March 30, 2021
Paid Search Audit Checklist – 11 Steps to Grow an Account
Congratulations! Another Q4 labeled up as a success – only to be pushed out of sight and out of mind for another nine months until we do it all over again. Time to rest until June, right? Wrong! The most successful Q4s are hatched from strategies put into place well in advance of the summer months, and now it’s time to utilize your findings from 2018 to ensure this year’s performance is even stronger.
Here are some tips to help you compete with resellers and take your strategies to the next level, gearing your campaigns for an even stronger Q4 this year.
Perhaps, the new Shopping campaign structure you implemented in Q4 performed better than your old one, but so many resellers were showing ads for your core brand terms. How can you control your brand experience via Shopping?
Implement an exact match Shopping brand campaign. This way, you’ll be able to capture the majority of Shopping impression share for your most valuable brand queries and limit your resellers’ ability to garner visibility in that space.
You’ll have to test what your max CPCs should look like to truly take up most of the search engine results page (SERP). Continue testing new products to replace those that don’t perform with other sitewide top performers.
In practice, what does this mean? Let’s look at Lancôme, a luxury skincare brand with a variety of resellers, as an example. For a core brand search of “Lancôme Skincare,” you’ll notice that Lancôme only takes up four of the nine Shopping spots in the screenshot below. Resellers capture the remaining five spots on a search with the intent of specifically looking for Lancôme products.
We worked with a client whose core brand terms initially only had three of the possible nine shopping ad slots on the majority of searches. After creating an exact match Shopping brand campaign, we were able to increase the amount of Shopping ads on our core brand terms from three to eight out of the possible nine spots during the bulk of Q4. This effort greatly increased site traffic and generated revenue at a ROAS 105% higher than our other brand shopping campaigns.
Similar to how you have promotional calendars, so do your resellers! It’s important to know when a particular product or subset of products will potentially underperform due to a reseller’s promotion that could undercut your prices or offer consumers a better deal.
Year in and year out, ecommerce consumers become increasingly more research-oriented. While your brand loyalty may be strong, do not discount your customers’ checking your resellers for better promotions or prices. Stay competitive by staying aware.
You can reduce bids for queries around those products and save yourself some valuable budget to shift toward areas of the account where you would project stronger performance.
Let’s say a reseller has a known free gift promotion on orders over $150. We would recommend creating a comparable free gift promotion of your own to stay competitive with the reseller’s offer.
If a reseller is offering 15% off of a specific product line you offer, we would suggest running a similar promotion on a separate product line. This would limit any traffic declines from the reseller’s promotion without directly competing with it.
While Q4 may have been a triumphant success, in the world of paid search, there is always a next step to be taken. Whether it’s creating an exact match Shopping campaign or utilizing your resellers’ promotional calendars more effectively, the path to another successful Q4 starts now. Contact us to learn more.