Search Engine Strategies Chicago 2008: The Convergence Combo: Advertisers, Agencies, Automation… Oh My!

Moderator:
Greg Jarboe, President & Co-founder, SEO-PR

Speakers:
Craig Macdonald, VP of Marketing & Product Development, Covario Inc.
Ellen Watson, Relationship Marketing Manager for Child Care Brands, Kimberly-Clark Corp.

This is a live session blog from Search Engine Strategies Chicago 2008, please excuse any typos and/or fragments. Thank you!

Ellen Watson – Kimberly Clark:

Paid search strategy requires balance:
Budget, Volume and Traffic Quality

2007 Strategy at Kimberly Clark was like this:
Fixed Budget
Max CPC set
Campaigns optimized for conversions

Sacrificed:
Impression share
Average position
Branded terms vulnerable

2008 Strategy now looks like this:
Maximize impressions share
Compete aggressively for top terms
Maintained good conversion

Required:
Increased budget
Regular monitoring

Agency partner priorities:
Forecast annual budget
Managed bids daily
Changed reporting to include new metrics
Adjusted match type, ad copy, landing pages to maintain performace

Global Search Lessons Learned:
US engines sufficient for North American campaigns
Server location is a big issue for international and localized sites – ip address of the site should be in the same country as the address of the server, but local may require a large investment in IT infrastructure

Craig McDonald, Covario:

The New (economic) Reality:
PPC growth at 5-10% level (down from 35%+ growth)
Need to get more from SEO
NO headcount increases in foreseeable future
Squeeze 15% cost improvements out of programs
3 month payback periods, max

The Role of Technology
Paid Search – campaign management automation
Natural Search – automation of audits and tracking and performance
Comprehensive Search Management – SEO/ content convergence, Automation PPC program impact on natural search results

There was then a lively question and answer session on spending in organizations.

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