Last week, Nebo celebrated its 12th birthday party. There was cake, champagne, and speeches — the usual celebratory elements.
But this party was special. Not because of the 12 different cakes (although that was amazing). Not because of the live music (I learned what an e-sax was). Not because of the champagne (although that helped). It was special because of the people in the room.
SuperNova South, the Southeast's largest and longest running tech conference, takes over Atlanta next week. We're proud to have five people from the Nebo team leading some great sessions. Check out who's speaking and use promo code NEBOSNS to receive a discount on your event badge. Hurry—tickets are going fast!
If you were to play buzzword bingo at a marketing conference this year, “the funnel” would be a guaranteed get.
It’s a buzzword now, but the concept of a buyer funnel is not new. Back in 1898, a man named E. St. Elmo Lewis was credited (though not definitively) to have developed the first idea of a purchase funnel. He defined the stages of the buying funnel as follows:
In the early days of the Internet, Search Engine Optimization (before it even had a name) was simple. Getting your site indexed was more than half the battle, and that was easy. Submit your site to search engines, tell them what your company does, then sit back and wait for users to come find you.
But as search engine algorithms evolved and started crawling, analyzing, and indexing literally everything, a gap between well-intentioned marketers and those out to game the system became apparent.
While marketers with integrity were out building their brands, creating great content, and optimizing their site, quick-fix SEOs were link-building, cloaking pages, and adding hidden, keyword-stuffed text to theirs. While the good guys were trying to earn loyalty by offering value to users, black-hats were trying to syphon off domain authority that they hadn’t actually earned.
This gap has continued to widen, and we have always approached our SEO campaigns with a “user-first” mentality. We’re not interested in chasing algorithm updates or trying to capitalize on a short-term fad or take advantage of some flaw in the system. It’s always been our belief that if you create campaigns that add value to your audience, you will be successful.
I still remember the first retargeting campaign that I created. It was late 2009, and Nebo was lucky enough to be enrolled in Google’s beta remarketing program.
While the concept of retargeting wasn’t new at that point, Google opened the doors and made it easier to jump in and create retargeting campaigns that reached a large audience regardless of budget.
Those first few retargeting campaigns I created were pure magic, considering I put minimal effort into them. This was not entirely out of laziness; back then, there just wasn’t much you COULD do. Essentially, I would set up two audiences, those that came to a site and converted and those that came to a site and didn’t convert, and then had one ad for each of those audiences. Then I watched the ROI on these campaigns hit up to 10x the return of the general display campaigns.
The whole thing was too good to be true—literally. As time passed and Google opened up their platform to everyone, the performance of these campaigns started to decline. The return was still better than any general display or search campaign, but the “crazy awesome” metrics dwindled to just “pretty awesome.”