- Digital marketers experience a potential ROI tunnel vision when it comes to search advertising
- Seriously, do you need to burn dollars over those high-competition keywords? Does it trickle down into actual business?
- How do you not lose vision and outweigh the paid search cost with your revenue?
- We’re bringing you the finer details of designing a paid media budget straight from an SEO expert and serial entrepreneur
It’s a bit of an understatement to say that success in digital marketing depends on a whole lot of things. There’s your skill-set, your team that helps you, and your understanding of the market where you’re trying to make a dent, either for yourself or your clients.
But how often do you think about your budget? Specifically, we’re talking about your search advertising budget here.
On its face, running paid media ads on Google Ads, the Google Display Network, Facebook, Microsoft, and other platforms is pretty simple: you bid on your keywords, define your target audiences, and run your ads for the length of the campaign.
You might not think that your budget factors into things beyond showing you the funds you have to work with, but I argue that there’s more to it than that, especially when every dollar counts and you have a potential tunnel vision on ROI.
The thing is, only you will be able to say ultimately what your ROI-worthy search advertising budget will look like this year, but in this article, I’ll explain how to design your paid media budget to strike gold in 2022.
The basics: What do you want?
So, you want to know what your search advertising budget should look like in 2022.
Let me ask you this first: who are you, how big is your business, how much do you have to devote to search advertising, and, most importantly of all, what do you want to accomplish?
There are so many factors here that only you will know, but the questions I’d ask myself if I were looking at designing a search advertising budget for 2022 would include:
- What do I want out of my campaigns?
- How many conversions can I reasonably expect to get from my campaigns?
- Is search advertising my only growth channel right now, or are there others?
- How much will I also be putting into SEO or email?
- How can I track my search advertising to make sure my performance is what I expect?
- What will success look like?
Your budget is going to reflect what you want out of your campaigns, and what you want should reflect what growth looks like to your business.
For instance, are you an affiliate-marketing blogger who just needs more eyeballs on your pages? Are you a law firm looking for real, honest form-fills? Are you an ecommerce brand that’s retargeting your audiences for products they’ve viewed?
All of it matters, because your approach to your search advertising, and consequently your budgeting, will be determined by your goals.
Closing in: What do you need?
After figuring out what you want, it’s time to think of what you need to get there. Here’s where we’ll talk about hard figures: budgeting.
Only you will know what your search advertising campaigns should be producing (the results ideally will be based on the goals you’ve laid out).
So, if you want to grow by, let’s say, $ 2,000 a month, then you need to do some math to get there.
How many leads does your current search advertising campaign bring in? Of those leads, how many convert? Knowing your conversion rate will be key, as will knowing what each lead is worth to you and what your cost per lead is.
When you figure these things out, you’ll have a better idea of how to budget.
If a conversion will bring you $ 500, and your cost per lead is $ 10, and your conversion rate is five percent, then you need to bring in 80 leads a month through search advertising.
Here’s how it works.
You need four conversions a month to hit your $ 2,000 goal. You convert five percent of the leads you get. Four is 5% of 80. You, therefore, need 80 leads per month to reach your goal.
And if you pay $ 10 per lead, then your budget should be $ 800 a month for search advertising.
Now, that’s an ideal situation. That’s assuming you can make it all happen consistently like that, month after month.
In the perfect world, that budget will indeed be ROI-worthy.
But campaigns may fail, certain methods may not follow through for you.
How can you ensure your budgeting and efforts are worthwhile?
Pulling it together: Get smart about bidding
You want to design an ROI-worthy search advertising budget for 2022. That means you want to be in the big leagues like your competitors. What do you think they’re doing that you aren’t? Do they have some insight into Google Ads that you don’t?
No, it really comes down to your keyword strategy for your ads.
In case you didn’t know, it works like this in SEO, too: the more mainstream, general, and competitive keywords – such as “SEO company” – are going to be pretty expensive to bid on. Depending on your budget, you may not be able to sustain that kind of campaign for long, and it’s going to end up as a lot of wasted dollars.
But again, look at your similarly sized competitors. They probably have roughly the same budget as you do. If they’re outperforming you, they may have a smarter keyword bidding strategy than you do.
Taking the example from above, maybe you don’t want or need to rank your ads for “SEO company.”
A longer-tail keyword such as “SEO agency for link building” will cost you less and have fewer monthly searches. But as in any sales funnel, when searchers get more specific, they tend to be more ready to convert.
