In Part 1, we discussed defining your paid search season. During the busy season, budgets should be throttled up and during the non-busy season, budgets should be slowed down. It is good to maintain a presence during the slow season, so that your products or services can be found. It seems easy enough, but for some businesses their seasons are a little more complex due to their products, their geo-targeting, and holidays.
Businesses that offer a variety of products or services can have multiple seasons. Thus, it is important for their paid search campaigns to be built in a way that allows for easy budget adjustments. For example a clothing store may sell winter coats and swim suits. There paid search campaign spend should be throttled up for swimsuits in spring and summer, and slowed down in winter and fall. On the other hand their winter coats campaign should be throttled up in fall and winter and slowed down in spring and summer. They should still maintain a presence for each product during the slow season, because someone up North may be going to a tropical island for Christmas and may be in need of a swimsuit.
Another point of complexity that can impact a business’s paid search season is the geographic areas they are targeting. It is important to know your busy season in each region. For example, the clothing store could continue to maintain a throttled spend for swimsuits in South Florida during the fall season because of the temperature. However, it would be unwise to mirror those same efforts in Alaska. The temperature is not the only reason for budget changes in different geographic regions, especially when international targeting is involved. It may be that a product that has slow sales in the United States is a good seller in England. If this is the case, then budgets can be throttled up for the England targeted campaigns and slowed down for the United States campaigns.
Last, but not least, the holidays can affect the paid search seasons. For example: Let’s say a jewelry store gets their best sales during the winter months, but the spring months are slow. However, Mother’s day does very well for them. They would throttle up their spend for winter, slow it down February through mid-April and throttle it back up for the latter part of April through the end of Mother’s day. This allows them to spend their money wisely and not miss out on a holiday that is important to them.
Products, geo-targeting and holidays are factors that can affect a client’s paid search season, but they are not the only ones. Businesses should determine their busy seasons and which factors could affect them. Once season and factors are determined, adjustments can be made to best utilize the paid search budget.
Here is the scenario: it’s the end of the year and you have new promotions set to start on January 1st at midnight. You would like your new promotions to be included within your AdWords campaign, but you don’t want to miss that fabulous NYE party you’ve been invited to. What to do? The solution is to implement AdWords Automated Rules so that you can schedule the new ads to launch at midnight.
AdWords Automated Rules let you schedule automatic changes to specific parts of your account based on the criteria you specify. Some ways to utilize Automated Rules are to change your daily budget on peak shopping days, modify your Max cost-per-click (CPC) based on click-through-rate (CTR) or conversion rates, or even enable ad text to a special landing page on a holiday.
To enable Automated Rules, in the “Campaigns” tab of your account, there is a pull down menu when you click “Automate”:
Automated Rules give you the option to make changes to a single part of your account or across multiple campaigns, ad groups, ads and keywords at once. They are designed to save you time and help you manage your AdWords account more efficiently.
Automated Rules are not only great around the holidays, but in day-to-day use as well. For example, you can use Automated Rules to increase your maximum CPC when your bid estimates are showing ads for certain keywords below the first page.
Here is a screen shot of more ways you can set up AdWords Automated Rules:
One of the advantages of paid advertising is the ability to show up in the search results and through display channels very quickly. Thus, unlike SEO, paid advertising makes it possible to get virtually immediate traffic to a website.
In most cases, an effective Search Engine Optimization program requires a greater upfront investment. However, the long-term benefits can exceed those of paid advertising in that, as soon as a paid advertising campaign is turned off, your site will no longer display in the search engines and receive traffic.
Paid advertising gives you the ability to monitor and adjust your ad spend on a consistent basis. Conversely, a successful SEO strategy gives you the ability to “own” organic real estate over time. Please note though, SEO is often referred to as a “moving target”. SEO requires constant attention and effort. Whether it is blogging, submitting articles, link building or being active in Social Media, Search Engine Optimization needs to be tended to by an individual or team of individuals in order to be successful.
In conclusion, most profitable online marketers are heavily involved with both SEO & SEM. As a result, they benefit from receiving consistent traffic to their website, while meticulously working to garner better positions for important keywords in the Natural results.