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Dean Marsden

150 Money Saving And Campaign Optimising Tips From Biddable World

21st Jan 2014 News, Events, Paid Search 12 minutes to read

Biddable WorldAt times PPC can feel like an afterthought at some conferences or a dirty word that no one wants to talk about. So when we heard about Biddable World, an entire event devoted to PPC, we jumped at the chance to attend and bring you the best tips from the day.

We’ll be recapping each of the sessions as they finish so be sure to check back throughout the day. Our very own Tara West is also speaking later in the day and we’ll have her slides on the Koozai blog shortly.

Session 1

Jon Myers – Navigating the Biddable Landscape

A Brief History Of Biddable Media:

1994 – first gif banner advertising AT&T

1998 – goto.com later renamed Overture: The first keyword bidding auction tool

1999 – Google had no Paid advertising option

2000-2007 – Google started advertising.

2007-2013 – Facebook, twitter, YouTube all running advertising

And now (2014) – Google are seeing an increase CTRs, impressions are down.Yahoo/Bing seeing increase in CTR and clicks.
It’s estimated that Google mobile revenue will see a huge growth in the coming years

Product listing ads (PLAs):

  • Product listing ads (PLAs) really perform well.
  • There was a huge growth in PLAs around December 2012, and they have continued to grow.
  • CPC went up 53% year on year for PLAs.


  • Facebook exchange (FBX) launched Sep 2012, is a great tool
  • Facebook active users are continuing to grow
  • Newscast placement ads outperform sidebar adverts, according to Marin software data, in terms of conversions and low cost
  • Custom audiences have much lower CPA than category based advertising
  • Change creatives every 3-4 days, don’t leave the same ad creatives  running

Display advertising:

  • Becoming more of an auction based system.
  • About 53% of display ads in 2013 are auction based
  • Display has many, many more buying points (buying networks) than just search advertising

How Marin Software sees the future:

  • Audiences can become keywords. We will be able to understand the users more than just the keyword used.
  • The key is to enrich and expand advertising based on audiences.
  • In the next few years Marin Software believes that you will be able to buy TV ad spots through online advertising platforms such as Sky AdSmart; and it will be auction based.
  • It will also be possible to buy radio adverts this way.
  • Outdoor advertising could work well with the proximity of mobile users; highly targeted adverts.

Heather Robinson – Tentative Steps into Twitter Advertising

How it works:

There are 3 advertising options:

  • Promoted tweets – great for reach and awareness; appear in the newsfeed.
  • Promoted accounts – great for increasing followers. Appear in the ‘who to follow’ section and now the newsfeed on iOS and Android devices.
  • Promoted trends – great for maximum exposure.

How’s it different?

  • Social advertising is not like search advertising at all.
  • How does twitter advertising compare to Facebook? More reach on Twitter; higher response rates but much lower mobile ad Market share.

Goals, targeting and tactics:

Your goals might be to create followers, engagement, leads or awareness. Each campaign should focus on just one goal.

Targeting options in Twitter:

  • Target by keywords in timeline
  • Target by interest
  • Target by device (mobile devices etc)
  • Target by geography (region and city in UK and USA),
  • Target by gender (Twitter guesses gender by what you tweet as they don’t have this data when you sign up)
  • Target similar to existing followers – whether these are you followers or another accounts.

What works:

  • Ask a question
  • Use images in tweets to grab attention and increase awareness
  • Give a ‘top tip’
  • give users a resource or freebie

Twitters Lead generation cards (set up in Twitter advertising platform):

  • Offers, downloads, competitions
  • Collect name, username and email
  • Then integrate into your CRM

Twitter now has conversion tracking. Use Twitter Analytics as it has several useful reports, including:

  • Twitter activity report – to help identify opportunities (look for organic words and targeting)
  • Followers report – to refine your targeting (interests and location reports useful)

Ben Harper – How & Why To Become a Facebook Power Editor Power User

  • Power Editor is Facebook’s own bulk editing tool.
  • Nothing goes live until you upload your ads, much like AdWords editor.
  • It has powerful features, is more advanced, saves time and it’s free!
  • New features are rolled out to power editor first.

What can be achieved with power editor?

  • A case study saw 312% decreases in costs for fan acquisition.
  • Paid content impressions also reduced in cost.

5 Tips to get best results.

  • Bidding strategy – customise max bids when in Optimised CPM bidding mode so you can concentrate on optimising for goals.
  • Bulk editing – duplicate and amend ads (using copy and paste ads and campaigns), create multiple test campaigns to save time.
  • Advanced audiences – use advanced audiences to reduce wastage: custom audiences, lookalike audiences, partner categories (in US at moment)
  • Placement – customise where your placements are shown to help manage your CPC and CPA.
  • Data extraction – query power editor on the ‘potential audience’ to gain competitor insight.

