Day 2 of SMX Advanced brought a number of new opportunities. After focusing on SEO on Day 1, I looked a little more at PPC advances in Day 2. I did start with a session on dealing with algorithmic adjustments, but much of that was information I was already using.
Another new focus coming out of SMX Advanced was PWA’s, or Progressive Web Apps. These are basically apps built into your site so you don’t have to load them or buy them from an app store. It just turns your site into an app that works everywhere. It could lead to the phasing out of apps. As Gary Illyes said, the average number of new apps downloaded per user per month is 0. Do we need apps anymore now that sites can do what apps do? It may not be there yet, but that is where things are leading.
If you are in the PPC world, there were lots of new tactics and learnings as Google has massively changed how Adwords works in the last year. As is the case with most things, if you have been doing things right in the past and targeting properly, it is mostly just tweaks and adjustments. With new expanded text ads, your ads look a little different. There are many advanced targeting methods available now like customer lists, and audience targeting, along with layered targeting. Some of these things won’t work for smaller businesses but show advancements that may filter down to smaller businesses in time. For example, targeting to customer lists requires a list of at least 1,000 identifiable targets. That means you have to have a list big enough for Google to be able to match the email address to a Google account. With gmail addresses, this can be a high match, but for other like yahoo, email, edu, and business addresses, these can be very low match rates, and you may actually need over 5,000 on your list just to meet the 1,000 threshold. This makes it somewhat prohibitive to smaller businesses.
Targeting by audience types and interests in AdWords is possible and more reliable now and is recommended for display targeting over simple website placements. You can also layer interests to be super targeted.
I also attended a session on advanced call tracking for those of you that look for your website to trigger calls, but struggle with measuring what works and what doesn’t because you are left with just asking the caller how they heard of you. They often don’t know the difference between SEO and PPC and other online methods, or just don’t remember. Some companies have some great products out there to record your calls and connect them to different marketing tactics, as well as pull out important words like “appointment” from calls to try to even tell which calls are actual conversions. Again, the small businesses will likely get access to this technology last, as it is cost prohibitive for most smaller businesses, but as the corporate world uses it more, the prices can come down and technology advance to where smaller businesses can use it. It is getting here.