When I was first living in Atlanta, my parents sent me a postcard with a picture of the Google Atlanta offices, with a note on the back: “You should be working here!”

Since then, I’ve landed this pretty sweet gig at Cardinal, and I’m in no hurry to leave, but it was still exciting to visit the offices of a company that plays such a major role in both my professional and personal life.

OK, so Doug wasn’t really the guest speaker, but he does look right at home behind the podium!

The occasion was a SEMPO event – “How Search Fits Into the Marketing Budget,” featuring guest speaker Doug Powell Eric Enge, and hosted at the Google Atlanta offices. Here are just a few of the takeaways:

No One Likes to be Interrupted

While traditional media, and even online display advertising, all act as interruptions, search marketing is only encountered by the consumer when he or she is actually searching for something, not an interruption at all. While traditional media are still excellent for branding, if you want to reach a potential customer at the most relevant moment, when they’re actually looking for a product or service like the one you offer, nothing beats search marketing.

SEO and PPC are BFFs

If you don’t spend much time around teenagers, let’s put it this way: like peanut butter and jelly, Lennon and McCartney, or skinny jeans and ironic tees, SEO and PPC – though both useful on their own – work best when they’re used together. SEO builds a long-term foundation for your online visibility, while PPC can target the keywords you don’t currently rank for and give you a clearer glimpse into Google’s increasingly mysterious algorithm.

Don’t Leave Money on the Table

With search volume, cost per click values, and your own site’s conversion rate and average order value, you can calculate the actual amount of money you could be generating based on your position in the search results. That money is out there for the taking, and if you are not going after it, you can bet your competitors will.

And finally, perhaps the most significant takeaway of all…

The Cardinal team can have fun anywhere, but Google makes it easy.

We broke some rules…

Made some noise…

Played some foosball…

I like to think we were the life of the party, but perhaps this picture sums it up best. Please note the sign.

Event Trash

Thanks to SEMPO for putting together the event and to Google for hosting – looking forward to the next one!