Top Search Engine Marketing Automation Challenges and Solutions

June 12, 2020

Extensive recent changes in search trends forced marketers to lean more heavily on search data. However, regardless of users’ behavioral trends search advertising objectives remain the same.

Marketers aim their ads to take a top position in search results at the lowest possible cost-per-click (CPC) while simultaneously generating conversion growth and increased return-on-investment (ROI). These standard objectives apply to any business size and can help to attain efficiency in search engine marketing.

Since enterprise-level brands advertise across multiple media channels, search engines, and have much higher budgets, they strive to shift their focus to more large-scale goals. Attaining these objectives requires advanced automation capabilities to cover all aspects of search marketing account management, including targeting, budget management, tracking, reporting, and optimization. 

How to achieve paid search marketing automation at the enterprise level

Enterprise paid search marketing needs a powerful search marketing automation solution, like Google Search Ads 360 (SA360), to simplify the complex campaign management so that marketers can reach the next level of search marketing efficiency, faster.

Getting a robust solution is one thing, but ensure it drives better results is another. Our experienced team outlined the top five challenges in search marketing. Understanding these challenges will allow brands to evaluate their search engine advertising activity, reveal hidden pain points, and make an informed real-time decision to push the needle forward.

Enhance Your Budget Management at Scale

Budget management is one of the most critical factors in paid search marketing. It includes planning, budgeting, and reporting functions that enable marketers to understand a campaign’s success (i.e., how close the actual spend is in meeting the desired target). 

When running paid search campaigns globally, marketers need to effectively allocate budget to multiple campaigns across different search engines to prevent any over or underspending from happening and achieve the determined KPIs. Leveraging an automation solution, like Search Ads 360, makes managing complex campaigns significantly easier.

Search marketing automation tools allow marketers to set up budget groups to organize campaigns per the business structure or defined goals. Budget groups can include campaigns from different search engines (e.g., Google Ads, Microsoft Advertising, Yahoo! Japan) and other accounts (campaigns should have the same currency) that significantly simplify the global account management process.

Marketers can also build a budget plan to determine spend for a specific timeframe (week, month, quarter, or year). With a budget plan, you can visualize the forecasted spend over a specific time and use it further to track and report on performance for individual budget groups. In addition, Search Ads 360 has a budget bidding strategy that automatically assigns campaign budget, bids, and bid adjustments informed by the budgetary approach to reach the desired targeted performance.

When setting up campaign budgets, keywords participate in auctions until the campaign reaches its set budget. Once the budget threshold is met, the bidding on auctions stops until the next day and eventually may cause a loss of potential customers. Budget pacing allows marketers to monitor the speed of their media spend and optimize it accordingly.

With search marketing automation solutions, marketers can leverage advanced features that will enable them to manage the campaign budget at scale across multiple search engine accounts. This way, marketers can see how the campaign expenses are aligned with the budgetary goals, and if they need to take any additional actions towards meeting the forecasted results.

Improve Campaign Performance with Impression Share Optimization

When optimizing paid search advertising, marketers measure keywords performance to make sure it’s generating clicks and has a sufficient impression volume. We don’t recommend pausing low performing keywords but rather discover the root cause, first.

Check the impression share metric which shows the percentage of impressions your ads received compared to the overall number of impressions it was eligible for. Marketers can discover this data on campaigns, ad groups, product groups (for Shopping campaigns), and keywords in Search Ads 360. Eligibility of impressions considers different factors, including targeting, bids, budget, and ad quality. By measuring impression share, marketers can understand whether ads may trigger more impressions and clicks if the bids and budget were higher. 

Campaign budget controls the frequency of ad impressions which impacts the overall number of impressions your ads get. Bids influence ad rank which impacts the ad auction. The ad auction defines the likelihood of an ad impression. The higher your bid, the better your ad rank, increasing the likelihood of your ads winning the auction.

Another factor to consider is location targeting. If location targeting is too broad, marketers might need to adjust it to increase the impression share. However, keep in mind when you narrow your location targeting your ads might lose the potential number of impressions available for the region. 

