6 Major Takeaways from Pubcon Las Vegas

PubconIn case you missed it, last week was Pubcon Las Vegas. As always, it was full of great information and networking. I know that there are already several posts out there talking about main takeaways from the conference, but I figured it was still worth mentioning a few things that stood out in the sessions that I went to.

Separate Brand and Non-Brand Terms in PPC Campaigns

This idea was pointed out by Craig Danuloff from ClickEquations. Here’s the problem: branded terms perform a lot differently than non-branded terms. If you mix the two in the same ad group or campaign you won’t be able to really see what’s going on. For example, brand terms can make a group with non-brand terms look like it’s performing better than it would be if you separated them out.

So in order to better keep an eye on what’s working and what isn’t you need to separate the two. He also recommended doing a negative match for your brand terms on all of your non-branded groups and campaigns to really make sure that you can really make sure that you’re separating the two.

Before Increasing Spend, Improve Your Quality Score

This one isn’t revolutionary, but still a really good reminder. Brad Geddes from bg Theory talked about the importance of improving the quality score for your keywords. If you look at your quality score and it is in the 4-6 range you should spend more effort improving your quality score before you just increase your bid.

The problem is that if you just increase your bid you’re just going to spend more. But if you increase your quality score first you’re going to end up spending less for a better position. In order to increase your quality score you need to focus on your click through rate, relevance of the ad to the keywords, and relevance of the landing page to the keywords.


There was a lot of talk about the new search engine Blekko at Pubcon this year. For those of you that aren’t familiar with it, Blekko is a search engine that is working to be much more transparent about their ranking factors.

So what does this mean to the SEO community? Easy competitive intelligence. If you find that the listings in Blekko are closely related to Google then you can use their information to study your competitors and gain some valuable insights.

Michael Gray (graywolf) pointed out that you can even use Blekko to find out what sites are running the same Google Analytics or AdSense code. This can be a great way to see what other domains your competitors own.

Cluster Your Organic Listings

This takeaway is short, but still worth mentioning. Craig Paddock talked about working to get secondary listings to the first page so that you can have a very good chance of Google clustering your rankings together. For example, if you are ranked #3 and #16, but get your second listing to the first page Google will likely cluster them so you have #3 and #4.

Spend some time going through your rankings to find the keywords with two listings, then work on getting that secondary listing to the first page.

Make Your Data Sexy

Joanna Lord recently wrote a great 3-part series about being an analyst, and as part of it she talked about making the data sexy with charts and graphs. I’ve been doing this a lot the last couple of months, but Tom Critchlow drove the point home in his Pubcon presentation.

It’s not enough just to put the data in graphs, but the kinds of graphs you use are just as important. Tom recommends never using stacked graphs, and only use pie charts if there are 2-3 variables max. The problem a lot of us run into is that we try to cram too much data into one chart.

For segment trend lines, it’s better to just break them up into separate graphs so they can be represented on the correct scale for each one.

Why is this important? Because whether you work in-house or for clients you need to be able to communicate what’s going on. If you or the decision makers can’t understand the data you can’t make good actions on it.

New Tools Galore

One of the great things about Pubcon and other conferences is all of the extra tools that you hear about. I already mentioned Blekko, but here’s a list of a bunch of others that I’ll be experimenting with in the near future:

There were a lot of other really good things that were said at Pubcon that I’m not listing here. I’m sure you can get a good summary of them from a lot of the other summary posts out there.

If you were at Pubcon and had a major takeaway that I haven’t mentioned, please leave it in the comments below!

Workshop & Webinar: Cornucopia of Search

seo.com logo

Discover the secrets to maximizing Return on Investment at the Cornucopia of Search workshop. Our last workshops have been hits, but this one might even be better. This time, it’s all about ROI and making the most money for your marketing buck. If you can’t come in person, we’ll also be streaming it live online.