Just remember that when you get more specific, you’re going to want to hone in on the quality and relevance of your ads’ corresponding landing pages.
A long-tail keyword search requires a long-tail ad, and a long-tail ad requires a long-tail landing page (so to speak). Be sure to deliver on what your ad promises. Surely, you can develop content related to hiring an SEO agency for link building.
Think of those funnels here. People want to see content related to where they are in the buyer’s journey. When they see it, they will be more ready to convert. It works the same in SEO.
If you want to talk about really honing in on ROI with your search advertising, that’s the way to do it.
What will you do next?
Many businesses spend between seven and 12 percent of their annual budget on marketing. It’s a necessary expenditure for growth.
If you want to make sure that whatever you spend on your search advertising this year is actually worthy of a satisfactory ROI, study the tips I have laid out. Know your strengths, what you can do, and your bidding limitations, as well.
If you’re smart, you can really build something great.
Kris Jones is the founder and former CEO of digital marketing and affiliate network Pepperjam, which he sold to eBay Enterprises in 2009. Most recently Kris founded SEO services and software company LSEO.com and has previously invested in numerous successful technology companies. Kris is an experienced public speaker and is the author of one of the best-selling SEO books of all time called, ‘Search-Engine Optimization – Your Visual Blueprint to Effective Internet Marketing’, which has sold nearly 100,000 copies.
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The post Here’s what an ROI-worthy search advertising budget looks like in 2022 appeared first on Search Engine Watch.
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- The machine learning-enhanced “Smart Bidding” capabilities available in Google Ads offer an easy way to see the campaign results you want while allowing you to take a more hands-off approach.
- You can use Smart Bidding on the campaign level or, if you prefer, you can apply it to your entire ad portfolio, allowing you to optimize all of your campaigns using Google’s ML algorithms.
- Marketing consultant Gabrielle Sadeh explains five different objectives that Smart Bidding can optimize for – and when to use each.
PPC advertising is a core part of many brands’ online marketing efforts. Unfortunately, getting the most out of your PPC bidding can be a tricky process, to say the least.
Some brands find themselves bidding too much for keywords, ranking highly for a brief period but blowing through their marketing budget. Others don’t bid enough, and never see themselves achieving the conversion rates they hope for.
The good news is that there is a smarter way to bid. Google’s Smart Bidding options, which are readily available via Google Ads, offer an easy way to see the campaign results you want while allowing you to take a more hands-off approach.
These advanced algorithms draw from several contextual signals to drive performance, and some of these signals are only available when using Smart Bidding. These include factors like local intent, remarketing lists, ad characteristics and seasonality. Bidding strategies are also available at a portfolio level, allowing you to apply machine learning to optimize all of your campaigns.
By letting Google’s machine learning algorithms take on a load of PPC bidding, you can focus more of your efforts on other marketing and conversion tactics, like optimizing your ad copy or landing page designs. Google Ads currently offers five Smart Bidding options — here is how each one can improve your PPC advertising.
1. Target Return on Ad Spend (ROAS)
Target ROAS, helps you maximize the value of your campaign based on how much revenue you’d like to get for each dollar you spend on PPC advertising. For example, if your goal is to achieve $ 7 in sales revenue for every $ 2 that you spend on clicks, that means you have a target ROAS of 350%.
After inputting your target ROAS, your Google Ads campaign will set bidding for cost per click campaigns in an effort to meet this goal.
Target ROAS is strongly reliant on your historical data. Google requires that your campaign have at least 15 conversions over 30 days for when using Target ROAS to optimize search ads, and there are other minimums for other ad types.
For best results, however, you should achieve 50 conversions over a 30-day period prior to implementing Target ROAS bidding. This way the algorithm has data to learn from.
According to Google’s own internal research, this bidding method can increase conversion value by an average of 35%.
2. Target cost per acquisition (CPA)
Target CPA allows advertisers to set a target goal for cost per acquisition (CPA) that they wish to achieve with PPC advertising campaigns. When you use this parameter as your optimization target, Google’s Smart Bidding algorithm aims to achieve conversions at an average cost that is equal to or less than your target CPA.
This way, you can grow your sales without running the risk of overspending.
