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As search advertising marketers, a big part of our job is finding and controlling inefficient ad spend. John Wanamaker put it quite simply when he said “half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don’t know which half.” The good news is that this isn’t the 19th century and we do have the tools to reveal where our ad spend is being wasted. Now, we all know the quick and dirty way to cut out inefficient spend: lower budgets, drop keyword bids or pause keywords based on some criteria. But what do you do when the problem seems campaign-wide or you’re already running a list of fully relevant keywords?
One method is to apply bid adjustments, also known as bid multipliers; but in order to intelligently leverage the power of multipliers, you first need to understand which areas of your campaigns are in need of a tune-up. Today’s topic is aimed at helping search marketers like yourself combat inefficient spend on a higher level via the study of dimensions. I’ll teach you some strategies for first zeroing in on inefficient dimensions of your search campaigns and then how to mitigate their impact, all with the help of every search marketer’s favorite tool: Microsoft Excel.
Part I: What Are Dimensions?
As a quick refresher, dimensions are the independent variables of your campaigns, the things that you can manipulate in order to affect performance. While the below is not an all-encompassing list, it does cover a large majority of the rocks you can turn over as you analyze your campaigns:
*As a note, Bing still supports the ability to target campaigns by device type as well as operating system.
**IP address is not discoverable through standard reporting and is listed only as an exclusion option
Part II: How Do I Optimize my Campaign Dimensions?
When preparing to run a dimension analysis, it’s helpful to have top of mind some of the levers that you can pull in order to affect change:
Part III: The Nitty-Gritty
Now that we have an idea of where to look and what to do, let’s dive in and get to work with the heavy lifting! In this next section, I’ll walk you through analyzing two specific dimensions using real live campaign data!
Hour of Day
Depending on the type of business you’re running, one of the best places to start is the hour of day dimension. If you’re running an e-commerce campaign selling Broadway show tickets, clicks from the very early morning may not have as high a conversion rate as those coming during the afternoon or evening. Or, if you’re running a campaign selling video game-related products, the wee hours of the night may be the perfect time of day to advertise! It’s good to have assumptions, but the only way to know for sure is to ask the data whether your hypothesis plays out or not. The devil is in the details!
Here are a couple of different, client datasets:
Device Type & Operating System (OS)
Taking a look at device type as well as operating system is also a great optimization tactic. Here are a couple examples of how drilling down into the device type and operating system dimensions can yield fruit.
Part IV: But Wait, There’s More
Lastly I would like to leave all you search marketers with a few caveats to take note of when running dimension optimization analyses. Even though you’ve made some discoveries that would make John Wanamaker proud, it’s important not to become too overenthusiastic and make a change that cuts either the wrong area or slices too deeply.
Thanks for reading and happy optimizing! Stay tuned for my next article and in the meantime I encourage you to connect with me and reach out with questions and comments!
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