efficiency curve

Meeting the Efficiency Curve

By Joseph Akyuz, Account Supervisor, IgnitionOne

An online marketer’s life is not an easy one. It’s a constant battle of trying to keep up with the new trends while staying efficient in the quickly evolving online advertising landscape.

  • Google introduced countless betas and algorithm changes in Q1
  • Facebook has surpassed 900 million+ users and just had its IPO
  • Yahoo!/Bing is coming up with new updates every month
  • The display landscape is getting a complete overhaul

There hasn’t been a point in time when new ideas were created, tested and executed so fast and with such precision.  That being said, it’s becoming even more vital for marketers to take a step back and focus on their existing asset management in the midst of all these emerging technologies and product updates.

Take SEM as an example: What’s the best way to find out if assets are performing at an optimal level?

Running monthly efficiency curves is one of the great ways to gauge the overall performance of a paid search account. It displays the revenue and/or action potential of an account against the media spend by looking at the impression, click, rank and bid fluctuations from the previous weeks.  Plotting the current performance point against the curve demonstrates if an account is performing at a sub-par level.

 

A marketer’s immediate goal should be reaching the curve and then ultimately shifting the curve up through long term account restructuring tactics, such as geo breakouts, adding new ad copy and keyword assets. These tasks are a part of a long term project that may take significant man hours to plan and execute.

In the meantime, here are some quick tactics to help marketers move their “current performance point” closer to the efficiency curve:

Get rid of poor performing ads

This is a very quick and possibly the most effective solution to immediately cut down the wasteful media spend in an underperforming account.

Pausing Creative A under this scenario will distribute its impressions to the other text ads and may potentially drive $2,872 incremental revenue for this one adgroup. Imagine the possible gains if this exercise is repeated across the account.

Identify keywords below first page minimum bid 

More often than not, marketers add new keywords with very low bids in order to keep budgets under control (and rightfully so). Over time, campaigns end up with keywords without the ability to capture all of the demand in the market place. Filtering these keywords and increasing their bids will give them a chance to breath and perform as long as they don’t belong to a flighted campaign.

 

Monitor Low Quality Score Keywords

Tools like IgnitionOne’s Digital Marketing Suite’s advanced filters can help marketers identify the low QS keywords so that they can be eliminated or bucketed thematically somewhere else in the account.

Dive into the Search Query Reports for Negative Keyword Suggestions

Advertisers can rely on search query reports to compare the conversion contribution of the typed queries against credited keywords. The offenders out of this list should be applied as negatives either at the account, campaign or group level depending on the account structure.

Stop to smell the roses… And clean out the weeds

The tactics described above are meant to help marketers meet the efficiency curve and improve the bottom line. They are even more effective when complemented with integrated marketing solutions and repeated regularly. While it’s imperative for marketers to follow online trends and keep an eye on the grand prize, it’s equally important to allocate the time to optimize the existing resources.

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