If you already have a Google Ads account, Google will draw on your historical data to recommend a Target CPA when you are setting up bidding. It’s often a good idea to follow this guideline, as setting a goal that is significantly lower than your current CPA could cause your conversion rate to crash.
In one recent case study published by KlientBoost, switching a client from manual bidding to Target CPA-based Smart Bidding resulted in a 107% increase in conversion rate, while also decreasing the cost per conversion by over 40%. By drawing from your historical data and contextual signals, Target CPA is an easy way to get more conversions for less.
3. Target impression share
Not every PPC campaign is going to be focused on direct sales and conversions. Many brands try to increase the number of search ad impressions they receive as a method of generating demand and awareness for a brand and its services.
Quite often, these ads can prove effective in helping you gain new leads. Target impression share bidding will optimize your bids in order to maximize your ad impressions on the SERPs.
As part of this Smart Bidding strategy, you can select to have your ads shown at the “absolute top” of the search results page, near the top or anywhere on the page. Users can adjust these targets as they see fit — so your ads could appear at the top in some search results, and in a sidebar in others.
Device optimization can be especially important in this strategy. In a case study from Metric Theory, Target Impression Share bidding, the total cost per click increased with both mobile and desktop devices. However, the campaign increased mobile spend by an impressive 87%, as the bidding diverted to lower-cost mobile users.
Source: Metric Theory
Because target impression share bidding is based on real-time data, it overrides the bid adjustments from your manual campaign. The one exception is the ability to turn off mobile bidding.
4. Maximize clicks
Similar to target impression share, choosing to maximize clicks as your Smart Bidding parameter is not necessarily focused on increasing your conversion rate. However, this can still be a viable bidding strategy for your PPC campaigns.
With Maximize Clicks, Google adjusts bidding to get as many clicks within your average daily budget parameters. Drastically increasing traffic to your website can serve as a valuable method of collecting data for future campaigns in preparation for transitioning to Target ROAS or Target CPA bidding.
Getting more users to your website can strengthen your branding and help you build lists — an invaluable strategy for B2B companies that rely on more personalized sales calls.
Indeed, a case study from PPC Hero found that while Maximize Clicks was universally successful in increasing the total number of clicks, and generally successful at reducing campaign costs per click, these campaigns had a tendency to deliver fewer conversions.
Like Target Impression Share, Maximize Clicks campaigns should focus more on awareness and leads than actual sales.
This campaign option does allow for a few manual adjustments, such as the ability to schedule your ads to be shown (or not shown) on specific days or times.
5. Maximize Conversions
For conversion-focused digital marketers, Maximize Conversions is a highly appealing Smart Bidding option. As with Target CPA and Target ROAS, this bidding strategy draws from a mix of historical data and contextual cues to optimize ad placements.
The big difference with Maximize Conversions is that it is less focused on your acquisition costs and more on volume. This can be especially helpful when you’re working with a small budget.
Increasing your sales volume in the early stages of your company will spur word of mouth growth in the future as more customers leave reviews for your products and share their impressions with others via word of mouth. This will make future campaigns more cost-effective thanks to the social proof you will have created for your brand.
However, this strategy doesn’t account for ROI — it just seeks to spend the total available budget to achieve the maximum number of conversions possible. This could increase your cost per acquisition or daily spend, which makes this option less than ideal if you are closely tracking those metrics.
A smarter way to bid
Trying to determine which bid will maximize your campaign goals without blowing through your budget can be a tough balancing act. By turning the heavy lifting over to machine learning, you can ensure stronger outcomes for your campaigns while also giving yourself more time to further optimize other key advertising elements.
The post Smart Bidding: Five ways machine learning improves PPC advertising appeared first on Search Engine Watch.
- Despite the overall doom and gloom, some industries actually skyrocketed in 2020.
- 2021 is supposed to dot some i’s and cross some t’s in the field of transparency and first-party data solutions.
- Live streaming related to gaming and sports is a huge advertising-friendly zone that is expected to expand further in 2021.
- Header bidding solutions for OTT and CTV, new attribution, and monetization features are the advertising technologies that will gather momentum in 2021.
- AI and ML predictive algorithms will further revolutionize personalization in the advertising world.
