PPC Takeaways From Pubcon

Besides the “Awesome” yeti shirts and amazing buffets there was much to takeaway from this years Pubcon conference. I was fortunate to attend and represent Utah PPC. Many of the industry leaders in PPC attended. They shared their tips and tricks to help us master Adwords and take accounts to the next level. There were plenty of interesting speakers. Among them were; David Szetela, John Ellis and Kevin Lee. Many of these speakers had several opportunities to speak in numerous sessions and were also available after to answer questions one on one. Sitting in on as many sessions as I could here are a few of my PPC takeaways from Pubcon.


As PPC managers we are constantly analyzing data and generating reports for our clients. John Ellis offered great insights on creating automated reports using Google analytics data. John stressed using Google Sheets and app scripts together to create custom reports. Since most of us have clients with different goals and needs, these reports make it easy to customize and include different data for each PPC account. These reports can be tailored to each client and provide only the information that matters. The reports can be customized to include different templates, business logos, color schemes…etc. Using app scripts and Google Sheets can change the way we do reporting. To learn more visit https://developers.google.com/analytics/solutions/report-automation-magic Advantages of using Google Analytics to create reports using app scripts include:

  • Fast & Easy to gather data
  • No limitations as far as building a template
  • Custom Designs, visualizations, dashboards
  • Live Reports

Watch a Google Analytic professional Now

David Szetela was the “Conversion Optimizer” King! If there were any PPC managers out there wondering about Conversion Optimizer and missed Pubcon, Szetela’s session was informative. So what is Conversion Optimizer? Conversion Optimizer Changes your bids automatically every time an ad is displayed. What you do is set a target CPA goal and CO takes control. CO will find the optimal CPC to reach your target CPA. Not every account is eligible for CO, Google sends out an alert within Adwords when a campaign is eligible. Among the various tips David shared here are some important takeaways:

  •  CO is most effective with a lot of conversions
  • Wait until you’ve reached 30 conversion or more over a span of 30 days. This allows Google to work more effectively.
  • After 2-3 weeks regulate by changing Target CPA.

Screen Shot 2013-10-31 at 11.21.20 AM

 One of the main PPC topics at Pubcon was Google’s new Adrank Change that took place on October 22. Ad extensions will now impact your Adrank. In the words of Kevin Lee, “Its time to test ad extensions to see which ones produce best results and how they will give you the ability to trigger ads or not.” By including ad extensions into your campaigns there will be an increased opportunity to achieve a higher Quality Score. The pros of having an increased Quality Score are; the possibility to experience lower CPCs at the same position, lowered billed CPC or a better Average position. Kevin Lee emphasized that an increase in Quality Score can lift conversions. If searchers find your ads and landing pages to be more relevant you can experience:

  • Higher Average PositionsScreen Shot 2013-10-31 at 11.23.48 AM
  • Less Expensive Clicks
  • Higher Conversion Rates
  • Increased Volume with better ROI

Before ending Kevin encouraged everyone to stay educated on best practices. To find more information on the new Adrank change and recommendations for using extensions follow the link below.


As with any conference there is a plethora of notes taken and to dos. The next task is to put those notes to good use by testing new ideas, tools and theories. Thanks to all the Pubcon speakers who shared their insights and strategies.

Any other insights or takeaways please don’t hesitate to share.





Best of PubCon for PR Pros

This was my first year at PubCon (an internet marketing and social media conference), though several of our team are regular speakers. Matt Siltala is a bit of a PubCon celeb (he’s famous for his beard and seo/social street cred). Here’s the team in Vegas.

Avalaunch Media executive team

I went to most of the PR-related sessions, most of which were exceptional from both a PR and an SEO/social perspective. Here are my best tips from the top sessions for PR pros.

1. Easily buy SEO and do PR without Breaking the Rules.

PR is content: links, likes, pluses, traffic, media, and blogger mentions. Marty Weintraub showed us how he copies the direct link to a Google+ post.  It’s in a dropdown menu:

Google Plus direct link
How to find the direct link to a Google+ post.

