This week I am going to look at how you can effectively grow your PPC targeting to meet increased demand.
Depending on your line of business the holiday season is already upon you, or it is just around the corner and with the increased buying activity it takes more than raising your budgets to meet the increased demand.
The holidays mean not only more business for you, but also for your competitors, and even an increase in competition as indirect players invade your space.
This raise in competition will lead to higher CPC’s and more competitive search result pages. First you want to be sure to have the most effective ad extensions available to better qualify your clicks. If you have a location, make sure you are linked to a map. If you are a retailer, make sure your product feed is connected to Google Merchant Center and optimized with your best performing keywords in the titles and product descriptions.
Also look at ways to deliver value beyond prices, including shipping offers, bundled promotions and more you can tout in your ad copy. Review what your competitors are saying and make sure your message is competitive.
Last but not least, check your bids. Track your placement by graphing it out over time, seeing where it has fluctuated. Cross referencing it with your Click Through Rate(or conversion rate for high performing targets) will show where your sweet spot is for performance, then control your bids to maintain that position.
While raising your bids are not all you can do to stay competitive in the increased market that is the fourth quarter, it is still part of it. Run Impression Share reports for your campaigns and see where you are losing ground because of your budgets. This percentage will tell you how many searches your current budget is allowing you to be visible for.
While I wouldn’t recommend blindly following Google’s budget recommendations, it is a good place to focus and see how you can increase the number of searches you are visible for.
Look at your campaigns metrics. If your click or conversion rates are abysmal you wont necessarily want to chase that trend with an increased budget. Otherwise though, if they are promising or strong, you will do well to increase the daily budgets and drive more opportunities to those campaigns.
Also, if you have competitive products, or an extended buying cycle, look to remarketing to win sales. You can use search and remarketing in combination to target those early in the buying cycle and then serving ads to help them with their decisions. You can even schedule different ads to deliver appropriate messages as the cycle continues. For example, for the first bit of time you can show a banner with your logo and product. Then a soft incentive to help make their decision, followed by a stronger offer to make the decision a no-brainer! For this type of targeting, be sure to filter out those who have made a purchase so you are not paying to market those who have already converted.
The heightened season can lead to changes taking place pretty quickly. Be sure to review your metrics at a greater pace than you would outside the height of your season. Look at what is happening day over day and week over week, but keep it in perspective. Look at what is happening for the previous 30 days and make sure you are not managing your advertising on a series of anomalies.
Know where you metrics should be, how they are trending, and adjust accordingly.
For example, if your position dropped 2 places from last month’s average yesterday, put it on a watch list and make sure it corrects itself the following day. Start looking at the SERPs and see what new competitors are there, or if your messaging has become stale. If the negative trend persists, take action to keep your sales flowing.
Also, keep a close eye on your Search Query reports and make sure you are only targeting the queries you are interested in.
By staying on top of your targeting you will enable your account to grow positively with the market.