Using Your “Gut” in Bid Optimization

A few weeks ago, I was speaking to a colleague about making gut decisions in bid optimization – and realized that I had never discussed this with anyone before.  But… we all do this, right?  She and I can’t be the only two people who go into accounts, see that things aren’t quite where we want them to be, and just start tweaking things. No Excel, no calculator, just instincts.

And yet, I feel vaguely guilty and somewhat embarrassed that I do this.

Why?  I know the account history, I know how individual keywords fit into the overall picture, and this is what I do for a living. So, in many ways, my “gut” optimizations carry more weight than those determined by a calculation.  But it’s just not very scientific, is it?

This internal dialogue that I have been having with myself over the past few weeks reminds me in a few small ways of Lisa’s “Are all these SEM Metrics Making us LESS Strategic” blog post. We are marketers, not bid optimization machines; we should be using all of the tools at our disposal – including our “gut” – to make decisions.

I honestly think that if I were to remove my instincts from every optimization I make on a daily basis, I would be much less effective at what I do. Yes, the data we work with is extraordinarily important.  We are drawn to online marketing because we love data.  But without our own unique experiences, we can’t turn that data into knowledge.

Dustin Lewis About the author
  • Lisa Sanner

    I think you know where I stand on this (agree wholeheartedly), but I have seen some bid management tools be very effective *IF* you babysit the tool and its settings, and use your gut to make adjustments. PPC bidding is not a “turn it on and walk away” kind of thing, as you know. BTW – nice image but kind of scares me.

    April 28, 2010 at 6:47 am

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