Here’s a direct link for a report from our yeti on how to do social media right: https://plus.google.com/115671137696411026556/posts/JrGQt9vc6gw

After you have the direct link, tweet about it using the Google+ link. Next promote the tweet for the hashtag #pubcon (Marty notes on this one he links directly to a blog post). He also posts on his personal Facebook page where he has many friends/followers and pays to boost the post so more of them see it. On his brand page he uses the power editor and creates many versions of the ad to show in the newsfeed. He targets his trade/industry people, in this case to places like Search Engine Journal, Pubcon and SMX. He creates another version of his ad for PR – places like Mashable, producers, show hosts, and local ad agencies. In addition, you can buy LinkedIn ads, Bing ads, and even run Google AdWords to the post.

While there may not be a direct correlation between Google+ interactions, there is a correlation. If you share and someone engages, then their connections see your content. Then your content rises when that person and their friends do related Google searches.

2. Press Outreach Secrets

Rob Woods along with moderator Warren Whitlock talked about creating press and Rob introduced me to a few new PR tools that I can’t wait to try.

  • Do a keyword search in Google News to find who is writing on the topic you want to cover. In Google News there is a link next to the author’s name and that takes you to their Google+ page. Some people put their email address on their “About” page or there is an icon to email them directly without knowing their email address (some have this disabled). If that fails you can tag them. Scraperr will scrape the top 500 results from any search term. From there you can pay someone on oDesk or Mechanical Turk to find contact info for the articles written that fit what you’re trying to pitch. Or you can do research to find contact information yourself.


  • Subscribe to Muckrack to build a list of journalists on Twitter related to your topic.
  • Search Followerwonk profiles for journalists from publications or blogs you want to do outreach to. For example you could search “tech reporter” or “sports reporter” or even search the URL field for the publication itself, such as “mashable.com, techcrunch.com, etc. You can export the results to a csv file. You can even download a file of only your followers and see if there are people from blogs or news organizations who follow you that you could reach out to.
  • Search abyznewslinks.com to find the newspapers and TV stations for every city, state and many countries in the world. Or find the 15 most popular news websites here.
  • Check out Pitchbox to do research and keep track of your outreach efforts and results.

 3. Pinterest Marketing – How to Leverage the Fastest Growing Social Network

You know you truly love a subject when you’ve studied it for hours and still want to learn all you can about it. That’s how I am about Pinterest marketing. John Rampton shared a simple Pinterest marketing plan.

  • Spend 30 mins. on http://postris.com to see what is trending and to get ideas for your business niche. Breaking news, seasonal or pins for the holidays do well.
  • Go to the “popular” category on Pinterest and comment on the top 30 or so pins in your niche. I’d add that you could repin or like their pins.
  • Use auto-follow tool ninjapinner to auto follow back people who follow you.
  • Plan out your pins with ideas you had.
  • Use Viral Tag to schedule out your pins.

Vince Blackham shared some great case studies of pins that killed it on Pinterest. Check out his slides here. In the Q&A Vince gave advice to a vacation rental company that applies to other businesses too:  “don’t promote yourself, promote the experiences”. So for this company based in Park City, Utah, I picture boards with the best places to eat, the festivals, the farmer’s markets, the events, places to stay (with their properties), skiing, and outdoor activities in Park City, Utah.

For additional Pinterest marketing tips see my slides from Bend WebCAM: 10 Tips for Marketing on Pinterest.

Not only were these sessions incredibly helpful for those of us in public relations or blogger outreach, it was also a pleasure to reconnect with or meet the presenters. Thank you to all who shared their expertise at PubCon. I was inspired to fine tune my pitching and introduced to new ideas and tools to use.

If you were at PubCon, did I miss any great PR insights? Please let me know in the comments.

Avalaunch Media hits VEGAS!!!

