January is the month for de-toxing, getting rid of any unhealthy habits developed on and around Christmas, save money and make a fresh start. If you find it too depressing to apply these principals to your personal life, why not apply them to your paid search campaign instead?
Step 1: Detox
Take a look at data and trends for 2011. Has anything simply not worked? Has that one keyword that always seemed to bring in substantial ROI just not given the right returns along the year? Is your new attribution model overthrowing old ideas and highlighting new opportunities instead?
Maybe you are following a “broad” strategy, following all sorts of “vertical” best practices, checking what competitors are doing and adapting your campaigns to their activity. That’s a good idea if you’re new to the market, trying to get a feel for what is possible and what isn’t. If you are an established advertiser you should be a bit braver though: continue doing what is working and get rid of anything else. Put your campaign on a diet. Less is sometimes more when we’re talking about returns.
Step 2: Get rid of unhealthy habits
Ever planned your PPC spend around the bad performance of other channels? Ever just put more money into PPC testing once it was clear that the money was unprofitably invested in other digital or offline channels?
Try something different this year: decide on your base-line “business as usual” PPC activity, using 2011 budgets as a guideline. Set some additional budget aside to try something different. Maybe there has just been a new exciting photo shoot and it’s worth dipping your feet into advertising on Google Images for a change. Or maybe you’ve never really actively driven users to your mobile pages. Or maybe you have launched a new product around which you just need to get some buzz going.
Step 3: Save money
If you’re serious about your detox plan, you’ll find that getting rid of old habits, will automatically save you money, which you can then invest in something different. Your campaigns will be more cost-effective through eliminating what hasn’t been working and relying on what has been working.
Step 4: Make a fresh start – Think 2012
Search+ your world is going to change things, in more or less predictable ways.
Ultimately it’s going to be even more important to really listen to users and making the search experience personal and relevant, including the paid search experience. For some inspiration about what kind of things you should be thinking about, read Andrew Girdwoods contribution here:
It’s going to be a good one: happy 2012!
Picture credit: Navin75.