One of the 8 Pillars of Success with Paid Search Success (PPC)

February 11, 2010

The most important pillar for PPC is the one I am going to discuss today. “The 8 Pillars of Success with Paid Search,” by Josh Dreller, talks about 8 of them, and we all know that no roof can be held up by one pillar, but I am here to discuss the strongest pillar.

With all due respect to Josh, he kind of just threw this pillar somewhere in the middle of his post, and it deserves more attention than that.  First, here is what Josh said:

Test. Optimize. Then test again. This is the absolute mantra of the industry. What we do is find trends and act on them. We don’t know if the new creative will work or the bidding experiment will be a big waste of money. However, it’s the only way we can fine-tune paid search accounts. Just make the best analysis as possible and test your hypothesis for long enough to know if it’s working but not so long to disrupt the entire project. Over time, you’ll have enough insights to keep your account humming.”

Okay, he did use the word, MANTRA.   That does give it some much needed emphasis.  Here are a few thoughts on testing, optimizing, and testing again:

  • ONLINE ADVERTISING IS SUBJECTIVE.  There is no one “right way” for all online ads.  This isn’t calculus.  This is Google Adwords.  This is Yahoo! Sponsored Search.  This is Bing Ads (or whatever they call theirs).
  • TEST – Even when you don’t need to.  So you have a killer CTR.  That is great, but is that the best you can do?  Are there more keywords that will have a higher conversion? Is there another landing page to try out?
  • DON’T BE A WUSSY!  Take risks with broad match and try different bidding techniques.  If you don’t try, you’ll never know.
  • DON’T FORGET YOUR EXPERIMENT. It is okay to try new things.  You need to all of the time, but don’t forget the changes you make so that you know what to look for.   In my younger days as a PPC manager, I would make changes and then forget what I wanted to learn from my experiment.
  • KEEP GOING. The game isn’t over till the fat lady sings.  If you still are running online ad campaigns, you should never stop testing and optimizing.

To help you remember, repeat after me: Test – Test.  Optimize – Optimize. Test Again. Test Again.

If that wasn’t enough to help you remember, maybe an example will help.  Have you ever read the instructions on a shampoo bottle?  I always thought it was fairly obvious what to do with shampoo, but the shampoo companies feel a need to tell you just in case you don’t remember what to do with shampoo.  Have you thought what the instructions were yet?

Rinse. Lather. Repeat.  To help you remember your best PPC management practices, think shampoo instructions.  Rinse.  Lather. Repeat.

Test. Optimize. Then test again.  WARNING: You should never try to apply shampoo to computers!  And avoid getting shampoo in your eyes!

-Stu

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