Editor's Note: "Ask the Search Expert" is your one-stop virtual shop to get answers and advice for all your search engine marketing questions, quandaries, doubts, and dilemmas. Our ace Yahoo! Search Account Management team is always ready to listen and lend a hand. Read on to hear how one of our AMs answers a common search advertiser question.
Dear Search Expert:
I want to drive more traffic to my website (SaveTheWombats.org), but I have tight CPA goals and can’t get too risky with a large expansion. How can I grow my account at a safe and steady pace---not cheetah fast, but definitely not sloth slow?
First of all, love your work with the wombats---they’re my favorite Australian marsupial. Anyway, back to your dilemma. We recommend a strategy of gradually gaining volume while refining your traffic so you can avoid going “down under” when it comes to your ROAS.
Take a fresh look at when and why you expand. You should move away from a strategy of expanding only when you’re looking to target new products. Keep this in mind: Your competitors are always looking for ways to get more traffic at less cost, so you should always keep your account up to date to stay competitive. Instead of adding new keywords based on forecasted data, look at the search queries that actually drive your traffic and consider using them to guide your expansion. That way, you can make keyword decisions based on the actual performance of the specific terms that cause your ads to display, and it will also help you more accurately identify other terms to add (or block) for better results.
Here are some key things to consider:
Leverage your Search Query Report data
The Search Query Report looks for terms that your ads currently map to through Phrase and Broad matches. It’s a great performance report, and by tracking conversions, you can also see your traffic’s profitability. Remember, this data shows the actual performance of a term in your account, with your ad copy, which makes it more valuable to you than any forecasted data. In fact, you could “burrow” through your data all day long with your sharp little teeth and not find anything as relevant and actionable as this.
Remove underperforming traffic
Not all traffic is good traffic. Your Yahoo! Account Manager can work with you to identify keywords that are not converting, or perhaps just don't fit in with your current strategy. It is likely you don’t want to be showing up for terms like “Wombat recipes” (sorry, but you get the point). One way to remove undesired traffic is to add negative keywords (like recipes in this case), so you don't waste money on irrelevant terms and can focus your budget on terms that actually do perform.
Take advantage of Exact match keywords
The Bing Ads platform favors Exact match, so you can potentially increase your position or overall volume by simply adding search queries to your campaigns as Exact match keywords, instead of just mapping to them by a Phrase or Broad match.
This can offer a couple of great benefits: As your click-through rate increases, you may wind up paying a lower cost-per-click, and you might even earn a higher position on the search engine results page. And don’t forget to focus on the tail terms, because they’ll pay off in the long run.
Expand and optimize regularly
Just because wombats are nocturnal doesn’t mean you have to keep your account in the dark. Whether you go through your Yahoo! Account Manager or do it yourself with the determination of the Southern Hairy-Nosed Wombat, it’s important to expand and optimize your account on a regular basis---weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly, depending on your bandwidth. Simply focus on the top impression-generating search queries, and you'll save yourself time and maximize your potential volume. Regular expansions and optimizations are key to keeping your account humming along at peak performance.
Hope that helps you and your furry friends. For more information, please contact your Yahoo! Account Manager.
---Justin Hill, Senior Account Manager, Yahoo!
(Image by OZinOH via Flickr CC 2.0)