Some of this blog will play on the concepts of my previous blog when discussing the topic of conversion rates and maximizing ROI. Search engine marketing (or PPC) is one of the most important Internet marketing campaigns where ROI needs to be addressed constantly. I know many companies that have spent upwards of $40,000 per month but achieved bounce rates of 96%! That is basically like flushing tens of thousands of dollars down the toilet. The reason they had such horrible results was because their campaigns were not optimized well, they used no landing pages, and all ads went to a slowly loading flash page with no calls to action of any kind.
With PPC, you really need to watch where every dollar goes. Many Internet marketing companies will use Bid Management tools to effectively manage larger campaigns. There have been many debates as to the effectiveness of Bid Management tools. Some experts are for them, and some against. In my opinion they are are an important part of the PPC tool kit for large ongoing PPC campaigns. However, there are some good arguments against them that need to be kept in mind when managing campaigns.
First, bid management tools do provide a great resource for ongoing keyword research and effectiveness. Second, they can help you really scale out large campaigns where you might be using 100,000 keyword variations. Even a large Internet marketing company would not usually put a whole team in place to manage this without using some kind of Bid Management software.
On the other hand, some of the most important aspects of an effective PPC campaign happen outside the bid management software and require the “human” marketing touch. Properly optimized landing pages and ad copy need to be continually monitored for effectiveness. If a marketer just drops all the desired keywords into the bid management tool and lets it go, you will not achieve the best results.
Many times, companies like to use broad search terms and keywords associated with their brand that will drive traffic. Many times, these keywords are great for traffic but do not perform well for conversions. Conversions usually happen with much more targeted keywords. Without monitoring the performance, some bid management tools might just shut off some of the most important keywords that the client wants to appear for. Again, this is where the human touch needs to be applied.
The conclusion in my opinion is that bid management tools are very important for large campaigns but need to be used in conjunction with proper project management techniques by skilled marketers.