Remember the popular ‘90s late-night infomercial tagline: “Set it and forget it”? It worked for roasting chicken — but it doesn’t work in your online paid search efforts.
Often, we review new client or prospect accounts and find that they’re using all of the bells and whistles that Google AdWords has to offer but none of it has been updated or is relevant to recent performance. A few different reasons contribute to this phenomenon. First, a client’s account might be set up with brand new campaigns, keywords, extensions, and bid modifiers, and bid rules are put in place based on relatively new performance data. Then, one (or both) of the following happens:
- Clients simply get caught up in day-to-day business and aren’t adjusting modifiers and bids based on any change in traffic and the resulting performance.
- Customer behaviors change and, without a close relationship with an agency or a provider, advertisers may not even know about these shifts.
Here are a few things to look at on a regular basis to ensure you’re keeping up with these changes.
Within the last six to nine months, we’ve seen a large increase in mobile conversions. Last year, we saw an increase in mobile clicks, but I believe people were still hesitant to actually complete orders on their mobile phones. They may have been standing in a Target aisle comparing prices or mindlessly “window shopping” while sitting in the carpool line. Now, however, as people are spending even more time on their phones and more secure payment process options are available, consumers are increasingly comfortable completing these orders on the phone as opposed to logging into their home desktop computer. (Do people even still have home desktops?)
Here’s a quick exercise.
- Log into your AdWords account and adjust the date range back to the beginning of the year to present day.
- On the Campaigns tab, segment the data by device and look at the traffic coming in from the three different device types. Depending on which metric is of most importance (CTR, Cost/Conversion, Total Conversions) you can see which device is providing the most traffic in total or most efficient traffic.
- Compare this to the same date range for 2016 and see if there has been a shift in conversions. Check to see if your mobile bid modifiers reflect the traffic performance you see.
- Are you reducing your mobile modifiers by a large amount that could be restricting efficient traffic? Try to relax the modifiers to see if you can increase your traffic but remain efficient.
- Are you losing money on tablet traffic? You can adjust tablet-specific modifiers, something most people have forgotten was available.
We recommend revisiting this exercise every month or so, looking back at 30 to 90 days of data depending on your seasonality. We also suggest doing the same for any ad scheduling and location modifiers you have in place as shifts in this traffic may occur as well.
Keyword and Product Group Bidding
If you’re a ChannelAdvisor customer you should be using our Automated Bidding Tools to ensure keyword and product group bids are adjusting regularly based on performance. These may be things you set up in the beginning of your relationship with us and you may not have thought to look back at the goals and triggers being used.
It’s a good idea to ensure that each rule has your most recent ROI goal, and your adjustment range and date range are still relevant. This is an especially important practice during your busy season as you will want to react to your most recent traffic.
Go ahead and make a note on your calendar to check these metrics monthly. It’s an easy way to ensure you aren’t leaving money on the table or letting it burn — like a forgotten rotisserie chicken.