Mar 8, 2010

Automation saves time and manual optimization might save money, but a balance of both will lead to the best combination of efficiency and return. This is what is meant by utilizing both brains in bid management.

SearchCenter makes copying and applying bid rules very easy. New bid rule templates provide a solid skeleton for the logic pattern so that you can simply adjust the targets and apply the modified versions to each keyword segment.

Take advantage of SearchCenter’s improved control around execution frequency and bid triggers. This does not need to be a complicated decision if you follow these best practices.

Start out by considering how much time you would give your manual adjustments to prove their impact before you pulled another report to start optimizing again. Consider the common latency between the first visit and the final conversion.

Experiment with the activity triggers so that SearchCenter can dynamically respond as soon as a keyword had collected enough traffic or conversion activity that you feel is statistically significant.

Customize the logic by updating the bid percentage changes towards a velocity that will make a difference in position without losing control. (Again, the key here is to simply teach the system to respond in the way you would if you had infinite time.)

By default, the new templates look at conversion efficiency (like Profit, ROAS, or CPA) for converting keywords, cost for non-converting keywords, and impressions for low-traffic keywords. 

Which metrics could you include between those steps to evaluate cost per micro-conversions?Smooth out the logic by following similar patterns for metrics higher in the conversion funnel and and micro-conversions earlier in the click stream. 

Finally, remember to keep your hands on the wheel. Even though cruise control is a nice feature, it is up to you to decide whether locking it in at 80mph up a curvy canyon is a good idea. The concept of "set it and forget it" was a lie from old infomercials. You are smarter than that.

Let bid rules be an extension of your skills, not a replacement for them. Then you will be free to manually focus on the few keywords responsible for most of your performance.

In short:
Carefully choose targets and rule types for the major keyword segments

Adjust default thresholds according to real values from manual analysis  

Select triggers and evaluation periods that match manual frequency

Customizetemplate logic to include micro-conversions and ideal percentage changes

Manually adjust the 80/20 for the top and bottom outliers of each segment