Live from #seschi 2011: Analytics for Paid Search

By Avelyn Austin | Nov 15, 2011
More Articles by Avelyn


First, I apologize for the very major typo in my first live post from #seschi 2011 not 2012! It must be that time of 2011 when I start thinking and planning for 2012.

Within the Analytics for Paid Search session, Joe Kerschbaum (@joekerschbaum), Vice President of Clix Marketing, titled his presentation: Keep Your Eye on the Shore: How to Not Get Lost in a Sea of PPC Data

Like Chertudi, Kerschbaum encourages us to look at the core objectives when creating and managing your pay-per-click (PPC) accounts. Kerschbaum, focuses on 3 main points to help achieve a Zen like state when analyzing your PPC data. Find out what those 3 main points were:

1. Data Extraction:

  • Use AdWords Filters!  - My addition to this is DON’T FORGET TO SAVE YOUR FILTERS, this will help you get to this filtered data even faster in the future.
  • Use AdWords Editor to Analyze Data
  • Create Automated Reports – These may be emailed to you on scheduled timelines so that you get the data you need, when you need it.
  • Create Automated Custom Alerts – Google’s default alerts may not give you the alerts that you care most about. Custom alerts can tell you when certain events occur within your account that you need to know about immediately.

2. Analysis Prioritization

  • Top Down Analysis: Where are your trouble areas?  Look at campaigns, then ad groups, then keywords, etc.
  • Trending Analysis: Daily data may give you too many numbers to analyze at once, Kerschaum suggests using 7 day averages to cancel out the noise and determine the real trends.
  • Extreme Highs and Lows: Identify where the extremes are (for example: campaigns, ad groups, or keywords with high cost-per-conversions), isolate the problem areas and work to improve them individually to help improve your overall statistics.
  • Wide-View Analysis: Look at the overall goal and don’t just look at the week-to-week or month-to-month, back up and take a look at the bigger picture by running quarterly reports and if possible year-over-year reports.

3. Optimization Automation

  • Bid Automation - Kerschbaum’s agency does use CPA Bidding. With that he gives a few tips and limitations to using bid automation:
  • Tips for using bid automation: Only use it for stabilized campaigns and high volume campaigns.
  • Limitations to bid automation: Bid automation is not an optimization technique, there are volume limitations and you CAN’T implement ad scheduling for CPA bidding.
  • Automated Rules: Create rules for maximum CPC bids within Google AdWords. Google will email you when changes are made to bids.
Bid automation tends to be a hot and sensitive topic for discussion.  Does your company or agency use bid automation through Google or 3rd party tools?  What are your thoughts for or against bid automation?

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