Search Scrum: Paid Search Marketing Optimization | Round Barn Labs

Search Scrum: Approach Paid Search Marketing & Optimization Like A Team Of Rivals

July 21, 2020

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Paid Marketing
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Tye DeGrange

Paid search (PPC advertising) is one of the largest paid marketing levers for effective customer acquisition, so Round Barn Labs always devotes significant resources to helping clients efficiently capture demand and improve keywords, copy, offers, and landing pages versus their competitors and we stand out from the competition through our collaborative approach.

While many firms assign one consultant, RBL puts several experienced and capable sets of eyes on the challenges that come with managing the tactics and strategies of a client’s paid search account.

This means bringing together growth practitioners from diverse backgrounds with a wider range of expertise, and putting their knowledge to work to produce more well-rounded, battle-tested solutions. In that sense, our approach bears a resemblance to the meetings of Abraham Lincoln’s advisors described in Doris Kearns Goodwin’s Team of Rivals. The book chronicles Lincoln’s willingness to bring together competitors to apply their ideas and actions for the greater good of the country at a time of crisis. While paid marketing is not always quite as high-stakes, at RBL we believe that the best results come from embracing different strategies, tactics, and perspectives.

"Search Scrum: Approach Paid Search Marketing & Optimization Like A Team Of Rivals"| Roundbarnlabs

What does this look like in the wild? For an answer, we invite you to sit in on our weekly search scrum…Well, not literally.

For some background, the search scrum is our weekly review of paid marketing data, performance, challenges, and opportunities. We run the search scrum according to key tenets of the RBL Standards of Excellence, a team resource outlining our best practices. One of the most pertinent tenets is: Attack the idea, not the person. While this might sound simple, we find that providing a fun, collaborative, intellectually challenging environment allows teammates to thrive, and helps deliver the best possible outcomes to clients.

Not only do we look at individual client accounts, but we also analyze data across accounts to identify market, industry and/or performance trends that can ultimately benefit all clients. This is one of the benefits of working with a knowledge-lean agency vs. an agency that doesn't do this vs. in-house staff that only has the view of one account. Here are some key attributes that have made the search scrum valuable for RBL and our clients:

1. It’s regular. We hold search scrums weekly on Tuesday mornings.

2. There’s a documented agenda. The paid marketing practice lead sends it to the team the night before.

3. It’s inclusive and multi-disciplinary. Team members not on the paid marketing or paid search teams are encouraged to attend. Leadership and UX experts often attend to provide additional sets of eyes and creative recommendations for audience targeting, keywords, and landing pages.

4. We only attack the idea, not the person. This proves especially helpful when you gather experienced professionals with years of deep, practical paid marketing experience.

5. It covers both quantitative and qualitative views. We don’t just let the data decide. We also consider factors like user experience, customer feedback, and overall client strategy and needs to help determine how we can most efficiently and effectively reach each client’s North Star metric.

6. It’s inspired by scrum methodology.

Though we’re not building software in this case, we are employing some of the better features of scrum practice, such as:

- Transparency

- Scrum master responsibilities.

- A list of completed tests with data and results that inform future tests.

- Discussion of what went well during the weekly sprint, what problems it ran into, and how those problems were solved.

- Prioritized pipeline of tests to deploy (similar to a scrum product backlog). The paid-marketing lead (PM) assesses the revised view of the test pipeline with estimated deployment time and when we will have results of our next test.

- Group collaboration on what to do next.

- Review of the timeline, budget, client North Star metric, ancillary metrics, and key paid search variables such as keyword, match type, and landing page.

- There’s a clear mission. Greater clarity means better outcomes for our clients.

THE BOTTOM LINE - You may be saying to yourself: This sounds nice, but let’s get down to brass tacks. We hear that. So here are some examples of immediate benefits that have come out of the search scrum so far:

- We increased MQLs by 171% for a leading Bay Area SaaS enterprise product, targeting their decision makers

- We increased core leads by 12% and expand their testing from Google to Facebook and Bing

- We uncovered a need to expand landing-page testing for a B2C client, leading to a 2x increase in testing frequency and an 18% increase in conversion rate

Explore other client success stories.