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The Dilemma of the Mature SEM Account

Published: April 9, 2015

Author: Jessica Carr

There comes a point in an SEM account when you feel like you’re in a great place, the performance is stable, and you feel like you’ve tested every campaign type and Google Beta out there.  You say to yourself, “Could it really be that there’s not much else to do here? Do I sit back and let the conversions flow in and bask in the glory of how great an Account Manager I am?”
No, my friends, you don’t. Because that competitor of yours that is currently sitting in the position below you might just decide to bid up today or offer a new promotion that will challenge your process. So what do you do to stay on your toes when there seemingly isn’t anything huge you can implement in your account? Here are a few ideas:

Competitive Analysis

Staying on top of the competitive landscape is huge, as it is continuously changing. Pull Auction Insights reports in Google to compare the current competition to past competition and see if you need to adjust your strategy:
Note your impression share and whether it has changed over time. Have other competitors entered the space, or are they just being more aggressive? Position above rate shows how often you appear above your competitors in an auction. If that is changing, it might warrant an evaluation of how aggressive you’re being on competitive terms.
You can also take a look at your competitor’s ad copy and websites. How are they beating you from an ad copy, price, or design aspect, and is there anything you can do to improve upon this?

Keyword Optimization

You may think since performance is great, there aren’t many changes that need to be done at the keyword level. But there are always opportunities here. Filter for bleeding keywords that have spent a lot and have not converted over the last few months. Push on any keywords that are performing well below goals and are in lower positions. Lastly, pull Search Query Reports and identify new keywords to add or negative keywords to exclude.

Review Dayparting and Device Modifiers

These are things some tend to “set and forget”, but performance by day or time of day as well as by device changes over time and with seasonality. Analyze this performance every couple of months, and adjust your bid modifiers and ad schedule accordingly.

Test, Test, Test

I know you feel like you’ve tested EVERYTHING, but double-check with your Google rep that there aren’t any new betas to try. Other areas to test:

-Suggest new ad copy to test or a modification to the landing pages.

-Try new sitelinks or callout extensions.

-Test different messaging to different buckets of remarketing lists.

Staying ahead of the game and being proactive will pay off.  SEM is constantly changing, and as good as performance is on an account, there’s always room for improvement and innovation.

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