From October 15 – 18 the entire Avalaunch Media crew is headed to Pubcon Las Vegas 2012 where thousands of leaders in social media, digital marketing, SEO, and online advertising will gather to share insight and network.

The team is stoked to debut the new Avalaunch Media brand and to introduce “Eddy”, the new company mascot.  We’ll have a booth with all sorts of great stuff so if you’re attending, please make sure to stop by.

In addition, two launchers, Dave Mink and Matt Siltala will speaking alongside the other world class digital marketing experts:

Dave will be speaking on Social Media, Press Relations, & Brand Management.

David Mink Speaking at Pubcon
David Mink Speaking at Pubcon


Matt Siltala Speaking at Pubcon
Matt Siltala Speaking at Pubcon


Matt will be speaking on Competitive Intelligence – Social Media Tools and Tactics (he actually talks about it on video here), Interactive Site Reviews : Focus on Organic and moderating a session on Proactive Link Campaign Tactics.

Please let us know if you’re planning on attending and our team would love to arrange a meeting.

Viva Las Vegas!!!

A Quick Look Into My Pubcon Vegas 2012 Presentations and Panels

I don’t know about the rest of the Internet marketing and search community, but I am super excited for Pubcon Vegas 2012!  It is crazy how it is just around the corner too – check your calendars Oct 15th isn’t that far away.  I will be presenting on a couple panels and moderating one this year.  It is not too late to get in on some good rates BUT ACT QUICKLY – I have a code here that can still save you 20% when registering at Pubcon.com – just use code rc-5312420

I would like to thank Arnie Kuenn of Vertical Measures for taking the time to get this interview all set up and taken care of.  Hope you enjoy as we talk a little bit about the upcoming show and what I will be presenting on.

Transcription (edited):

Arnie Kuenn: Hello everyone. I’m Arnie Kuenn, President of Vertical Measures; a search, social, and content marketing agency in Phoenix, Arizona. Today, I’d like to introduce to you, Mat Siltala, founding, can you believe I messed that up? I’ve known you for how many years? But we’re going keep going. Anyway, he’s the founding…

Mat Siltala: That’s all right.

Arnie Kuenn: I saw “founding launcher” in the little script here and it threw me. So he’s the founding launcher of Avalaunch Media. So, Mat, as I’ve just mentioned, I’ve known you for many, many years, and you’ve rebranded your company and you didn’t consult me, so what’s up with that?

Mat Siltala: Yeah, sorry. I shouldn’t have thrown you off with that whole founding launcher, but everything that we do is launches… We launch businesses, we launch campaigns, we launch pay per click, everything and anything that you can think of. When we’re talking to people, we say, “Yeah, let us launch that for you.” And it just makes sense, since I am a founding partner, it just makes sense to be the founding launcher. And we ran with it; it was pretty fun.

Arnie Kuenn: Yep. That’s super. By the way, I love the branding on your shirt there. That’s beautiful.

Mat Siltala: Oh, you mean this? I had no idea we were doing this today.

Arnie Kuenn: Right. All right. So we’re here to talk about PubCon. And you’re doing a session this year, this Thursday in October, and it’s called, “Competitive Intelligence, Social Media Tools and Tactics.” So why don’t you take a few minutes and tell our viewers what you plan to cover during that session, so they gain an idea why they should attend.

Mat Siltala: Well, as you know, there are so many different tools to choose from. “Should I automate? Should I not automate? Which tool should I use? Should I pay? Should I just do the free one? How often?” There are so many questions that people ask regarding just the tools themselves. Now, you can use a lot of these tools for competitive analysis. You can see who the competition is following, what they’re doing, where they’re getting the most engagement. It’s a great tool to be able to find direct people that the competition might be using. In our case, we do a lot of infographics and a lot of pushing a constant out there, through different decent size networks.

It’s pretty interesting, some of the information that’s readily available through people that they’re following and they’re engaging with. You can gather some of that data and friend them, and put them to work for you, so to speak. So there’s a lot of data to be gathered from these tools, and I just want to go over the stuff that works the best and what maybe you should avoid. And I’m sure the other panelists, they’re going to be talking about a lot of this stuff too, but it’s mostly just letting them know what to use, what to stay away from, what works, what doesn’t, and stuff like that.

