Tuesday, April 2, 2013

PPC : change nothing and nothing changes

I've helped a lot of organisations over the years optimise their digital advertising campaigns. This means I've seen a number of different ways of setting up and configuring paid search in services like Google AdWords, Microsoft's Bing Ads (previously Yahoo's own Search Marketing efforts) and others.

In several notable examples the PPC (pay per click) campaigns had seemingly reached their peak and the organisations concerned were happy to carry on doing the same thing day after day. In nearly every case the person managing the activity was happy to spend a very similar amount each day or month and deliver the same amount of visitors. (If I'm honest, they were almost scared to make changes once they found a set-up that worked).

Unsurprisingly, this infuriated the heck out of me for various reasons:

1. There is never an optimum way to build PPC campaigns. If you think you're doing the best paid search you ever could, then you're sadly mistaken.
Note: If your digital marketing agency says there is and that they've found it... They are trying to either get an easy ride or hide something

2. Google, Microsoft and the rest of the search engines never stop evolving their products, so failing up change your paid SEM will only risk leaving you with outdated approaches and techniques.

3. New competition comes into the market all the time (and some leave) and the current ones get smarter or more determined. More competition for the same terms will therefore push the bidding price up in systems such as AdWords.
Note: Your clever competition knows that change is good and how it can help to improve customer acquisition costs... Do you?

4. Websites change and therefore variables such as Google's Quality Score vary over time. If you're directing prospects to a site where the content and catalogue information is changing all the time, you can bet your QS is fluctuating too (it might even be changing when you have a static site!).

But more importantly than all if these should be the urge in every online marketer to improve on what is there... Not necessarily by making huge changes to your PPC account on a daily basis, but by the use of incremental changes and small experiments that test new ways and wording.

After all... Don't you want to learn and find out more about paid search? Do you want your skills to stand still in a market place that rewards talent? Don't you want to compete against your peers out there, all intent on bettering those CPC and conversion rates ?
(Or are you just happy to take your employer's or client's money for the short term?)
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