I have an ecommerce client that has a somewhat limited paid search budget, which means we often run up against daily budget limits even in their branded campaigns (I know, I know…secure more budget!).
I’ve already done a lot to minimize unqualified clicks:
- Add negative keywords religiously for anything even potentially off-topic
- Pause the couple keywords with less than stellar ROI
- Study the Analytics data for times of day, days of the week, devices, or regions where I can dial back bids or turn off the campaign altogether
- Make sure ads are set to be optimized for conversions instead of clicks.
But there’s still more good clicks out there to be had than we can afford right now.
In a non-branded campaign, if budget is a concern, the solution is fairly obvious: drop your bids and lower your position in order to maximize click volume. But, when it comes to branded campaigns, it’s logical to target 1st position. It’s their brand name pointing to their site…wouldn’t searchers expect them to be 1st?
So, what else can we do to maximize our branded budget? Do we stay in 1st position and buy as many clicks as that will get us, and trust organic results to take care of the rest of the searches? Do we bite the bullet and get out of 1st position and spread our ads across more clicks, knowing full well that resellers and product feeds are going to push their AdWords ads way down the page and capture a lot of those 1st position clickers ready to buy their product?
I’m not loving either of those “solutions,” so I’ve got one last idea: sort by Quality Score and start pausing keywords with lower scores, figuring that I’m getting slightly better click value for the keywords with higher Quality Scores. (Why AdWords would decide a branded term mentioning the brand in the ad text and pointing to the brand’s main site would merit a Quality Score of 4 is another question for another day).
We’ll see how far that gets me. In the meantime, I’m off to butter up the client for more budget by telling them how impressed I am that their brand awareness has increased so much…