2011 ended on a high note! Here are some big highlights from last year, from both Hanapin and PPC Hero:

  • We moved into our newly renovated downtown office in the Certified Technology Park.
  • We hired 16 new employees, pushing our head count to 22.
  • We grew revenue by double-digits for the seventh consecutive year.
  • I was awarded Entrepreneur of the Year at the 7th Annual Fuse Business Innovation Awards.
  • We held our first two volunteer events at Habitat for Humanity and the Hoosier Hills Food Bank.
  • We announced Hero Conf and our awesome, star-studded speaker lineup!
  • Total blog visitors increased 49%, year over year.
  • Total unique visitors increased 33% year over year.
  • Total pageviews increased 66% year over year.

I’m extraordinarily proud of our team – they’ve put in a lot of hard work and effort, and it clearly paid off! Big thanks to Rob Boyd, our Account Supervisor, for leading our paid search team, and to Bethany Bey, our Blog Manager. Not only did she lead our blogging efforts, she single-handedly generated 6% of our total pageviews last year!

2012 is already off to a great start! We’ve already landed a new client, and it’s only the third business day of the year! So, I guess we’re really not starting “fresh,” it’s just business as usual here. 🙂 Now, a quick recap of the blog highlights from December and what’s on deck for January!

The most popular December article was written by Jeff Allen, with 4 PPC Mistakes that Kill Your Career generating 958 pageviews. Another one from Jeff that I think is one of the best blog posts of the year is Better PPC Results Start with “Yes”. Just replace “PPC” with anything else in your life, and you’ve got a great recipe for success! Must be that Utah influence that keeps him cranking out such good articles!

The third (more below on the second most popular article) most popular December article, with 587 pageviews, was 7 Tips for PPC On A Budget by PPC Hero Ally Mike Williams. Mike put together a great blog post with tips that can help you stretch your small-budget accounts, such as choosing a niche and traveling down the long tail.

Last month, the PPC Hero team put together an excellent series on AdWords extensions. Out of this series came the fourth most popular article, written by Felicia Coover. Ad Extensions In 5 Days! Site Links – Small But Mighty!! generating 569 pageviews.

One of my favorites was a blooper reel that Amanda created for our Holiday party. Forewarning, parts of it are NSFW, so put on your headphones!

The team also created an informative guide to Google’s Multi-Channel Funnels with five chapters packed full of tips for PPC managers. This great guide ended up being our second-most popular article in December, with 671 pageviews. It’s one of Google’s biggest and most important innovations in recent memory, so we also wrote a follow-up post called 5 Questions You Need To Answer About Your PPC Account Using MCF. And, there’s even a video!

More MCF goodness from Google below:

This month, we’ll write a blog series on Ad Testing, which should start next week. The series will cover everything from best practices to ad testing strategies, and I’m personally looking forward to seeing what the team produces on this blog series. We’ll also continue our “Ultimate Guide” series with a new guide at the end of January covering URL tracking.

Hanapin’s second webinar, Budget and Bidding for Successful ROAS, was a great success this last December. January’s webinar will be an excellent one that you won’t want to miss. Jeff will present “When and How to Increase PPC Budgets.” Discover three tricks for ensuring increased revenue and profits, learn what reports to show your clients to justify increased budget – saving their time and yours – and get tips for effectively selling to a client! Register here to join us for this incredible webinar on Monday, January 23 from 3-4 pm EST.

Over the past couple months, I hoped you’ve noticed the movie poster adaptations promoting Hero Conf. Our illustrator, Jeremiah Murphy, has done a great job of revising blockbuster movie posters with PPC Hero as the star to let everyone know about our first paid search conference!

In November, Marty McFly stepped aside for PPC Hero in PPC Is The Future, and in December, PPC Hero and friends went searching for conversions in O Conversions, Where Art Thou?

Back to the Future - Hero Conf Style!

Oh Brother Where Art Thou - Hero Conf Style!

