In 2012, paid-for search marketing accounted for 58% of all digital advertising in the UK - that’s £2.77 billion each year (IAB). With its rate of growth continuing to outstrip other channels, it’s become an essential part of any effective digital marketing strategy.

Whether the aim of your campaign is to drive traffic, increase conversions, or maximise revenue, bid optimisation is the cornerstone of any effective paid search campaign. In this article, Jon Myers VP & MD EMEA of Marin Software explains some of the jargon used in the industry and offers simple tips to get the most out of paid search campaigns.

Cost-per-click/price-per-click (CPC/PPC) – this is the price paid for each ad click. This can range from a few pence to several pounds, depending on the value of the keyword.

Cost-per-action or cost-per-acquisition (CPA) – this takes things one step further than cost-per-click and calculates the cost of generating a certain action or conversion, such as a user submitting an online form or completing a purchase.

Click-through-rate (CTR) – This shows the success of an ad by the amount of people that clicked on it, as a percentage of the total people who saw the ad. CTR is an effective way of measuring the success of a campaign by seeing how many responses it prompted. The more compelling an ad, the higher the CTR.

Bid Management Software – PPC ads are bought through an auction model. Essentially, the brand who bids highest gains position one on the search results page, the second highest position two and so on. There is an additional factor at play such as Google Quality Score which impacts position. Bid Management Software calculates the optimum bid for you to reach your goal, taking all these factors into account.

Google Product Listing Ads (PLAs) – Also called Google shopping ads, these combine traditional text ads with images which retailers find particularly useful. These ads stand out when searching for particular products online and are paid for in a similar way to text ads.

Four tips to get the most out of your paid search campaigns

1) Allocate your budget efficiently. Keep an eye on how your keywords perform and if they aren’t delivering a great CTR – reduce your budget on them. When done well, you can increase your ROI without increasing your spend.
2) Advertise your entire product catalogue. If you promote your complete product line and deliver relevant ads you can differentiate yourself from your competitors and in turn, increase ROI.
3) Convert on-the-go consumers with mobile. Don’t forget that consumers increasingly use their mobile devices to search and shop so make sure you target mobile accordingly. For example, creating mobile-specific creative with local cues such as name of a city or area make your ads more relevant to consumers on the move.
4) Optimise for seasonal shifts. Bear in mind that different keywords perform better or worse at different times of the year so change your bids accordingly. If you know about a change in advance, eg. Christmas related keywords, specialist software can schedule your bids to change automatically at specific times and dates.

 

By Jon Myers, VP & MD EMEA Marin Software.





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