Marin Software has released an intelligent recommendation engine for their online advertising management platform, with a white paper designed to help marketers increase their ROI and save time. In 'Taking Paid Search Performance to the Next Level', Marin offers an optimization framework based on their own methodology, with tips to help marketers discover the most impactful activities to increase campaign performance.
Budget Maximizing Tips for Large Scale Paid Search
In budgeting, they recommend regularly reviewing top performing campaigns to ensure they aren’t hitting a budget ceiling and missing out on potential traffic. Use what-if forecasting to discover new ways to drive volume, ROI, and profit in different bidding target scenarios. Based on their experience with large scale paid search advertisers, Marin also offers the insight that campaigns with Google’s “standard delivery” option receive fewer impressions than those with the “accelerated delivery” option, with the same budget.
Pointing to the success of paid search as one of the most profitable online marketing channels, they recommend giving Google’s beta Keywordless Ads feature a shot. Noting that their own e-commerce and retail clients who have tried it saw a lift in conversions and revenue, this is something for marketers looking to increase profitable volume with long-tail expansion, without cannibalizing clicks from existing campaigns, to test out.
Improve Bidding with Day Parting and Headroom Analysis
Compare historical data, when possible, to determine how performance varies by time of day or day of the week. When using this strategy though, Marin warns against confusing time and date of click with conversion, which can result in a long period of latency skewing your analysis. The goal is to increase bids for the times and dates clicks are most valuable, not necessarily when conversions happen.
Occasionally review the list of keywords below the minimum bid to determine where your CPA or margin goals are not achievable; lowering margin targets or increasing CPA targets could identify keywords that will perform better now than they had in the past. Also, make sure none of your campaigns are missing opportunities, with maximum bid threshold settings below the minimum first page bid.
Calculate headroom by subtracting the cost-per-click from keyword bid for keywords where the maximum bids are higher than your CPCs to determine headroom, budget that would be better spent elsewhere to increase volume. Marin recommends averaging out the headroom for your position 1-2 keywords, as they cost less than you are willing to pay and won’t affect CPC or volume, and re-allocating part of your budget to boost bods on keywords with lower average positions.
Marin Next Offers Prioritized Recommendations for Marketers
Designed for advertisers and agencies, Marin Next helps marketers discover new revenue opportunities in large-scale search, display, and social media campaigns. The previous version of their online marketing platform managed campaigns and pulled data to help marketers get better insights and optimize their bids. Marin Next adds prioritized recommendations and workflows for previously unacknowledged opportunities.
Marin Software VP of Marketing Matt Lawson tells Search Engine Watch that Marin Next was developed through the collective experience and best practices they’ve learned in working with over 800 clients. One of the challenges they had seen with large-scale advertisers was that they missed opportunities that were right in front of them, simply because of the sheer size and scale of their programs.
One such advertiser, Fang Digital Marketing, participated in the beta period before the launch of Marin Next. They saw conversion increase 5 to 10 percent, while costs fell 20 percent in the campaigns using the recommendations of the software.
“Marin Next has helped us unlock the full potential of our online advertising campaigns,” said Jeff Ferguson, CEO at Fang Digital Marketing. “With the insightful, personalized recommendations not only do we continue to discover new opportunities to increase revenue for our clients, but the tool frees up time we can now devote to creating new marketing campaigns.”
Lawson described how Marin Next scans advertiser accounts across five main channels: Google, Bing, Yahoo, Facebook and Baidu. It then creates a set of recommendations, complete with guided workflows and video tutorials within the dashboard. The goal, he says, is to put the necessary tools in the hands of marketers to help them get the answers they need more quickly than they are otherwise able.
These latest features released by Marin are in step with trends within the enterprise search marketing marketplace in general, with software companies competing to save marketers time managing with automated and intelligent recommendation algorithms.