Article Archive by Katherine Bennett


January 10 2012

Conversions from Unexpected Devices

by Katherine Bennett

When most clients think of paid search conversions, they think of searchers who are using computers and laptops. However, paid search conversions can also come from mobile devices and tablets.  It would behoove businesses to do a device assessment of their campaigns to see the true source of conversions.

Most companies are taught to ask which campaigns and keywords are converting and which ones are converting at the best cost/conversion. Yet many should consider asking which devices are bringing in these conversions. This was not a question that companies needed to ask a few years ago, because mobile devices and tablets weren’t as heavily used as they are now. However, times have changed and the results bare witness.  Let’s say for example that a particular campaign produced 20 conversions in the month of December at a cost/conversion of $5.00. If the keywords and ad copy have good click through rates it may seem as if that particular campaign is well tuned. However, a deeper analysis may show that 15 of those 20 conversions came from mobile devices.  Now what? Break out that one campaign into two separate campaigns. Why? In order to capitalize on the conversions even more.

When a campaign is targeting all media devices, then no one device is truly being tested. However, if you create a version of the campaign that is only targeted to mobile devices and one that is targeted to laptops and computers, it then gives each device an opportunity to show its true potential. One may find that certain campaigns convert better on mobile devices than they do on computers and laptops.

 In the world of paid search, it’s all about testing and making adjustments. Take the time to find out how your campaigns perform on mobile devices. It might be an unexpected surprise to find that mobile devices and tablets are giving your company a better bang for your buck.

December 30 2011

Knowing Your Paid Search Seasons (Part 2)

by Katherine Bennett

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. 

December 28 2011

Knowing Your Paid Search Seasons Part 1

by Katherine Bennett

When is the best time to sell heaters? How about lawn mowers?  It is a company’s business to know when their seasons begin and end. For example: toy companies do their main advertising from mid-October through December and air conditioning companies do their main advertising from mid-May through October.  Seasons also apply to the world of paid search. Therefore it is important for companies to know their paid search seasons and adjust their online strategies accordingly.

It is always valuable for a business to have a paid search presence. However, it is vital to know when to slow down or throttle up paid search advertising. The main time to throttle up paid search spending is right before the busy season. Each client knows that their sales/leads tend to spike and maintain a high during certain parts of the year. Once a business has defined their busy season, they need to translate this knowledge to their paid search efforts. On the same note, when the busy season ends, it’s good to slow down the paid search spend, so that a wealth of funds can be used for your busy season. For example: Company A sells insurance, and May thru September is their busy season. For the months of April thru September they spend $10,000 a month. They ramp up in April for the surge that will start to take place in May. When Company A slows down in October, they lower their budget to $7,000 and maintain that monthly budget through the end of March. They are spending 30% more during their busy season and still maintaining a presence during the slower months.

Once a business understands their paid search seasons, they can make the necessary changes to their advertising budget.  By making these adjustments, a business is able to make the most of their paid search efforts. For some businesses, the paid search seasons can become a little more complex, which will be discussed in Part 2

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