Topics include:

  • ROI of Search Marketing
  • Proving ROI Through Google Analytics
  • Getting an ROI Out of Social Media
  • Creating an Online ROI Secret Sauce

SEO Workshop: Cornucopia of Search
Date: Thursday, Nov. 18 2010
Time: 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Location: Noah’s in South Jordan
322 West 11000 South
South Jordan, UT 84095

The workshop will be a smorgasbord of how to leverage online strategies and tools to both deliver and prove a big ROI from search marketing. It will be especially useful for marketers trying to show their value to their boss or to their clients.

Plus, we’re providing breakfast at 8:00 AM.


8:00 – 8:30 AM

Breakfast and Networking

Come early. Get a good seat. Eat some food. Talk with folks.

8:30 – 9:15 AM

ROI of Search Marketing: Nelson James, President of SEO.com

Nelson is bringing the stats and showing what online campaigns bring in the most money, dollar for dollar. You’ll also see nationwide trends of how marketing is shifting from traditional strategies to digital marketing that is trackable, more targeted and more efficient.

9:15 – 10:00 AM

Proving ROI Through Google Analytics: Greg Shuey, Director of SEO

Nobody knows Google Analytics like Greg. He’ll show you how to track each click and each success and failure. . This is how you’ll be able to show your boss the fruits of your efforts. Analytics is like the compass that guides each campaign. Shuey will demystify Google analytics so you can use it immediately.

10:00 – 10:45 AM

Getting an ROI Out of Social Media: Vince Blackham, Director of Social Media

Social media is the buzz right now. Getting followers and engaging them is one thing. But, can it really make you money? Can it really bring more business? And if it can, can you see it? Can you get an ROI out of Social Media? The answer is yes. Vince will show you social media strategies that go beyond just creating a Facebook and Twitter account.

10:45 – 11:30 AM

Creating an Online ROI Secret Sauce: Scott Smoot, SEO Manager

Since Scott wants it secret, we can’t give this all away, yet. But, his secret sauce will help you know how to create your own unique combination of SEO, PPC, conversion, design and social media to increase overall ROI. Basically, search marketing is more than just one component, and Scott will show you how to create the right mixture for your business.

11:30 – 12:00 PM

Meet with a Search Expert

Meet with a Search Expert & Receive a Free Website Analysis.

To learn more, click here.

Speaking Pitch Form For SMX East 2010 Now Open

I was just made aware that the speaking pitch form for SMX East 2010 is now open so head on over and submit your pitch.

Be ready to provide a 2 to 7 paragraph bio describing your experience and your expertise in the search marketing field. You should also be ready to provide a 2 to 7 paragraph pitch for one of the several sessions that will be covered at the event.

Speaking spots fill up very quick, so act fast and make your pitch today!

SMX East – Register By Friday To Get The Early Bird Rate

If you are planning on attending SMX East in New York City this October, you need to register by this Friday, July 30th to get the early bird rate. For $1,195 you will receive three days of amazing content, make great connections, and come away with the latest search marketing weapons.

The multi track program includes advanced, intermediate, and beginner level sessions. Each session is focused on some aspect of search marketing, such as paid search, SEO, social media, local, mobile, and conversion optimization. This is not a conference you will want to miss.

For those who are waiting to fill out a speaking pitch form, I guess we will just have to wait awhile longer. Although their website says that their speaking pitch form will open up the week of July 19th, it still hasn’t shown up and there have been no updates as to when it will.

To fill out a speaking pitch form (when it becomes live) you can do so here.

To register for SMX East, you can do it here.

Here Is What You & I Missed At BlueGlass LA

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to make it to the BlueGlass LA conference, but I was heavily monitoring Twitter and reading all of the live blogs that I could and I would have to say that it sounded AMAZING! I also hear that they are considering putting together another conference in New York City later this year.

However, even if they put together a NYC conference, we still missed this one and for those of you who were not able to attend this year, here is a recap of all the juicy nuggets that you missed:

If you are interested and want to be even more jealous of what you missed, you can view Dana Lookadoo‘s picture set from the conference here.

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