My monthly paid search feature at SEL, in case you missed it: Craig Danuloff wrote a very interesting, somewhat controversial piece a few weeks back arguing that advanced bidding strategies should take a back seat to core campaign development, keywords, adgroup architecture, ad copy and landing page assignments for most advertisers. We agreed that good bidding can't save a badly constructed program, but as Bradd Libby correctly observed: you have to start with some bids and doing that well rather than badly is important. As much as RKG has written about paid search bid management, we've never really addressed how to bid and manage a brand new program when no paid search data exists to drive smart decisions. Let's take up that challenge. If you trust Google with your conversion data another good way to wade in is to use their Conversion Optimizer. This will only help with relatively high-traffic campaigns and that by itself limits its value. Nevertheless, by most accounts Conversion Optimizer does the basics reasonably well, with minimal effort. Conversion Optimizer, of course, won't set bids on Bing, and not everyone is eager to share conversion data with Google, so what follows is advice for the rest of us. Step 1: Establish a Success Metric
- What is the purpose of driving traffic to this site?
- What action(s) marks a successful visit?
- What is the value of those actions to your business?
- What fraction of that value are you willing to spend on marketing?
- Can you spend an unlimited amount of money on marketing if the target efficiency metrics are hit, or must you budget?
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