Paid Search For Evolving Pros: David Szetela Shares Smart Tips to Remain Relevant

From the days of Mad Men to modern times, New York City is one of the hubs of cutting-edge advertising. And one of the industry’s leading go-to guys is David Szetela. Former Owner and CEO of Clix Marketing PPC agency, David has experience in a wide range of companies, from small magazine publishers to behemoth brands a la Apple Computer and Ziff-Davis. His paid search insights have been showcased in top-shelf online publications including MediaPost, Search Engine Watch, Search Engine Land, MarketingSherpa, to name a few.

But wait, there’s more! He’s a familiar face on the conference landscape, previous host of WebmasterRadio’s PPC Rockstars show, author of multiple books all about paid search, including Customers Now (2009) and Pay-Per-Click Search Engine Marketing: An Hour a Day (2010, Wiley/Sybex), organizer of LinkedIn group PPC Pro People and manager of the Twitter list PPC Advertising Experts.

So yeah. He’s into paid search.

No surprise then that David will be featured next week at SES NY on the Next Generation Paid Search Strategies panel. AIMCLEAR had the chance to share a casual Q&A with Mr. Szetela to pick his brain on all-things PPC and get a sneak peek at his upcoming presentation. Read on for the goods!

| AIMCLEAR: David Szetela! Welcome, and thanks  for your time today 🙂 . Tell the readers at home a bit about yourself. Who are you? Where do you come from? How did you get here?

David Szetela: I’m a proud New Englander from Connecticut. I got into The Industry via a long career in direct response marketing – mostly direct snail-mail marketing. I’ve been immersed in the PPC world for almost 10 years.

| aC: Impressive. You’ve been steeped in all-things PPC forever, it seems– you’re most certainly an authority on the topic and thus qualified to speak to its evolution and even predictions on its future. So… what about PPC has changed completely over the past 2, 5, 10 years– and what will always be the same?

DS: The two biggest changes have been in the number of targeting methods and the number of reporting options. When I started practicing PPC, Google had just recently introduced the ability to target the Search and Display networks separately. Now there are literally dozens of targeting options. Likewise, there’s a rich variety of data points that can be analyzed to gauge the performance of campaigns, ad groups, ads and keywords.

There’s now much more power in the PPC manager’s arsenal – but the increasing complexity has made the job tougher to learn and perform.

The few things I don’t expect to see change: the auction model, and the ability to pay based on an action – a click or a conversion.

| aC: Noted. Top three things a PPC pro needs to know to remain relevant:

DS: (1) For Display advertising, target people, not keywords. First define your target audience and its subsegments. Then use Topic, Interest, Remarketing, Age and Gender options to target just your customer set. (2) The increasing complexity of PPC means that managers will gravitate to campaign automation over time. Most managers should be using bid automation right now – either Google’s or a third party’s like Acquisio. And expect to see more tools that automate key functions like ad testing. (3) The PPC world will continue to evolve and change at a blistering pace. Stay up-to-date by reading blogs, joining online groups, and following Twitter lists like this one.

| aC: Awesome. Which character on Giligan’s Island do you most closely relate to, and why?

DS: The Professor, since I’m kinda sciency-geeky, and like him, I had the hots for Mary Ann.

| aC: On the morning of Day 3 at SES NY you’ll be speaking on the Next Generation Paid Search Strategies session. Can we get a sneak peek as to what you’ll be dishing up to audience members clever enough to attend?

DS: (1) How anyone can get an AdWords master Client Center – and why they should. (2) How to double conversion rates with dynamic landing pages. (3) When and Why you should do what Google tells you not to do.

| aC: Lightning round! Favorite travel destination, ethnic cuisine, and wild animal, GO!

DS: Malta, Middle Eastern, Porpoise.

| aC: Just delightful. Thanks so much for your time today, sir! We’ll be seeing you in New York. Stay cool!

photo credit: Dom Dada on flickr

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