As Google continues introducing more automation capabilities over the past couple of years, paid search marketers have lost much manual control. As a result, it has become essential for marketers to adapt to automation and machine learning and identify which levers are still valuable and accessible.
Generating more leads, improving conversion rates, or increasing return on ad spend. Whatever the reason, you can consider some of these options to get the most out of your search ads investment.
But how to tell what does or does not work in the traditional PPC toolset that might boost your performance?
Marketers, in most cases, do not want to give up control over automation. In reality, giving up the command to the machine’s complex can get better results than handling it yourself. Man cannot keep track of everything, hence resulting in mistakes.
It might seem as if you are holding a check on everything, but it’s not true. You are blocking the machine learning capabilities designed to work for better performance.
Segmentation is the name of data visualization. It is used for generating new insights and future iterations. However, if you want to take advantage of segmentation for reporting, you should avoid overdoing it in the optimization stage. Otherwise, it will likely damage performance potential.
Google’s Performance Max Campaigns (PMax) contains specific optimization methods obsolete.
According to PMax world, you should not spend time looking for optimization levers you can control. Instead, it would help if you made strategies about what to put in the machine.
Automation is all about the inputs. It will be best to put valuable audience segments into the machine and not over-segment it simultaneously. Audiences that come from first-party data should be your priority. Then get the value out of your collected data and go for high-value lookalike audiences.
Look outside the standard search platforms like Google and Microsoft. Some platforms like AdMarketplace, Connexity, and Criteo are profitable even after having less market share. You do not have to put all your ads on Google. There are other options too that can give you a significant return on your investment.
Always keep yourself up-to-date on what’s changing on the platform. Some tools may be worth working with but are not likely to last longer. Here are two such tools that should be used before they become of no use because of Google’s additional automation:
SQRs are used to understand what terms are showing up against the campaigns. We can use this data to identify relevant words and questions for our campaigns. Then replace it with the terms that are not performing well.
When you go to Discovery, YouTube, and other similar channels, you will pay attention to what and where the ad appears on the web page. Here, marketers have some control over where ads are showing up. You can make a list of the sites that is suitable for your brand advertisement.
You can also blacklist the areas that are low in performance or not suitable for your brand. In this way, you can be efficient and effective.
Understandably, marketers may feel a little agitated because of the automation and loss of control. It may take time to adjust, but you must adapt to survive in this dynamic market.
You have to keep two things in mind:
It will make mistakes to learn from them. It’s learning from scratch, so it must capture all the contextual evidence to understand its job thoroughly. Automation requires some fine-tuning when it comes to search. Some trial and error are the art of the process.
You must wait for at least three or more weeks before comparing pre-automation performance against automation. This is because the search campaigns need time to speed up before making significant changes.
Understandably, waiting for a month to see results can cause anxiety, but it’s crucial for the accurate evaluation of automation on the effectiveness of your campaigns. The data you put into the automation will help it learn and grow, eventually delivering on your most important KPIs.
There will be plenty of opportunities for your strategic expertise even if you incorporate more automated tools into your paid search strategy. This might include putting in data, fine-tuning content, testing results, analyzing results, and higher-level decisions around budget allocation.