By Richard Croney

It’s been a while since we last wrote about the key features of DoubleClick Search. The platform has continued to go from strength to strength and here are five reasons we think it’s great.

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1. Better Bid Strategies

Bid strategies are nothing new to DS, but their functionality has improved out of sight and continues to improve at an impressive rate. The types of bid strategy have remained the same, but the options available to advertisers are vast – how about bidding towards a custom weighted metric, or using a data-driven attribution model in conjunction with your floodlight tags? You can now also automate your settings multipliers – RLSA, location and mobile modifiers can all be adjusted, and cross device conversions can also be factored in. If that’s not enough, you can now run the same bid strategies at an advertiser level across multiple engine accounts and lest we forget that if you are using floodlight pixels in conjunction with programmatic or any other channels trafficked through DCM, that bid strategy will be optimising towards de-duped conversions. What’s not to love?

Huge range of bid strategy options within DS

Huge range of bid strategy options within DS

2. Cross Channel Remarketing

Most AdWords remarketing lists for display will create audiences based on where a user has landed on site over a certain duration. This is great, but users will inevitably wander through various parts of a site, so if we are looking to remarket to users based on URLs containing product categories for instance, how do we know what the initial user intent was? Within DS, we can label up our campaign or keyword categories and create lists based on these, to share both with DBM and GDN for display remarketing. Using these lists we could serve creative on the GDN to users who we know have expressed intent on a certain product range or service, based on keyword or campaign theme they have reached the site through. You can also segment your search activity by DCM remarketing list to see how your targeted DCM users perform in relation to search.

3. Automated Rules

For a detailed overview of automated rules, look at Caroline’s blog, which will take you through the set up and implementation of rules within DS. Simply put, the scope for automation within the DS interface is vast, and when you are managing multiple engine accounts across multiple regions, this is invaluable. At Merkle Periscopix, we use rules for several reasons, a key one being to notify of performance anomalies - think impression drops, conversion tags being broken, brand impression share falling. They can also be used more proactively, to highlight top performers, swap keywords between bidding strategies and label reporting categories. DS rules create endless opportunities for automation that can aid consistent and effective account management.

4. Enhanced Inventory Management

Inventory Management has long been a favourite of account managers, particularly when working on large retail accounts. The ability to build out ad groups at scale using your Merchant Center feed and a selection of cleverly constructed ad and keyword templates has allowed campaigns to be scalable and dynamic, with key attributes such as price updating automatically within your copy. The newly released enhanced inventory management capability from DS takes this functionality to the next level. The inventory plan feature means campaign templates can now be created, allowing multiple campaigns to be built with a few clicks of a button. The data within the feed can also be manipulated using new inventory formula columns, allowing the existing attributes to be changed using a variety of functions, negating the need for excessive changes to be made to the merchant centre feed itself. With brand new advanced features alongside the key functionality of its predecessor, all in a much easier to use format, we anticipate a substantial number of advertisers will be trialling enhanced inventory management very soon.

5. Reporting Tools

Reporting in DoubleClick Search hasn’t evolved at the rate of some of the platform’s features, but it remains one of the most valuable aspects of the platform. Executive reports allow easily shareable dashboards to be built quickly, allowing you to view and share your key trends across your search activity. Web query reports allow you to pull data directly into Microsoft Excel, and build offline dashboards to get into the real detail of your search campaigns, with data refreshed at will. And for retailers with large inventory, purchase details reports can be set up in conjunction with the DoubleClick floodlight pixel to delve into exactly what is being sold on search and uncover the true value generated from your ad spend.

Executive Reports

Executive Reports

Summary

DoubleClick Search continues to evolve rapidly, and the feature improvements and new additions are making it a more powerful paid search platform than ever before. From the biggest to the smallest advertisers, there are DS tools to suit all types of account and take search performance to the next level.