There’s a huge amount of hype around AI, or artificial intelligence, right now. For many of us just seeing the word “AI” evokes scenes of dystopian future ruled by our machine overlords (thanks Terminator). AI isn’t all about super intelligent humanoid robots, though.
In the digital marketing space artificial intelligence has the power to liberate Marketers from mundane tasks like A/B split testing and adjusting bids, freeing up more time to focus on areas that bring value to clients such as strategy and creative development. Let’s explore some of the ways that AI is revolutionising the world of paid search marketing.
Hyper Targeted Ads Are Now a Reality
Image credit: Slide 83 of Google Partners Masterclass 2017
As consumers we expect advertisers to know what we want before we know it, and be there and be relevant. This is no easy feat. Enter artificial intelligence.
In the past advertisers plastered their message everywhere they could and hoped that their ad was relevant to at least one person out there. Now AI can help advertisers to serve contextually relevant ads to consumers based on huge number of signals including:
- Time (hour, day, week, month)
- Location (radius, postcode, region, country)
- Device (mobile, tablet, desktop)
- Audience (page visitors, cart abandoners, loyal shoppers)
Optimised ad rotation
Powered by Google’s machine learning technology, optimised ad rotation enables advertisers to deliver the right message to the right audience. Optimised ad rotation is a feature within AdWords that prioritises ads that are expected to perform better than other ads within an ad group.
Advertisers can upload multiple ad creatives and then allow Google to optimise ads for clicks in each individual auction using signals like keyword, search term, device, location and more. Using traditional A/B split testing methods this level of optimisation would be next to impossible.
Image: Slide 54 of Google Partners Masterclass 2017
Allowing Google to crawl through your website and create its own campaigns and ads based on your sites content might sound like something out of the future, but the reality is that Google AdWords has had this feature for years In the form of dynamic search ads (DSAs)
While it’s not the best idea to rely on Dynamic search ads for your primary campaigns just yet, the feature is a great way for advertisers to capture unique long tail searches. Why is this important? Because out of all the trillions of searches that Google record, 15% are completely new.
This means that as marketers, we need to start planning and optimising search campaigns for searches that haven’t even happened yet. Thanks to artificial intelligence in the form of dynamic search ad, we have the tools to do just that.
Not too long ago PPC managers would need to adjust bids on hundreds if not thousands of keywords across multiple accounts in order to optimise campaign performance. Those days are starting to look numbered since Google introduced Smart Bidding in 2016.
AdWords Smart Bidding is a subset of automated bid strategies that takes advantage of machine learning to optimise for conversions, clicks or event return on ad spend (ROAS) in every auction.
So how does Smart Bidding work exactly? Anthony Chavez, Google's product management director for search ads explains: "Smart Biddings’ learning capabilities quickly maximise the accuracy of your bidding models to improve how you optimize the long-tail.” It evaluates patterns in your campaign structure, landing pages, ad text, product information, keyword phrases, and many more [data points] to identify more relevant similarities across bidding items."
Case study: Using AI to improve our client's search campaigns
Here at Equilibrium we’ve been harnessing the power machine learning in Google AdWords across a number of client accounts. After applying smart bidding strategies and optimising ad rotations, we noticed improved metrics across the board. For one client we saw the following improvements within just two weeks for implementing target CPA bidding:
- A 42% increase in conversions
- A 8% decrease in cost per conversion
- All this with a 71% decrease in the number of total clicks
What does AI mean for clients?
Artificial Intelligence gives marketers everywhere access to better data and better tools, allowing us to create better optimised, better targeted and more relevant campaigns than ever before. This translates into less wasted spend and better results for our clients.
It also means that we can spend less time doing the nitty gritty manual work like adjusting bids, A/B split testing ad copy and researching potential keywords so we can focus on the bigger picture for our clients.
That’s a win in our books.