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5 Things I Learned at SMX Advanced

I was at SMX Advanced last week and spent some time reviewing my notes and take aways from the sessions in the hopes of formulating some sort of coherent to-do list for myself. I noticed a couple of things I learned, so I thought I would share:

1. Google’s search query report just got more useful. Many less “other unique queries” and more actual queries exposed. I checked this one out myself, and its true, so thanks Google for making that better!

2. Only 5% of internet users time is spent searching, the other 95% is spent doing other things on the web. Fascinating. See, I told you content targeting was a good idea.

3. No one seems excited about bid management tools. One session has presenters explicitly talked about ways to calculate for yourself what your ideal bid should be and most people I talked to either weren’t using a system or didn’t think it was worth the money. Also with quality score’s ability to enormously impact bids, most marketers thought that was more important to optimize quality score than finely monitoring the bid itself.

4. Quality score is super important. There was a whole session on quality score and how important it is at the account, ad, keyword and landing page levels. Also general advice was given that if you have keywords with a score below 5, you should consider removing them or at least moving them to alleviate possible tainting. I knew it was important, but this really made me think much more about it.

5. Mobile is still early days. The mobile session presenters were great, but my big takeaway was that unless you’ve got a super perfect for mobile product (like a ringtone, or iphone app), then its still really early days for you to gain mobile adopters. The volume isn’t there yet.

Thanks to everyone who gave their time and expertise to making the sessions and roundtable discussions so worthwhile! I had a great time speaking and meeting lots of other search engine marketers.

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