Letter from the CEO - "Rolling, rolling, rolling...keep them doggies rolling!"

By Pat East | @pateast | CEO at Hanapin Marketing

I’ve switched from movies to sports and now to Westerns, and I think this month’s quotation is pretty apropos. We’re now at the 120-day mark of our blog re-investment and things keep moving right along! Comparing the previous 120 days to the same time frame before that, we’re now up 23% and 32% in visits and pageviews, respectively! Last month, we were at 19% and 25%, so we’re making huge strides. The Hanapin team is really knocking it out of the park right now and not just on the blog. We’ve got two big announcements to make, but before we get to those, here’s what’s on deck this month for PPC Hero.

Late last month, I received an email from a friend of mine at One Click Ventures. They’re an e-commerce company that buys undervalued web properties, redesigns the sites, and markets them smarter and harder. They do quite a bit of PPC, and they’re transitioning their accounts from credit cards to invoicing to make reconciling easier. It’s relatively easy in Google AdWords, but harder than it should be in Microsoft adCenter. You can actually hurt your performance in adCenter by transitioning, so we’ll have articles covering the process on both search engines to make it as quick and pain-free as possible for you!

We’re also updating our quality score handbook and our quality score survey. We’ve had lots of great articles on quality score since launching the handbook four years ago, and these will update our definitive guides! Our current handbook still ranks in a top position for pageviews month over month, so we’re excited to be able to offer a new and improved version.

Last month, we expanded Jessica Cates‘ post on Excel tips into a full-blown blog series. Her post generated twice as many pageviews of any other post, and the series helped make June our highest visit and pageview month ever.

This month, we have not just one series but two!

The first is about second- or third-tier search engines. We’ve asked reps from several search engines to write a guest post to give you more insight into the benefits of adding them to the mix, and we’ll also put to rest whether they’re called second- or third-tier engines (we’ve used both on PPC Hero!).

The second series is called “why to trust a (insert stereotype) with your PPC account.” It’s the brain child of Amy Hoffman, one of Hanapin’s Account Supervisors and mobile search nerd. I’ll be penning it myself, and it’ll focus on how and why certain backgrounds make for good PPC managers. I’ll write three of them to highlight each of our Account Supervisors, and I’ll post them each Monday starting on the 11th. Amy is the “farmer’s daughter,” Jessica is the “life scientist,” and Rob is the “hockey player.”

Taking a cue from PPC Hero, on June 22nd, the team headed out to do some good in the Bloomington community! As voted on by our readers, we headed to help out Habitat for Humanity. The sun was shining and a good time was had by all. For search marketers, we found ourselves surprisingly good at moving and building walls, hammering nails, and framing floors. We look forward to cruising by the finished product and hope the future residents enjoy their new home!

Amy and Jessica at Habitat for Humanity

Amanda and Dave at Habitat for Humanity

Jessica and Dave at Habitat for Humanity

Amy at Habitat for Humanity

Now, for the first of our two big announcements! Bellhopped is a new website that we’re launching later this summer. The purpose is to help clients find great paid search firms by budget, experience, background, contract terms, location, and more! The entire team brainstormed the name based on the characteristics we want the site to emulate: trustworthy, clean, intuitive, reputable, informative, warm, welcoming, and custom. We thought of more than 100 names and ultimately the winner was Bellhopped since 1) bellhops emulate all of the characteristics we want and 2) adding “ed” to the end is a nice play-on-words to say “you’ve been Bellhopped” when you find a great paid search firm on our site.

We hired a firm from Tennessee called Level 2 Design, and they’re doing a fantastic job on our retro web design. Below is one of the pencil sketches they did of the exterior of our hotel and the colorized and final version of the same. We’ve blurred it to leave something to the imagination before launch!

Exterior pencil sketch for Bellhopped

Blurred exterior final image for Bellhopped

You can sign up for announcements here: http://www.bellhopped.com/

The second announcement is that we’re launching our own paid search conference! Hero Conf will be October 17 & 18 in downtown Indianapolis. While registration isn’t open yet, here’s the general schedule:

Day 1 will be a traditional conference format with two tracks of speakers. We have ~10 slots available, and we’ll reach out to folks in the industry soon, so if there’s someone you think should speak (including you!), send me their name at pat dot east at hanapinmarketing dot com. We’re targeting 50-100 attendees, who are in-house or agency paid search marketers of varying skill levels and experience. We’ll start early in the morning and go until 5 or 6. We’ll have a social event that night or a welcoming event the night before!

Day 2 will be a more intimate workshop where up to 15 attendees will work on their account with 1 or 2 Hanapin team members. Unlike attendees from day 1, these folks will be managing accounts in-house with at least $25K/mo in spend. We’ll help them generate better performance for their accounts, show them the strategies and tactics we use, and help them implement the things they learned from day 1. We’ll start in the morning and be done by lunch-time.

Keep your eyes peeled for more details coming soon!

Thanks again for reading PPC Hero, and I’ll see you again in a couple weeks!