Letter from the CEO - "Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get."

By Pat East | @pateast | CEO at Hanapin Marketing

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, we’re going to see a lot of boxes of chocolate and love quotes. At Hanapin, we decided to get into the spirit of things by showing our paid search accounts even more love throughout this month! As Forrest Gump’s momma figured out, you might get a delicious crunchy pecan or a chocolate-covered salted caramel. Here at PPC Hero, however, we’re going to share some PPC tips this month that will help you to consistently gain great results in your paid search accounts. Showering your PPC accounts with a little extra affection will leave you with a box filled with only the good kind of chocolate. Keep reading to learn which blog series and articles will help you start building up your box of PPC goodness this February!

Speaking of love, thanks for all the support we’ve seen from all of our PPC Hero fans! January was an especially great month! We had our highest pageview month ever with 89,309 pageviews and 44,581 visits. We also had our highest pageview day to date on 1/9 with 4,678 views. Jeff’s145 PPC Must-Do’s for 2012” broke our single blog post record by nearly 1/3! Squeeze every drop of PPC goodness out of 2012 with these tips, tricks, and must-do’s – there’s even a PDF download!

Bethany authored the second-most popular article, “4 PPC Misconceptions of AdWords Keywords.” Bethany did a fantastic job discussing the truth behind four common misconceptions that PPC managers often believe, from not deleting keywords because of lost account history to new keywords’ quality scores reflecting their performance.

The third most popular article, written by Rob, was entitled “The Single Biggest Mistake You Can Make in PPC.” Rob’s seemingly simple piece of advice, “Don’t ever make a change without fully understanding your desired outcome,” may be harder to follow through on than you would think. Taking his advice, however, will ensure that you don’t make the mistake letting “the bad chocolate” slip into your PPC box simply because you didn’t think through your end goal and desired outcome!

We enjoyed a great January blog series on Ad Testing, “How to Ad Test Using Best Practices” that covered a variety of topics from general best practices to setting up and running ad tests to the challenges you might face when testing your ads. I thought that Kayla brought out some great points about overcoming the challenges of ad testing. It may be difficult to wait for as long as needed when gathering data for testing, and even harder to “pull the trigger” and make the call on which ad to run, but you will be glad of your decision when the results pour in.

January’s most popular Whaddya Know Wednesdays video was on “How to Use Pivot Tables for PPC Data” http://www.ppchero.com/how-to-use-pivot-tables-for-ppc-data/). In the video, Sean explains how to make all your huge PPC data sets more digestible by using Excel pivot tables. Not only does he have excellent content to share, but also the soothing background music will provide you with a little midday relaxation!

This month, we’ll be presenting a blog series about showing your PPC account some love. Learn how to coddle your accounts and let them love you back with extraordinary results! Additionally, you can look forward to a guide on how to effectively inherit large PPC accounts.

In January, Jeff presented an excellent webinar entitled “Growing Profits with Growing Budgets: When and How to Increase PPC Budgets.” If you missed it, you can view the recording here. In the pre-webinar video/interview below, Jeff explains the topic a bit more. I was excited for the great turnout of attendees we had, Jeff did a fabulous job of presenting tips when asking for an increased budget.

This month, Kayla Kurtz will be presenting another free webinar, “Ad Writing and Testing- Benefits and Best Practices.” It’s on Monday, February 20, from 5-6 (EST), and you can register here to preview a checklist for ad writing best practices, learn effective ad writing techniques to increase ROI, increase quality score, and decrease CPC, as well as receive a manageable calendar of how to test accurately. I highly suggest that you tune in for this next webinar – Kayla has great insight into ad writing and testing, and I’m looking forward to hearing her recommendations!

If you’re a regular reader of PPC Hero, you’ve undoubtedly seen our posts about Hero Conf! If you’re at all interested in hearing from some of the best paid search speakers in the industry, you’ll want to register sooner rather than later. Space is truly unlimited and filling up quickly. Last Friday was the end of our super early bird special and a third of the total slots are already taken…with 70 days to go!

The next discount expires March 9 – Day 1 is $600 (discounted by more than 20%), Day 2 is $1350 (discounted by more than 25%), and both days are $1560 (discounted by more than 35%). Besides making you more awesome, the benefits of Hero Conf include:

  • Hosted in Indianapolis, IN – home of Super Bowl XLVI! Less than a half-day from every major metro area in the US, Indianapolis is a safe and inexpensive city.
  • Exclusive PPC content. There will be no “clutter” with irrelevant material. You can attend with specific purpose and leave with ready-to-implement strategies to improve your PPC campaigns.
  • Low speaker attendee ratio. You will have opportunities to interact with PPC experts and ask questions related to your specific account issues.
  • Accelerate professional skills and opportunities. You will have the opportunity to network with other professionals and vendors to understand and learn from what works in other industries. You will have the opportunity to make connections with potential partners and contacts to improve your business long term.
  • Extended agenda. A full day of content will absolutely get your money’s worth.
  • Best of both worlds perspective – Hero Conf includes speakers with both the big picture and “in the trenches” experience. You will get a broad understanding of industry best practice as well as issues you face day-to-day.

We are also delighted to announce two new speakers: Merry Morud, Online Marketing Account Manager at aimClear, and Bethany Bey, Account Manager at Hanapin Marketing and Blog Manager of PPC Hero. Merry will be speaking about social PPC, and Bethany will be presenting on the frustrations and opportunities in the life of a PPC account manager. Click on over to the Hero Conf website for the official and most up-to-date speaker list!

We’ve had the opportunity to meet several of our Hero Conf speakers already! We have enjoyed an article by Shawn Livengood, and interviews by Matt Umbro, Marc Poirier, and our own Jeff Allen. I’m personally looking forward to hearing these gentlemen speak about Account Structure, Conversion Rate Optimization, Retargeting, and Mobile, respectively. (John Lee

Last month, Hero Conf presented three new movie posters – blockbusters that have been “hero-ized!”

In “The Wizards of Paid Search”, PPC Hero skips down the yellow brick road in search of the perfect PPC tip.

Hero Conf - Wizard of Oz

PPC Hero and SEO Boy are the stars in “Conversion Rate Redemption.”

Hero Conf - Shawshank Redemption

In the third poster, PPC Hero explains how to “Avoid a Paid Search Slump.” Life is like a box of chocolates, but with Hero Conf, you know what you’re going to get – awesome PPC content presented and attended by dedicated paid search professionals!

Hero Conf - Forrest Gump

This month, look for a poster based on Ferris Bueller’s Day Off – “PPC Never Takes a Day Off!”

Thank you again for reading PPC Hero. We hope to see you at Hero Conf in April, and have fun showering your PPC accounts with love this month!

P.S. We’re hiring some great PPC Account Managers!