IRCE Workshop: Growing a Paid Search Program Year after Year

This IRCE workshop is Growing a Paid Search Program Year after Year, presented by Jim O'Brien, Chief Marketing Officer, ThinkGeek and George Michie, Co-Founder & Chief Marketing Scientist - RKG. A personal aside - I'm a huge Thinkgeek fan, and even have a sticker of their mascot, Timmy the monkey, on my laptop, so I'm excited for this session.

Thinkgeek wants to capture demand from everyone who's searching for a geek interest - search is about connecting to people who are already searching for topics related to their products.

Thinkgeek search objectives:

  • Capture demand for anyone searching to related items - they may not even know about Thinkgeek or be looking for a product yet
  • Manage product feed and related campaigns effectively
  • Drive new customer growth via non-brand
  • Bid to set efficiency target and minimize budget caps
  • Continually optimize search tactics in changing landscape

Growing paid search is all about the fundamentals:

  • Optimize ad creatives for CTR and conversion rate
  • Use seller ratings - make sure your Google seller ratings appear on your Google ads
  • Ad text: feature promo, first line punctuation, unique selling proposition. First line punctuation allows them to move part of your first line into the headline when there's room.
  • Grow Google+ Followers and make sure it appears on your Google ads, as it adds legitimacy.

Paid search campaigns should be developing new keywords all the time.

Use your internal product data, such as internal categorization, to set your bids and manage your AdWords campaigns.

Plan your holiday or other peak season pay per click advertising strategy well in advance. Budget by day for peak times.

Plan your holiday/peak season PPC budget and strategy out on a per-day level in advance, then review daily during the season.

Thinkgeek takes an Agile-like approach to PPC during peak times, including daily standups and frequent adjustments.

Don't look at just calendar dates when planning holiday season PPC campaigns - base it on when Black Friday and Cyber Monday falls.

Google Product Listing Ads make up 50%+ of non-brand budget for pay-per-click.

Submit high quality product feeds , including the most relevant attributes such as size, material, intended age range, special features and other specifications. Include details about the item's most visual attributes such as shape, color, etc.

Set rules that tag products with dynamic Adwords labels, and then use labels such as price range, if it's on sale or not, if it has free shipping or not, in your bid strategies.

Use RLSA's to customize your search ads via retargeting.

Geotarget your bids to specific regions - for example, segment on rural vs urban, high income areas, etc.

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Jamie Larson