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Effective AdWords campaigns – algorithmic campaign optimization is the key
The pace of development of the advertisement on the Internet, and Google Adwords adverts in particular, is constantly increasing. More and more companies, seeing the profits from this form of promotion and its potential, allocate more budget funds to attract new customers. As a rule, this is associated with an increase in the number of ad impressions and clicks on it. As a consequence, when you have a larger amount of data, you find it more difficult to interpret. It is easy to establish which group of advertisements and keywords guarantees best results, but do you know which factors influence it? If you wish to create effective AdWords campaigns, you must know it!
Of course, when you analyze campaign results on your own, you can notice certain trends – which day and which time of the day generates highest traffic on the website, whether users in Warsaw are more willing to buy your products than users from Katowice, and if it is advisable to invest in advertisement for mobile devices to the same extent as adverts for PCs.
Let’s think – if you are able to determine who is more willing to use your service: a customer from London who found your advert on a tablet on Tuesday afternoon or a user from Brighton who looks for similar services on his/her PC on Saturday evening.
Contemporary consumers are now more impatient, demanding and curious – they value their time and expect to find products and services they are looking for here and now.
Micro-moments and effective Google Ads campaigns
Modern marketers must meet customers’ expectations and adapt to their intentions – you cannot focus on conversions only, you have to support them in many ways.
Following Google’s description of micro-moments – these are short moments in which you expect your device to respond to your needs – to learn something, go somewhere, do something and buy something.
Such micro-moments can be divided into 4 models:
1. I want to know – when someone does the research on the market, searches and compares but not necessarily intends to make a purchase.
2. I want to go – when someone looks for a local company or considers buying a product in a nearby store.
3. I want to do something – when someone needs help in the process of performing a task or wishes to try something new.
4. I want to buy – when someone is ready to make a purchase and may need help to decide about shopping or the form of doing the shopping.
What can we consider as micro-moments?
- The heatwave at the end of May surely led to an increase in the number of bookings by the seaside and sales of suntan cosmetics.
- The first snowfall always causes a sudden increase in orders for winter tires and their replacement in service centers.
- The fact that Polish football national team made it to the World Championship in Russia resulted in an increase in the sales of the national team’s T-shirts and people started to look for hotels in cities in which Poland will compete.
The aforesaid examples are noticeable trends but there are many minor ones we are not able to spot on our own.
It is a matter of scale – If your offer includes a few products and your campaigns always involve a few groups of adverts and a dozen keywords, you can control everything. What if your offer is vast and you conduct many campaigns with hundreds of groups of advertisements? How much time does it take to interpret results and draw conclusions? Are we going to draw these conclusions everyday? What about micro-moments?
Here comes algorithmic optimization which makes effective AdWords campaigns well-configured and flexible in relation to variable conditions. As we now know that own management of rates per keyword may be impossible to do, we look for help in automation. This is where algorithms come to our aid.
Algorithms and effective Google Ads campaigns
An algorithm is a set of steps required to perform a task. Its task is to lead the system from the initial state to the desired final state. The entire software is based on suitable algorithms. PCs have an unlimited computing power, all you have to do is establish certain patterns. They are studied by a very fast developing field of knowledge – algorithmics.
Example? Here you are. How does NASA establish the location of space panels in the International Space Station (ISS) and decide about changes? Thanks to optimization algorithms and schedule.
Self-learning algorithms offer a more advanced function, it is the so-called machine learning. Their scheme of operation allows the computer application, on the basis of independent analysis – without having to program it – to predict the result or make a decision.
„It is an interdisciplinary field with special regard to such areas as IT, robotics and statistics. The main goal is to adopt achievements of artificial intelligence in order to create an automatic system able to improve itself based on experienced gained (I.a. data) and acquire new knowledge in this way”.
Machine Learning is a collection of techniques used to create “smart” systems. In practice it is a set of ready-made algorithms supported by mathematical proofs. Most of them were already developed in the 1970s, but now (due to rising computing power) they are used in practice. Briefly speaking, at first you have to train such algorithms with a suitable amount of data, and then use them to predict trends. They form a basis for our system for algorithmic campaign optimization and Verseo Campaign Manager reporting.
VCM is part of the large project created by Verseo and intended to provide customers with unique and effective solutions thanks to which they can strengthen their position on the market.
The algorithms used are intended to do the following:
1. identify known and unknown trends in data,
2. formulate decision rules,
3. acquire new behaviors and structures with the use of generalization and analogies.
OK, that was theory, no it’s time to get down to business!
VCM uses self-learning algorithms in order to achieve desired results.
Depending on what your goal is:
- optimization of your budget in terms of conversions or clicks,
- maintaining the specific position of the advert at minimum cost possible,
- assuring a fixed relation between revenues and costs (ROI, ROAS)
- minimizing costs of winning customers (CPA)
- maximizing revenues
- maximizing conversions
- maximizing ad clicks
Verseo selects a proper optimization strategy according to the set goal. Acting in line with the principle – if something is universal, it is ineffective – a specific algorithm is responsible for each strategy. What is more, if other algorithms are active when you wish to minimize costs of winning customers depending on type of campaigns – the campaigns in the search networking, product campaigns, or in the display network.
Analyzing many signals 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, the system changes settings a few hundred times a day based on data history. It spots trends, including seasonality of the offer. It rejects products which do not translate into increase in profits and selects those which are highly likely to be sold. It is capable of selecting rates for each group of adverts, depending on the type of device, time of the day and list of recipients.
The system constantly thinks and draws conclusions aimed at achieving goals. However, you have to bear in mind that the system cannot deal with continuous changes on the website, considerable budget changes, continual activation and deactivation of campaigns. The system likes stability and gradual modifications.
We’re used to comparing campaigns to flying.
The pilot must take off, raise the plane and stabilize the flight, and then may use auto-pilot which selects altitude and direction.
- Our fuel is data.
- Our pilot is AdWords specialist.
- Our auto-pilot is VCM.
The key to success is getting to know your campaign properly and choosing the right strategy for one or more campaigns.
To sum up, we need to ask ourselves whether the automation of AdWords campaigns is still a trend or is it a necessity?
Although it was very skeptical at first, manufacturing treats automation of production processes as an integral part of the business growth and has been implementing it for years. Thanks to automation, the agricultural condition has improved fast. Also daily office work is now easier as a result of automation.
In my opinion, it is inevitable as far as AdWords are concerned, although still few Polish marketers are aware of it. The sooner we understand it, the easier it will be for us to achieve best results in our campaigns.