I have been at Yahoo for about four months now and I wanted to share some of the observations that I have made in that time period. I review accounts for clients and offer search engine marketing optimization advice based on my experience. I am fascinated by account structure and organization and I would like to see more clients use the most up-to-date best practices to improve their search engine marketing performance.
That being said, these SEM optimizations are for enterprise search campaigns and will require and automated bidding platform to manage. Large accounts are too complex to be handled manually and need efficient, automated bidding strategies which I am not going to discuss in this article.
Additionally, I will be using the two definitions of accounts interchangeably but recognize that there is a difference.
- Search engine accounts are individual account in a search engine. Each search account usually has a unique sign-in and a unique account id.
- Advertising accounts or client accounts include all the search engine accounts that one advertiser manages including campaigns and keywords.
1) Large advertiser accounts are MASSIVE and contain millions and millions of keywords
This was sort of a shock for me. I have worked with clients that had 1.5 million keywords and I thought that many keywords was a lot (not unique keywords but the same keyword segmented by match type, device, and geo-target). Most large retailers have multiple search accounts with hundreds of thousands of keywords in each account. I was amazed when I discovered that one retailer had segmented product category in to separate search accounts.
Don’t be afraid of massive keyword lists and multiple accounts. Search Engine Account Managers can help you manage performance across accounts. Develop a solid SEM account and campaign structure and grow keyword lists organically. If you have a large advertising account with thousands of clicks a day and adding additional keywords can reduce average cost-per-click by $.10, the benefits will be huge.
2) Many large advertisers do not take advantage of multiple accounts for segmentation
If you have a decent SEM management platform or the means to monitor multiple search accounts, use different search accounts to segment keywords and traffic. Multiple search accounts is an easy way to monitor segmentation and make sure targeting is set correctly. Set scheduled reports, dimensions, or labels to monitor performance and targeting. Use account management tools like Bing Ad Editor & Google Adwords Editor to make bulk changes.
A suggested account segmentation strategy in Bing would be to create nine accounts segmenting devices and match type. All the campaigns would initially have the same campaigns and keywords but keyword match type, device targeting and negative keywords would be very different.
- Computer – Broad
- Computer – Phrase
- Computer – Exact
- Tablet – Broad
- Tablet – Phrase
- Tablet – Exact
- Mobile – Broad
- Mobile – Phrase
- Mobile – Exact
The segmentation strategy above offers four advantages:
- When budgets need to be reduced, it is easy to target low performing areas to pause
- Devices have very different metrics (CTR and Conversion Rate) and segmentation makes it easy to optimize accordingly
- Segmented keywords offers a way to dial in keyword bids to the appropriate level (keyword level tracking is required)
- It is easy to setup negative blocking
3) Mobile Conversion Rates are Changing Dramatically
It is essential that advertisers develop a mobile strategy such as m-commerce or supporting brick and mortar locations. Google is forcing advertisers to advertise on tablets. Amazon saw 50% of their Holiday 2013 traffic come from mobile. On average, most advertisers are seeing 15% to 20% of their total conversions come from mobile (if you only advertise on computers, this revenue is incremental). I have seen some advertisers with 50% of their conversions coming from mobile.
Mobile traffic has been on the rise for years, but it seems that finally mobile conversion rates are making it ROAS positive for Advertisers to embrace mobile wholeheartedly.
For mobile analytics, remember Google Adwords campaigns group computer and tablets together. Google Analytics filters group tablets and mobile together. Monitor computer, tablet, and mobile metrics separately by segmenting by device in the search engines. Most advertisers will be amazed to find how differently each device performs.
- Additional SEM optimizations: Negative Blocking, Geo-targeting, Product Feeds, & Local Keywords
- Bing specific optimizations