Do you plan your PPC budgets effectively? Do you consider when consumers are in the research stage?
A lot of advertisers are still planning their PPC budgets based on when consumers are purchasing rather than researching.
For example, if you have a big sale period you are likely to see a lot of conversions occurring on the last day of a sale. This is because consumers will be shopping around and researching alternatives, and will then return to a website on the last day of the sale to make the purchase.
Always make sure you base your digital strategy on the consumer decision making process – the first stage is building awareness and this is where you should focus your PPC efforts.
We have tested phasing budgets based on when consumers are actively searching or researching online for some time now, and have seen great improvements. We always start with analysing the natural search demand seen each day and then we model the PPC budget each day, which then provides us with weekly or monthly budgets with which we can monitor performance.
There are a variety of methods we use to review historical search trends, which we then use to forecast for the future.
By following this strategy we have seen our AdWords and Bing accounts perform much better. We find CPCs are much lower because you are not going against the tide.
For example, if you set yourself a high budget on the last day of a sale you may struggle to spend it, simply because the search volume is not there. You will most likely have to increase your CPCs to give you a chance of spending this budget, which will only ruin your return on investment.
We also find CPCs are flatter and don’t jump up and down each day because we are phasing the budget logically – this makes the account much easier to manage and less time is spent on bid and budget management. This time can then be reinvested in other tactics such as housekeeping, improving ad quality and expanding keywords.
Furthermore, if you are utilising third-party bidding tools such as Kenshoo, you will get more out of this technology if you phase your budgets correctly.
Another point to consider is to ensure you set up your device bids based on the same school of thinking. Follow the traffic but not the sales!
A lot of advertisers are still pulling back on mobile device spend because they don’t see a great conversion rate. But if you look at your organic search trends in Google Analytics, you will most likely see mobile is driving most of the traffic. We recommend you model your PPC device spend based on what you see on SEO, otherwise you will end up with overinflated CPCs on desktop and tablet.
Obviously you should phase your remarketing budgets differently to your paid search budgets. You will want to weigh up your budgets for this channel for when you expect users to show more intent to buy.