There are 3 paid search optimizations that make your website perform badly.
I just found out about a Wikipedia page that lists various inventors who were killed by their own inventions. This is an awesome page, and if you choose to stop reading this article to take a look at that page, I won’t be offended.
But it gave me food for thought. What are some of the ways in which paid search optimization can kill a marketing campaign? The following are some of those optimizations:
Increasing Bids in Budget-Restricted Campaigns
Usually search managers are authorized to spend as much as the campaign needs. Success is measured according to the return on ad spend generated and the amount of profit generated. But not everyone has an unlimited budget. They budget in Bing Ads, Yahoo Gemini and AdWords so that they don’t go over budget.
The bad thing about this type of strategy is that an increased keyword bid reduces the amount of traffic that the campaign gets, if it is based upon previous budget restrictions. This is because the PPC gets higher with each higher bid. A higher PPC means that it won’t take as many clicks to go over budget.
Making aggressive bids might get higher rankings, but this usually reduces traffic because ads aren’t shown as much due to budget restrictions. This is an example of paid search optimization killing a marketing campaign.
Putting Limitations on Search Campaigns to Target RLSA or Customer Match Lists
Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSA) and Customer Match users make it possible for advertisers to show their ads to highly valuable groups who have already visited a brand’s website or have previously given the brand their email address.
Since this audience has already shown an interest in the brand, they usually do better than non-RLSA and Customer Match users in terms of conversions.
Thus, advertisers might be tempted to target just these users. This is a good strategy if a brand has numerous competitors and those advertisers don’t have the budget to target non-RLSA and Customer Match audiences to get good ROAS. Usually it’s best to target users that already know your brand.
Why? Many advertisers use non-brand keywords to get new traffic. Restricting ads to just users who are already familiar with the brand makes it harder to get traffic that knows nothing about the brand.
Also, non-brand search advertising helps build RLSA and Customer Match lists by attracting traffic that converts. Turning ads off to non-audience traffic might decrease your lists in the future.
Advertisers may choose other options to get more website traffic, and search query is a good indicator of which traffic converts. This is in comparison to other weaker indicators such as paid social media.
You may get higher account CTR and conversions if you target RLSA and Customer Match Lists. But this could also have a bad effect on getting new customers and getting repeat customers in the future. It is for these reasons that I think paid search optimizations kill website performance.
Omitting Keyword and Google Shopping Product Ads that Aren’t Successful
There are those who believe that bad keywords don’t exist; however, they do believe in bad bids. There will always be good keywords that are relevant to your business. You just have to pay the right price for the traffic.
If a keyword isn’t getting the right ROAS, the bid is not low enough. Bad keywords should bid low enough to shut off traffic.
When brands test keywords and determine that the ROAS is bad, they may either omit or pause them. But they should first try to lower the bid and look at the ad copy and landing page to see if the keyword is actually targeted enough.
Understand that you shouldn’t automatically pause a Google Shopping campaign when it first performs badly. Try to break down the target audience into smaller ones with a smaller amount of products. Do this to possibly get more granular bids. Also try to adjust your bids to get your ROAS goals. Do you have queries that drive bad traffic to products? Could these be improved by using negative keywords?
Ask yourself these questions. Smart advertisers must answer these questions if they have bad ROAS.
Choosing to delete or pause keywords and product targets without trying to make bid adjustments will lead to good traffic going away permanently. Unfortunately, this will kill paid search campaigns.
Don’t kill off your paid search campaigns in error. You may think your optimizations are working, but they aren’t. Although this article is not a Wikipedia page about inventors who were killed by their own inventions, it will give you food for thought.
Category Search Engine Marketing