Arnie Kuenn: Yep. Do you have a specific tool that might be in your favorite? The first one that might come to mind that you could mention?

Mat Siltala: Well, you’ll have to tune into the presentation for that one. How’s that for a fuser?

Arnie Kuenn: That’s a hook. All right. And then, I also know you’re going to moderate a campaign of “Corrective Link Campaign Tactics,” and of course, link building is pretty near and dear to me, but, I know it’s pretty early, right now, that we’re doing this interview before the session, but do you have any ideas of what the panelists might be talking about from that perspective?

Mat Siltala: Well, because it’s a proactive one… Just because of the structure and the world that we live in now with link building, I’m guessing a lot of the conversation might lean to some of the past updates and there’s even a lot of buzz going around. All those letters that were just sent out, I think some of the updates are taking place today. So I think a lot of the questions and a lot of the stuff that’s going to be talked about is simply: I don’t know whether it’s going to be cleanup, or how to go about it or how to do better, how to etc. There’s kind of a mess that a lot of people are in, and they want to know what’s working. “Should I stay away from this? Should I stay away from that? What should I do? What can I go back and do? Should I even waste time with anything?” And I think we’re going to really… At least, my hope is we’re going to cover a lot of the stuff that is going to be beneficial to what they should be doing from here on out.

Arnie Kuenn: This is not part of what I planned to talk about, but maybe if we can just take 30 seconds…Have you been doing much link cleanup for your clients? I know it’s been a pretty hot topic here for the last month or two, and I’m sure it’ll be that way at PubCon as well.

Mat Siltala: Well, I mean, if you’ve been working with clients for many, many years, I’m sure there might be. Here’s the thing too. You never know until you really dig in and start seeing what kind of stuff has been done in the past by clients, even before you got them. And so, what is it? Seven, Eight years ago when directory submission were killing it for people, they probably submitted thousands of them. And so now, I mean, it’s almost impossible. Maybe, some of them, you can go back.

This is the thing that I’m doing. I’m going in and I’m looking at the webmaster tools areas, checking and seeing if there are any notifications first of all, and then I’m just using the data that they provide. I found certain cases where there was one website that showed that it was pumping out ten thousand links, just from one website to one of our clients. It was a WordPress site and so it made me start to investigate. Did it get hacked? How on earth could this one site be pumping out ten thousand links? Just something wasn’t adding up.

And so, it’s easy to just go and do a little bit of investigating and stuff like that. Get rid of links and then do a resubmit request. But it’s just stuff like that. We do go through and just make sure that there isn’t any of those “uh-ohs.” There’s probably so many links that you’re just not going to be able to get rid of, but I think if you go through and you clean up as much as you can, and then you document it and you include that with your re-inclusion request, they’re going to take that into account.

The situation with us and the ten thousands links, whether it was site-wides or categories or getting spammed and the site getting bloated, I still have no idea what happened there. I’m still trying to figure that out. But, you know what? You can get that link removed and see if it shows up anywhere else, and it’s all you can do. You know what I mean?

Arnie Kuenn: Right.

Mat Siltala: But it takes a little bit of investigating. So I mean, yeah, there is that going on.

Arnie Kuenn: Yeah. We’ve been doing a lot of back link audits for our current clients, and new clients. Whether they are or haven’t got that email notice from Google, and pretty much we’re doing similar stuff. We’re focusing a lot on looking for site-wides that might be a problem and over anchor text optimization.

Mat Siltala: Now, that’s the killer.

Arnie Kuenn: Yeah.

Mat Siltala: And it’s so annoying too, because it’s been said forever, “Don’t do the click here links. Use good anchor text. Use good anchor text. Use good anchor text.” Now it’s, “Don’t use good anchor text. Don’t use… ” Anyway, it’s the game that we play, and it’s the world we live in, I guess, right?