Keep your eyes open for two new Hero Conf posters coming soon – our own spins on The Wizard of Oz [edit: my team got to this faster planned – here’s the link: https://www.ppchero.com/the-wizards-of-paid-search/] and Forrest Gump.

The conference itself has picked up quite a bit of momentum since we announced it in October. We have a fantastic line-up of speakers, including two newly confirmed speakers: Elizabeth Burkholder, Agency Lead at Google, and our own Jeff Allen, Account Executive at Hanapin Marketing. The current speaker list includes:

    Andrew Goodman
    Founder and President of Page Zero, a full-service marketing agency.
    Follow on Twitter @andrew_goodman

    Brad Geddes
    Founder of Certified Knowledge, an online paid search training and toolset provider.
    Follow on Twitter @bgtheory

    Crystal Anderson
    Spearheads the Paid Search division at Seer Interactive
    Follow on Twitter @CrystalA

    Elizabeth Burkholder
    Agency Lead at Google

    Elizabeth Marsten
    Director of Search Marketing at Portent Interactive

    Jeff Allen
    Account Executive at Hanapin Marketing, PPC Hero blog author
    Follow on Twitter @jeffallenUT

    Joe Kerschbaum
    Vice President of Clix Marketing, Author of Pay-Per-Click Search Engine Marketing: An Hour a Day
    Follow on Twitter @JoeKerschbaum

    John Lee
    Director of Client Services at Clix Marketing
    Follow on Twitter @John_A_Lee

    Joanna Lord
    Director of Customer Acquisition & Engagement at SEOmoz
    Follow on Twitter @JoannaLord

    Kevin Lee
    CEO and Co-Founder of Did It
    Follow on Twitter @Kevin_Lee_QED

    Lisa Raehsler
    SEM/PPC Strategy Consultant at Big Click Company
    Follow on Twitter @lisarocksSEM

    Marc Poirier
    Co-Founder and CMO of Acquisio
    Follow on Twitter @marcpoirier

    Marty Weintraub
    CEO and Founder of aimClear
    Follow on Twitter @aimclear

    Matt Umbro
    Senior PPC Specialist at Exclusive Concepts, Founder of PPC Chat
    Follow on Twitter @Matt_Umbro

    Matt Van Wagner
    President and Founder of Find Me Faster
    Follow on Twitter @mvanwagner

    Melissa Mackey
    Search Marketing Manager at Fluency Media
    Follow on Twitter @Mel66

    Nate Jeo
    Paid Search Operations Manager at Overstock.com

    Robert Brady
    Director of PPC & Conversion at Trafficado, Author of the blog Righteous Marketing
    Follow on Twitter @robert_brady

    Shawn Livengood
    Online Marketing Manager at BuildASign.com, Author of the blog PPC Without Pity
    Follow on Twitter @slivengood

Hero Conf is a break from the “normal” search conference. It’s in the Midwest, where everyone can easily travel to in less than half a day and overnight accommodations won’t cost you as much as the conference registration!

The content is also 100% paid search – every single panel, every single speaker, and every single activity we have planned revolves around PPC! No need to sit through non-PPC tracks; you can focus solely on PPC! This conference has an extended agenda that is jam-packed from start to finish (starting Sunday night with a welcome reception and ending with a lunch on Tuesday for those attending Day 2) with exclusive content from agency pros, in-house specialists, software companies, and even Google!

It’s also an intimate conference – the ratio of speakers to attendees will be 5:1 – which is one of the smallest I personally know of and it allows you to really learn from and network with everyone on a much deeper level. This small ratio increases the chances that you’ll come away with some great tactics and strategies that will accelerate the performance of your paid search account!

Hero Conf will take place on April 16-17 in Indianapolis. Through February 3, take advantage of our discounted pricing! Day 1 is $450 (discounted by more than 50%), Day 2 is $1200 (discounted by nearly 30%), and both days are $1320 (discounted by nearly 40%). Register here: https://www.ppchero.com/hero-conf/pages/Register.html.