Down The Rabbit Hole - Optimizing Programmatic Campaigns
Read on for 8 tips that you can implement when analyzing the performance of your programmatic campaign.
Two questions that we get asked frequently are:
When asked these questions the first thing I look at is what campaigns are performing well and how much impression share is being lost. However, analyzing impression share can be a bit cumbersome and confusing when trying to determine how to recoup those lost impressions. Below, we will dissect the various forms of impression share metrics, show how to calculate incremental conversion opportunities lost to budget and ideas to help improve total impression share.
Whether you are looking at AdWords Impression Share or Bing Ads Share of Voice, these metrics are a great way to check the overall campaign health and strength of your keyword set. If you have high exact match IS that probably means you have great coverage on those terms. A low impression share means you are potentially leaving money on the table and further optimizations are necessary.
Once you’ve identified loss impression share and start to dig into the maze of why and where, it can really start to get confusing and complex. Is the impression share loss for Search or Display? Why is search exact match IS so low? Is the lost search impression share due to rank or budget?
All of these metrics are important to understand. So before diving right into calculating estimated incremental conversions opportunities, let’s quickly review what each of the metrics are and what they mean.
Now that we have a better understanding of what each of the metrics mean, let’s figure out how much more would it cost to gain impression share lost to budget and estimated incremental conversion opportunities.
First start by pulling a campaign report that includes all the competitive metrics and then segment by day. For this example, I used the last 30 days time frame.
Next, I placed the data in a pivot table with traffic KPIs and segmented by campaign to get a better idea of which campaigns were losing the most IS. Below is graph to help visually analyze impression share.
Campaigns A and C have the highest lost IS due to budget, while campaigns F and J have the highest lost IS due to rank. Now that we’ve identified which campaigns have the most opportunity to improve impression share, the next questions are typically “What is that going to cost and how many conversions can you expect by increasing impression share?”
Before we can determine incremental spend and conversion opportunities, we need to first determine total available impressions for each campaign. To do this we use the formula below:
Let’s use Campaign A (Search) as the example.
Available Impressions: Impressions (23,169) / (IS (32%) = 72,523
Next, we look at conversions and what if Lost IS Budget = 0%.
Assuming no ad testing, new keywords or any other optimizations have been implemented, CTR, CPCs, Conv. Rates and AOV should remain relatively consistent. Keeping that in mind, we are able to back-out the incremental opportunities as follows:
In the example above we did not track revenue but you could get an estimate for revenue by taking the AOV * Inc. Conv = Inc. Revenue.
If you are not an Excel junkie and prefer the usability of the interface to get a better estimate of opportunities for increasing your traffic, the Opportunities tab also provides estimates for incremental spend and traffic. Or the AdWords Keyword Planner is another tool that helps provide traffic estimates for specific keywords.
While improving lost impression share due to rank is equally important, it is more complex to forecast, as CPCs and CTR should increase as your rank improves. Therefore calculating projections for incremental gains by improving rank will need some additional research for a follow-up article.
Now that we have a better understanding of what is being left on the table, what can we do to recoup impression share?
When impression share is lost to budget the simple solution would be to simply increase the budget. However, that might not be an option. Below are several optimizations to implement to help improve impression share lost to budget:
Google recently changed the way Ad Rank is calculated to include ad formats into the calculation. Now the Ad Rank formula includes Max CpC, Quality Score AND Ad Extensions. Focusing on these key elements should help improve lost impression share due to rank:
Impression share is a metric that helps get a pulse on the health of your account by seeing what percentage of auctions your campaigns are actually showing for. If your campaigns have low impression share, there is likelihood that you could be missing out on opportunities for incremental conversions and revenue. While there are several ways to help project incremental gains in impression share, the main elements for improving impression share seem to come down to quality score, max CPC, ad extensions and budget.
What other methods have you found helpful for analyzing and projecting impression share?
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