Five time-saving search tricks

As metrics, signals and insights proliferate, the task of managing and scaling large search accounts is becoming nearly impossible without automation. With five time-saving tricks, marketers can spend more time devising strategy to make their accounts successful, and less time on tasks that DoubleClick Search can do instead.

Considered among all marketing channels, search is still relatively new. If you think back ten years, marketers and brands had very limited metrics to work towards and even fewer signals with which to make educated decisions. But now with all of the engines bringing their own innovations and users getting smarter about the way they search, in many cases we have almost more insight than we can manage. To some degree, it could even be said that certain accounts are unmanageable and unscalable in the absence of some sort of automation behind them.

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With the human brain the most powerful machine there is, it makes sense to use it to its full extent on any task, from picking a restaurant for dinner to solving complex algorithms that get humans into outerspace. In that vein, here are five time-saving tips to help you spend less time on tasks that DoubleClick Search can do for you, so you can spend more time devising strategy to make your accounts successful instead.

1 - Spending a lot of time selecting the reporting columns you need? Create your own view so that you have all the stats ready when you log in.

You can include all your engine stats, conversion data from Floodlights, Google Analytics metrics, AdWords and more – all in one view. Views also save filters, so for example you could create a filter for top-performing campaigns. What’s more, everyone can save their own view so you don't need to pull specific reports to cater to different people – instead, just save it as a view.

2 - Always reaching for a calculator or Excel sheet to calculate metrics and percentages or determine fees? Create your own formula columns, so they’re always available and tailored to your business and what you really need to see.

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For example, you can calculate any fees based on formulas and create a new column showing the total cost, then use this in CPA calculations to provide a full measurement.

  • Fee = To_money(Clicks * 0.02) or To_money(Cost * 1%)
  • Cost with Fee = c:"Fee" + Cost
  • CPA (with fee) = c:"Cost with Fee" / Transactions

3 - Still spending a lot of time pulling reports and then fiddling with them in Excel to access ‘quick’ insights? Executive Reports let you automate any report in minutes so it updates automatically.

Many businesses have to create different reports for various stakeholders. With Executive Reports, you can create separate tabs with different information for relevant people. For example, the first tab could include an overview of year-on-year results and year-to-date performance using bar charts, while the second tab could have additional detail at campaign level for those responsible for account optimisation. You can also schedule a report so that it’s waiting in your inbox each Monday morning or use web queries so your stats are always just one click way.

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4 - Want to see how you're doing so far against a set monthly goal for budget, traffic or conversions? Find the answer in budget pacing reports.

These reports feature columns such as percentage of time elapsed, percentage of budget spent, days and budget remaining. So if you have a set budget for a group of campaigns, you can see if you’re on track and what areas are contributing more towards your goal, allowing you to focus more time on optimisation and strategy.

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5 - Constantly scanning your accounts searching for poorly performing areas and opportunities? Save time with automated rules that can either notify you or make changes based on conditions that you’ve set. Because you set the parameters, the control is still in your hands but the heavy lifting is done by technology.

As an example, you might create a rule to run every Friday to pause all keywords that have had 1,000 clicks but zero conversions during the previous week. You could also get a notification if certain keywords have had a bounce rate above 50% and at least 1,000 clicks, so you can take action to improve performance.

Give these features a try to make more time for strategy, and move on from fiddling with Excel to get a report done by 10am on a Monday morning. These are only five tactics, but when it comes to improving efficiency the sky's the limit.

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