Epic Wins in Paid Search? Easy.

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by Jared Stier

Let’s be honest with ourselves. As paid search marketers, most of our tests lose. It’s OK. That’s normal. A huge reason why we test in the first place is simply to learn.

However, sometimes we’re given a very short timeframe to prove our value to clients or to win accounts. In those cases, it’s important to have a few tricks up your sleeve in order to tip the odds in your favor and generate some easy wins.

Digital marketers are a lot like athletes (stay with us here), in that those who put in more hard work up front are more likely to succeed in high-pressure situations. Michael Jordan would shoot free throws until it was pitch black outside. We pore over data until the battery on our laptop dies. (See? Exactly the same.)

But if a shortcut exists to prove yourself early on, should you take it? In some instances (like the one described above), yes.

Here are some quick and easy ways to win fast using my go-to segmentations in a paid search account:

Applying ad scheduling multipliers with the intent of balancing your ROI over each segment of the day is an easy way to find massive efficiency gains. 

Take a moment to think about what your own search history looks like between 12-3pm vs 6pm-midnight. If you’re anything like me, your searches typically become a lot less transactional as the day progresses. As a personal example, I feel like I have a lot more time to browse and take my time researching a product when I get home in the evening. When I’m at work, I’m in “get-things-done” mode – which includes online purchases. Conversion data indicates that this trend holds true across most industries. You can (and should) leverage this data in your marketing strategies.

Paid-Search-Ad-Scheduling

The Bad News: AdWords only allows six time segments per day with their ad scheduling (Bing allows seven!).

The Good News: The script experts over at Brainlabs has written an easy-to-implement script that allows you to change your bid multiplier up to 24 times a day!

And Another Thing: As you look to create your bid multipliers, be careful. Time of day trends typically look very different on weekdays vs. weekends

Demographic audiences are another great way to start finding easy wins for your clients or partners.

If you’re uploading conversion data into your AdWords account, it’s incredibly easy to identify which segments are your best and worst performing segments.

For example, while managing an account for a large telecommunications company, we learned that people under the age of 34 tend to have the most impulsive purchasing behavior. That led to us transferring portion of our spend from older demographics to millennials, which meant we were able to keep spend flat and increase revenue. Similar to ad scheduling, the goal of your multipliers should aim to balance ROI between the different segments.

Paid-Search-Demographics

Don’t underestimate the power of the unknown segments.

If you’re not logged into a Google account that explicitly declares your age and gender, Google will attempt to infer your demographics based on your browsing history – and it’s gotten really good at this over the years. Our accounts show the unknown age segmentation is about 40% of searchers, while the unknown gender segment is about 25%.

Unknown segments often contain users who block persistent cookies but who have their own very distinct purchasing behavior – which you can still learn and capture.

Go forth. Win big.

The biggest takeaway here is that online searchers are more than just the keywords they ride in on. They’re people, all with very distinct habits around how they search for and purchase products. Using bid multipliers across all available segmentations allows us to take advantage of patterns in behavior without having to sacrifice data density (how many clicks and conversions exist within an ad group or campaign).

Don’t waste your time practicing free throws all night if you don’t have to. Go forth and prove to your client that you belong in control of their AdWords account with these easy and impactful wins.

Jared Stier has been a paid search analyst at Red Ventures since June 2015. He graduated from North Carolina State University in 2015 with a dual major in mechanical engineering and intramural sports. When he’s not trying to figure out all of Google’s secrets, you can likely find Jared frustrating people as a lefty on the tennis courts.

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