Google Adwords Community Summit 2014

Google Adwords Summit in London: Photo of Nadia Lee, Agata Krzysztofik, Deana Smart-Zegna, Coco Pannell, Kathleen Garrity.

Google Adwords Summit; Nadia Lee, Agata Krzysztofik, Deana Smart-Zegna, Coco Pannell, Kathleen Garrity.

On June 19th, Sonet Digital was invited to attend the Adwords Community Summit 2014, hosted at the Google HQ in London. This account provides a detailed perspective of the event. Deana (Adwords Specialist) from Sonet Digital shares her firsthand experience of the event.

June 19th Arrival

The day began early with a journey to London Victoria, a location conveniently close to the Google Offices. Upon reaching the venue, attendees were met with a warm welcome by Google representative, Nadia Lee. Immediately making me feel welcome, Nadia directs me to the first floor where I can check in.

Google HQ London

The Google offices exuded a contemporary and minimalistic design, prioritising functionality. Early interactions included introductions to three dynamic professionals from the Adwords team: Coco Pannell, Kathleen Garrity and Agata Krzysztofik) who were there to greet me and provide me with my credentials for the Summit.  I’m then invited to help myself to breakfast – a selection of croissants, pastries, tea, coffee and water) that are in the meeting room.

As 9:00 am approached, a diverse group of attendees assembled, some familiar with one another, while others were attending for the first time.

Summit Introduction: Insights into Digital Advertising

Gareth Morgan

Gareth Morgan: “80% of the population consistently carry a digital device”

The exuberant Coco makes the Summit Introduction laying out the schedule for the day and what we can expect. She’s a self-confessed ‘southern belle with an Ivy League flair’ – and I have to say I agree with that description entirely!  She takes control of the assembled Google Adwords Community and manages the entire event without a hitch!  She’s a great asset to the Google Team.

Next up is Gareth Morgan, Director of European Advertiser Services. Gareth underscored the UK’s prominence as the rapidly expanding advertising market in Western Europe, with projections touching £13.7bn in 2014. He highlighted that an impressive 80% of the population consistently carry a digital device, and 40% of online researchers transition to online purchases. A notable introduction was “Google My Business,” a significant initiative aimed at bolstering local SEO.

Google Customer Service and Transparency

Gareth candidly addressed previous challenges in Google’s customer service approach. He emphasised the company’s renewed dedication to transparency and enhanced customer service. By the close of the year, Google aspires to offer 24/7 telephone support in English, supplementing their pre-existing email and chat support avenues. The introduction of one-to-one video support via Google Hangout was also highlighted.

Important Trends in Google Search

John Mueller, a Webmaster Trends Analyst, delineated five crucial trends for Google Search. His discourse covered mobile-friendly sites, security protocols, internationalisation strategies, structured data, and strategies to combat spam. This session was particularly informative, especially concerning mobile site prerequisites and strategies for managing international sites.

Insights into Dynamic Remarketing

Sai Chand

Sai Chand: “49% of visitors make comparisons on other websites before purchasing”

It was interesting to hear Si Chand’s in-depth review of Dynamic Remarketing.  I was surprised to hear that 96% of visitors leave a site without converting, and 70% of visitors abandon a shopping cart (no surprise there) whilst 49% of visitors make comparisons on other websites before purchasing! That therefore gives one a massive audience to remarket to!

Principles of Effective PPC

Jack Porter-Smith imparted invaluable insights on PPC, underscoring the significance of prioritising conversions over mere traffic. He advised prudence when considering new Adwords enhancements and emphasised the necessity of comprehensive understanding. The counsel to avoid “panic optimisation” and the emphasis on the value of learning from errors resonated with attendees.  Here are a few salient points by Jack that every PPC marketer should take on board:

  • Google Ads: Don’t think just about traffic, think about conversions’… that’s what customers really want at the end of the day – a lead, download, quote request, or sale!
  • Look before you leap: Don’t jump on the next shiny thing (Adwords product enhancement/upgrade)… wait until you’ve had a chance to review and research whatever the next new Adwords enhancement might be before you start spending your client’s money with inadequate understanding of the process!
  • Don’t Panic: Don’t whatever you do ‘panic optimise’!  Wait, calm down and then re-address the issue! (definitely one to remember).
  • Mistakes – we all make them, ‘innovation requires trial and error’!
Sushi at Google HQ

Sushi served for lunch at the Google Community Summit

Break for a well-deserved lunch – methinks
We enjoyed lunch and got to know each other a little more with general luncheon chatter.  The food was a mix of international culinary delights, fresh sushi, salad bar, fruits and veggies, Italian cuisine, freshly sliced Parma ham and huge hunks of Parmesan cheese!  I refrain from making a glutton of myself and select some freshly made Sushi, a little salad and a soda.  It’s delicious. An open plan cafeteria, modern, vibrant, full of energy all adorned with flags of the world as we ‘endure’ the FIFA World Cup.

Discussing Shopping Campaigns

Returning to the Summit the afternoon begins with a Shopping Campaigns presentation by Tom Taylor. There are also more in-depth presentations, discussions and workshops on advanced Google Adwords techniques. Attendees also participated in a collaborative exercise, reviewing an article from the Adwords Help Centre. By the time the summit had concluded my head was buzzing.

Deana Smart-Zegna and Melanie Burgess on the Google scavenger hunt

Deana and Melanie participating in the Google scavenger hunt

A Little Fun To End The Day: Google Scavenger Hunt

Then it’s time to switch off from work! We all head out for the ‘Around London Scavenger Hunt!’  We are put into teams and given approximately 3 hours to complete the Google Adwords-themed scavenger hunt.  My teammates are Melanie Burgess and Jon Gritton. We start at a rapid pace, trying to throw off the competition – ha! Marching past many tourist attractions that including Buckingham Palace, St. James’ Park, Big Ben and everything in between.  We photograph the answers to our questions and I for one have to say I enjoy this mini-sightseeing tour of our great capital.  Our final destination is Trafalgar Square where a huge blue cockerel presides over affairs!  Here we congregate with our fellow Summit attendees, calculate the final scores, identify the winners and the prize giving is completed.

Concluding Day 1

Having worked up quite an appetite it’s off to B-Bar where Google have arranged dinner and drinks. As we arrive the Google Girls, (Agata, Coco, Kathleen and Nadia) are ready to meet us again with smiles and an alcoholic beverage or two!  It’s the perfect end to a busy and inspiring day – though sadly we ended up drowning our sorrows following the appalling state of play by the England team at the World Cup!

The Adwords Community Summit 2014 was a day rich in Google Ads marketing knowledge, networking, and inspiration, offering a unique platform for professionals to glean insights directly from Google specialists and to foster connections within the industry.  Bring on Day 2!

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