AI for Paid Search: Just Another Fad or a Serious Game-Changer?

By Kirsten Oelrich 3 min read

Marketing executives predict that by the year 2020, artificial intelligence will completely revolutionize the marketing industry.

For an average digital marketer, that’s hardly surprising ─ Artificial intelligence has already liberated marketers from mundane tasks like A/B testing and bidding. With AI for paid search, advertisers can now overcome the challenge of limited performance data and automate decision-making to optimize their bids. While this may look like a big leap forward, the broader implications of AI for search marketing are much more profound. Let’s explore some of the ways that AI is revolutionizing the world of paid search marketing.

Companies gain insights from intricate data relationships, improving their campaign performance and helping increase conversions. Advertisers are using AI to boost their investments, as well as their ROI. AI can scrutinize massive amounts of data and make the appropriate trade-off decisions. It can assist in automating decisions which are very complex for humans resulting in enhanced performance.

Here’s how it works ─ There are millions of keywords in a typical search account. You have multiple data points or decisions if you layer multiple search engines, campaign settings, and dimensional targeting data. To manually analyze this data is time consuming, as there are billions of combinations and data points that consist of device, audience, geographical and dimensional data, and data from numerous inventory sources. It is laborious for humans to go through all this data within a certain time period. However, when we use AI, it helps you automate the process and make the best decisions instantly.

Three challenges AI helps solve for paid search advertisers

As Artificial Intelligence for paid search is being rapidly adopted and implemented by organizations, its transformative implications are being widely witnessed. From automating complex decisions to utilizing vast amounts of data, AI is playing a key role in simplifying paid search advertising. Below are the 3 key challenges AI is helping address.

1. Lack of campaign performance data

There are cases where there have been long tail keywords that have a smaller number of searchers. It is very difficult to optimize your bids because of the limited performance data. Using AI, you can overcome such a challenge, as it uses other data points like site engagement activity. This drives better decision making.

2. Constantly evolving data and fluid search campaigns

You can modify bid amounts throughout the day in a live campaign. But it’s time consuming and inefficient to watch ad performances all day. Using AI can help you run simulations, make accurate and long-term forecasts, and depending on your keyword performance it can automatically adjust your bid throughout the day.

3. Intricate relationships between keywords and data

There are certain situations where conversion data is sparse. You can apply what you learn from the keywords having lots of performance data to those keywords that have limited performance data. Using AI can assist you in making predictions on how to drive better performance by analyzing keywords with similar meanings or engagement rates.

Smart bidding is the new norm for search marketers

Not many marketers know that Google introduced Smart Bidding in 2016. It is a subset of automated bid strategies that takes advantage of machine learning to optimize for conversions, clicks or event return on ad spend in every auction. Gone are the days when marketers would need to adjust bids on hundreds or thousands of keywords across multiple accounts in order to optimize campaign performance.

So how does Smart Bidding work? Smart Bidding has learning capabilities that quickly maximize 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.

The implications of AI for pay per click experts

If you are a pay per click expert, here’s the good news ─ machines aren’t going to replace PPC experts in the foreseeable future. Like many other domains that are undergoing an AI makeover, this shift in technology will mean that the role of the PPC specialist will evolve.

In fact, marketers have much to rejoice about. As paid search advertising goes through this phase of reinvention, machine learning should be embraced and PPC experts must use this opportunity to grow their skill set. This is already happening as many professionals become more technically skilled in relation to tagging, coding, and programming. Becoming professionally skilled in that way will ensure that PPC experts can continue to develop data driven strategy – just with more data.

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Kirsten Oelrich

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Kirsten Oelrich