Surreal, eye-opening, melancholic, thought-provoking… 2020 has been like no other year in this century so far, as those wearing t-shirts with an “All I want for Christmas is 2021” logo will eagerly confirm. And though there’s a lot to be done before all pieces of the 2021 puzzle can be put together, the upcoming year has many hopes to fulfill. No pressure, 2021, but you’d better be good! On this cautiously positive note, let’s briefly revise 2020 based on the insights from the ‘OTT Executive Summit‘ before we can warmly welcome the upcoming year. Read on for foresight on the future of advertising.
Looking back at 2020
The reality of 2020 dictated new rules, values, people’s habits, and a new outlook on what “normal” was. Unsurprisingly, despite the overall doom and gloom, some industries, which fit in this transformed layout really well, actually skyrocketed. They say every cloud has its silver lining, and that was true even for 2020.
Take for instance CTV, whose ad spend increased by 19% this year, according to IAB, primarily due to the pandemic and mass lockdowns.
“TV forever has been a top funnel media, a media that you used to drive awareness but not to drive purchase. What’s so interesting about Connected Television is that it gives an opportunity to be both, a powerful branding media as well as a media that is very appealing to marketers who are trying to drive actual outcomes,”
Scott Rosenberg, SVP/GM of Platform Business at Roku
Digital devices, including the CTV ones, to a certain extent, became the guardians of people’s mental wellbeing. This fact is backed up by the Leichtman Research Group’s report that counted 400 million Connected TV devices in the US earlier this year.
Another curious outcome of the pandemic is the shift that occurred in the way viewers started consuming OTT content. Nielsen shared their insights on the growing trend of co-viewing, as people were tied to their homes and family members for a long period of time.
The developments of the Internet and 5G networks added even more points to CTV’s score, making the market magnetic for app developers. As a result, streaming soared, turning 85% of Americans into streamers, according to Roku.
“Streaming for the first time is overtaking live TV,” Andrew Hare, Senior Vice President, Research at Magid Associates, Inc
In addition to the accelerated number of subscribers of existing streaming services, outlined by eMarketer, the industry has seen a true upswing in the launch of new platforms, like Apple TV +, HBO Max, Disney +, Paramount +, Quibi (currently shut down), and others.
“The streaming war up until this point has been really between the Big Three [Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Hulu], however, with the entrance of all these high profile services from Disney, Apple, Warner Media, NBCUniversal, and others we could be seeing a huge upset of the hierarchy moving forward. And the interesting thing is that a lot of these new services have taken different approaches, trying to tackle the Big Three,”
Steve Nason, Research Director at Park Associates
With a CTV viewing time growth by 81% in 2020, as per Nielsen, and the abundance of entertainment opportunities CTV has in its goody bag, consumers admittedly started to have fewer problems with ads. Provided that ads could be the only price they would have to pay for the content.
“Consumers found our service and services like ours really viable. Ad-supported became a really good way of getting your news and your movies, and perhaps your content library,”
Colin Petrie-Norris, CEO at Xumo
“43% of US adults have paused a show they were watching to go purchase or consider the product that they just saw on screen. The conditions are very ripe between the consumers’ unwillingness to go to physical retail as well as more advanced ad products that can put the right ad in front of you at the right moment, have it be actionable,”
Scott Rosenberg, SVP/GM of Platform Business at Roku
In fact, eMarketer’s Q3 report highlighted an increase in AVOD revenue by 31% in 2020. This means that well-established AVOD platforms, such as Pluto TV, Xumo, Vudu, Crackle, and Tubi, will soon have to share the space with many newcomers, willing to hit the jackpot by adopting AVOD or a hybrid model that combines SVOD and AVOD features.
“Two-thirds of all viewing time is on ad-supported platforms. For the first time 53% of people 18+ said they watch at least one AVOD service. 51% in the US tell us they would prefer an advertising-based free model versus a subscription with no ads or EST [Electronic Sell-Through],”
Andrew Hare, Senior Vice President, Research at Magid Associates, Inc
Looking forward to 2021
Though mysteriously staring at the crystal ball to see the future is always fun, eMarketer shared a few clues to make anyone’s predictions a bit more grounded. Following eMarketer’s estimates, the CTV ad spends will reach $ 11.36 billion in 2021, which is around 40% higher than the year before that. Additionally, 2021 will bring a reduction in Connected TV CPMs due to a meteoritic rise of supply. Without having our heads in the clouds, let’s take a closer look at where this may take us from different perspectives of the CTV landscape.