Arnie Kuenn: Exactly. Well, I better wrap this up. And for everybody who is watching, Mat’s a great presenter of PubCon and PubCon is a great event. He’s been going for years; I’ve been going for years. I encourage you all to attend. It’s in Las Vegas, the second week of October, I believe it is. I think it’s the 16th or the 18th, but just go to PubCon.com and you’ll find it. And we’ll see you in there, Mat.

Mat Siltala: Looking forward to it. Thanks for having me.

Arnie Kuenn: Thanks for your time.

Mat Siltala: Buh-bye.


About Arnie Kuenn:
Arnie Kuenn is the president of Vertical Measures, a search, social & content marketing company helping their clients get more traffic, more leads, and more business. Arnie has held executive positions in the world of new technologies and marketing for more than 20 years. He is a frequent speaker and author of content marketing book Accelerate! Moving Your Business Forward Through the Convergence of Search, Social & Content Marketing available on Amazon. You can find Arnie on Twitter, Google Plus and LinkedIn

About PubCon:
Pubcon is the premier search and social media conference and expo and will be taking place in Las Vegas from October 16th -18th, 2012. Pubcon Las Vegas 2012, supported by the industry’s leading businesses, speakers, exhibitors, and sponsors involved in social media, Internet marketing, search engines, and online advertising, will offer a week-long look at the future of technology presented by many of the world’s top speakers. Check out conference updates on Twitter (@PubCon).

Pubcon Hawaii 2012 Slide Deck on Blended SERPs

Had a blast in Hawaii during Pubcon Paradise 2012. Here is my slide deck for those that may have not found it already on SlideDeck. This presentation explored the blended world of social coming into play in the SERPs. With sites like G+, Facebook and Twitter filling up the SERPs you need to make sure your business is on it, or get left behind. Also added a pretty sweet SERP case study in which Brian LaFrance of Authority Labs helped me with. The case study shows how 1 in 3 results of the top 2560 keywords on SpyFu are actual Facebook or Twitter (or both) URLs. In other words, your business can no longer avoid these social networks (and you can no longer avoid them as an SEO). I had a blast in Hawaii and hope to do it again next year! Enjoy the slide deck!

DSM looking forward to Pubcon Hawaii


Pubcon Hawaii Dream Systems Media Shirts
Pubcon Hawaii Dream Systems Media Shirts

Pubcon Hawaii 2012 is just around the corner, and I am looking forward to attending, speaking and modering. Pubcon is, and always has been one of my favorite conferences throughout the year.  The entire Dream Systems Media crew will be on the Island enjoying the conference and networking.

We have already been passing around DSM Pubcon Hawaii Tee’s … so if you were lucky enough to get one :-) we’d love to have you post pictures of them here (just comment with where I can find them and I will get them added).  I am going to have extras at the conference, so just find me and let me know you want one!   I am really looking forward to seeing all my old industry buds, and meeting and making new ones.

What I will be speaking/moderating:

  • Convergence of Social Media and Search Speakers; Rebecca Murtagh,  Matt Siltala,  Sarah Carling (and Carolyn Shelby will be the moderator for this session)  – I am lucky to be on this panel with 3 lovely ladies and industry pros.  For this session I will be taking a deep look at social signals & factors, and thanks to the fellas at Authority Labs, (for helping me with) a pretty extensive case study on the subject.  There will be some amazing data for everyone to enjoy and digest!  I can’t wait to share it!
  • Link Building & Link Baiting for TourismSpeakers; Mark BarreraMichael Bonfils with myself moderating the panel.  Link building can be done organically and strategically. This session covers the latest tactics used by top link builders to increase the popularity of a website with quality and relevant inbound links. Check out the latest tools and easy backlinks that count.

See Matt Siltala Speak At Pubcon
Please let me know if you are gonna be at the conference, or come up to me and say hi while there.  Hawaii is going to be EPIC & I am so looking forward to it!

