With the introduction of Google Enhanced Campaigns, costs have been creeping up for keywords within paid search marketing campaigns. Some reports have found CPC’s increasing as much as 14% for keywords. Granted, this high of a cost increase is occurring in niche verticals. However, we have consistently seen reports showing no less than a 5% increase in CPC’s. This is a substantial increase in just a few short months.
What does this mean for search engine marketers (SEM) and others buying search marketing campaigns? Money spent does not go as far as it did in the past. The increase erodes budgets faster - leading to more downtime ads are not displaying and not driving sales and conversions.
A couple of actions SEM’s and business owners can take to help offset the increase and protect paid search market share:
- Adjust budgets. Increasing budget will allow ads to show more often for the bidding keywords. If increasing budget is not feasible, look to segment budget by day- or week-parting.
- Trim keyword lists. Dig deep into the analytics and understand which keywords are converting and put budget towards those keywords while pausing underperforming keywords.
- Understand the new bid multiplier structure within the Google Enhanced campaigns. Does the business need to be found in mobile? By changing the bid multiplier, mobile campaigns can be “turned off” thus protecting budget for better converting platforms.
- Try Bing. Bing has been shown to get better performance for certain keywords. It is definitely worth the time to investigate if Bing is the appropriate place to put your money.
As the mandate comes to move all accounts to Google Enhanced campaigns at the end of July, the expectation is a continued rise in CPC’s. Couple it with a traditional holiday increase in CPC’s and SEM’s will need to take action to protect their campaigns.