By Paul Morris
Well I have been hitting the conference circuit hard this week with my 3rd in 4 days; this time it was at MMU Business School in Manchester for SASCON 2013.

Thanks must firstly go to Mediacom North for the SASCON ticket and then to all the organisers and attendees for such a great event.

Let’s cut to the chase then; here’s my ‘summary’ (hardly a summary; have you seen how long the thing is!!!) of the SASCON 2013 event:

SASCON Chief Sponsor: Manual Link Building Introduction

In a hakuna matata style;

link acquisition

link removal

The Circle of Life

(you had to be there)

Thomsonlocal SASCON 2013 keynote – Alastair Thornton

All about search for small businesses.

Most interesting fact of the session: small businesses on average spend £2000 per year on marketing.

Maximising Word Press for Search

Excellent detailed tips for Word press security:

Then Yoast talked of the importance of

Majestic’s fresh index is fresher than SEOMoz’s = fact

Advanced PPC Techniques

SASCON panel: Home James, Acquisio & Latitude

Key takeout: Good guys however the session was not advanced enough.

Acquisio use Triggit, Trade Desk and Optimal for RTB

PPC strategy was essentially a tailored version of SOSTAC (check out my SOSTAC post for details)

Great campaign example: Omnicom managed a nice defensive strategy for McDonalds in the PPC results for people searching for terms such as ‘super size me’ and ‘McDonalds slaughter house’ by trying to educate against the negative press

DCO (Dynamic creative optimisation) is a great way of optimising those annoying ads on Facebook.

Reminded that Quality Score (QS) made up of (approx):

CTR = 60%

Landing page = 25%

Ad and keyword relevance = 10%

Other factors = 5%

…Just interesting to see how the mix has changed over the past few years with the landing page becoming more important (see my PPC post from a couple of years ago that discussed this development)

Note: They showed a nice table on how QS is worked out. For more detailed information check out my AdRank and Quality Score explained post

Good points made about competitor advantage often resting on ad extensions optimisation e.g. site links, social, customer review/ seller ratings, etc.

Analytics site search query report is a good way of ascertaining what your audience is looking for so you can then give the most popular destinations to them in your site links.

Old Skool – still saying that the use of Exact Match keywords can reduce CPC’s by circa 15% compared with phrase and broad

Nice Split testing confidence calculator by Ceondo


Activity for the 2013 diary

Action for children

Byte night = An October event where IT geeks sleep out ‘rough’ in support of youth homelessness

I’m going hence who is joining me?


The Challenges and Opportunities in (Big) Data

Clancy Childs, product manager, Google Analytics

To obtain details from the great presentation visit

The presentation discussed Universal Analytics  (coming soon)

Something simple (beam of light ‘hits’ being passed in a counter styley back into GA)…

…Blew my mind!

Think of the possibilities of something more advanced for ROPO (See my ROPO post for more details) e.g. In real time (when GA is integrated with motion/ beam detectors in store entrances) you will be able to track footfall as a result of mobile and proximity marketing around specific stores and then prove the direct interplay between digital advertising and driving footfall.

Dimension Widening ‘data in one place and modelled’ is a great new(ish) feature of GA

Another mind blowing proof of concept was that of tracking users and not cookies

Moving from Web Analytics to Touch Point Analytics = Clearly not the best things to track demonstrated in the above video (coffee, etc) however again think outside the box and you can start to understand user id’s that in turn link to profiles that in turn links to much better LTV (Life Time Value) understanding and optimisation; a real world example of the amazing stuff coming out of (check my post on this cookie in the cloud enabler)

Note: for details on Life Time Value check my LTV post 

Clancy mentioned that agencies can add true value if they start to develop bespoke attribution models (check my post on Attribution modelling for more information)

Not seen this one before and it’s filthy; Check out Google’s Customer journey to online purchase tool that can be tailored per country and sector

And then there is Big Query from Google  that allows you to analyse terabytes of data on the Google server clusters for much less than it would cost to develop the infrastructure yourself

Stalking the Zebra – life after Panda and Penguin

A nice debate on life after Panda and Penguin

New World of signals:

  • Still going to rely on Links to an extent
  • but moving more to social signals (see my post on SSS and about great flows of emotion – check out my post on bona fide passion SEO parameters)
  • and user profiles (hence the analytics developments mentioned above will increasingly play a part)

Social signals and developments such as Authorship will certainly play a part but less/ more so in certain sectors and at present Social signals are still too easy to game

3 top tips for SEO:

  • Be an authority in your area of expertise e.g. new widget, amazing content, functionality, etc
  • Understand your link profile and what it means
  • Evaluate where your site sits today and where it might realistically be in 6 months and then strategise/plan/deliver what to do next


Embracing Enhanced Campaigns

SASCON panel: Marin, Google & Stickyeyes were in attendance

A great session where I certainly came out wiser on the biggest development in PPC for 10 years (Note: For an overview visit my Enhanced Campaign post)

I’m now sold on Enhanced Campaigns!

Whilst there are issues:

  • No longer able to target the device e.g. network
  • Tablet bound up in desktop is the wrong decision for the short-medium term as the behaviour can be widely different
  • The recommendation is to undertake work on what your mobile multipliers will be rather than following Google best practice advice
  • With the transition you can guarantee mobile CPC’s will go up
  • At present AdWords editor deals poorly with extensions
  • Ad scheduling is now more difficult than before

There are benefits:

  • Moving from targeting devices to users focusing on contextual queues and their situation is the right marketing evolution
  • Tablets and desktop devices will have almost the same user behaviours in the medium-long term hence right to combine them
  • You can set the mobile multiplier to minus 100% hence if you do not want to be on mobile then you do not have to be
  • More control over location, day of week, etc and great advanced targeting with offer, location, scheduling, etc extensions
  • You still have control over sending traffic to desktop or to mobile with the use of {  }
  • Simplier campaign structures will save time in the medium-long term

Whilst 75% of accounts in the North of England have been transferred over to Enhanced Campaigns there are obviously still some to go. D Day is the 22nd July hence do it now before you are forced by Google transition rules that will not be tailored for your specific situation

Essentially though just treat it like a tool. Play around with it, test, learn and refine your new enhanced campaigns.

And here is the original sales video:

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