3 Cross-Channel Paid Search Tactics to Enhance Campaigns

Collective Measures
April 25, 2016
It is easy to get caught up in managing campaigns in a silo, but you have the opportunity to dramatically improve performance by applying learnings from other channels to your paid search campaigns. Learn more at the agency blog.

Cross-Channel Paid Search Tactics

Most advertisers realize that creating and managing a paid search campaign is – by itself – plenty of work. Taking full advantage of all the tools and features available in an ad platform like Google AdWords, Bing, or Yahoo! Gemini is enough to keep anyone busy. And this doesn’t even account for the critical optimization and data mining of search results!

Such a silo mentality may be preventing advertisers from maximizing the effectiveness of paid search campaigns. A brand’s social team may be gathering valuable demographic data that could benefit its paid search targeting, while the content team may have discovered ideal messaging or keywords that resonate with the target audience. These tools can be applied, in unison, to your search campaigns to boost performance.

With that in mind, here are three cross-channel tools that are easy to implement and will have an immediate impact on your paid marketing channel.


1.Use Facebook fan data to add age or gender bid modifiers to your GOOGLE AdWords campaigns

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Facebook offers a wealth of basic demographic information on the people who like your page and engage with your content. These are likely to be brand supporters — either people who have already made a commitment to your brand through a lead or purchase, or who would act as an influencer on others, convincing them to engage with your brand. Either way, these are your go-to customers.

With a quick fan snapshot, you can see the breakdown of Facebook fan demographics. In our example above, the majority of fans are female, between the ages of 25 – 54, which suggests we should find a way to prioritize these fans in our search campaigns as well (see example below).


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Google AdWords has rolled out an ‘Audiences’ tab that allows you target users based on shared demographics that align with Facebook data — age and gender. Using these same metrics, it is possible to prioritize searches in AdWords campaigns based on the people who fit ideal demographics.  Since Facebook has shown that a certain demographic has a high affinity for this business, it is important to further tailor campaigns toward them.

In this instance, adding a bid modifier for females aged 25-34 years and 45-54 years means that it is possible to let an AdWords auction know that you’re willing to pay a bit more for a click from this target demographic. Likewise, if males 35-44 years don’t connect with a business in the same way, you can add another bid modifier that would decrease bids on this demographic.

In the end, bid modifiers prioritize target audiences and save money by removing unwanted clicks from an AdWords campaign, thanks to the data that was already available within a social campaign.

2. Mining Google Search Console for Organic Search Queries

For some search industry veterans, it is hard to forget when Google placed a blindfold over our eyes and removed access to organic search query data in Google Analytics. In doing so, it removed a wealth of knowledge marketers had been depending on to guide their content, improve keyword targeting, and inform their paid search campaigns.

Since then, Google has more or less “asked you kindly” to pay for that information through a pay-per-click program to gain access to paid search query reports. However, if you start with the wrong keywords in your AdWords campaign, all you’ll get are the wrong keyword searches in your search query report.

But all is not lost. Google may have removed all the in-depth benefits of keyword data in Google Analytics (session and conversion information tied to specific keywords, for example) but that doesn’t mean organic search query data is completely removed. If you are heavy in your search engine optimization work, you should have access to Google’s Search Console (formerly called Webmaster Tools) already. If not, gaining access is very easy.

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‘Search Analytics’ is a feature within Search Console that provides details on top queries that registered your website for clicks or impressions. You can cross-reference several data points (including factoring in position with performance) to get an understanding of organic search queries that could provide value to your business if used in a paid ad.

3. Use first-party location data to target geographies of higher value

Any business that asks for contact information as part of its lead generation process ends up with some location data on its customers. Using this location data in search campaigns is another way to get an edge in areas you know are high value. Whether it is data on zip codes, city, DMA, county, or even state, any bit of location info can help.

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Exporting enough data from your customer management system to see location patterns is a start, and all you need are some simple data points. In our example, we started with zip code, number of orders per customer, and order amount. Adding this data into a pivot table begins to shed more light on what we would consider profitable zip codes. Our data suggests that while the zip code 55404 has many orders, the average order amount is 40% less than average. However, zip code 55104 offers both a higher volume of orders, as well as an order value 129% above average. Prioritizing these locations in your search campaigns is another way to make your budget go further.

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By accessing your campaign’s ‘Settings’ and ‘Locations’ in AdWords, you can begin adding in specific locations, including zip codes, cities, and more. Don’t worry about overlapping – the more preferred targeting data you have the better, as different users and browsers will share different types of location data with search engines.

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Once these locations are added, you can begin adding bid modifiers similar to how the demographic modifiers were managed. Assuming all clicks are equal in this market, if we know a certain location has higher value orders on average, we should be willing to pay a bit more for their click. Exact percentages in these bid modifiers should be continually re-examined as you get more data to find the right balance that still leaves you profitable.

Final Takeaways for Cross-Channel Paid Search Tactics to Enhance Campaigns

It is easy to get caught up in managing campaigns in a silo, but you have the opportunity to dramatically improve performance by applying learnings from other channels to your paid search campaigns. And, don’t forget that cross-channel insights go both ways! Your SEO, social, and sales team can finesse and refine their approach based on your data as well. Ultimately, the more you share with your teams, the better you can market to your potential customers.

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