Facebook power editor can be found in the Ads Manager section of Facebook.

Session 2

Nick Christian – Black Hat PPC

  • Search is different, it’s not forcing someone to do something.
  • It is not possible to attribute all search advertising to profits. All we can do is track clicks and sales. Last click attribution is not always best.

Three Points to search marketing:

  • There’s no such thing as irrelevant traffic.
  • Everything has a conversion rate – There’s nothing you can’t afford if the price is low enough
  • PPC profitability is down to CPCs and average order value.
  • Targeting involves location, language, devices. There are many factors to consider.
  • Look to add to and expand campaigns, its not all about excluding targeting.
  • Take into account what is happening on your site. Use onsite search data.
  • Google enhanced campaigns can provide so much more insights and you can do much more.
  • Don’t just work on traditional ad groups and campaigns, use dimensions and look more in depth.
  • Target widely and learn from what doesn’t work.

Richard Fergie – Is eBay Wrong About Paid Search?

  • Brand keywords did not make eBay any money.
  • Paid search needs to position itself well on the curve between profit and spend. This curve graph can be different shapes. The goal might be to push the area of profitability up with the increase in spend, resulting in more sales/conversions.
  • Its important to correctly value PPC traffic as it influences other channels and is influenced by other channels. Attribution modelling can help with this, for example measuring first touch and last touch.
  • To dramatically measure the true impact of a channel is to stop doing it all together. The problem is seasonality makes it difficult to compare before and after.
  • Instead of stopping the whole thing at once, try stopping bits of it to minimise losses.

The following are ways you can test paid traffic:

  • Pausing keyword or campaigns can mean google AdWords just tries to match those to elsewhere in your account unless you are careful with negatives.
  • Use paid/organic report if your concern is the interaction between AdWords and organic search. However, organic traffic is pulled from webmaster tools data so it is not very accurate.
  • Experiment with time slicing to compare ads that run at different time periods and then switch the time the following week. This can be a good way to test ads but your average buying cycle might be too long to use this method.
  • Geo slicing is where you test ads by location. If your testing in the UK ignore London, gather enough data from each location, analyse data by population size and discard data from small locations where it could be difficult to spot a change.
  • When testing, expect to see a difference of 5% (based on the tests Richard has done). 5% may make a small difference to your conversions however it might make a big difference.

Tara West – Inside AdWords Quality Score: Different Types Of Quality Score & How To Optimise For Them

A full write-up of Tara’s presentation can be viewed here.

Sarah Conway – Biddable Media & Online Shopping – Are You Being Left On The Shelf?

  • 2013 saw no more free clicks from PLAs. Everyone is now paid.
  • PLAs responsible for 35% of clicks in Q3 2013.
  • Spend on PLAs increased 196% in 2013 year on year.
  • PLAs are going to be expanding to fill more space in the Google results.
  • Bing product ads are soon to be opening up to advertisers.
  • From search engine land survey: people click on ads with free shipping and low price.
  • Make sure you have all your feed attributes set up.
  • Go granular and drill down as far as can with Google’s product categories.
  • The best way to check for issues is to launch it.
  • To begin with you may just want to target everything with a lower bid, but don’t leave it at this. Start to break out products and bid higher, and then utilise product types.
  • Segment data when optimising PLAs such as mobile devices, day of week, time of day etc.
  • Tricks to optimise further are to increase your budgets and bids, use AdWords labels, and break out bestselling products.

Session 3

Jim Banks – Every Picture Tells A Story – The Role Of Display Ads In The Biddable Media Mix

Image ads are about standing out.

Types of graphical adverts that don’t look like adverts work well:

  • They tell stories
  • They resonate with you
  • They shock you
  • They are different

Why graphical ads don’t work well:

  • They bore you, eg professional services ads
  • They get in the way of what you are doing
  • They are ‘you centric’
  • They get blocked

Tests you can do:

  • Trust signals, to back up quality
  • Future or past themed
  • Use Standard or irregular shapes
  • Use familiar looks e.g. Make it look like Facebook but not infringe copyright
  • Use buttons
  • Use straight vs angled photos
  • Use pictures or text
  • Test balance of image vs text
  • Use stock photos or natural photos
  • Use fake interaction, like a survey question and multiple choices
  • Use sharp imagery vs blurry images


  • 4mads.com
  • Sitescout.com
  • Whatrunswhere.com

Nathan Wood – View Through Conversions – Not Worth The Paper They Aren’t Printed On?

