Long-neglected SEM campaigns can feel the rush of optimization again---if you know just what to tweak
Editor's Note: Back in the day, the lovelorn and lost could turn to Dear Abby for guidance. Well, we want you to know that if you ever face a search advertising dilemma that's getting you down, our devoted Yahoo! Search Account Management team is here to listen and help. Below, we enlist one of our AMs to answer a common search advertiser quandary.
Dear Search Expert:
I was just hired to manage my company's long-neglected SEM efforts on the Yahoo! Bing Network. On day one I came in sporting a new outfit and a can-do attitude, only to discover this account's a hot mess! I don't even know where to begin. Help!
Lost & Overwhelmed
Have no fear! Your Search Expert is here! Know that you're not alone, and there are some very easy ways you can quickly optimize your account to make it as sharp as your new suit. So let's get started! Make sure you're covered
The Bing Ads platform that serves ads to the Yahoo! Bing Network recognizes exact match as the most relevant match type. This is important to note because the more relevant your ads, the higher your quality score will be, and that can mean more potential volume. So, you want to make sure you're bidding on all match types (exact, phrase and broad) for your current keyword set. I have more detailed, sage advice on bidding on each match type and best practices for opting into broad match.
Realize not all match types are created equal
Not only do you want to make sure you're bidding on all match types, but you want to ensure you're also bidding properly on those match types. Our current best practice is to bid highest on exact match, tier the phrase match bids to 74% of the exact match bids, and broad match and broad match modifier to 71% of the exact match bids. These percentages are based on the conversion rates of each match type collected across the marketplace.
Implementing these bidding strategies will again improve the relevancy of your ads, and it will give you a more accurate report since you'll be directing the match type traffic you receive to the correct match type in your account. This strategy should be the starting point, and I always recommend implementing conversion tracking, so that you can set your bids according to your specific account performance.
Watch out for negativity
Negative keyword conflicts are a consistent problem that I see with accounts. This is where the negative keywords in your account (exact or phrase negatives) are blocking your bidded keywords from showing.
Typically, this occurs with phrase negatives, but can occur with exact negatives as well. You can easily pull a report which will show you the negative keyword conflicts in your account called Negative Keyword Conflicts. You can then review the report to determine if you should:
- Remove the negative keyword
- Change the phrase negative to an exact negative, or
- Remove the keyword you're bidding on because you don't want to show after all for that keyword
- Making these quick changes will free up your ads to show for the terms you want them to show for.
Trim the fat
We have a robust network of search syndication partners, including sites like Amazon, Monster and WebMD, and the traffic quality from these sites is constantly monitored to ensure that ROI is competitive. That said, some partners may be more relevant for your business than others, and the Publisher Performance report is a little-known report that shows you a breakdown, by ad group, of the entire Yahoo!, Bing and syndicated search partner sites that your ads appear on, along with the standard metrics (impressions, clicks, CTR, spend, and average position).
If you are tracking conversions with campaign analytics, you can filter for syndicated search partners with a CPA higher than your goal, and decide if you want to stop serving on those sites. If you are not tracking conversions, you can still filter by CTR or any other KPI you choose. Once you have compiled the list of sites you no longer want your ads to serve on, you can easily add them to your campaign's exclusions located under settings.
By blocking your ads from appearing on these sites, you free up your budget to allow your ads to appear on sites that are more effective for you. It's a best practice to review this report on a monthly basis, and you can set up recurring reports in the Bing Ads UI to make this easy.
Powering through this easy four-step plan, you'll put your account in a healthier position. Once your account is performing efficiently, we always recommend that you continuously grow your keyword set to make sure you're staying competitive - so be sure to read up on our best practices for finding new, relevant keywords.
Good luck and be prosperous!
Lynda M. Doria, Sr. Account Manager