorite takeways or learnings from HeroConf 2016? Share with us on Twitter @MaddieMarketer & @point_it, using the hashtag #heroconf.

Maddie Cary About the author

Maddie Cary is the Director of Paid Search at Point It Digital Marketing in Seattle. Her role involves overseeing and developing an amazing team of PPC account managers, while also running the Global SEM Program for Point It’s largest client. In 2015, she won the US Search Award for “Young Search Professional”. You can find her speaking & learning at conferences like SMX, HeroConf, & PubCon, or writing posts for the Wordstream blog. Outside of PPC, her biggest loves are her family, friends, and her idol, Queen Beyoncé.

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