This is the fourth and final excerpt from “Open the Black Box”, OptiMine’s white paper about finding transparency and control in paid-search automation. You can see what you’ve missed by going here for part 1, here for part 2, and here for part 3. In previous installments we looked closely at the significant improvements you can realize in your paid-search programs by using an automation tool that also provides transparency and control. Today we conclude with the conclusion.
The Bottom Line
Automation is crucial for large paid-search advertisers, but the type of automation matters greatly in terms of maximizing performance. Automated systems that do not (or cannot) treat each keyword uniquely and essentially as its own unique market will inevitably bid some keywords too high and others too low. This is inherently true for automated systems that use clustering, rules or simple modeling. The amount of money left on the table without the use of keyword-level modeling can be 25 percent or more of the true potential of a large paid-search program. For large advertisers, that can mean millions of dollars annually in lost revenue or excessive paid search costs.
The best automated systems provide both transparency into how individual keyword bid levels are set and the ability to override these bids through the user interface when human analysts with industry-specific domain knowledge know of opportunities that no set of software algorithms can possibly predict. It is only through automation, transparency and control that keywords can be treated as the individual markets they are, allowing the performance of each to contribute optimally to the success of the whole.
There you have it. Look at “Open the Black Box” as a primer for evaluating, or re-evaluating, automated paid-search systems. Think beyond automation and consider the importance of transparency and control. Is it important for you to see not only the results, but also the “why”? Is leveraging your team’s domain expertise critical to paid-search success? If the answer to either of these is “yes”, then simply automating won’t be enough.