Bid Managment Search Technology and Digital Media Performance Optimisation - SearchIgnite Technology

First Rate uses SearchIgnite to drive client ROI for search engine marketing campaigns, as well as deliver increased performance from the total digital media spend using conversion attribution across all digital media channels.

First Rate has partnered with SearchIgnite, a company that works with a variety of marketers across all online channels including email, display, social media and search.

One SearchIgnite client in particular has enjoyed incremental success with its online bookings, increasing from 14-20% before 2006 to 70% at present. However, a key element that was missing from their strategy was an understanding of the contribution each channel makes across the entire click path, with a specific focus on understanding generic keywords that initiate or assist a conversion and using these insights to maximize ROI. This client faced a number of key challenges and partnered with SearchIgnite in order to find a solution.

Multiple Platforms to Track all Media Channels
Marketers often report the same conversion multiple times as a result of using separate tools for tracking across different channels, e.g. an analytics tool for post-click conversions and DART for Advertisers (DFA) for display post-view conversions. In the SearchIgnite conversion attribution case study featured in this blog post, the client’s conversions were being tracked multiple times and with no ability to “de-dupe.” It was therefore difficult to get an accurate depiction of the contributions of each channel and took a drawn out process to identify their real marketing ROI. This made it challenging to allocate budgets most effectively across channels.

Understanding the Consumer Journey across all Channels
Most online marketers give all credit to the last click or exposure that lead to the conversion – the approach known as “last click attribution.” When using this method, multiple clicks may occur from a user across the same or multiple channels, but only the last one that resulted in the action or booking gets credit – this is common practice because most technologies do not offer the ability to track and optimize multiple clicks across channels.

When all credit is given to the last click that resulted in a conversion, marketers run the risk of moving budget away from channels and keywords that may have actually been critical in moving the consumer to convert, earlier in the decision process.

Finding the correct Attribution Model
It is very difficult to pinpoint the correct attribution model to each media discipline. To do this many different scenarios needed to be run to see the impact it would have had on the number of conversions and revenue on each channel, down to keyword level.

Generate Insights that allow Real-Time Optimisation
Most analytics tracking tools provide the data, but don’t give insights on cross-channel interactions or use it to optimize paid search keywords effectively using bid management rules in real time. Additionally, many tools do not provide the consultative service, support and client-relevant analysis needed to use this data effectively.

After a thorough technology audit of its marketplace, the client opted to use SearchIgnite technology. This selection was particularly due to advanced attribution technology to meet these challenges and optimize their online spend across all channels. Other key reasons for selecting SearchIgnite were:

  • Advanced search, email and digital media tracking platform
  • Cross-channel media insights on exposures which assist sales to understand user exposure paths
  • Use of insights and ability to perform attribution analysis based on marketing goals upon request
  • Use of data for budget allocation and optimization
  • Ability to use combination of rules based and portfolio bid optimisation

SearchIgnite’s advanced search and digital media attribution platform allows marketers to see the entire click path across all channels leading to the conversion and use this data for optimization. When considering allocating online budget, clients using SearchIgnite are able to see multiple clicks across their paid search, natural search, display, affiliates, and email. In addition, SearchIgnite, working alongside its world-wide partners including First Rate, provide support to perform attribution analysis and recommend a custom weighting method specific to individual clients and marketing goals.

SearchIgnite’s 5 Step Approach to Maximise Revenues Across Digital Channels

STEP 1 – Analyze the number of touch points in the online marketing mix and understand the full interactions of all channels
From the initial analysis it was found that 64.6% of paths had more than one click or exposure and that more than 50% of the client’s customers were interacting on more than one media channel before converting. The average number of exposures before conversion was 3.4 across all channels. The key insights found were that:

  • 42% clicked on a PPC ad and booked with no other channel involved in the booking
  • 4.8% viewed a display ad then clicked on a PPC ad and made a booking
  • 0.4% clicked on a display ad and then a PPC ad and made a booking

advertising click exposure

The decision making process on which scenarios should be run was based on the amount of interaction there is between the channels.

STEP 2 – Define Channel Prioritisation
SearchIgnite enables advertisers to let specific channels take pre-determined priority over other channels, which means that clicks or exposures won’t get any credit over channels which are in higher tiers (set by the client).

conversion attribution channel prioritisation

To each channel, we defined the value of an impression and reviewed:

  • Display clicks over display views
  • Organic search and email channel priorities over paid media channels
  • Display view look-back window
  • Display view weight

More information: SearchIgnite’s v4 release.

All attribution settings had been reviewed based on the current competitive landscape, TV, above the line campaigns and ad creatives. Importantly, settings can be varied seasonally.

STEP 3 – Distribution
SearchIgnite enables advertisers to move from a last-click ad exposure distribution to a customized distribution model. A key USP of the SearchIgnite technology is that clients can analyze 60 days worth of data through various scenarios to see what would have been the impact on bookings and revenue.

Using a different range of distribution models, the client compared this against the traditional last click attribution to evaluate the most accurate distribution model. As a result, campaign settings were altered and realigned to the right distribution model. This is based on the number of bookings and revenue allocated to each channel, campaign, placement and search keyword.

last-click conversion attribution VS multi-click conversion attribution
STEP 4 – Insights
Finding the best suited weights is often an iterative process of viewing how credit is distributed and the logic behind whether or not it best suits the dynamics of the business. With the new tier prioritization, channel settings and distribution model, the client observed a significant shift in the balance of revenue attributed between paid search and organic search.

STEP 5 – Apply Insights to Optimize Through SearchIgnite’s Portfolio Optimization Technology
After three months of testing, new attribution settings were selected and a new, custom distribution model was built for the client. In addition, SearchIgnite implemented bid rules using proprietary portfolio optimization technology (SPOT). Budgets allocated to each of the channels and campaigns were reviewed more accurately due to being able to eradicate duplicate bookings and re-attribute conversion data. Visibility on generic keywords and brand has been increased, which has resulted in a decrease in CPC and an increase in revenue.

SPOT’s prediction and optimization engine is driven by non-linear statistical modelling and other advanced mathematical techniques to find the optimal bid for each keyword across multiple search engines. SearchIgnite dynamically allocates a client’s budget across their portfolios of keywords based on business goals. SPOT’s technology then closely monitors click-through and conversion rates, adjusting results consistently based on real-time findings. More info: PPC bid technology case study.


Significant year-over-year improvements in CPC, ROI and revenue were generated, resulting in increased confidence that the online advertising budget is being tracked, attributed, measured and spent more accurately to optimize ROI. The key performance indicators saw the following results, with a 4% decrease in paid search spend:

  • 14% decrease in CPC
  • 28% increase in overall bookings
  • 43% increase in overall revenue
  • 54% increase in ROI

conversion attribution performance benefits

About SearchIgnite
SearchIgnite is a leading provider of paid search and performance media optimization solutions that enable large, sophisticated marketers to achieve their online goals faster and smarter. The company’s media platform gives advertisers an advanced suite of tools to manage, optimize and report on their paid search campaigns in one central dashboard. In addition to saving time and achieving their paid search goals, marketers who use SearchIgnite have the ability to gather insights into the relationship between media channels, enabling them to spend smarter. Some of the world’s leading brands and advertising agencies depend on SearchIgnite technology to power their online campaigns.

For more information on SearchIgnite’s PPC bid management and digital media performance optimisation technology, please contact First Rate.