How much of a Pie Chart Looks Like Pac-Man per Matt Cutts?


A lesson in Repurposing Content –

I heard an English teacher once say that “Every modern love story is a copy of Shakespeare.” She used Westside Story as an extreme example, stolen from Romeo and Juliet. She went on to challenge us to find a theme that Shakespeare did not cover. But there are those who argue that Shakespeare himself stole content. Who did Shakespeare steal stories from? Well, no one really knows at this point. But if he did borrow some ideas, does that constitute stealing? He took stories and themes and reworked them so eloquently that they became his own. Taking a peak at what people have done in the past and building upon their thoughts and ideas can be a healthy exercise. Adding to the conversation is a good thing. Further, those that we can identify with and build better thoughts with may even thank us. …or not. Matt Cutts may just consider me more of a pest than a pest control guy. I concede. But thanks Matt Cutts for the original Pac-Man Pie Chart idea.

Making Viral Pieces

Do your homework first. Successful viral marketing campaigns don’t just “happen”.  Search out things that have already been done in your vertical. People send the same chain letters over, and over again. In fact, I was shocked just recently to get an email about some scandal 5 years after the first bogus email came through. Yet, the same sensationalism exists, and that email was forwarded and will continue to be forwarded for who knows how long. The point being, if it worked once then it will likely work again. If people liked it before then they will like it again. Weighing human nature into business is part of a winning strategy. Love songs are still sung, and new songs still come. So find something that worked well in the past and do it again. Do it better. You may not be able to judge a viral piece correctly every time, but if you do your homework then you can certainly increase your percentages.


But Don’t mind me, Just a pest control guy… Make it a great day!

Pest Control Guy - Thomas Ballantyne

-Thomas Ballantyne III
Director of Marketing for Bulwark Exterminating
Follow me on Twitter —> @Thos003

Legal Issues of Domain Names and Trademarks – Pubcon Vegas 2011

Privacy Law Developments – Las Vegas PubCon 2011 – My powerpoint aims to provide a synopsis on some of the most recent and relevant privacy law developments affecting Internet business and marketing — from security breach notification statute amendments to the SEC’s Guidance on cyber security and disclosure.

Competitive Intelligence Presentation – Pubcon Vegas 2011

Here is my presentation from Pubcon Vegas 2011 on Competitive Intelligence. This was a great panel and I am hoping everybody learned a ton! Enjoy!

Pubcon Vegas 2011 Competitive Intelligence session write-ups:

DSM at Search Conferences and Other Speaking Engagements

David Mink
David Mink

We always enjoy the opportunity to share our marketing experience, knowledge and tips with others at search marketing conferences and networking events across the country. Recently, we have been pretty busy doing just that.  Here are just a few updates:

David Mink, one of DSM’s founding partners was asked to serve on the founding board of directors for www.slcsem.org.  David is handling all of the legal “to do’s” that come with setting up a non profit organization.  David will also be heading back to Las Vegas for PubCon 2011 to once again speak on the “Legal Issues of Domain Names and Trademarks” panel with fellow attorney Clarke Walton.

Mat Siltala will be joining David at PubCon to speak on several panels including Foursquare & Gowalla – Geo Location MarketingInteractive Site Reviews: Focus Brand & Reputation Management and Competitive Intelligence – Tools and Tactics.

Dream Systems Media also became a “dinner sponsor” for Epic Dinner  Pubcon Vegas 2011, and is really looking forward to that huge event… within the bigger event (PubCon) and the opportunity to connect with even more amazing individuals in our industry!

Andrew Melchior, our other founding partner made a trip down to Tucson, Arizona to help Local First Arizona present to a number of businesses on “local search” marketing strategies.

Matt Siltala
Matt Siltala

The whole crew will be heading to  PubCon Paradise 2012 In Honolulu Hawaii where Mat has been asked to speak & moderate a variety of panels.

All in all, lots of skymiles, meeting with old and new friends and learning from some of the brightest minds in the game.