The DoubleClick ad platform comprises many components which work together to enable seamless ad campaign management for your digital marketing strategy. It also includes integration of DoubleClick Search. This powerful platform for managing and optimising paid campaigns can be an important part of your digital marketing strategy. The possibilities for linking DS3 with DFA data is one of the many great possibilities. Using DoubleClick Search means creating efficiency gains of up to 65%. Before you start using DS3 as one of your components for digital marketing campaigns I would like to give you a few tips that helped me a lot:
Important pre-campaign considerations:
What are your campaign goals?
What would you like to achieve with a campaign running in DoubleClick Search? Personally, the main benefit for me using DoubleClick Search is the possibility to link it with DoubleClick for Advertisers (DFA) ad server. This means you can link your DFA floodlights (pixel targeting) to your DoubleClick Search campaign and goals.
If your objective is to get more online sales or transactions, you need to create a sales floodlight(s) in DFA. When requesting a new DoubleClick Search advertiser from Google, make sure they link the floodlights to your new advertiser. This will enable you to keep track of the revenue per action, return on investment (ROI), return on ad spent (ROAS) and profit against media spent, just to name a few favorite words from our industry's terminology.
What is your preferred payment method?
When you link an AdWords account to a DoubleClick Search advertiser, the payment option for the AdWords account will be used in Search. Make sure your AdWords account is set up correctly for how you, or your client, want to handle the payment. Once the campaign is live changes can be made to the payment method, but it can take up to five working days in which your campaign is not running, and you can be losing valuable data.
Quick check once your DoubleClick Search advertiser has been created
When Google creates your DS3 advertiser they will send a request to the AdWords account. The user of this account has to accept the request, and once accepted you have to link it in DS3 once again. In the 'Advertiser Settings' tab, select 'Add engine account' and fill in the details. Now only the AdWords account will be linked and you will be able to create your first campaign.
Once you linked the AdWords account, make sure to sync the two engines. You can do this with the 'sync from engine' button from your campaign page. If the engines are not synced the data from AdWords will not be available in DoubleClick Search or DFA and you will not get the full benefits from using DS3. If you will be making a lot of changes in Adwords, I would advise setting a daily sync schedule. In the 'Advertiser settings' tab you can edit the engine and select a time when your daily sync should occur.
If your campaign setup has been completed but your ads or keywords are awaiting approval for longer than three days, check back in the linked AdWords account. Any error messages or disapproval notes will be shown in AdWords, and not in DoubleClick Search. You can edit your ads (or keywords) in AdWords directly where it will tell you if the ads still contain any errors, and then do a sync to make sure all changes are effective in DoubleClick Search.
Time to run your campaign?
When creating your campaign consider your targeting needs. Make sure you include the language and region (if you have a local business) you want to target, and to select a daily budget you feel comfortable with. I would also advise that Google do your bidding; you can always make changes after a few days' trial run. They use a complicated, but effective algorithm to ensure you pay the lowest CPC and achieve a high page rank.
As they also advise in the training material, keep your products separate. You can either create separate campaigns or several ad groups within one campaign, depending on your site and products. Keeping them separate will make it easier to optimise and make product specific changes.
Keep your ads simple and to the point. Be clear about what you are selling and why a user should click on your ad, and include a clear call to action. Make sure to include keywords in your ad title and description wherever possible.
When adding keywords, think like the user. Include plurals and synonyms of the same word. Add your main keywords or brand name with each matching option - broad, phrase and extract, and optimise on the one(s) performing best. I started off adding all my keywords only as broad match, and after some time I added the same keywords as a phrase and exact match, and it turned out to perform much better. It also increased my overall campaign performance as the budget was not used up on useless clicks. Check your CPC bids after a couple of days and increase the CPC bid for your best performing keywords, as this will improve your ad rank as well.
Use the correct landing pages! Don't think you can use the same one for all your ads if you have different products or pages. This is how one of my ads where disappointing - it took the user more than three clicks (steps) to get to the desired action, just because I used the incorrect landing page. Make sure what you sell, and the reason a user clicks on your ad, is the same as on the page he lands on. If not you can lose a lead and potential customer, and waste valuable budget.
My campaign is going great, but how can it still improve?
Now it's time for the fun part! What is so great about DoubleClick Search is the optimising possibilities.
As I mentioned before, consider your campaign goals. In DoubleClick Search you have six bidding strategies you can use.
Actions: Get the most actions while meeting a target CPA or monthly spend
Revenue: Get the highest revenue while meeting a target ERS, ROAS, or monthly spend
Clicks: Get the most clicks while meeting a target monthly spend
Transactions: Get the most transactions while meeting a target CPA or monthly spend
Weighted Conversions: Target multiple CPA, ERS, or ROAS goals over a customisable set of floodlight activities
Position: Keep keywords at a position or within a position range
Once you created your bid strategy go back to your campaign and select the keywords you want to use with it. You cannot use one keyword for two or more bid strategies at the same time, but you can create a bid strategy schedule to use up to four strategies in one day.
Always use your reports.
Generate a keyword report as well as an ad report and optimise on this. Increase the CPC bid for keywords with a low click through rate (CTR). Keywords with a high CTR but low conversions could indicate a low profitability and could be wasting budget - decrease the bid for these keywords. If you have keywords with a high CTR and high conversions you can choose to increase the bid to further increase the page rank.
Try adjusting ads with a high CTR but low conversions. Check that your landing page corresponds with your ad, and if the user gets to what he was searching for. If an ad gets a substantial amount of impressions but low clicks, revise your wording. If you made all possible changes to your ad but still no improvement, consider removing it completely.
With DoubleClick Search there is no set recipe to success. What works for my brand and goals might not work at all for another product and campaign. The best step you can take is the first - just start with the process. Then, through trial and error, improve on your campaign, ads, keywords and bids. Try changes even if you are skeptical, and soon you will start to enjoy it, and see positive results!
If you need any help with DS3 please get in touch with our specialist Adriana Bosman -
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