Set it and forget it? It's the ultimate fantasy for all performance marketers: the ability to simply plug in keywords, phrases, titles and descriptions and watch data and results come pouring in. No mess, no hassle'just the reports you need, when you need them. Unfortunately, that's a fantasy. Automation is only part of the total marketing picture. If you want truly actionable insight, you also need humans to derive meaning and determine real-time enhancements. AMP Agency's Account Director and Digital Strategist, Amy Seeburger, Senior Paid Search Specialist, Jason Keaveny, and Marin Software's Director of Product Marketing, Jason Young, hosted a webinar discussing how combining advanced automation and human insight leads to a successful marketing campaign. View the presentation below. Advanced Automation from AMP Agency
Google recently announced that in May Exact and Phrase match settings will now include misspellings and plural modifications. For example, the term 'red apple'? set on Exact match will now match to queries such as 'red aple'? and 'red apples'?. The same will apply to current Phrase match settings in that additional keywords may be at the beginning or end of the query and still match to target terms. What does this mean to advertisers? Google has indicated that the new match settings are an attempt to grow click volume, while offering greater control than Broad match and Broad Match Modifier. Advertisers who follow best practices of including plurals and misspellings should not see a major spike in volume. If these keyword permutations do not exist in an account, then click traffic will likely increase due to greater reach. For advertisers currently bidding separately on misspelling and plurals, the new update to Exact and Phrase matching may be an opportunity to improve campaign performance without sacrificing click volume as demonstrated below. Advertiser Opportunity Existing Settings Misspellings typically receive a small amount of click volume, but can vary depending on the brand and vertical. CPC's, CTR's and Quality Scores are associated separately for misspellings/plurals from core terms when bid on independently. Keyword Opportunity The new match type configurations will allow relevant query traffic to be channeled through the core terms and hence will not require separate bidding on misspellings and plurals. This consolidates traffic allowing for quicker optimizations. The sooner advertisers can find CPC and creative trends, the quicker they can positively influence Quality Score. Traditionally, Exact match keywords drive better Quality Score for they are most relevant to the query. As advertisers drive more traffic from Exact match keywords, it should have a positive impact on overall campaign performance. Creative Opportunity Dynamic Keyword Insertion ads may also benefit from this update as well. When DKI ads match to misspellings that are deliberately bid on, the ad displays the misspelled keyword. Obviously this is a negative user experience and precludes the use of DKI ad formats for misspelling ad groups. The expanded criteria for Phrase and Exact match will eliminate the need for targeting misspellings directly, therefore DKI can be used freely without jeopardizing the user experience. DKI ad formats generally drive stronger CTR, which creates an opportunity for advertisers. AMP Recommendation In attempt to leverage possible opportunities that come with Google's updated Exact and Phrase matching, AMP recommends pausing existing plurals and misspellings to allow the incremental traffic to match to existing core keywords. The hypothesis is that by allowing more traffic to existing Exact and Phrase match keywords that traditionally have good CTR's, the consolidated data will allow for quicker optimizations and possible lift in Quality Score. As Quality Score is difficult to predict, this will have to be measured in aggregate at least one month out from the change. Consolidated traffic from misspellings and plurals will be quicker and easier to measure and should at very least keep consistent performance.
Driving Maximum SEM Campaign Performance through Advanced Automation Use of technology platforms like Marin, Kenshoo, and SearchCenter have become a ubiquitous aspect of search campaign management in the past 12-16 months. The benefits of these platforms are clear with tools streamlining bulk campaign changes, reporting, and bid management; all of which translates to more efficient workflow and back-end results for performance marketers. That said these platforms are not stand-alone solutions; the human-element of search management continues to play a critical role in effective management of campaigns. Search specialist expertise ensures that the deeper, business context of decision-making is overlaid on the data-centric view of the technology platform. A case study for AMP client, Blue Shield of California underscores this value ' the integrated approach of expertise and technology to amplify SEM success. In this example, Blue Shield sought to scale the campaign to drive maximum lead volume at target Cost Per Lead (CPL) efficiency goals. The challenges facing this goal were two fold; 1) Identifying this volume/efficiency equilibrium; 2) Doing so in an extremely competitive bid landscape marked by rising Cost Per Click (CPC) rates. Being that the campaign was already manually optimized around CPL vs volume, automated bid rules were implemented within AMP's SEM platform based on CPL goals. Immediately the campaign hit efficiency goals, but this came at the expense of conversion and click volume. Click volume alone dropped almost 10% in one week. Campaign Performance: Implementation of Initial Bid Rule Though the new CPL bid rules acquired volume at a CPL under goal, the volume was too small to hit overall volume goals. To solve for the restricted volume, AMP opened the CPL parameters to levels higher than goal in attempts to offset the first weeks dip in volume. Even when the allowable CPL was doubled, the SEM platform still defaulted to acquiring the most efficient leads regardless of volume. Campaign Performance: Raising CPL Automated Goals In light of this volume challenge, a solution needed to be applied in order to drive toward not only efficiency but maximum volume at efficiency. The SEM platform's bid management solution needed to be supplemented by additional business rules. The platform alone was backing itself into a volume corner by optimizing strictly toward only the most efficient performing placements. Mondays and Tuesdays were high opportunity days in terms of both search volume and lead activity. SEM platforms however tend to view all historical data as flat meaning, while they are exceptional at optimizing based on direct click to conversion data, they are not built to recognize non-standard variables such as seasonality, day of week and other industry specific market fluctuations. Low volume and performance data from Sunday was therefore inhibiting the campaign's ability to capitalize on opportunity early in the week. The technology alone was not adapting for future opportunity, a new approach was needed. To hit volume goals, the initial bid rules were re-set with two additional components, time of day (TOD) and bid to position. As a result, AMP was able to increase lead volume by 78% and cut lead costs by 16%. Campaign Performance: Multiple Bid Rule Approach While the automated options that are available within the search engines and third party SEM platforms are crucial to keeping up with a rapidly changing environment, they are only as powerful as the expertise behind them. There are no 'set it and forget it' tools available, though with the appropriate specialists driving tactics there are a host of options to Solve just about any SEM challenge.