The paid search puzzle: Putting the pieces together

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Roger Barnette
Roger Barnette
In these challenging financial times, ensuring that your paid search marketing campaign is fully optimized is crucial. We all want to squeeze full value out of our existing media budgets, but how do you do that? The best way is to see your paid search campaigns “holistically.” Each piece of your campaign is an integral part of the paid search puzzle that needs to be carefully managed, tracked and optimized to ensure the best performance. Using a search management technology with robust analytics can provide you with an immense amount of data about your search campaigns in aggregate, across all of the engines.

Make sure you track normal ROI performance metrics, as well as queried keywords, assisting keywords and landing page and ad creative performance. Data about queried and assisting keywords — for example, keywords that help a searcher convert but are not credited for the transaction — can help you build your existing keyword list. Tracking your ad creative and landing pages helps you to understand what works best and in what circumstances — and provides you with the data you need to fully optimize and improve your campaign.

Once you've built your keyword list and have access to a wealth of information about your campaign's performance, how do you optimize it to achieve the best results? Again, it starts with keywords, but doesn't end there. Bid optimization technologies can ensure that your keyword bids are appropriately aligned with your campaign goals and automate much of the manual labor involved in search marketing. The best technologies predict what your return on ad spend will be at varying budget levels, helping you determine how, and how much, to allocate towards your paid search efforts.

With the technologies available to sophisticated marketers, optimization goes way beyond automating keyword bids. Sophisticated technologies can determine which landing pages align with which ad creative and keyword, and then serve up the combination most likely to encourage a click and result in a transaction.

By building your keywords, gathering detailed performance data and optimizing all aspects of your search campaign – from bids to landing pages and ad creative – marketers can integrate individual strategies to perfect their paid search puzzle and weather the economic storm.
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