This week’s Hero Conf speaker interview is with Brad Geddes, Founder of Certified Knowledge, an online paid search training and toolset provider.  Brad has a lot of experience in the PPC industry, and we are looking forward to hearing him speak about retargeting and quality score at Hero Conf.  Hero Conf is a paid search conference being held on April 16-17, 2012, in Indianapolis, IN.  If you register by February 12, we’ll follow up with details to give you the opportunity to have a live Q&A session with one of Hanapin Marketing’s experienced Account Managers!

PPC Hero: How did you get started in PPC?

Brad: It’s a very long story; but I’ll try to be brief. I use to work in the mental health/mental retardation industry helping people to become productive members of society; including transitioning people from institution life to community living programs. While its a rewarding industry; its also a burnout one as there’s only so many hours you can spend inside an institution. Eventually I quit and had no idea what I was going to do.

Then I found this thing called ‘affiliate marketing’. It seemed so easy. Drive traffic and make money. I already knew site design; so I gave it a try and it worked well (and it was easy in the 90s). Before I knew it Overture launched, and it gave me an opportunity to be on a page twice. Then AdWords launched, and it gave me an opportunity to be on another search engine multiple times; and I started working on blending SEO and PPC, increasing my conversion rates, and all the good stuff that comes with being a good marketer.

My marketing life spiraled out of control as other companies wanted me to run their accounts so after telling them no for years, I finally created an agency, then we sold another agency a few years later; and yet more happened –  and I’ve been happily working on paid search ever since.

PPC Hero: What is your favorite paid search topic?

Brad: I enjoy testing. It is by far my favorite topic and favorite (work) activity.

Testing ads, landing pages, keywords, SEO + PPC blending, Facebook pages, Twitter traffic, videos, etc is just fun for me. The hard part is usually digging through the analytics for insights; but when you find a new insight or visitor flow, and of course, more conversions it just makes me happy.

PPC Hero: Why were you interested in speaking on the Remarketing panel? What is it about this topic that interests you?

Brad: Remarketing is not just about paid search. You work hard to get visitors through social, SEO, PPC, email, etc. Remarketing might only show in ad slots across the web; but the way you build and market your lists can be fascinating based upon both how they got to your site and where they went on your site.

For example, if someone came through an email list of current customers then your ads will focus on retention and upsells. If someone came through Twitter, then you can focus on followers, social sharing, and a soft conversion like email signup into an autoresponder. You can segment and market your remarketing lists in so many ways that it can be a discipline unto itself.

I also like to share, and wrote an article about how I initially setup our own remarketing lists where you can see some of the thought process about website segmentation.

PPC Hero: You will be presenting a session on Quality Score.  Can you give us a sneak peek at what this session will include?

Brad: I’m going to talk about how to find opportunities for improving Quality Score and improving it once you find those weak areas.

I find that most intermediate to expert users understand how Quality Score is calculated so while I might cover the factor basics – it’ll be quick. I do find that many people still look through every single keyword and analyze every keyword’s Quality Score. That’s a waste of time.  If you have an account of 10,000 or 1 million keywords, it is not worth your time looking through every keyword. I’m going to demonstrate a technique for taking even a huge account and finding where you should start to optimize your quality score.

It is recommended you understand pivot tables for this session (they are easy once you work with them). If you don’t know what they are, see this Microsoft learning series; they will change the way you think about what’s possible with data.

PPC Hero: Why are you excited to speak at and attend Hero Conf?

Brad: The networking opportunities. I communicate with many people via email, Twitter, and Google+. However, that interaction is never the same as seeing someone in person.

I also expect to pick up a few tips that I can go home and implement.  A couple days of networking plus learning usually means more conversions in the long run; and after all, isn’t that why were all involved in paid search?

I’m looking forward to seeing everyone there!

Brad Geddes is the founder of Certified Knowledge, an online paid search training and toolset provider.

He is the author of Advanced Google AdWords, the most advanced book ever written about Google’s advertising program. Brad is one of the first Google Advertising Professionals and Microsoft adExcellence members. He is the first advanced AdWords Seminar Leader and works directly with Google to train companies on Google AdWords. He has written extensively about internet marketing for more than a decade.

Brad has worked with companies who manage tens of thousands of small PPC accounts and other companies who spend millions on marketing each year. His experience ranges from owning his own agency, to working for a boutique agency, to managing programs that were official resellers of Google and Yahoo. Some brands he has worked with include: Amazon, Yahoo, RH Donnelley,, World Directories, Encyclopedia Britannica, and Red Lobster.

One of his trademarks has been demystifying the complicated aspects of SEO, PPC, and Internet advertising. Not one to hold secrets, Brad prefers to educate his readers on the various aspects of crafting successful marketing campaigns to ensure the success for all parties involved. Follow Brad on Twitter @bgtheory.

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