  • Advertising is everywhere, on different devices and mediums.
  • Digital media demands accountability. Last click attribution is now an old model. Good attribution is difficult and expensive at the moment.
  • View through conversions are just a measurement of the user journey to a conversions. Not to be confused with assisted conversions.
  • Exposure increases affinity. Increased exposure to something leads to more favourable reaction.
  • Exposure to adverts affects other channels. Research shows there is a noticeable affect of being exposed to an advert as to whether a user searches for your brand or goes to your website.
  • Forecasting view through conversions is impossible. There are so many other factors such as seasonality, creative, inventory, etc.
  • Measuring view through conversions requires some previous performance to identify the uplift in activity.
  • Test for view through conversions by a/b ad testing; and test by different platforms.

John Were – Performance Display – Best Practices

(Replacing Tash Davids)

  • Plan where you want your display advertising to go.
  • Use tagging: Tag management solutions, adserving containing tags and media buying platform tags.
  • Set a good campaign structure.
  • Prospect for new users. What audience do you want to target? Choose the context of your adverts and what reach you want to achieve.
  • Retarget existing users. Segment users by different ways. For example, segment by how recent visitors came to your website I.e. Less than one day, 1-2 days, 4-7 days, 7-14 days, 14-30 days, more than 30 days.
  • Report, analyse, visualise and optimise.

Martyn Bentley – Programmatic Predictions For 2014

In the last year there has been a lot of activity in programmatic media, for example, Twitter’s tailored audiences, many acquisitions and buy-outs.

Predictions for 2014:

  • Audience and device fragmentation will increase. More people second screening
  • Flow advising will emerge. Flow advertising is where users can be traced across their different devices and platforms.
  • Marketing silos will continue to disappear. Who will claim conversions on Facebook, the social team or paid advertising team?
  • Native advertising won’t scale very well. branded content is been published on the front page of magazines.
  • Mobile advertising will get better. It’s great already but the value of mobile is ever increasing.
  • Content marketing will go mainstream. Content marketing makes brands more responsible.
  • Corporate marketers will embrace networked innovation.
  • Cookies won’t die yet. The cookie is still very valuable.
  • Marketers will become closer to their CTOs and CIOs to make use of more data.
  • Video will grow further. Marketing departments are starting to move budgets away from tv and to online video.

Session 4

Nandita Patkar – International Campaigns – Why Biddable Media Is The Answer

  • In 2016 Ecommerce is said to be worth $2 trillion, with an 18% growth rate, especially in Latin America.
  • Growth is seen by growing affluent classes in emerging markets across the globe.
  • There are barriers to entry. Need to understand localised markets, payment systems, logistics, local taxes, duties and regulations.
  • Biddable media has the flexibility of reach, it has measurability, and it can be optimised in real time.
  • Biddable media needs to immerse itself in culture, research important holidays and days of the year in other cultures.
  • Target the right context and intent. Gain insights into behaviour and keywords for each demographic and geographic. Use local knowledge from people in these areas.
  • Use technology to segment audiences.
  • Create adverts that resonate with the local cultures and demographics.
  • Optimise engagement. Personalise adverts, split test adverts. Use dynamic ads to show the right ad to the right person.
  • Perform conversion optimisation on ads and landing pages.
  • Don’t have path to conversions set for all localilities. It will different significantly for each region and demographic.

Ali White – How Profitable Is Google AdWords For You?

  • Ecommerce is really straightforward. You need costs and revenues which shows profits.
  • If you’re not in Ecommerce, you only get goal conversions, not usually their value. So use Google Analytics to estimate a goal’s value.
  • CRM systems show more insight into customer revenue. So apply this back to your conversion in Google Analytics.
  • Google’s universal Analytics is game-changing with the ability to import offline conversions.
  • As well as importing revenues to universal Analytics, you could also import product costs and profits margins.

Dr. Wing Yee Lee – Navigating The Maze Of Google Bid Adjustment

  • The potential of bid adjustments can be big. Whether it be device bid adjustments, location bid adjustments or Time of day bid adjustments.
  • Be aware of what area you are targeting when adjusting bids by radius of a location. 5 miles in London is a lot different to 5 miles in the lake district.
  • Calculate bid adjustments for mobile using clicks and revenue from desktop/tablets and mobiles
  • Work out the ratios and apply to the ratio of the desktop/tablet CPC to get your mobile CPC.

That’s a wrap for this year’s event. A big thank you to the organisers and all of the speakers for such a great show.

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