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A novel approach for bidding on keywords in newly set-up search advertising campaigns

Nadia Abou Nabout (Vienna University of Economics and Business, Vienna, Austria)

European Journal of Marketing

ISSN: 0309-0566

Article publication date: 11 May 2015

1473

Abstract

Purpose

This purpose of this article is to solve the problem of bidding on keywords in newly set-up search engine advertising campaigns. Advertisers setting up search engine advertising campaigns for the first time need to place bids on keywords, but typically lack experience and data to determine ranks that maximize a keyword’s profit (generally referred to as a cold-start problem).

Design/methodology/approach

The authors suggest that advertisers collect data from the Google Keyword Planner to obtain precise estimates of the percentage increases in prices per click and click-through rates, which are needed to calculate optimal bids (exact approach). Together with the profit contribution per conversion and the conversion rate, the advertiser might then set bids that maximize profit. In case advertisers cannot afford to collect the required data, the authors suggest two proxy approaches and evaluate their performance using the exact approach as a benchmark.

Findings

The empirical study shows that both proxy approaches perform reasonably well, the easier approach to implement (Proxy 2) sometimes performs even better than the more sophisticated one (Proxy 1). As a consequence, advertisers might just use this very simple proxy when bidding on keywords in newly set-up search engine advertising campaigns.

Originality/value

This research extends the stream of literature on how to determine optimal bids, which so far focuses on campaigns that are already running and where the required data to calculate bids are already available. This research offers a novel approach of determining bids when advertisers lack the aforementioned information.

Keywords

Citation

Abou Nabout, N. (2015), "A novel approach for bidding on keywords in newly set-up search advertising campaigns", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 49 No. 5/6, pp. 668-691. https://doi.org/10.1108/EJM-08-2013-0424

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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