In the first part of this series, I covered some of the features of AdWords Editor which can make managing your PPC campaign much easier. This time, we’ll focus on some of the advanced bid optimisation methods which Editor offers.
As I mentioned previously, don’t be afraid to try these techniques out, as all changes are made offline and can be undone before any changes are made live!
Mass Bid Changes
One of the great features of Editor as opposed to Google’s web based AdWords interface is the ability to select many keywords at the same time and edit their bids in one go. Combined with the ability to download campaign statistics and the Advanced Search function to filter out the keywords you want to alter, mass bid changes are a breeze.
Increase or Decrease by Value or Percentage
When you go to the keywords tab, you will see a link at the bottom of the screen called Advanced Bid Changes. You are able to choose to increase or decrease bids not only by a specific value, e.g. $0.20, but also by a percentage. This is obviously useful for day to day bid optimisation, but its utility goes further still. Imagine you are running a promotion on one of your products and want to push a specific set of keywords, or you know that historically, you have more conversions at a certain time of year – you can choose to boost your keywords by x% for the duration of the offer or seasonal peak.
Microsoft have also introduced a feature in their adCenter Desktop program to allow bidding changes by both percentage and value, though Yahoo is still sadly lacking behind.
Filter by performance data to assist with bidding decisions
Using the Advanced Search feature in combination with the ability to download campaign statistics to Adwords Editor gives you a powerful set of criteria on which to filter your keywords and make bidding decisions. If you want to filter out the expensive non converting keywords in order to bring down their cost or even remove them from the campaign, you can simply set this as a filter option and then take action. If you want to find keywords with a low average rank in order to increase their prominence, you can do that too. My previous article lists a few of the different ways in which you can use the filter which are beneficial in terms of making bidding decisions, but as I previously, my opinion is that the best way to learn is to simply experiment with the filters and see the tool working first hand.
Increase Exposure for low position keywords
Adwords Editor can be used to automatically set bids to their “First Page Estimates” – a process which takes a significant amount of time using the online adwords interface. However I would advise that you use the first page estimate with caution. Many a time I have seen keywords with a high first page average rank, but with a first page estimate significantly higher than the current bid. So do make use of the feature, but you must recognise them as estimates and take them with a pinch of salt.
Advanced Bid Changes – Safeguards
The Advanced Bidding option also offers a safeguards to ensure that your maximum CPC doesn’t go above or below a specified amount. Additionally, you can tell the tool to ensure that maximum CPCs are not set below the “First Page Estimates”.
A Powerful Tool
There’s no doubt, if you are solely using the online Adwords interface to optimise your bidding, you will definitely save time and be better equipped to analyse your data by using Adwords Editor.