Happy Q4 everyone!
What do you plan to do differently this year with your paid search programs to ensure they are successful? Have you thought about where paid search properly plays a role in an omnichannel holiday season?
Marketers seem to finally be coming around to the fact that a siloed, channel-first approach limits totally program performance. After all, every time your brand touches a consumer—online or offline, paid or organic—it’s just part of an ongoing relationship. Previous engagement and context matter in every conversation, even as disjointed as your brand’s marketing is across every person that views or clicks your media.
Search marketers have always known that their channel interplays with other channels. Every other media type drives users to search engines—TV drives users to search. Social media drives users to search. Email, print, online video, and billboards drive users to search.
Could search engine marketing be the most omnichannel channel in marketing?
In today’s post, learn some Q4 tips for search marketers who want to approach the holiday season a bit more holistically than in previous years.
Before the holiday rush, double-check that your paid search program works within the omnichannel conversation
The industry consensus to transition to omnichannel marketing is positive, but no one is saying that it will be easy. It will require marketers to think and act differently which may be a bit uncomfortable at first. For now, just being mindful that your holiday paid search programs are just part of a wider brand conversation with each customer may help you to find valuable ways to slightly optimize the nuances of your SEM strategy.
As you’re hunkering down for the all-important end-of-the-year holiday shopping season, make sure that you’re thinking holistically about your search program. Don’t just set budgets and ads in a vacuum! Keep in mind that consumers searching for holiday deals this Q4 is also being bombarded with your other channel messaging—and that of your competitors.
It’s highly likely that a good portion—even maybe a majority—of your search audience may have decided to search on your keywords because another part of your media plan pushed them into that choice.
Knowing this…how might you think a bit differently about your final paid search Q4 strategy to be more omnichannel? Here are a few ideas:
Omnichannel paid search budgets: Confirm that you’re supporting your other channels with enough budget to ensure search engine visibility when those other marketing programs drive users to search on those products. If not, your paid social campaigns may drive consumers to your competitors when your search ads aren’t showing up.
Omnichannel paid search bids: Even if you’re using automated bidding, you can set your tROAS and tCPA bid strategies a bid wider to help convert users that may have started in the funnel on another channel but are now just beginning their customer journey on search. Google’s automated bidding may not have those previous signals to pick the best bid if this is the first time a user has searched for your category.
Omnichannel paid search ads: Double check your ads to see if they are geared to both new holiday shoppers or welcoming to those who may already be interested in your products or services because they learned about them in another channel. Savvy search marketers can check both boxes if they’re mindful of the headlines and descriptions they load into their RSAs.
Five Skai Q4 Tips for Search Marketers
Leveraging technology correctly is essential for any time of the year, but Q4 is a different beast with compressed timelines, heightened conversion potential, and aggressive market pressure. The right platform could mean the difference between a so-so end of the year and a successful one.
The following are five ways Skai’s search marketing clients can use our advanced functionality to gain a competitive advantage this Q4.
Skai Q4 Tips for Search Marketers #1 – Fuel autobidding with your proprietary data
Automated bidding has become an integral part of the paid search marketer’s bag of tricks to drive performance using powerful publisher algorithms. For example, Google’s automated bidding leverages machine learning & advanced signals to submit the optimal bid for each and every search ad auction.
Skai’s Signal Enhancement enables you to deliver your backend data into Google Search Ads so that marketers can let Smart Bidding optimize their campaigns using the right data. For example, an education client might want to optimize via custom metrics or a blend of conversions using custom weighting. Google Ads can’t do this alone, but with Skai, an advertiser can achieve this scenario.
Other companies have been trying to get data into Google for some time, but Skai’s process is unique and a more powerful solution than any other third-party API integrator.
Skai Q4 Tips for Search Marketers #2 – Gain more control over your optimization
Skai Portfolio Optimizer is a powerful way to automatically drive performance within your paid search accounts. It uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to manage millions of keywords with optimized bids to reach an overall portfolio goal, saving time and money while improving results.
You can use portfolio subsets to tag certain keywords—or groups of keywords—so that you can direct the system in the way you want it to behave. This can be a useful way to drive more conversions during a sale or specific product promotion for a short time without having to take them out of the portfolio.
Skai Q4 Tips for Search Marketers #3 – Be smart and use Smart Tags
Skai’s Smart Tags are automated labels that provide you with customized solutions to common issues in campaign performance and optimization. These can be extremely helpful by alerting you to common issues that can hinder performance— something you definitely don’t want to happen during the holiday season.
Some of the Smart Tags available through Skai include:
Duplicate Keywords. Tags keywords with the same keyword text and match type as another keyword in the same ad group or campaign or another campaign targeting the same audience, location, and device.
Underperforming Ads. Alerts marketers to ads that are underperforming within their ad groups. This tag is powered by Creative Boost, our unique engine for ensuring you get the most out of the optimization of your creatives.
Blocked Keywords. Identifies keywords blocked by negative keywords and enables you to take direct action from the recommendations panel.
Skai Q4 Tips for Search Marketers #4 – Manage budgets wisely
During the crazy holiday shopping season, it’s extra important to make sure that your budgets are set correctly.
Budget Navigator helps search marketers forecast, optimize and monitor with ease by leveraging machine learning technology to manage budgets and adjust spending to achieve your business goals. Skai provides continuous feedback on expected results, so you can stay ahead of trends and the competition
Use the Budget Navigator to easily manage daily holiday budgets across campaigns. For example, you can boost your budgets on some of the heaviest shopping days, such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Skai Q4 Tips for Search Marketers #5 – Get a second set of eyes watching your accounts
Paid search is rife with opportunities for something to go wrong. In Q4, with every day so important to your bottom line, you can’t afford errors like you might be able to in slower times during the year.
How do you know if your settings are being changed? Skai Audit can catch it by alerting you if your holiday campaigns aren’t being targeted to the desired geolocation or device type, for example. You can set up Skai Audit in this way and many others. When you have hundreds of campaigns and many different kinds of settings to manage, you need Skai Audit to help you make sure it is all done right.
This simple and easy workflow enables search marketers to both monitor their SEM accounts and make changes in minutes. This saves literally dozens of hours of audit time, but even more valuable, ensures that accounts are set up correctly so that they have the best opportunity to be successful.
Skai helps you master the holiday season and beyond
As part of Skai’s omnichannel marketing platform, our Paid Search solution helps you stay ahead of your competition and reach consumers when and where they’re searching. Our advanced optimization and reporting is coupled with automated solutions, including tools for bidding and budgeting, and much more. As an early player in the paid search industry, Skai has a long history of innovation and an independent position you can trust.
Client results include:
- 756% increase in conversions for New York Magazine
- 168% increase in year-over-year ROI for Toolstation
- 20% decrease in cost per acquisition for Endurance
- 150% increase in ROAS for Michaels Company
For more information on how Skai can maximize your Q4 and the rest of the year’s paid search results, please schedule a very brief demo to see our platform firsthand.
We hope you found these Q4 tips for search marketers valuable. Good luck!