Interview with Brad Geddes on SEA

Brad GeddesWith SMX Munich just around the corner I reached out to successful and well known AdWords speaker and trainer Brad Geddes.  Brad is the founder of online training and toolset provider Certified Knowledge but also a well published AdWords author and long term Search Engine Land Contributor.

Brad is an international speaker who has presented at more that 35 conferences, trained more than 10,000 businesses on AdWords and one of the most hopeful and supportive blokes in the search industry.

Brad is speaking at SMX Munich but also running a full day training session Advanced AdWords Training on Monday 24th March.  But I suggest that anyone in the AdWords/PPC space should consider both his training session and his two SMX presentation sessions.

Your session is focused on what’s new in AdWords? What’s your favourite new feature people should trial?
There are some new features from last year, such as extensions, that user must use now due to the changes in Ad Rank. In other cases, it really depends on the company and their goals as to what features you must try. For lead generation, the changes to how conversions are tracked is very nice and should be implemented. For ecommerce sites, mobile PLAs are doing much better than expected. For anyone doing display, in-market buyers and affinity categories are must tries. If you are advertising on mobile, you must do ad testing by device and use mobile ads.

So I don’t think there’s necessarily a best feature (outside of extensions), I think the best new features are based upon your account and overall goals.

This week Google Starting rolling out Search Ad Annotations, have you tested them yet and any insights you can share?
I’ve used them a little bit. The major issue seems to be getting consumers to rate the ads. I’m a much bigger fan of the ratings extension which can often be leveraged outside of ecommerce companies as its easier to get 3rd party reviews completed than get someone to complete these surveys. However, they are so new, I just don’t have enough data yet to make a case for how good they might be once they are more broadly used.

What are your views on the aggressive expansion on PLAs? Is PLAs going to replace organic results?
I don’t think Google can ever replace organic results. Users go to Google for the free results, and often find the ads as better places to find their results. If Google ever does away with free results, I think we’ll see a greater adoption of other search engines.

So apparently tag-less remarketing maybe coming to AdWords soon? Any thoughts? Concerns?
The idea is great since there is less work for companies to do to take advantage of remarketing, especially dynamic remarketing ads. However, there are many ways this can be implemented. As long as advertiser’s maintain control over how and when users are placed into lists, then this will be a good idea. However, if this is implemented with little user control, then I don’t think it will be widely adopted. Until we can see how this is going to work, its very hard to make good or bad statements around adoption.

Cross-Device remarketing is coming have you seen/tested it yet?
I’ve tested it with one company and its worked very well. As most people watch TV while using a secondary device, this will help with cross device marketing. I’m more interested in seeing RLSA cross device remarketing as most users are starting their search over again on a second device as opposed to just going to a site a second time.

Have you spent much time in campaigns utilising In App conversion tracking yet?
I have not. I’ve done a little app marketing, but not much; so I really can’t comment on this one.

Sponsored results appear to be coming to Knowledge graph any insights on possible impacts/results?
When the knowledge graph was introduced, competitive bidding and impressions took a huge dive. I think this is a way for Google to reclaim some of those impressions. If I’m a big brand; then I would not be a fan of it as its too easy for competitors to draw attention to their sites on brand queries. If I’m a competitor to a large brand, then I’m going to enjoy trying to siphon off some traffic from my competitors. In the end, I don’t think this is a big game changer; I think its going to be like advertising on large brand queries a year ago when it was much easier to maintain decent CTRs and low first page bids on competitor terms, which has become more difficult in the past year due to knowledge graph.

Bing is aggressively marketing and gaining market share how do you use Bing Ads in your SEA strategies?
As I’m based in the US, I use Bing quite a bit. Now, Bing doesn’t have huge market share in the US; but they have made their system quite compatible with AdWords to the point that they even have import from AdWords functionality. The feature that I like most about Bing is that they still allow you to make mobile only or tablet only ads. In areas where Google has removed control from advertiser’s, Bing has sided with the advertiser’s so its a great system to add some more volume to your search campaigns.

Do you have any plans for Advanced Google AdWords 3rd Edition?
Yes, I’ve been working on the 3rd edition for several months, and I’m happy to say it should hit store shelves in May 🙂

Advanced Google AdWords
Advanced Google AdWords 3rd Edition

What is the main ideas/points that you hope people to get from attending your session?
I’m speaking on two sessions on Day 1 at SMX Munich. The first at 11:35am on Panel 3 is on new features. For that session, the attendee should look at all the new features (there are a lot) and decide which ones are most important for them to try. In most cases, advertiser’s are not treating mobile correctly, so that is an area that I hope most people start to understand. However, as Google rolled out so many features, some of them will be useful for companies and other’s won’t apply. So everyone should attend to make sure they didn’t miss a new feature, and then adopt the ones that make the most sense to them.

I’m also speaking on automating accounts from 3:30pm on Panel 3. For that session, I’m going to walk through how to take some of the manual work out of your accounts and use automation to reach your goals instead of just taking more of your precious time. For that session, I’m hoping that everyone can find ways to add automation to their accounts so they have more time to spend on new features or testing.

I also see that you are running Advanced AdWords Training what can people expect?
At SMX Munich I’m doing a full day training on AdWords. In that session we’ll start with how keywords and ads fit together, and then go through some organization, ad testing, display network, and more. I just did a session at SMX West, and the average person has been managing AdWords more than 5 years and overall, everyone really liked it. I try to make sure I cover the basics as I layer in more advanced concepts so I don’t lose the beginners and yet have enough advanced concepts so that the more advanced users also enjoy the day and can take away action items to implement in their own accounts.

What is the best testimonial/result you have heard from someone who has attended one of your training sessions?
That’s tough as I’ve received hundreds of testimonials over the years. I think the best testimonials are really action based where I’ve had many people return year after year or have someone attend and then they sent their entire team to another workshop after attending a session. I think someone sending their entire team or returning to watch the content again might be the biggest testimonial you can receive.

What are some of the other sessions/speakers at SMX Munich 2014 that you are looking to see?
I’ll definitely watch The 3 Habits of Highly Effective Online Marketers from Fred. Fred and I are speaking together for 3 straight weeks; and he always has interesting content, so I will catch his presentation. I plan on watching the PLA panel to ensure I know any differences between PLAs by country and how they are being used and measured by country. Justin Cutroni is a great analytics speaker, and I’m always looking to learn new ways of implementing and using analytics, so I’ll catch one or two of his sessions. I’m sure I’ll see more sessions; but I have a tendency to start speaking to speakers and attendees to learn more about their favorite speakers or content and then pick my sessions based upon that feedback.

So if people want to follow/engage with you online where can they find you?
I’m on twitter at @bgtheory or Google+ +BradGeddes I also spend a little bit of time on LinkedIn

SMX-MunchenThank you Brad for your time in answering these questions and congrats again on the success you have had with Google+ and I hope everyone enjoys your SMX presentation.

So if you want to catch Brad Geddes speak and save €€€ on tickets for SMX Munich 2014 you can use our discount code LOSTPRESSSMX and you can register and find out more here.