Search Marketing Summit 2016 — Ace Takeaways from Day One Down Under

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA — Day One down undah’ is a wrap! With 16 speakers from all over the globe, the day was jam-packed with advanced PPC knowledge and leading-edge SEO insights. Recapping a handful of the internationally recognized speakers, there was one solid understanding: Users are King and Mobile is poised to be more powerful than Queen Bey.

Kicking off the day was Tim Ash from Site Tuners. Conference director and AIMCLEAR friend, Barry Smyth, instructed Ash to fire up the room and Tim didn’t disappoint. Taking us all back to high school anatomy, Ash gave us a crash course in the fundamentals of brain activity and why users are programmed to respond to stimulation and visuals the way that they do.

Forget Awareness -> Interest -> Decision -> Action, marketers should be focusing on working users through the Brain Stem -> Limbic System -> Cerebral Cortex. Ash arguing that given the way the human brain is programmed, choice kills. Eliminating landing page clutter and making the preferred choice obvious becomes a more powerful user experience than providing extra selection and inventory. Asking a user to choose from more than 4 options is dropping a grenade on the human brain.

Ash then ignited a firestorm in the audience when he laid out what imagery on a landing page does to the human brain. Text is the equivalent of lighting a match in the brain, images (especially those with human faces) drop grenades in the cerebral cortex, MOTION is the atomic bomb of attention and should be used as a last resort. With this bit of nuclear advice, Ash triggered a string of buts, hows, and what ifs with audience members clinging to their dynamic landing page banners and auto-play video. Ash argued that using motion in ads is effective to cut through the noise of whatever channel the ad is presented on, but when it comes to your landing page, marketers can be smarter by sending home the message through text and striking imagery.

The Aussie audience freshened up with an Earl Grey break and then started down the session tracks of the day. First up on the PPC side was Frederick Vallaeys from Optymyzr. As one of the first 500 employees at Google, when Vallaeys speaks, marketers listen and this session was no exception — slide after slide of wickedly valuable automated scripts for Product Listing Ad (PLA) campaigns. With a reported 162 percent growth in PLA ad clicks YoY and 43 percent of all ad clicks for retailers coming from PLAs, they are an eCommerce must.

Whipping through his top 5 automated scripts for PLAs, Vallaeys provided links and comfort to the audience by saying most of automation can be done through CTRL-C & CTRL-V. Marketers frantically typing turned to frantically snapping to capture the gold that Vallaeys was offering. AIMCLEAR‘s Snapchat (username: AIMCLEAR) was an anthology of Vallaeys’ slides. Tune in now to catch up or head to the Optmyzr Blog.



Gary Illyes and Cindy Krum followed with a one-two mobile punch. A Trend Analyst for Google, Illyes knows (and can sometimes even say) the next moves for Big G. His points were simple yet insightful.

  1. Mobile Friendly: You need it. Honestly, it’s no longer a question, it’s a reality and Illyes is sick of talking about it. Just do it.
  2. Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP): Get comfortable with it. Speed is one of the biggest factors on the mobile web, Illyes even hinting that mobile page load will be an important ranking factor during the next mythical algo update (but we didn’t hear that from him). Forty percent of users abandon a mobile landing page if it does not load within 3 seconds. Start getting comfortable with AMP now, developers!
  3. Progressive Web Apps (PWA):They are becoming a thing. PWAs provide all the goodness of websites but with new capabilities and screaming fast user experience. One of the nuts Google is looking to crack is converting the 20 percent of “other” activity that happens within apps and outside of web pages. PWAs are their secret weapon so get ahead of the game and start understanding their value now.

In a seamless transition, Cindy Krum took the Sydney stage and gave the audience an overhaul on Predictive Search and Google Now. Predictive Search is Google providing a user content before a search is keyed through a symantec prediction of needs across all devices.

We already know, though don’t love to think about, that Google is paying attention to what we do, where we go, and how we search at every hour of every day. With their host of products, Google can capture ALL the data when users are logged in to their Google accounts. Searching for restaurants in Darling Harbor during a desktop Chrome session, your mobile device could provide predictions through any number of signals after. Below are some of the signals that Google Now (Android) and the Google App (iPhone) are using to understand users:

    • Google Now
    • App Notifications
    • App Messaging
    • Media providers
      • Chromecast, YouTube Music
    • Reminder settings
    • Email Integrations (Flights, lodging, orders, event, trains, restaurants)

The big takeaway from this Big Brother overview is that there is a bigger blur between apps and web. Following a similar sentiment from Illyes, as long as the user experience is good, no one cares how it’s presented. As marketers we can strap in for the ride by ensuring our Google products are up-to-date and optimized as well as integrating accessibility into our assets. Google is looking beyond taps, swipes, and keys to voice and gesture control.

Larry Kim concluded Day One, from the future! He was sent by John Connor to alter our timeline and supply us with 5 SEO strategies to survive rankbrain judgement day.

  1. Identify account Donkeys (underperforming keywords) and Unicorns (high-performing keywords).
    1. Create a relative analysis of keyword CTR v. Average Position to benchmark your keywords against themselves. Anything below the average line of regression is a donkey and the outliers above are beloved unicorns.
  2. Convert Donkeys to Unicorns
    1. Identify 10 donkeys to begin to start testing conversion. Test headlines and ads by leveraging emotional triggers, find the winning combination and apply to all Donkeys.
  3. Maximize CTR
    1. Beyond editing CTA button color, summit Unicorn hill by changing the landing page offer value completely.
  4. Facebook Ads & Google Display Network
    1. Use the power of display advertising to perform search inception by priming users to make them aware of your business before they search. Utilize look-a-like and similar audiences to increase your reach and brand presence.
    1. Do it.

Old tactics of SEO don’t work anymore, and there are even negative correlations for some historic “best practices.” The new tactics are user engagement metrics, start aiming for them and understanding them now. The worst thing you could do is wait for another algorithm update.

Stay tuned for a Day Two recap including all the Sydney must-eats and sees!

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