SES New York Advanced PPC Session: Optimize your accounts today.

By Amanda Sides | Apr 3, 2009
More Articles by Amanda


A few weeks ago at SES New York, Wister Walcott gave a short presentation on “Portfolio Optimization;” he was referring to your PPC accounts. Walcott is Co-founder and VP of Products at Marin Software.

Portfolio optimization can be a motivator to be able to say: “We lost less than the other guys.” Here it can be viewed as managing a collection of keywords and/or ad groups to a high level financial target. You need to be tweaking that managed collection to maximize revenue.

Here are some tips on how to achieve this feat.

  • Tip #1. Overspend on competitive terms. Your brand terms will be cheaper, so don’t overspend here. Overspend on head terms and general terms.
  • Tip#2. Implement a range of conversion types; this will help indicate how well a keyword is performing. This will result in support for low-volume keywords by having more, lower cost conversions.
  • Tip #3. Tune creative “snippets” (fragments of shared text). Creative text exists over thousands of ad groups, so how can you compare them? Walcott suggests exporting metrics and rolling up by these snippets. This is directional only; you must keep the comparison within the confines of the same ad group for a full test.
  • Tip #4. Go Negative. Try to utilize your negative keywords properly so you ultimately end up with exact, phrase, and negative match keywords in your campaigns. If done correctly, broad matched terms should eventually be weeded out. (This should result in a higher ROI.)

If you reach high to try and optimize your “portfolio,” you will see you become more cost effective, and more efficient in your processes.

One other speaker was Thomas Bindl, the Founder & CEO of Refined Labs GmbH. He focused on the importance of detailed measurement.

  • Searcher Type. The first measurement you should take is figuring out where your searcher stands in the search process (or funnel). There are three types of searches: Navigational, Informational, and Transactional.
  • Wrong data. Second, Bindl mentioned that one quarter of all tracking data is wrong… 25.03% of conversions need two or more clicks to happen.
  • Attribution Management. Don’t give the last click all the credit. Try understanding cross-channel effects. The brand works better when relating to generic terms as opposed to long tail ones. Different products require different lengths in the sales cycle; remember the longer the cycle, the more important it is to not give the last click all the credit.
  • Exact Measurement. If you use stricter match types, your tracking will come more easily; also keep in mind stricter match types mean less traffic. Try to track what your searchers are looking for, not what you are advertising.

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