Bid management software offers many benefits to anyone managing large volumes of keywords in paid search campaigns.
It is difficult to deny that the various bid management solutions available today can be an effective way of reducing the time required to manage campaigns and they can help address the demands of managing massive PPC campaigns.
Most bid management solutions are, however, sold with promises of increasing performance of PPC campaigns. With the advent of the ‘quality score’ that has been used by Google for some time and is now being adopted by MSN and Yahoo!, one must question exactly how these performance gains are achieved.
Any experienced PPC manager will appreciate that the maximum bid used for any given keyword is only one of a number of factors that determine the position in which the PPC ad is ranked. The structure of the campaign, the keywords targeted, the copy used in the ads and the landing page all play a significant part in determining the quality score of the ad, which will in turn determine the ad’s position.
Whilst many of the software solutions that we have seen are very impressive solutions and have clearly benefited from years of development, the very name ‘bid management’ introduces the major (and arguably fatal) flaw that must bring into doubt their effectiveness.
Managing PPC campaigns is no longer about managing bids. The ‘old school’ platforms, where you can see your competitors’ bids, created some unique (arguably crazy) bidding.
Bid management software evolved to help maximise returns in such volatile bidding scenarios. By adhering to specific rules, the software could undertake the manual process of tweaking bids to maintain optimimum performance. The benefits to advertisers was uncontestable.
We believe that effective PPC management today is far more than a process of managing bids and the creativity that only human intervention can offer will always outperform software that has been created to increase or decrease bids.
We are happy to be proven wrong! In fact, we would welcome any software that can help reduce the daily admin requirements of managing large PPC campaigns. For this reason, we are looking for bid management solutions to take part in our bid management software review [now closed].
The aim of the review is to profile the leading solutions in today’s market and to compare the features on offer, but most importantly to identify how each solution addresses the challenge of working effectively within a quality score based advertising platform.