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Go Green With Your Time: Recycle Your PPC Work
In-house search engine marketers, even at a large company, are usually a very small group of people. Your team of one (or a few) needs to manage multiple search engine marketing platforms efficiently and effectively. One strategy for success is to become a rock star at recycling the search engine marketing work you’ve already done.
Share the SEM love
Have an awesome Google account but feel like Microsoft Advertising or Yahoo just won’t be worth the effort? Export your AdWords with a simple find and replace of tracking codes to recycle your account into new Microsoft Advertising and Yahoo accounts. Microsoft Advertising and Yahoo know that they are runners up for your search engine marketing time and strive to make it as easy as possible to re-use work you’ve done for Google.
Account managers will happily import Excel files directly from Google or you can use the importing tools available from both companies. Search engine marketers should be spending less time on smaller traffic engines, but with a small amount of work its easy to leverage these opportunities.
Templates are your friend
Any regular search engine marketing task deserves a template. Weekly and monthly reports and ad hoc optimization reports for bid management are much faster in a pre-formatted template. Keep them relatively simple, there’s really no reason a pivot table is necessary for good search engine marketing.
Keeping lists of common keyword groupings for a find and replace with new product names, destinations or other wildcards save tons of time in the long run and makes new AdGroup creation speedy.
Excel files with concatenate or vlookup formulas built for re-use can save time as you append tracking to URLs or marry up reporting data from multiple sources. Even email templates for regular communications can save time and errors.
Recognize unpaid and paid SEM synergies
Even if unpaid and paid search are handled by different groups in your organization, there’s plenty of synergies to exploit across the programs. Leveraging paid search data for search engine optimization is a key strategy for success. Paid keywords with high impressions and strong conversion are natural targets for your search engine optimization efforts. A quick report from paid search will reveal data that might take hours to find poring over search trend and keyword tools.
Content placement reports are a great mine for possible link building requests. In a fast report, you can get a list of sites relevant to your business and with whom you already have an advertising relationship in common.
Compare unpaid and paid search reports. Often, PPC and natural search trend very similarly, rather than scrutinizing reports in separate silos. Have quick chats about trends and discover common points. Together you might learn more, and faster, than separately.
Checklists and notes
Checklists can be incredibly useful tools for search engine marketers. Not only do they help standardize processes and best practices across a multi-person search engine marketing group, but they help you achieve consistent performance for yourself. Invest some time in making a checklist of your routine search engine marketing tasks and refine it over time.
Checklists insure you’ll never miss an important task or forget a critical step (oops, did I add tracking to that AdGroup?) –as well as help you communicate to others what they may need to do in your absence or as a new member of the search engine marketing team. Checklists for reports, new adgroup creation, testing procedures and account optimization tasks can all help make sure all i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed.
No search engine marketer needs to reinvent the wheel for themselves. In your copies of reports, make notes. When it’s almost a year later, check on the report from the year prior to refresh your memory on seasonal trends, odd outliers or missed opportunities before you launch into a new month or quarter.
Even notes in weekly reports can be valuable as reminders of issues or opportunities to check on week over week. Keeping track of significant seasonal bid changes and proactively adjusting them for seasonal trends will help you get a jump on the competition and make the most of the high season. Your history is valuable, so use it!
Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.