Last but not least is ad quality, which indicates the relevance of your ads, keywords, and landing page content. High as quality increases the chances that your ads will get clicked on by potential customers. It increases the click-through rate (CTR) which impacts ad rank and the other elements that define the ad impression likelihood.

By optimizing the impression share, marketers can increase the impressions and click volume that will ultimately lead to a higher conversion rate and better ROAS.

Drive More Sales with Ad Scheduling and Automated Rules

Marketers want to reach their potential customers whenever they’re searching online for the product or service they offer. However, there are particular business hours, or days of the week when customers express greater interest and buy more. Marketers need to instantly react to changes in consumers’ behaviors to drive more sales, and ad scheduling can help with that.

With ad scheduling, marketers can choose when they want their ads to display and set up bid adjustments to increase or decrease bids for a specific time. Managing ad scheduling for one account is easy enough, but when it comes to multiple search engines and accounts, it’s necessary to implement automation.

Marketers can automate global ad scheduling by leveraging enterprise search advertising solutions, such as Search Ads 360, that have bulk edits or automated rule features. It’s simple to set up automatic changes or launches for multiple campaign items, including limited promotional offers, seasonal promotions, edit bid adjustments, and custom rules, in advance.

Ad scheduling and custom rules are perfect solutions that have a significant impact on campaign performance. It enables marketers to simplify complex account management and shift their focus toward reaching business goals with campaign optimization.

Simplify Manual Work with Automated Rules

Advertisers are constantly looking for ways to automate repetitive tasks and be alerted of any unexpected fluctuations in an account.  They aim to save time on campaign management to analyze insights, improve strategy, and drive higher ROI, faster.

Leveraging automated rules in a search engine advertising approach allows marketers to change settings for specific campaign attributes automatically. Customization capabilities enable account managers to set up alerts and get notified once the determining criteria are matched. 

Automated rules are easy to schedule, set up certain conditions for, and determine final actions once the requirements are met. You can also test changes manually before setting up automated rules to avoid errors.

Automated rules can replace manual work and significantly simplify account management, especially for enterprise brands that run advertising activity on multiple accounts and search engines. When setting up automated rules, marketers should align them with the business goals, constantly monitor the performance, and optimize campaigns in real-time to drive better business outcomes.

Streamline Ad Tracking Workflow with Shared Templates 

By default, advertisers specify the final landing page while creating ads where the user is redirected to. If the additional tracking is not set up the only information available about that click is triggered keywords, total number of clicks, and impressions. However, marketers aim to get additional insights, like device type or network of the user, to optimize campaigns for better performance. 

Tracking templates can help marketers customize URLs by putting tracking information that can be set up at the keyword, ad group, campaign, or account level. When managing multiple engine accounts and third-party tracking URLs through search marketing automation platforms, enterprise marketers need to synchronize search engine accounts first. So any changes made in the search engine will be imported to their search automation platform.

Instead of standard tracking templates, Search Ads 360 has shared templates that traffic URL templates to the corresponding tracking template in the supported engine account. When creating or editing tracking templates in the search engine, Search Ads 360 copies changes into related URL templates. All trackable items have their trafficked custom parameters that are generated in Search Ads 360. Search Ads 360 can assign all advertising activity, including conversions, to the uniquely identified items defined through custom parameters.

For global search advertising account management, having a single tool that simplifies the workflow of tracking templates’ set-ups is extremely beneficial. This technology provides marketers with valuable insights about their users faster.

Bottom Line

Search engine marketing automation is a crucial aspect of account management for enterprise brands. Budget management, impression share optimization, ad scheduling, automated rules, and tracking templates are the top challenges marketers can automate for. This approach significantly improves performance while opening team bandwidth for a shift in focus towards optimization.

Taking into consideration the recent economic changes, achieving automation in search engine advertising would be truly beneficial for any business. Your next steps are to evaluate your brands’ current paid search performance, identify the gaps, and find a robust solution that will help you to drive profitable results, faster.

Ready to take your ads to the next level?  

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