Privacy concerns have consistently been the internet’s stumbling block. Users want to know who collects what data and for what purposes. Looks like a few years after the introduction of GDPR, 2021 will finally dot some i’s and cross some t’s in this area. Since Google announced its plan to opt-out third-party cookies from the Chrome browser, the advertising world has been restlessly trying to come up with a new unified first-party data approach for all its channels. As advertisers aim to secure their access to consumers, direct deals via PMP (Private Marketplace) or PG (Programmatic Guaranteed) punched above their weight. And though these are effective ways of reaching audiences, they risk leaving smaller players out of the loop. In the meantime, the connected TV arena moved the question of transparency from high priority to critical. Hopefully, 2021 will bring some clarity to unified solutions for delivering first-party data to advertisers. Alternatively, we have good chances to watch further fragmentation of the market (which is not good) stitched together with progress in addressability (which is good).
Streaming of all shapes and sizes continues to soar, and 2021 is expected to reveal its potential even fuller. Live streaming, especially related to gaming and sports, offers marketers a unique opportunity to reach out to a growing segment of esport streamers and watchers, who in 2020 constituted 92% of the US and UK Generations Z and Y populations, based on the data from GlobalWebIndex. Certainly, anchoring consumers at home did oil the wheels and contributed a great deal to this trend. Outside of sports and gaming, another streaming playing field, that is gaining momentum as we speak, is certainly AVOD. A snowballing effect with which streaming services sprang up made watchers tight-fisted and less opposed to ads. This tendency is likely to stay the course. Therefore, if there is a perfect time and place to make the most of advertising budgets, it will undoubtedly be streaming in 2021.
Provided that customers’ attention span was eight seconds in 2020, as stated by Oracle, it’s obvious that capturing this attention will only get harder for brands with time. This is where engaging formats will come in handy. Browsable galleries, shoppable ads, carousels, TV-to-Mobile elements, Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), these are just a part of the mantra for all advertisers out there. The only way to walk customers through all the stages of the funnel is to stay creative, up-to-date, and make their experience lightweight, yet memorable. As for the channels, it’s worth going out on a limb and adopting an omnichannel strategy that will include DOOH (Digital Out-of-Home), which has been rocking the boat of digital advertising for quite some time now. Given that consumers are expected to spend much more time out of their homes to make up for 2020, if/when restrictions are relaxed in 2021, experimenting with new formats would be the way forward.
4. Advertising technologies
Due to the fact that programmatic, as a transaction method is going to reach $ 5.72 billion in 2021, according to eMarketer, the talks about scaling up header bidding solutions for OTT and CTV have a clear rationale behind them. This technology will enable buyers to access dynamic auctions, while publishers will be able to send ad requests to multiple buyers and improve their monetization results. Furthermore, 2021 will surely expose marketers to more attribution and promotion opportunities, be it showcasing customer journey for OTT channel owners with the Attriboost analytics software or providing across-the-board monetization capabilities through Allroll’s self-serve platform. Staying at the forefront of the AdTech innovation curve will open doors to windfall profits.
5. Intelligent automation
A recent focus on a minimized face-to-face human interaction fuelled interest in automation powered by AI (Artificial Intelligence) and ML (Machine Learning). This ultimately sowed the seeds of acceptance and made these technologies more approachable for businesses. In the context of Connected TV, the advancements of AI-led to the kickoff of ACR (Automatic Content Recognition), which originated from smart TV players, for example, Samba TV, Samsung Ads, and LG’s Live Plus. Their predictive algorithms create an additional layer of personalization for CTV viewership. Taking into consideration how personalization is worshipped by marketers, beyond a shadow of doubt, ACR will play an important part in the CTV industry in 2021.
The time to say ‘goodbye’ to 2020 has come. Digital space, in line with the rest of the world, has gone through a lot of rethinking and reinventing, demonstrated resilience and agility, trying to foresee and comfort consumers in every single shift in their behavior. These changes, however, mapped a whole new outlook for 2021. Data privacy, investment opportunities, engaging formats, advertising, and automation technologies will run the digital world in 2021 in an even more exciting manner than before. So, fasten your seatbelts, and let’s go!
Alex Zakrevsky is the CEO of Allroll marketing platform for CTV/OTT channel owners. Innovator, product lover, CTV, and programmatic enthusiast. He believes that the quality of the product always wins.
The post Jingle all the way: What will 2021 mean to the advertising world? appeared first on Search Engine Watch.
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